A face only a mother can love. I think. I'll have to ask her.

Somewhere along the fine line that separates sane rational discussion and the inane ranting of a barely coherent madman yelling at you from a street corner about the apocalypse while wearing nothing but a traffic cone on his head...lies this dear old blog of mine.

This site isn't even a year old yet, but to say I've gone above and beyond my original intent of complaining about this team's inability to [insert topic here] on a nightly basis would be an understatement. I got a boost when I started seeing this site creep into blogrolls on other sites I've been reading for sometime; it got a big boost when the fine people at canucks.com allowed me to borrow their fan blog every now and then.

Now, following some other Canuck bloggers, yours truly will be on your TV at 6:00 PM PT tomorrow night during the sports component of the evening news. Heron Hanuman of CTV was kind enough to take an interest in my story and put a small piece together about the sad saga that is my life of being a diehard Canuck fan without having ever stepped foot in the city. And Whistler has been taunting me from afar for years now, but that’s neither here nor there…

I think you can watch online from this link and click on Tuesday; it should run at around 6:50 or so. If not, just go turn on your TV but hide the children (you’ll understand what the phrase “face for radio” really means). And hopefully a cat doesn’t get stuck in a tree somewhere and I get bumped. But many thanks to both Heron and CTV, it was great fun to put this all together with him and his team.

Sorry for interrupting the Ducks/Canucks stuff; feel free to watch wacky teenagers beat up a duck doll to get your hate back on for tomorrow night. Peace, out!


It's always darkest just before it goes completely black.

7:28 - Earl Sleek of BoC fame has risen the bar in the A-Team references (and pictures). So I may have to flip this entire blog concept over to a Canucks A-Team fan site. And simply dominate the google searches for those two all at once. I found yet another solid Hannibal quote; which teams for both Anaheim and Vancouver will show up tonight? How's Anaheim going to respond after dropping the OT game? Here's hoping they ate at Turco's favorite place last night, eh? Also here's hoping we stop losing D-men because you know it's bad when Tremblay and his stellar -119 career stat make an appearance in a big game three. Ugh.

At any rate, I'll liveblog the game again but the coverage may slip a bit between 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM ET because of the Sopranos. My apologies...but mob murders are one of my things what can I say?

7:57 - Vs is showing a BBQ championship show right now. That's a fine lead in to an NHL playoff game. I wonder what constitutes a BBQ judge? Mike Davis advanced to the finals though for all those Davis groupies out there.

8:02 - The Vs color guy is Dave (or Andy?) Buckley Brickley. Vs has no information on him, but I am just so happy to see him there rather then that goalie who we will not name. I see Vancouver is going vintage tonight. Schweeet.

8:11 - And we're off! I'd kill for a Cowan goal...and Sami Salo is in tonight? Excellent...

8:13 - Once again the Canucks have some great early pressure and Giguere just had a monster save on Bulis. Wow, good early pace here if you're rooting for the whales.

8:14 - Goodie, they're highlighting Brad May. I wonder if Brad even likes himself anymore?

8:16 - Oooof. Penner was left all alone and the Duck forecheck makes the Canucks pay early. Damn it all, on the first shot too. 1-0 Duckies.

8:21 - Just as I was thinking the Canucks look a little rattled, they get some decent chances by the Bulis line and then Smoke walks in but can't beat Giguere on two attempts.

8:24 - Vs just focused in on May again and said he called Johnsson a few days after the hit. Man I would have loved to hear that phone call. "Ummm, sorry dude. I do that shit sometimes. We cool?"

8:26 - And the Canuck puppet show for kids known as their powerplay goes to work; Nieds gets two for hooking.

8:28 - Wow, a gift from the heavens. Pronger and Nieds are off; massive five on three chance now.

8:31 - The PP is just hilariously bad. And there goes the gift from heaven. Oh well.

8:33 - Canucks are outshooting the Ducks 10-2. So...they got that going for them...

8:37 - Beautiful pass from Smoke to Bulis and Jan decides to fire a wrister right into Giguere's logo. You show 'em Bulis...try and knock the stitching out of the 'D' so he has to be an Anaheim uck. That'll show 'em.

