It's over, let's go back to hating Bettman now

After yesterday, here’s where the teams in the West seem to fall:

Hoping for the reward over the risk: Detroit, Nashville
Injected size and pugnacity
: San Jose and Anaheim
Filling their rank and file
: Calgary, Vancouver, Dallas
Simply cursed
: Edmonton
Praying for unbelievable draft classes
: Phoenix, Kings, Blues

I, honestly, feel very bad for both Edmonton and Florida fans. Ignore I mocked the Oilers earlier since, if you haven’t noticed, I mock everyone including the team I root for. But I do feel very bad for their fans. It seems Lowe did his best to get Smyth on paper for five years, but the numbers didn’t work. Nilsson and O'Marra should assuage the anger in a few years, but to plummet from last year’s run to basically throwing up their arms and surrendering now (and losing someone like Smyth to boot) sucks. There isn’t even an applicable comparison for Vancouver in this situation; the Oilers moved Mr. Canadian hockey to friggin Uniondale. It makes business sense sure, but the anger will be palpable for some time to come. Considering their history, sometimes business needs can take a backseat. What a sport.

As for Florida, hey, at least you have nice weather. Panther fans had to deal all year watching Luongo shine while seeing Bertuzzi play for them a paltry seven times. And now he's gone for quite little; as On Frozen Pond notes, Luongo was basically moved for what amounts to Bryan Allen, Alex Auld, Shawn Matthias and the conditional picks from however Detroit and Bertuzzi do respectively in the coming weeks. As with Lowe, I won’t fault Florida’s business rationale, but in hindsight, this has got to be one of the most lopsided trades since Mike Milbury ran the Isles’ asylum.

Also, there was an obvious failure of entertainment over information yesterday up North. Fools and their money soon part as they say. In contrast (for what it's worth) Paul and Alanah provided everything a stuck at work guy needed to stay informed and Big Body Presence and JJ kept me chuckling the rest of the day. Good jobs guys.

…mercifully moving on…

The Canucks didn’t waste long to start sucking again. Hearing Shorty ask "where was the defense?" on the first Weight goal was disheartening. Since the Flames play the Wild tonight, their division lead will be gone by the morning. So at least their best player is pissed…now, let’s see if anyone else on this squad feels the same.


Deadline tomfoolery

Continuing with the Despair.com theme of this uber-exciting trades...

Is it sticking to the wall yet?

I'm not sure what I'm enjoying more: following all the action on some good blogs or laughing at the absurdity of others. I won't lie, it's a bit of both.

The favorite rumor of this morning: Oh yes, that'll do pig. This too. I like it when divas bitch, especially captain divas who don’t take shootout attempts when their team is seven points back of 8th.

The feel good moment of the morning: he’d look strange in another uniform anyway.

The wall punching moment of the morning: Ugh…try to end this before Halloween.


Nonis flips the coin

They are two new bodies and depth is all important in the post season blah blah blah....

In truth I don't know much about Smolinski. His numbers are pretty solid over the years, although his best post seasons seem to be back in the mid 90's. They call him Smoke by the way; depending on where he plays, prepare your "Smokey Swede" chants now. If he plays like Linden has all season, not a bad pick up.

Sopel...not sure how I feel on this one. It's nice to see a guy we drafted finally come back. His best seasons were with this team by far; I seem to recall the main knock against Sopel was that he made woeful blunders in his own zone. So...he's a top 4 guy who could pull a Bulis and leave Luongo with a three on none to deal with.

I'm willing to bet Nonis is done now; he addressed the areas he was looking to upgrade.

Addition by subtraction - Chouinard

Alanah is reporting that Vancouver has waived the Chouinard. I know I know, try and hold it together people...

A case of the Mondays

It was honestly only a matter of time before this team played like penalized idiots too long before someone was going to make them pay. Naturally it was the team that they could feasibly face in the first round. Even without Pyatt and Ohlund, the Canucks barely skated in this game. How insanely frustrating must it be for Luongo to look out in front of him all afternoon at 5 guys who aren’t trying? The fact he kept them in that game so long – YET AGAIN – shows why he’s gotta be next to Crosby for the Hart so far this season.

