Gettin’ Ornery for Humanity 2007

So the 2006-07 experiment has yielded some new franchise records, an assault on one NHL record, a hell of a streak since Christmas, the emergence of Taylor Pyatt, the Sedins going apeshit offensively in tandem, a coach with a level blood pressure and normal hair, the return of some wildly bad hair, the coming out party for Beeska, our most clutch goal scoring "goon" since Odjick (Gino deserved bras being thrown too) and, oh yeah, that smile-happy Luongo guy and his cute, busty wife.

And, the first of the post-lockout era, a date to the party.

The last time we saw the Canucks even attempt playoff success was against the Flames in 2003-04 (Ah Cookie). But it was really the 2002-03 (shit, that was a long time ago) playoffs that saw the team do anything remotely positive like get out of the first round. I distinctly remember watching that second round game seven match against the Wild, rooting like a meth addict at the top of my lungs only to watch Dupuis, bouncing pucks and Cloutier sprawled on his ass (his normal stance really) to bring all of it to a crashing halt.

(An aside: Am I the only one who almost wants to face Detroit just so Mitchell and Bertuzzi have to murder each other again in opposite uniforms? Hmmm, maybe.)

But the slumber is over and now we get another chance to pull for this team to do anything besides getting their ass handed to them in four straight. We'll know more about that possibility when the bracket is set and I can get my full hate-on for some poor city and its fanbase. As for now, the simple joy of knowing I am not left with baseball for another spring is a gift onto itself. Nothing like playoff hockey, period. End of statement.

That said, I proudly present the inaugural "Gettin’ Ornery for Humanity" (and perhaps the only one if it doesn't flow as I hope). What is "Gettin’ Ornery for Humanity" you ask? After much thinking while stuck on the bus in traffic this week, I came up with a trifecta concept for you, the faithful invisible blog readers, that will last for as long as the Canucks are in the playoffs (that piece is important). The three promises are:

#1. I will drink between 4-5 drinks a game.
Now, before I even begin to hear it, I'm not a 20 year old frat boy with an liver made of titanium. I'm a 28 year old who needs to get up and likely work the next day. So don't give me lip for not promising 10 drinks a period plus shots for every penalty. I will keep it between 4 and 5 depending on how the game goes and what night of the week it is. Perhaps I’ll up this amount should they go further, we’ll see. But, worst case scenario of 4 series of 7 games each means that I'll down 140 drinks for your enjoyment. Well really my enjoyment. But don't say I don't sacrifice for the sport. However, the fact I'll be doing this will help...

# 2. I will liveblog 3-4 games a series.
Again, I have a life and a three hour time zone to deal with it so I can't promise all seven. OK, if they go the whole way I will, but let’s stay in reality here for now. I will do my best to do the majority of the series games in this fun filled manner so you have something to read that’ll be obscenity-laced and angry with a pithy thought thrown in here and there. I'm sure some other good souls will be doing something similar. In fact, I can almost guarantee it.

# 3. I will donate money to a charity in the opponent’s city for every Canuck win.
Here comes the humanity portion. Seeing how the Canucks SHOULD (it pains me to link to this clown) make some noise this spring, I am of the mind that the opponents will be sadden by their anemic attempt to stop Vancouver and that it's only fair to, instead of gloating, help them assuage that hurt in anyway I can. So, as a single guy with a good paying job and time to burn (clearly), let's rock this scenario: every Canuck win nets a charity to be named in the enemy city a cool 25 bucks; therefore a glorious Canuck series victory nets some worthy cause in enemy territory a crisp C note donation. Should the Canucks even tease us with a Cinderella run like previous Northwest Canadian teams have (cough cough) for the Cup, I'll up the amount per game for the last two rounds. So even if Vancouver ultimately loses, someone outside the hockey world wins.