8:42 - Fucking hell...Ohlund gets crunched a bit and looks shaken. The other Nieds goes into the box for slashing...so let the sideshow attraction of a power play begin again. 3 for 52 in the post season so far. Good lord...someone tell Pyatt to park his ass in front of Giguere and not to move until there's a goal celebration.

8:45 - Getzlaf clears the puck and he gets two minutes. I like the Ducks thinking here...Vancouver is SO bad with the extra guy that it behooves them to play short handed. Carlyle, you sly dog you...

8:46 - Opps...I take the previous comment back. Briefly. Briefly enough to celebrate like a mad man seeing Ohlund's shot landing behind Giggy and Nazzy pokes it home to tie it up. Sonofabitch...1-1 everyone.

8:48 - Killer PP goal by the captain in the final minute to give the crowd something to think about heading into the second. Be back shortly.

9:04 - You may have to help me liveblog in the comments...flipping between two programs now!

9:09 - Still tied 1-1...but the brabarian is mic'ed up. Excellent. If he says "bras", everyone drinks.

9:13 - Speak of the devil, Cowan just had a hell of a chance but couldn't tuck it in. So close...

9:17 - Perry take a call, so the "Gigli" of all powerplays goes back to work! (sorry to all your Mariah fans out there...you are out there right?)

9:23 -
Beauchemin cashes in for the Ducks and they retake the lead 2-1. Damn it all.

9:31 - Daniel pots the equalizer...I missed it though. Was it nice? Of course it was, it's Sedin for christ sakes. 2-2 everybody dance now.

9:43 - End of the second and we have a tied game going into what should be a great third period.

9:59 - And the third starts and you have my complete attention now. Bulis zips down the board and forces
Beauchemin to take a call. Here comes Gigli again...

10:01 - And Pahlsson takes a call now. Another five on three? Oh Gigli, c'mon you tease...we can get one here...

10:04 - Well, so much for that. The Ducks kill off the two man advantage and Pyatt takes a interference call in which Getzlaf dances and sells it a bit. Whatever...just go back to five on five.

10:07 - Bulis saucers a pass that just skips behind Pyatt during a two on one rush and we're still tied. Now Perry takes a call and we'll rock some Gigli time again. Ugh...you know your power play sucks when you (re: me) doesn't want to see it at all anymore.

10:10 - That puck is taking some crazy bounces around Giguere but he's good for every PP attempt. What are we, 1 for 8 now? Sounds about right.

10:14 - Christ the Ducks make that whole scoring on the man advantage thing seem easy. Perry gets the go ahead with less then 12 minutes to play. 3-2 Ducks.

10:18 - Kunitz absolutely rocks Ohlund and then Mitchell levels Moen. You know, I would love to see Cooke or Kesler in a game like this. Damn I miss the energy they bring...

10:21 - That clock is moving fast; the Canucks need to start playing with more urgency and get more rubber on Giguere. Which will be sort of hard when Sopel takes a hooking penalty on a Bulis giveaway. Doh.

10:29 - Pahlsson has a goofy picture; his forehead is mammoth. Along with McDonald, you got some wacky looking Duckies out there.

10:31 - Less then three to go and the Ducks are doing a good job of making it damn near impossible to get into their zone. Luongo should be pulled in the next 60 seconds and then a sprint to the finish line.

10:34 - Lui's gone and the Ducks (fudged neck actually) hit the post on an empty net chance. This is bedlam. Giguere makes a huge save at the end and the late fury doesn't cash in. Ducks take the game and the series lead.

Post game - Well, I simply can't be angry with this game. The refs were on acid, but that aside both teams felt evenly matched and the Canucks caught up twice and certainly had their chances. Credit Giguere who made several amazing saves (the game would have been 3-1 in the first if he hadn't). Penner's goal is the real shitkicker because that mental hiccup shouldn't have happened. But the Canucks showed some great effort to tie it twice and not let the game get out of control.

Sorry for all those Vancouver bashers out there, but Anaheim simply is not walking away with this series without a fight. Tonight was a good example of what this series is likely to keep going as: a low scoring affair and physical as all hell. With some pointed language from
Vigneault, I'm sure the Canucks can bounce back and take game three. We'll see how that plays out on Tuesday.