If you were curious, here’s a look at all the Vancouver penalties in the last five games:

- hooking - L. Krajicek
- holding - D. Sedin
- hooking - S. Salo
- tripping - K. Bieksa
- interference with goaltender - J. Bulis
- delay of game - S. Salo
- tripping - L. Krajicek

- cross check - M. Ohlund
- interference- J. Bulis
- hooking - M. Cooke
- holding the stick - M. Cooke
- hooking - J. Cowan
- puck over glass - R. Fitzpatrick
- hooking - H. Sedin
- holding - T. Santala

- hooking - W. Mitchell
- hooking - W. Mitchell
- holding - B. Morrison
- cross check - B. Morrison

- hooking - M. Cooke
- hooking - R. Fitzpatrick

- hooking - M. Ohlund
- holding - D. Sedin
- hooking - H. Sedin
- cross check - M. Ohlund
- puck over glass - K. Bieksa
- slashing - T. Linden
- hooking - D. Sedin
- holding - B. Morrison
- hooking - J. Bulis

Besides the sheer number of PIM’s here, I see way too many hooking and holding calls here (the rare Avs game aside, but I did mention that while I bumbled my way through it last week). I’m far from a hockey statistician, but does anyone have a breakdown of all the penalties league-wide called this season? I’m sure both of those could be #1 and #2 respectively, but it just strikes me as such a lazy penalty to take. I’ve seen Morrison take them all season, I know I’ve seen Mitchell and Krajicek do it a fair amount too. And if I see Bulis getting called at all, I can almost guarantee it’s laziness.

The trading deadline aside, this team has a good deal of work still to do. A postseason spot isn’t locked up and, even if it was, this lack of discipline will almost certainly give them a first round exit. Luongo can’t do it all, he simply can’t.


Lessons on a cold Saturday

What did I learn sitting four rows back from a decent game in a basically empty Continental Airlines arena this afternoon?

1. The man ahead of me kept loudly articulating his desire for Colin White to end another human's life. It make me curious if White heard him and, if so, was the guy himself on the list of those to be disposed of?
2. Brashear is still an intimidating fellow. As is Erskine for what it's worth.
3. Semin and Ovechkin are unreal to watch skate and cycle. The Devils mostly watched rather then even attempt to poke check them. Good stuff.
4. Janssen had his first NHL goal and it was a beaut. He then fought Erskine for what seemed like five minutes before pushing him to the ice. He'll deserves his beers tonight.
5. Zubrus is a hell of a lot taller then I thought.
6. Gomez only gives pucks in the pregame skate to children. Listen jackass, they didn't pay the stupid amount of money for their tickets, but I did. Adjust your priorities.
7. Ice girls make the world go 'round (the picture isn't fantastic, just take my word for it):


But what about Big Up Entertainment ?!

A fifth rounder??? That's all Sir Carter is worth?

Wow, Hitchcock must have loved him. A glove tap for Nonis too for not ponying up the almighty fiver for the services of a model rental player who will likely demand $4 million come July.

Although we haven't seen him in an all red uniform yet. That'll be a first. Good times.

Image creation courtesy of Atom Smasher.

Up here [points to head]? I'm already gone...

Good game by the Canucks last night. This team just keeps finding different ways to get one goal wins, although they really have to stop taking so many penalties. Seriously, it's getting stupid and this will kill them in the playoffs. Also, like the super detective I am (in my head), I am on to you Sami Salo. Sure, the Finnish McInnis blah blah blah...first you woefully miss the net and the puck caroms directly to Daniel in Anaheim and then the same thing last night to Ironman Morrison? You're missing on purpose buddy. Carom Salo, he who wants to miss the net by 5 feet just to confuse their D, “I miss therefore I am”. Not everyone can do the slap-pass anyway. Your secret is safe with me.

By the way, is it terrible to take pleasure in the misery of others? Golly, I hope not.