There's the “Gettin’ Ornery for Humanity” plan: I get to drink to playoff games (which rewards me), I will rant incessantly and try my best to make it coherent (which rewards you the reader or, at worst, will give you a headache) and, barring a sweep in the first round (no, I didn't just say that and you didn't entertain the thought; forget and move on), some group(s) out there will get some Yankee Canuck hard-earned. Not a bad deal all around.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments or you can email me if you prefer. What you like, dislike, all that good stuff. This is either a great idea or one of the dumbest.

That said, bring on the first round already, I'm ready to get my anger on.


Let's try this again

For fucks sakes, let's get serious and put this Colorado team out of their misery. Let's rock a 3-2 Canucks win this time around, Daniel gets all three. Or Naslund who needs a kick to the ass yet again. Or have it be three own goals, who cares? Just dispatch these clowns and get focused on not letting the filthy Wild take first in the division.

Filthy filthy tree hugging Wild...OK, I am calm now. Back to the grind...


Happy hindsight

I just realized this is my 100th post and what makes it even better is that if they win they're in tonight. It's somewhat fitting that it comes down to the Avs, the fading powerhouse of the NW. I know a beat a dead horse at times with this, but it's such a pleasure to see this team excel when others thought they'd be dead in the water.

3-1 Canucks. Daniel, Smoke and Linden all score on the man advantage. Luongo has waited too long for this moment to blow it, so he'll be solid.

After the win, I'll reveal my post season plans...I know, it's terribly exciting right, my nipples are hard too.


Sweet Christ it’s morning already?

I thought it was my hazy insomnia that made me see Bulis and Santala scoring. Apparently not. Granted, you can give Vokoun an assist on the Bulis goal but it’s damn interesting that this team is 27-5-5 since Christmas and are now in the hunt for the President’s trophy of all things. And, in comparison with other top teams, they’re being powered by virtual no names. Forsberg and Kariya vs Bulis and Santala? Ha, suck it Trebek.

Luongo now needs five more victories to break Bernie Parent's record of 47 wins. Lui is assaulting so many records this year and giving that Crosby character a run for that chunk of Hart metal. God bless you Mike Keenan.

I missed this story, but I love the southern hospitality response towards Tony Gallagher. Nothing like getting your ass handed to you in bulleted format.

8 games left and the Sharks, Wild and Stars are all the best bets as first round targets. I’ll need a great deal of beer to stomach a minimum of four games of staring at Modano or Lemaire.


By Lucifer's Beard!

Utah tried to kill me, it really did. But after getting stuck in the state for a bit longer thanks to the NYC area deciding to have an ice situation over the weekend, I am back home, sore, sunburned and immediately bored by having to return to my normal routine. The fact people snowboard for a job is just not fair. Not one bit.

Anyway, I've utterly clueless about the hockey world in the past ten days. First, permit me to recap my stupid attempt to play Sylvia Browne and guess what lurks in the future.

- March 10 - 1 for 3. Although I was semi-right with the Chris Simon suspension. Kinda sorta but not really. Oh well, at least the fucker is gone for a bit.
- March 11 - 0 for 3. I was really close on the Avs/Wild one for what it's worth.
- March 12 - 0 for 3 again! Christ I suck. Is Saskin still around?
- March 13 - 0 for 2. But hey, I got the Canucks/Wild score right, just the wrong victor. Brownie points people, brownie points.
- March 14 - 1 for 2. I'm ignoring I got the score of the Flames game wrong, but the Avs still embarrassed them and, since I'm sucking completely at this guessing thing, I'm counting it.
- March 15 - 0 for 3. GRRRRRR. I am one goal off in each one! See? This is why I just drink at casinos and watch others gamble.
- March 16 - 1 for 1. Boo yeah bitches, 100%.
- March 17 - 0 for 2. Not even close on this one.

So, in total, I went 3 for 19 during the week. 6.3% accurate. Christ almighty, that should be the new tagline of this blog.

The lesson learned? Be vaguer next time.