R2 G2 Liveblog

9:53 - I'm in the middle of a few things, but will update when the good stuff happens (or bad I guess too!). In the meantime, go Canucks go for christ sakes!

10:22 - A great start for Vancouver. A PP and tons of pressure. This is exactly what they need.

10:37 - It's like 10-2 shots in favor of the Canucks. And Willie Mitchell has gone to the dressing room. Take the good with the bad I guess.

10:39 - Parros = Massive fucking idiot. Put him on the ice more if he's going to be just a moron. It would be sweet if a goal was notched here.

10:46 - End of the first and it was all Vancouver. Still no score, so its not all good news. But that was as strong a period as you could hope for.

11:05 - Canucks start another period strongly? Wow, they really are pressing the game so far. Very very impressive considering game one's results.

11:08 - The Sedins and Pyatt just had a wonderful flurry in front of Giguere. This impressive play just keeps going; they really need to be rewarded with a goal for this effort. C'mon fate, help a Canadian brother out!

11:11 - If Mitchell is still playing so this team doesn't have its top three defensemen gone at once, then he deserves a medal, a new house, a beautiful car and some nicely aged whiskey...because he's a hero.

11:14 - Speaking of hero, how about our captain stealing the puck from Pronger and getting the first goal of this game? Fucking A Markus, keep 'em coming. 1-0 Vancouver.

11:21 - Now it's Luongo's turn to be the hero...standing on his head during a Duck powerplay to keep the Canucks in the lead. I know I mentioned it before, but it's SO nice to be in the playoffs without a Cloutier in there. I wonder if he's watching...

11:24 - Fucking hell...Lui made a sick save on Selanne only to have some Duck...Moen I think...pops it in. 1-1.

11:26 - AHHH!!! A Luongo mental hiccup almost gave the Ducks the lead. I blame myself, I mentioned Cloutier and he played like him for a second...sorry about that! I won't do that again...

11:37 - Ducks are pushing back and the latter half of this period has been far more even then the first. And, as I'm typing that, Hansen made a great play and got off a good shot too. Nuts. Go you wacky Dane go.

11:39 - And the Ducks take a page from the Stars playbook and decide to simply run at Luongo. Or at least clip him which is what it seems like fucked up neck boy just did. Nice one Ducks, you cancelled out the power play you were going to get. Now Parros and fucked up neck are on my shit list.

11:46 - Hey BURKE! Luongo is not Italian for "fucking slam into me whenever the hell you want". Sorry, I couldn't help it...I'm timely right? I'm here all week folks! Tip your waitresses! Canucks to the power play...

11:54 - So we have another 1-1 game going into the third. My this feels familiar. But you have to hand it to Vancouver, they've played really well tonight. Naslund especially, he's possessed out there. It's a pleasure to see.

12:05- Canucks start the third on the powerplay, let's see what they can do to NOT have this game go into OT.

12:12 - Jesus the Ducks move the puck quickly. It's impressive...Selanne sent one right off the left post or otherwise this is a Ducks game with 13 minutes to go.

12:17 - Naslund just hugged Getzlaf and gets two minutes. Meanwhile Orbs decides to high stick his own player Selanne in the face and his face is all kinds of messed up. Tisk tisk...

12:20 - The Sedins have been awful quiet tonight. Now would be an ideal time to get them going.

12:22 - Anyone remember when Selanne was an Av and he sucked? Those were fun times. He played with his partner Kariya and that experiment didn't work so well. Sort of makes me hate the Avs more now that I just thought of it.

12:25 - SOPEL!!!! GRRRRRRR...Cut your hair.

12:27 - Honestly, how Luongo doesn't pull a Mclennan on one of these guys is beyond me...this is why I could never be a real player. Too hot headed.

12:30 - Nieds gives a high stick to Mitchell's face and now the Canucks will get a 5th shorten power play. Mitchell, by the way, has got to be a big pile of hurt right now.

12:40 - This period is almost done...I fear I may be up all night. One minute to go...