Some quick musings…

1. It's great (for the sagging NHL TV ratings if nothing else) to have plenty more Buffalo/Ottawa games. Not since the Red Wings/Avalanche have I seen so much anger from all parts of the ice, from the goalies to the coaches.

Secondly, I now firmly endorse Ray Emery for, well, just about anything. Sure, decking Biron is like beating up an 8 year old girl, but turning to take on Peters while SMIRKING in the process? Well, damn, you're full on son. A guy after my own heart.

Lastly, what the hell is the rest of the Ottawa squad doing watching a goon take on their goalie anyway? Did it not occur to any of them to go defend him? Or take the suspension and jump over the boards to get Peters off him? Now that I think about it, how great would it have been if Brian Murray did it? Aww, Saturday could be fun.

2. Has anyone noticed how much fun the Islanders are having at just not sucking this year?

3. Someone tell the Bertuzzi clan that Todd’s domain expired. And, thus, I cannot access his valuable archives which includes killer chili recipes and pictures of Todd on a pink bearskin rug with a basket full of puppies.

Nevertheless, I am happy. All this Vancouver winning stuff has got me enjoying hockey with the wide-eyed wonder of a child. Like, say, this lad:

I'm right there with ya kid.


Fun with digits

482 - The amount of consecutive Canuck games Brendan Morrison has played, breaking tying Linden's franchise record
52.24% - The percentage of respondents on canucks.com who feel that the 6-1 thrashing of the Leafs in January was the best win of the season so far
- Number of wins for Alain Vigneault in his first season as coach, tying Tom Renny's franchise record
23 - Number of one goal victories for Vancouver this year; leads the NHL
17-3-3 - Canucks in their last 23 games
8 - Number of seasons Markus Naslund has scored 20 or more goals, tying Stan Smyl's franchise record
7-2-1 - Canucks in their last 10 games
6 - Current ranking in the NHL standings
5 - Current length of winning streak
3 - Current ranking in the Western Conference
3 - Number of Daniel Sedin OT goals, tied for first in the league with Briere
1 - Long awaited and well deserved NHL victories for Dany "Jekyll" Sabourin

And, one more non-Canuck related stat for ya...

1 - The number of additional Eastern Conference players who, along with the entire Western conference and much of the northern hemisphere, want Sean Avery dead.

See ya soon Marc.

Photo is courtesy of the Ultimate Canucks Search. Not sure who’s winning it yet, but I’m all for just giving it to any of the dogs. Or this girl who I respect for her talent. Seriously. Her talent.


Will the real Sabourin please stand up?

Dany to the Sabourin is manning the big hole tonight against the Ducks. So which Dany will we see tonight? Jekyll or Hyde? I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’ll pick off where Luongo leaves off. More or less.

Prediction: 4-3 Canucks in OT. Pronger, Nieds and Kunitz all score off their throats. Daniel, Pyatt, Morrison and Cooke net Dany his first NHL win. Luongo sits on the bench, plays some Sudoku and tries to scratch out the “Cloutier blows” bench graffiti with his skate.


Drunk Bloggin' In Process

Pregame notes: I suddenly have a bad feeling about doing this. Which means it must be the best idea...ever. My face is still frozen anyway so I may as well drink, right? Besides, while the players have changed, the fact remains I hate the Avalanche and will gladly get stupid in hopes of watching them lose to a crazy happy GM Place.

- Theodore's in net? AND they spent last night staying busy losing to the Flames? If Vancouver doesn't come out with an obscene amount of high energy in the first, I'm going to shoot myself.

First Period: Rookie Paul Stastny has 49 points. If anyone was curious. Sick.

First Period: Luongod gets beaten by some Av. Brunette with help from 600 boy Sakic. Fine, clearly they want me to drink harder. Fair enough, I'm game.

First Period: It took a goal to remind the Canucks a game is being played tonight on their ice. Jan Bulis of all people is showing a pulse. Good lord, anything's possible.