Looking at the Canucks in the past week, it seems they’ve done their normal thing. Not blowing anyone out – save for those filthy car whores from Michigan – but doing what they do best: eeking out one goal victories and riding Luongo like a rented mule. Sucks to see the Wild keeping pace, but it’s a mammoth delight to see the Flames falling slowly out of it. C’mon Avs (shit, did I just say that?) you can catch them.

Once I sleep a bit and breath in the shitty New York air a bit more, I’ll be back to normal. In the meantime, the Canucks can beat the Preds tonight. I’m leaving it at that since I can’t predict anything accurately and want to embrace random vagueness like, you know, half of my elected officials prefer to do....


You'll be a princess in a world full of dragons

It's come time for this bloke to take a holiday. For the next 8 days, I'll be snowboarding some of the best places the Beehive State has to offer. Ironically, the weather says it’ll be almost 70 degrees on some of these days whereas it’ll be in the 30-40’s in the NY metro area. That’s a neat trick.

At any rate, let me first review the Canucks game in Phoenix. It was the first game this year in which I was trying to watch while fighting off the sleep effects of cold medication. I’ll call the fight a draw since I would pass out for ten minutes and then wake up, pass out and wake up…but, it made watching the game interesting. When I first woke up, it was 1-0 and I thought “oh good, they aren’t blowing it”. Then I passed out again, came to, and saw it was 3-0 and I was watching a Daniel take a penalty shot. Color me confused, what the heck was I watching? I suddenly had an idea that drunk blogging could be replaced by OTC blogging…but while it would be neat for me, that would be a terrible read for you folks.

But it was a solid effort last night. It was over basically in the first, but it was a pleasure to see them play to their level and now down to that of their opponent. Sabourin was good again for his second career win and how the heck the Cowman hasn’t cooled off now is beyond me. For the record, I did call the final score though not the goal scorers.

So in light of my second or third correct guess at the score of a game, I’m going to go ahead and try and guess a week of the NHL in my absence. I think the deal should be if I get even 50% of this post correct, someone owes me a cookie (peanut butter or oatmeal raisin), a pint (anything imported, the darker the better) and a nice pat on the head like the good dog I am:

Saturday March 10
- Lecavalier and St. Louis will each score to knock the Flames off at home. Kipper pulls his groin.
- Ottawa will destroy Toronto either 5-1 or 6-2. The Toronto papers will say the Leafs played well and still have plenty of gas in their tank to get the Cup.
- The NHL will suspend Chris Simon for the rest of the season and the first round of the playoffs (if applicable). Or, the NHL will use the silly measurement of measuring the punishment based on the Hollweg’s injury and Simon will, instead, get a five game suspension and 30 minutes of awkwardness that comes from wiping spittle off his face as Colin Campbell screams at him like a red-headed step child.

Sunday March 11
- San Jose will stomp what’s left of the Oilers 4-2
- Colorado and the Wild will go to a shootout; officials eventually agree on of rock-paper-scissors arrangement for the winner
- Canucks will beat the Ducks 3-1; Burke throttles an intern for bringing him a can of Fresca over his normal three fingers of the good stuff.

Monday March 12
- Philly and Phoenix decide to entertain the home crowd by, instead of hockey, reenacting the Battle of the Alamo on ice. Biron will still lose and will be “shot” by the marauding Zbynek Michalek regiment of the fourth platoon. So Phoenix wins.
- St. Louis will beat Calgary by a Lee Stempniak goal. Kipper pulls his groin again.
- Saskin will be gone. Choose your own adventure as to the method of his disposal.

Tuesday March 13
- The Canucks beat the Wild 3-2. Cowan lays out Boogaard, returns to his prone body and lays a “cowan over the shoulder boulder holder” bra on his chest. Then salutes the crowd, pirouettes and skates to the box.
- Detroit tops Nashville in the shootout 4-3. Bertuzzi is seen in a press box eating dry fruit loops and doodling Chris Simon cartoons on spare napkins.