12:42 - And we're headed for overtime. I knew I shouldn't have made plans for early in the morning. On the plus side, the Canucks have been fantastic overall tonight. They made the right adjustments and the Ducks are no where near as superior in all aspects of the ice as they were in game one. Now, can the Canucks get the OT win and gain home ice advantage for game three? They certainly deserve it, so let's see which guy on what team feels like being the man tonight.

12:49 - By the by, I am forced to watch Versus tonight. Strader's annoyance factor has plummeted since Versus gave Beezer a one way pass to the funny farm. I didn't catch the color guy's name, but he has a Boston accent it sounds like and has been very good tonight. Fair to both sides, good comments...son of a bitch, it's little Vs is maturing!

12:58 - And the first OT begins and Pyatt JUST misses the game winner in the opening minute. Damn it...for the first time tonight, it seems like the crowd is awake and making noise.

1:04 - Either the Ducks drank espresso during the intermission or the ice is getting crappy out there (or just crappier then usual). Guys are randomly falling left and right it seems. A few more OT's and it WILL be a pond.


1:18 - Both goalies are doing that strange "getting better the longer it goes" thing. I wonder if must Duck fans are excited/nervous for the OT and Vancouver fans are like "please don't make this four of them".

1:20 - Nazzy's had a great game, but if I'm not mistaken, this could be his third call of the night. This one may cost him and the team. Or a Bulis short handed tally? Let's think outside the box here...

1:23 - Bulis had a nice rush up ice, but the more important thing is that the Canucks killed another one off.

1:27 - YAWN...people, seriously, I worked all day. I'm tired. Just let Naslund strip the puck from Pronger again, get away with a high stick on Parros, flip Nieds upside down, deke around mutant neck and five hole Giguere so we can all go to sleep!!! OT #2 coming shortly...

1:32 - A quick look at the stats: Sopel is leading the Canucks in icetime with 35:28, Beauchemin for the Ducks at 38:14, my new mortal enemy Parros has only played 2:06 and Thornton has played just :58 seconds. Wow. 80 minutes and he's gotten less then one. Smart move on Carlyle's end...no reason to take a boneheaded penalty like the Canucks often excel at!

1:44 - And the second OT starts with Vs showing a beautiful blond in the stands. OK, as long as they keep doing that, I'll keep watching. Oh yeah...and that whole hockey thing too. Yeah, I didn't forget.

1:49 - I demand all women in the lower mainland take their bras off if Cowan scores the winner. It's been decreed and you've been warned.

1:52 - The Canucks look far more fatigued then the Ducks early in the second OT. Not sure if it's a cumulative thing from the Dallas series or just that containing the Ducks for 60 minutes alone is exhausting enough...they'll need to dig deeper though since I don't this Giguere is going to give up a goal from the blueline as they try and enter the zone.

1:57 - Hahahahahahahahahaha....TAKE YOUR BRAS OFF LADIES! Cowan with the gamewinner on an impossible angle that Giguere no doubt is in the dressing room punching walls over now. Amazing heart this team showed in the first 60 minutes and they now improve to a 3-1 in the OT this post season.

Post Game: Wow, I am damned impressed with this team. They took some bad calls as always, but their overall game was vastly improved. A night and day difference between games one and two. Vancouver didn't get pushed around, they learned to block shots and take away the shooting lanes, they jumped up and activated the few D men left standing and they just kept pushing and pushing. Both Canuck goals were efforts of just that.

The critics said this would be over in a heart beat. And technically it still can be a five game series obviously. But I don't think it's a cake walk for Anaheim like they all said anymore. The statement seemed to be tonight that Vancouver isn't a push over and they can hang with the more stacked Ducks team. The Canucks gave them the first game and took the second by a hair; it's a best of three now and we move to GM Place on Sunday.

I'm seeing double, so I'll see everyone then. G'night. Go Canucks Go...2-1 Final, 2OT.

Morning Update: A brilliant Cowan website if case you wanted to show the love.

What we need is a little distraction...You got an atomic bomb?

Leave it to good old Hannibal to provide an apt Canuck quote on the morning of game two. I wonder if a small thermonuclear incident would provide just enough distraction for the Canucks to score more then once or twice? C'mon, if you watch 24 you know they did it already. And it WAS in Southern California, I'm just connecting the dots here people...