First Period: ...and on the heels of that very comment, Daniel "dance machine" Sedin gets his 25th that Theodore kicks in on himself. Nicely done. And Mitchell got an assist! What's that bring his season total to? 4?

First Period: Garrett just spent about 3-4 minutes complaining that the Avs don't use Theodore enough. Do I really have to address this? Wikipedia just gave me a fun fact about good old Jose - "Theodore is a friend of Simple Plan drummer Chuck Comeau and was a guest at the band's December 2005 show at the Bell Center." That's adorable; perhaps they'll make a crappy song in his honor that'll sell a zillion copies and I'll die a bit more inside.

First Period: Canucks cough up a shorty to some lad named Richardson. A decent shot by him, a mortal-like mistake play by Luongod. Gets me thinking...you think Dan Cloutier, since he has all the time in world, watches Vancouver games and secretly hopes Roberto's groin snaps like a twig? Just a thought.

First Period: Hughson nails the obvious point of the night so far, "this hasn't been a good period for Vancouver". Cooke takes a penalty although I missed what it was. Let's go with two for slue footing...do they even call that anymore?

First Period: Am I drunk already or did I just hear them say Green is centering Naslund? So... Reid and Moran are absent, Chouinard and Bulis are clocking time, and the captain has Green at center? Viggy...viggy...viggy...

First Period: Matt Cooke! Killer. Morrison has been lights out recently. Great stuff. No way this game should be 2-2 at this point.

First Period: Henrik...shoot the damn puck.

End of the first: Not precisely the period I was expecting, but not bad either. Avs came out as a better team, but the Canucks capitalized when they needed to. They have to tighten their defensive game up significantly in the second since Luongo doesn't have his A game just yet at all.

Second Period: Why is Hughson even bother talking about Sakic going to Vancouver? That'll never happen...the Avs may be on the outs this year, but no way they're sending Mr. Colorado to a rival the likes of Vancouver for a meager first rounder.

Second Period: Luongod is showing signs of earning that very name. Several good saves as the Canucks need to wake up badly. Someone poke Cooke and trash his mother to get him going. Something. Anything. Being outshot 18-9 is a fucking crime...hey, that rhymes. You are witnessing the power of Bacardi folks.

Second Period: Being outshot 19,000 to 10 clearly doesn't phase Vancouver as Morrison (who just made an atrocious pass up the middle to absolutely no one) jumps on a rebound and flings it past Theodore low to his blocker side to push the Canucks up by one. They don't remotely deserve the lead at this point. Mitchell gets another assist...this could be a career night in the making.

Second Period: Only two penalities so far, one a piece. That's damn good for the home team, although Quebec did score shorthanded. So maybe it all gets cancelled out. But I need some piss and vinegar here somewhere...or I'll just start drinking everytime Hughson or Garrett start bitching about Theodore's lot in life again. We should all have such problems.

Second Period: Well, just like that, the teams trade off penalities (both, obviously, for slue footing). Canucks powerplay wasn't anything special. In turn, the #1 PK in the league just gave up one to Brunette again. The Avs special teams are tearing Vancouver apart. No one saw that coming.

Second Period: Is Santala even playing? If he is, he's as invisible as Chouinard but at least I saw the latter for about 3 seconds before being benched or sent out for coffee.

Second Period: I know Krajicek is still a project, but his shot needs some work. Beeska rings a fantastic one timer off the post that would have made going to the locker room in a few a bit easier to stomach.

End of the second Period: If you're just walking by this blog and curious what this game has been so far: Canucks special teams have been terrible, Luongo was Auld-like in the first period, Henrik Sedin has decided shooting the puck is beneath him, Green is centering Naslund, Brunette has two goals that he never even shot, the television announcers have giant man-crushes on Theodore and I'm almost out of rum. Oh, and Nonis is out of his damn mind if he thinks of moving Cooke and/or Morrison before the trading deadline.

Third Period: Shit...I was making a new drink and talking to my roommate's boyfriend and I miss two goals? Henrik Sedin I see decided to start shooting after all. You know, that's so typical...well, at least they're winning.