Wednesday March 14
- Pittsburgh plays New Jersey for the 50th time this season. Malkin thinks trickery first by knocking out Sergei Brylin in the toilet, donning his uniform, scoring on Brodeur in the final minutes of the third and then Russian dances off the ice while Gonchar follows pulling a brown bear on skates wearing a pink hat.
- Colorado embarrasses the Flames 5-2. Kipper pulls his groin. Iginla sits because of a hang nail.

Thursday March 15
- Edmonton beats the Wild 4-3 and promptly return to their post-draft sulking status.
- Dallas beats the Flames 2-1. Kipper and Turco pull their groins and both hold hands as they get carted off the ice.
- Canucks outlast the Blues 4-2. Cowan scores two goals, bras rain down on the ice and one drunk guy goes the next logical step and chucks his girlfriend too. Willie Mitchell picks her up with his stick, the official takes her and puts her in the garbage bin in the official’s box. Isabella sees the whole thing and SWEARS she didn’t chuck a bra out there, but we all remain skeptical.

Friday March 16
- Thrashers top the Rangers. Sutton breaks all of Avery’s teeth.

Saturday March 17
- Wild play the Flames. Everyone pulls their respective groins. Game ends in a 2-1 win for the Flames but the entire arena reeks of Ben Gay.
- Canucks beat the Red Wings 5-4 in OT. Bertuzzi is no where to be seen, but a male fan holds up a “Bert I’m pregnant” sign and no one knows what to do so they leave him be.

I apologize if none of this makes sense…the OTC is kicking in again and…WOW…the colors man. Anyway, have a great week. Go Canucks Go and I’ll check in on Sunday to see how close to the pint I am.

I mentally left yesterday anyway and now can’t get this song out of my head…OH CLARKE.


Boom Goes the Dynamite

It's Sabby time tonight in the desert. I'm excited to see this team respond around the seldom-used backup tonight. Let's call a 4-2 win by the Canucks tonight to cushion their lead a bit more. Daniel hits 31, Linden pops one in, Sopel gets his first on the reunion tour '07 and, what the heck, Cowan notches one just to see if it'll wake people who bother going to the game in Phoenix.

As for around the league? I would be content with:

1. The Preds destroying Calgary. Kipper lets in 4 straight in the first all from Zidlicky on the PP. He's on my fantasy team and has been worthless as of late...
2. Tim Thomas shutting out the Wild. Chara, in a fight of rage, eats Lemaire.
3. Doug Weight bringing down the Stars. Turco pulls his groin. Lindros gives Modano a purple nurple.
4. Islanders crush the Rangers. Smyth scores 5 goals. This will annoy both Oiler and Ranger fans.

And, in case the title of this post throws you, then shame on you. Go let youtube make you feel special.


UPDATE: You can't make this stuff up...on the three year anniversary of Bertuzzi/Moore,
Chris Simon decides to take off Ryan Hollweg's face. Ugh, I'll prepare myself for a morning onslaught of stories from people who don't watch hockey but will act like experts anyway and call it too violent. If only Chris was a Cincinnati Bengal with a gun, we'd have no juicy story here...


Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!

You know what's lost in the recent Jeff Cowan love-in? That he was claimed off waivers from the Kings. By my count, since the end of last season, we've given the Los Angeles franchise Marc Crawford, his hair, Dan Cloutier, Cloutier's injury history, Cloutier's goaltending prowess, two second rounders & a fourth rounder in 2007 and a conditional one in 2009. In return, we've filled the Crawford void with a coach that's tapping talent left and right, normal coaching hair, a normal blood pressure for Ironman Brendan Morrison, no freakish goals from the opposing team dumping the puck, Brent Sopel, and Brent Sopel's hair. And, of course, the Cowman. Not too bad at all.

Also, since when did throwing bras become a thing to do? And how come this never happens at games I go to? Damn devils fans are too tame and Rangers fans, well, those men need their bras for lower back support so I don't want them hurting themselves. As Kramer says, “No, no, a bra is for ladies. Meet the Bro!”