In all honesty I didn't watch much of the first game. I had a long Thursday and could only stomach the first period which, from what I can tell, was about all I needed to see. Once the Ducks bothered to wake up and play, it was very much men against boys and it's rare you see Luongo turned into an Auld clone, almost getting whiplash by having to look behind him so often. Chuck in some key injuries and MORE boneheaded penalties (and Bieksa wasn't even playing) and 5-1 is a lucky score to slink away with. It's not cool that fudge-necked McDonald basically had his way with us too.

I'm curious how many magic tricks Vigneault has left for this team. I know it's just one game and a win tonight makes it a whole new series...but honestly, short of yelling at the guys again or benching Lui (haha just kidding, he's not certifiable) his skill as a hockey coach is just as much in the bright blinding spotlight as Naslund's leadership (and, to that point, to say both Morrison and Naslund need to find their offensive pulse would be a comical understatement). This team has far better hockey to offer, so let’s hope Vigneault will find a way to make the boys show it tonight. If not, maybe Viggy can take a passionate coaching note from this lady.

I'll be back tonight to liveblog the game. In the meantime, let’s laugh at more ducks:


Getting ornery...for kids!

Now that the Stars misfortunes have helped feed some folks in North Texas, let's turn out attention to the sun-happy people of Southern California. I was unable to find a worthy charity for mudslide rescues, Alec Baldwin support services or even one for recovering porn addicts (someone out there isn't trying hard enough!), so for the Yankee Canuck playoff bet to continue we'll go with an actual Anaheim Duck charity, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

The CHOC, simply stated, exists to "...advance and protect the health and well-being of children...dedicated to working cooperatively — assisting and enriching existing services as well as developing programs to benefit the families of Orange County. In fiscal year 2005, over 200,000 children came through our doors for inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits — regardless of their family’s ability to pay." Seems worthy enough, wouldn't you say?

So, same deal goes: If the Canucks can win a game here and there, it will most certainly depress Brian Burke to speak nothing of the actual players so in my very limited humanitarian capacity, these folks get my money. I've also been told some others are starting to follow this lead and donate; by all means, let me know if you are since you deserve a shout out. It's just a game at the end of the day, so getting to put some real value into our efforts is a plus (and if not, then just go drink and support your local brew pub).

As for tonight, I'll be unable to liveblog it but I'll be here for game two I promise. Check out the normal cast of characters to get the gritty details from the Vancouver standpoint.


Round #2: Cute Duckies V Evil Whales

Unfortunately for the Canucks, Dallas is likely as "easy" as it's going to get and there's no more stark comparison to prove that point then who will be at the other end of the ice starting tomorrow night: The Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

First, let's get the hate on. This could be the easiest team to hate for the most obvious and nonsensical reasons (something I excel at thankfully).

Reasons why you'll hate Anaheim

1. The Disney connection. Granted they broke free of it, but the marketing connection to that shitty movie is tough to forget. Can you fathom this? - "Disney had wanted to cross-merchandise the team even further by having every player have a "Mighty" preceding his surname on the back of the uniform (e.g. "Mighty Kariya"), but this idea was quite swiftly met with a negative response" (Wikipedia). Three cheers for negativity!

2. Pronger. I don't really want to rehash the fleeing Edmonton saga, but that story sure doesn’t help me like the guy either.

3. McDonald. A friend of mine went to college with him and said he was a prick. So he’s prick…with an unusually misshapen neck.

4. Giguere. You sunk my fantasy team with your injuries. You bugger.

5. Neidermeyer. You could have come to Vancouver but, nooooo, you wanted to play with your brother. You picked family over the city? That seems to be a running theme with you Duck defensemen. Filthy.

6. No Ice Girls?! They do have some sort of Street Team, but they all look untrustworthy or fodder for some Southern California cult. I don’t know which cult, pick one.

Reasons why you'll like Anaheim

1. The Ducks Goal Song is Bro Hymn by Pennywise (so says their web site). I appreciate any Epitaph band doing well. And so should you.

2. They’ve got a decent crop of bloggers. This will make for fun reading and, if we get crushed at all, I’m sure they’ll be kind in their comments. Just like we will be when we win. A good give and take.