Third Period: So as I backtrack to see that Morrison hits paydirt again, I watch Laperriere score. He's got to be my least favorite Av. He looks like a tool, I don't like having to check if I spelled his name correctly and he always plays well against Vancouver. 5-4 Canucks...this should be a fun race to 60 minutes now.

Third Period: Cooke's never had a four point game. Tonight seems like the ideal time to end that chicanery. He's flying tonight and is letting his play make the difference rather then his fists, mouth or body checks. Pay attention Raffi and take good notes.

Third Period: I just realized that, if the Canucks win, they'll go 10 points up on the Oilers, be tied point-wise with Dallas and be a single point behind the incredibly slumping Sharks.

Third Period: I ALSO just realized that the Canucks take on the Ducks (who lost tonight), the Kings and the Stars this week. These games are huge with the Ducks and Stars...but at any rate, back to this game. I just heard Laperriere's name again. Painful. More rum and soon I'll spell his name with 15 r's.

Third Period: A beautiful 3-on-1 which Pyatt converts on becomes nothing. The reply shows H. Sedin was tripped. Christ I hope that doesn't come back to haunt them.

Third Period: Shit, Brad May just became a bit less dense after getting hammered behind his own net. Wild finish in process...

Third Period: Matt Cooke makes a great clear to end the game on what has been one of his best nights this season, if not his Vancouver career, by far. Damned if someone didn't mention his value earlier this week. Canucks take the win, move 12 up on Colorado for what it's worth and don't just have the Northwest Division lead but are sneaking slowly into the upper echelon of the conference. Remember, this is a team that was forecasted to not even make the playoffs and suck worse then the Blue Jackets. That alone deserves one more drink for and the happy foggy thoughts it will bestow. G'night all.


You're like bread on a windowsill. Mine, when I want ya.

Thanks to one of the more random holidays we get, I'm off snowboarding for the next few days. If I don't end up kissing a tree/rock/chair lift pole/skier/Sasquatch at 20 mph, I should be back in time for Sunday night's Canucks/Avs game.

And, ah what the hell, let's drunk blog the darn thing shall we?

I do love it when a plan comes together.


Bettman's nightmare continues

Forsberg, Forsberg, Forsberg.

Like Justin Timberlake, NBA games and Oprah, Forsberg refuses to go away despite my novice voodoo attempts. With everyone tripping over themselves anointing the Preds the cup champions already (and yes Kelley, they would snicker in Vancouver), Sheridan nails this trade from the Flyers end. Nothing personal, but obviously Forsberg’s best years were not in Philly and, as a result, they accepted reality:

The Flyers are the worst team in the NHL with Forsberg. They are not going to win a Stanley Cup this year or next year. They have to continue to get younger and quicker and more skilled. By the time their nucleus came together, Forsberg would have been gone anyway.

While it’s great if you’re actually Forsberg himself to go from worst to first second, it's debatable if the Preds even need him. I understand the ancillary gains made by Poile which, above all, is get more people in those damn seats to watch the #1 #2 team in the league in arguably one of the most hockey-deaf towns in the hemisphere (averaging 14,695 fans per home game, ranking 23rd out of the 30 teams).

No one will know - until the Preds hoist the cup or are bumped out early - if Forsberg’s price was worth it. However, in contrast, there’s no reason you couldn’t argue a team that is already firing on almost all cylinders could have paid less to bring in a guy like Tkachuk or even Smyth (assuming the latter really will be moved). In the end, their gamble is huge, the window is short, being the best team in the league hardly means much when the post season rolls around and, above all, the man in the middle of it all is, well…

"He's a great player," general manager Paul Holmgren said, adding a few words that said it all: "When he's playing."

Lastly, how do you think the grand pooba Bettman is taking this? Namely, looking at the enhanced possibility of having Nashville follow in Stanley's steps after previous stops in Carolina & Tampa Bay? And you thought the TV stats for the All-Star game were poor? Oy…


Woefully Shallow Self Promotion Starting....Now

Until I'm told to stop or I receive a court order delivered by a thick-necked individual with multiple facial scars compelling me to do so, I'll be joining JJ from the Canucks Hockey Blog as a regular contributor to the fan blog on Canucks.com. My first blog for them went up today if you want to check it out.