By the way, how nice was it to see a 60 minute solid effort? Sedin nets his career high in goals, Smoke gets his first as a Canuck in what seems to have been a magical "how the hell did that go in?" goal, Cowan keeps rolling and Luongo ties McLean's record (golly I like being timely). All the while that Minnesota gets shut out at home? Beautiful.

Some parting shots:


This is our concern, Dude.

At this rate the playoffs will be extremely mild since the Canucks manage to make almost every normal game now feel like one. Although, perhaps that's just my take from missing the post season for a year and trying to get my postseason fix somewhere. But it was a solid game that had surprisingly few penalties. Not bad for the Canucks…but hey, it’s not like hockey is a violent sport (h/t Kukla) now is it?

The good? The Canucks dominated most of the play and everyone was contributing. Luongo was soft at times, but got it done in the final minutes, the OT and the shootout. Bieska, Sopel and Salo jumping into the offensive rushes is great while Ohlund and Mitchell (even with his two assists) shut down Minny’s top guns most of the night. Jeff Cowan’s going to need to pace himself because, unless he gets a hat trick in the next game, the callers in to Team 1040 will want him in Manitoba before the end of the week (am I too cynical? No, can’t be). The twins, Morrison, Smolinski and even Bulis all had nice rushes. All in all, the team actually used its’ strengths and it was great to see.

The bad? They only played 40 minutes. Again. I don’t know the logic of why the team likes to shit themselves in one of any three periods a night, but after two solid periods, they laid back in the third and let the Wild storm into their end repeatedly. Luongo saving them like that was nice the beginning of the year, but it would be great to see this effort run the tape to a full sixty minute effort.

A query: Does anyone know if Sami Salo wears a mouthguard or does he chain smoke like a 75 year old woman playing the nickel slots?

A parting shot: I shouldn’t even bother with this, but if you were curious, Terry Frei’s still bringing up the Bertuzzi/Moore incident and blaming Naslund. You can almost see Frei standing on a cold Denver street corner wear nothing but carpet samples around his pale waist telling anyone that passes by how it’s all Naslund’s fault and not, maybe, a terrible overreaction started by a guy who was getting a name for such hits. Perhaps Frei could also take a note from his home town captain that Selanne, too, isn’t going to care that May is now on his team in Anaheim. But just wave the ‘Bertuzzi is evil’ flag Terry. Crawford, May, Burke, Naslund, Bertuzzi, the hot chick in section 212, the goal judges, everyone's at fault. Fin too, you know he paid off someone. You can never trust an Orcinus orca anyway. Can one sue an animal? Maybe in Texas...

(And in case you subscribe to the simpleminded “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” way of life, defending Naslund or criticizing Moore doesn’t mean I’m pro spinal damage. What happened to Moore was awful, period. But don’t let Frei obscure the reality we all live in.)

OK, enough of that. Back to the fun: the game tomorrow against the Lightning should be good with both teams trying to shake off rivals for their respective divisional titles. Call it a 3-2 win for Vancouver now. In regulation. A full 60 minute effort. Please?


I'm not nuts, I'm condiments. I've been promoted.

Another Friday, another A-Team quote. Anyone else ready for the punk Walz and the Wild on Sunday with the division lead on the line? Oddly enough, they have their third goalie in (who is doing fine) and we have one of the best. In contrast, they can score in bunches and we need Jeff Cowan to score timely goals. It should be interesting...by which I mean frustrating enough that I'll put my foot through the wall or just start sobbing silently to myself.

Josh Green injured his knee against the Dogs and will gone for 4-6 weeks. So welcome back Santala; congrats on being the backup plan. Here's a tip: try getting more pucks on net and not, oh, five feet to the left or right this time around. Play well, I'm sure Chouinard, Rypien, Moran and Reid will be practicing their voodoo on ya accordingly.

Go Canucks Go


Assaulting the senses

Considering where I am geographically, I am left to rely on blogs, the Team 1040, newspapers, carrier pigeons, smoke signals, Russian anti-tank dogs and whatever else I can find to keep me informed on the team and Vancouver in general. In regards to 1040, I am starting to wonder if this is a good idea or not.