(Note: I went with an image of my dog - who I teased in an early 'tagged' post - because he's far better looking then me.)

I implore you guys and gals to check out the blog when you get a chance, it's full of good stuff (besides, naturally, JJ and myself!). And a big thanks to you kind souls who make this blog well worth the effort.

Now, back to other things...like a kinda sorta important game tonight. Have I mentioned I dislike Wes Walz yet?

Walz is no Fitzpatrick

Start the war drums.

With the Flames spanking Atlanta last night, it's catch-up time for both teams who are now tied for second in the division. As with most Wild/Canuck games, there’s no shortage of subplots (including nonsense about birthdays, new Canuck penalty killers and how dominant the Wild have been against Vancouver this year).

The Canucks would be wise, however, to focus on one ugly thing: Mr. Wes Walz. Or, more accurately, what Walz said about Vancouver last month:

"Vancouver didn't even want the game. They were so bad. It was a game they weren't even in, and we just gave them hope.”

For all I know, Walz is right…the Wild went on to win the game 5-2. But those words about not showing up and being bad should anger every single man in a Canuck uniform and their coach. This isn’t Crawford’s squad anymore where such a comment would be spot on, this is Viggy’s show and taking nights off, I thought, was verboten. Perhaps Vancouver should use every syllable from Walz’s statement and show them what playing Vancouver is like when they do want the game. Luongo sure as hell does. Anyone else on the team care to join him?

Prediction: 4-2 Canucks. Suck it Walz.

PS…Hey Linda, shut it. While getting attention from ESPN of all outlets is much appreciated, don’t ruin the concept by printing it before the playoffs even start.

** The image of sir Walz is courtesy of whatever this site is. Good on ya.


Around the web...

...A brief look around this morning as I inhale my coffee shows me the ying and yang of life. For instance:

- A Canucks die-hard, Photoshop, and magic numbers? Fun!
- Extinct cats saddled with hobbling Swedes? Not fun.
- Looking pissed on the cover of a magazine with the word "Canucks" right next to your head? Fun!
- Old faces in bad places (first bullet)? No, not fun.
- Not hockey-related, but it's the birthday of a punk god. Give thanks and break bread. Fun!
- In anticipation of the first place showdown tomorrow night, the Wild have won four of five games against the Canucks this season, outscoring them 17-9, winning in a shootout and limiting the’ nucks to three goals or less in each outing. NOT FUN.

What's the over/under on the rumors today? Without any sources, team connections or sitting online reading every fan forum until the 27th, I feel strongly about the following:

- Jason Blake to the Rangers in return for Sandis Ozolinsh who is immediately given the dual back office position of team bus driver and assistant GM.
- Shane Doan gets traded to Toronto for a high pick. Doan proceeds to cry every time the play-by-play announcer mispronounces his name as "Shame Done".
- Jose Theodore gets traded to Florida. Theodore plays one game before announcing that he's the father of Anna Nicole Smith's kid. (And, as fans, don't even attempt to make light of the situation)
- Georges Laraque gets moved to Pittsburgh and immediately punches Jarkko Ruutu in the face, lifts him above his head and snaps him in two complete with a Braveheart-esque scream. Then calmly suits up and hits the ice for warm ups.
- Sergei Samsonov gets moved to Columbus. He skates on the same line with Carter and Fedorov, thereby creating the most overrated line in hockey this season. Hitchcock weeps and smacks Zherdev repeatedly.
- Calgary moves Kristian Huselius to Vancouver for a pick. Huselius doesn't score and goes -18 in 20 games with the Canucks. He misses every shootout attempt. Zanstrom's photoshop skillz kick into high gear during the o


Your move pardner

Should the 'nucks be nervous? It's a legitimate question after watching a rival team make moves in anticipation of the upcoming trade deadline.

Craig Conroy for Jamie Lundmark and two picks is a great move for the Flames (that pains me to say). Conroy has a productive history on that team obviously and has three times as many points as Lundmark. (An aside: I remember when Lundmark was a first round prodigy and untouchable for the Rangers a few years ago. Then again, they said the same thing about Manny Malhotra so, yeah, go Rangers).

The Brad Stuart move is a bit more perplexing, at least from Boston's side. If you ignore his Yannick Tremblay-esque +/- rating, he's still another first round pick with a solid defensive game who was rumored to be on the move to Edmonton. Wayne Primeau (who must have a clause in his contract that he's only to be moved along with Stuart) doesn't do much for me if you consider he has to crack a position slot already crowded with Conroy, Langkow, Lombardi & Yelle. If the Flames make an early exit from the playoffs, losing Kobasew may come back to haunt them even though his numbers are off. As for Boston, well, the nightmare that was moving Thornton just keeps haunting them.

My issue here is that, so far, the Canucks have been able to beat Calgary at their own game (aggressive forechecking, creating turnovers, and employing a vigorous defensive scheme behind a world class netminder). But Calgary's moves will make that a bit tougher to do going forward and, especially, in a playoff atmosphere. Nonis has already said he isn't necessarily going to make a move prior to the deadline. Sure, every GM says that as a CYA this time of year. But if you make a logical assumption that the Canucks are playoff bound, it's likely they could finish second or third in the division and drop to anywhere from sixth to eighth as a result. That means Vancouver's going to have a date with Anaheim, the Preds or Wings or, yes, Calgary.

As February 27th looms, Nonis has a decision to make much like Sutter: do you move players/picks to gamble that you can do some damage this spring and ride Luongo as far as he can take you or do you stay idle, be happy you didn't end up in last place in the league as all the pundits predicted and focus your "retooling" efforts on next year? Nonis doesn’t really have an expendable Ference or Lundmark to move and no GM in their right mind is going to bang his door down for Bulis or Chouinard (damnit, where’s Keenan when you need him?). Would he move a prospect like Grabner or Schneider for a rental if you still get bumped out in the first round? And what about Naslund, the captain who only has a handful of years left to play and how he’s going to feel if Nonis keeps retooling?

Then again, perhaps I am making something out of nothing. The new Flames hardly brought the Joe to their knees with their play last night. But I remain, obviously, quite interested to see what Nonis will do. If nothing else, I pray one of the moves isn’t to pry Weinrich out of retirement; if I see that yellow visor in a Canuck uniform again, I’ll gladly flip this blog over to recap meaningless and mundane preseason baseball games.


Ginger kids can make you cry

Two for roughing, two for unsportsmanlike conduct and two for the Canucks. In a nutshell, that was Raffi Torres's forgettable two-for Tuesday at Rexall Place. And if you're looking to hang another debilitating Oilers loss on somebody in the home unis, the enigmatic winger who can be dangerous at both ends of the ice is certainly your man.
- Edmonton Journal

I know some well intentioned people despise Matt Cooke, but he was well worth every damn penny towards the cap last night. Besides, isn't what Cooke was doing precisely why you keep a guy like Torres around anyway? Torres could have done the same thing and forced the Canucks to over react, so it is what it is. Live and learn.

Special thanks to the Blackhawks for rising from the dead to steal a point from Calgary. Now, please go back to the grave tonight so we can retake first.

Three quick points:
1. I like that Dallas is within reach and San Jose is within striking distance too. The entire Northwest division is going to mess up the upper echelons of this conference. Mikey like.

2. Messier is like the Dick Cheney of the NHL: few outside his inner circle want him around, he maintains an indoctrination center to break the will of the young, and almost no one challenges the absurdity of his statements. Although it would be great to watch the Rangers fall flat with him at the helm, we've all seen that happen since the end of 1994 if I recall accurately (save for the few years he took off to kick the Canucks in the groin for $6 mil a season). Even questionably credible folks in NY are aware of this. (h/t Kukla)

3. As for the "Ultimate Canuck's Fan" contest, it took all of 24 hours for it to go from moronic to frightening and borderline illegal.