Let me address the good first. I've grown to like Bmac & Rintoul although this took some time because Macdonald doesn't shut up (then again, it is morning drive and you need a mouth to keep talking so you ignore the fact you're enroute to a job you probably hate). I think they do a great job of recapping the games, addressing the Canucks’ strengths and weaknesses, and providing decent analysis of the rest of the league. They also get Nonis every week and Ferraro at times, both of which I enjoy; in contrast, they have Pierre “I love me I love me I love me don’t you love me?” McGuire on too often. All in all though, it's a good way to get your hockey fix fixed.

I’ve never heard Pratt and Taylor since I am usually gone by the time these guys take to the air. From what I can tell, many do not like Pratt because he’s either abrasive or simply narrow-minded. Again, I have no idea; if Pratt’s blog is any indication of his on-air product, I can understand the criticism. I still want to listen to an entire show one day so I can experience the fun for myself. Also, every so often I’ll hear Blake Price. I like his style too; why I don’t hear him on a more regular basis I don’t know.

Now, for the bad. Around 3:00 PM ET, you're treated to the Canucks Lunch with Rick Ball who talks like he's teaching a class in which the students are actively enjoying not paying attention to him; a less monotone version of Ben Stiller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with the same gripping narrative. He also frequently takes long pauses during which I have to check if my stream crapped out. Nope, I’m just waiting for him to speak again while wasting airtime. OK, no sweat. Radio's tough like that.

In his infinite wisdom yesterday though, Ball decided to bash Eklund and bloggers as a whole. At one point he asked a caller if he could call down to his basement and see what rumors Eklund had, a weak joke if ever there was one. He would later explain that, because of Eklund, this is why no one takes the majority of blogs seriously and why the MSM deserves and is entitled to far superior credibility. (Unfortunately, he didn’t cite any statistical analysis or SPSS data to doublecheck this. I suppose I'll keep looking.)

I have no urge to revisit the anger some have towards Eklund since it's been well documented by folks funnier and more coherent then I. So if he wants to bash the Sportsnet fiasco, he can get in line. However, if Ball isn't on the ball enough (that pun alone has more humor then most of his commentary) to recognize the majority of blogs are from people like him who have (1) an affinity for a team or the sport and (2) an opinion, then that alone explains why so many blogs keep popping up. Hell, even though he hates the Canucks, I would gladly listen to someone like Tyler rather then most people I have to listen to in the MSM.

Go do your radio thing and pat yourself on the back, fine. But you're not infallible either, in fact far from it. You comment on the same inane rumors that originate or get repurposed on the same blogs you criticize. Bloggers (who do their writing out of passion not for want of a paycheck) can often gather, analyze and disseminate information more quickly and (ideally) accurately then you can behind your mic. In a perfect world, Ball would realize we’re all on the same page here. This isn’t rocket science and we’re not curing cancer; we’re all an informal family following grown men playing a child’s game who lose teeth and snap joints in the ultimate pursuit of a silver bowl to drink booze from. Eklund is his own monster, but to chastise the rest of us for being in basements like we're a bunch of clueless children and what we contribute to be on a similar level to that proves precisely why blogs are growing faster at the expense of the reliance of commentators such as yourself Mr. Ball.

One last thing: I realize, just by stringing these letters into words and eventual sentences and paragraphs, I am yet another one of those basement guys who doesn’t count. But it’s still my opinion and I apologize to Ball or anyone else who thinks that because I am not part of some club with a shiny badge that I’m not worthy enough to voice it.

That said, back to the basement I go...it's where the XBOX and fridge are anyway.

All that's missing are the crosshairs

...this is either a bad Photoshop job or Bert's been snacking on some best burgers while rehabbing in Florida...and, if it is real, why does the background remind me of those terrible elementary school pictures I had to endure as a kid? Like, if the camera pulls back a bit, is there a tree or some fall foliage back there too?