You just made me vomit in my own mouth

Perhaps I'm the last guy to the party, but in case you missed it, the Canucks promotion department is going to harness the power of the intraweb for fans to broadcast their humiliation in hopes of winning the grand prize which includes, amongst other things, playoff tickets (presuming they make it I guess).

The good part is it gives me ample reason to mock and generally ridicule those who will post pictures, videos or whatever else is better suited for a message board linked on a Geocities Steve Kariya fan page. I’m willing to wager some will actually be pretty good, but the majority of user-generated submissions may fall into the camp of questionable, odd or just flat out wrong items. So who’s losing the best so far? Take a peek:

It’s not all bad though. I feel the girl on the left has a bright future whenever she turns 18. Don’t act like you didn’t think the same thing either. I’ll see you all in hell too.

Didn't we just do this?

The Oilers are like the bad guy in the final scene of what's likely a crappy movie you catch on cable when you're bored. The hero (think Bruce Willis in Die Hard) shoots the bad guy (think Bruce Willis in The Jackal) directly in the face, he falls down a flight of stairs, crashes through a window and lands on the lawn three floors below. Bruce goes to check on the woman he no doubt will plow during the credit roll (think Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element) and the bad guy crashes through the side glass door with chicken wire to wrap around the hero's neck. Bruce (the good one) shoves broken glass through Bruce's (the bad one) neck and he slowly bleeds to death on some lovely kitchen floor tile. Bruce (yes, the good one) strolls off into the sunset with Milla in one hand and a cigar in the other while Bruce (yes, the bad one) flicks open an eye and growls...presumably at the shard of glass in his throat. Or the fact he doesn't get Milla and, yes, we understand this pain all too well.

So yeah, why won't the Oilers just go away? Oh right, because we're in the most ridiculous division in the damn league. Somehow the Oilers can lose all of December and be within striking distance of the Luongnucks. Seems about right.

On the plus side, the Oilers are useless on the man advantage against the Canucks (1 for 34 on the season) and have lose three straight since humiliating Sabourin some time ago. On the negative side, the Canucks sucked against the Flames on Saturday and lost out in the valuable Sean Avery sweepstakes. Damn you Sather, you win again.

At any rate, both teams will beat the shit out of each other again. Assuming the Oilers play with more anger in their strides, this goes to OT or a shootout in which Vancouver wins. The Oil will be happy with a point, the Canucks will be happy with the extra one.


Beauty has a twin

Don’t fret Dwayne, Mikka probably knows a good therapist.

It’s good to see the playoff atmosphere creeping into these divisional games now. Say what you will about Edmonton, that team is gritty as hell. A lot of good hits in both ends. Do they still even have Nedved? If he was out there, I never saw him.

Good to see the dual-headed maligned free agent monster known as Chouinard/Bulis both scoring key goals when the team needed it. Nazzy is slowing coming around which is a godsend at this time of the season. Best of all was seeing the team actually play an entire 60 minutes without sitting back and letting Luongo earn his money.

I have to go check eBay now.


You betta bring it. Oh it's already been broughten!

Vancouver should be angered at blowing a game against the Blue Jackets, the very same team that the ideally-tired Oilers just spanked last night. With three straight games against the stubborn Alberta teams, this is certainly no time to have confidence issues in how the Canucks have played the past few. Listening to 1040 during the day you’d think the Canucks were Los Angeles, the fair-weatherness is absurd. Last I checked we still have that long haired guy in net and Tomax and Xamot up front and clearly capable of leading this team. Time for guys like Pyatt and Bulis to step up and Mattias and Beeeska to clamp down in their end and this team will be fine.

Tonight’s Prediction: 4-2 Canucks. Cooke and Torres, respectively, punish anything that moves. Then they meet at center ice and Cooke removes more of Raffi's teeth. The teeth themselves get thrown in the stands and are on eBay this time tomorrow morning.