3. Brian Burke. He’s still got the best quotes ever. Remember Burkie, Sedin isn’t Swedish for punch me.

4. Randy Carlyle. Nothing wrong at all with former Moose coaches.

OK, with that out of the way, how do these teams stack up? They have the likes of Selanne, Kunitz, McDonald, Getzlaf, Perry and Penner on offense. On defense, besides Pronger and Nieds, they have Beauchemin who is such a steal in exchange for Fedorov its not even funny. And, of yeah, they’re all gigantic. Burrows will look hilarious next to half of them. But, hey, they don’t have Brad May for a couple games. Suck on that.

So yes they are stacked, we are not. They have two good goalies, we have one excellent one. If the Canucks are going to have a prayer, it’s going to revolve around three things:

1. Luongo and the D: They did a good job of taking away lanes, swatting away rebounds and letting Lui do his thing. The Ducks are deeper then the Stars and the Canucks D, sadly, appear dinged up. So to say they have their work cut out for them would be, well, stupid. Of course they do.

2. Secondary scoring: The Sedins may chip in here and there, but other guys like Pyatt, Smoke, Linden, Naslund (am I really adding him in here?), Bulis, Hansen and even Cowan will need to drive to the net and find those rebounds to put points on the board. Morrison will need to show up on the score sheet too. Everyone knows we have trouble scoring, so we could avoid further hilariously long scoring droughts if the role players, well, know their role.

3. Keep my blood pressure high: In other words, play the entire 60 minutes and keep winning those tight one-goal games if that’s what it takes. Don’t sit back with the lead, don’t take lazy penalties…hell, just don’t assume anything. If we are going to get past this team, it’s going to take a number of things falling into place at once.

I think the Canucks can do some damage here and even take the series, but just like with Dallas, it’s going to require getting some bounces, working hard, and supporting Luongo. The Ducks could blow us out and shut us down at the same time, but that’s not to say we can’t do the same back if they play Viggy’s style and keep their work ethic like it was in game seven (alright, fine, we won’t blow them out). Vancouver just needs to get a win to get their confidence and build on it from there; knowing they are the underdog this time around may help that.

It’ll be an interesting series to say the least. Ride that game seven vibe into game one and see if we take advantage of the rust factor and take one in their house.

Go Canucks.

Round One Wrap Up

This was about as close as it can get. Most people said it would go seven games and, if Vancouver didn't fall asleep at the wheel for games five and six, they would have been dead wrong. But it took the full seven, it took a classic Vigneault rant and it took the rise of the "Captain" (don't sweat it Nazzy, the love is still there for ya too) to put this series to bed and help the Canucks move to the second round.

What'd we learn? As much as we wanted to see otherwise, Marty Turco is a tough son of a bitch. Granted, our offensive threats can often amount to nothing more then the buzzing gnats that surround an elephant's eyeball on a dry afternoon, but three shutouts isn't a mistake. The guy is elite, period. If people feel like hanging another early exit around his neck, they're out of their minds.

In no specific order, we also learned: Nagy is a pathetic punk (and an expensive one at that), Morrow is a gritty player who reminds me of Matt Cooke with more skill, Modano can disappear and suddenly reappear to own a game (game six specifically), Klemm is certainly no Zubov, Hagman is a goof, Boucher is good but is not having a Norris trophy year I don't care what Beezer thinks and Dave Tippett shouldn't be fired or, if he is, he should resurface in Atlanta after Hartley gets the boot.

To return to an earlier point, most people thought this would take seven games. Many thought Turco would best Luongo's inaugural cup run. It was close enough, but since hate trying to guess the future and find series predictions as mentally stimulating as a Family Circus cartoon, I feel it's my job to single out two people who went above and beyond the call of suck:

Jeremy Shaffer Roenick (Shaf is a good name actually). It’s bad enough that he just edged out a monkey with his predictions, but not surprisingly, it was his mouth that messed this one up, “I'm sorry, Canadian hockey fans, Modano is the way to go and you know I'm picking the Stars to win against Vancouver.” That’s adorable and maybe you guys can talk more about it over 18 holes this week, but for the record Shaf, Modano still only had two points in seven games. Linden, by comparison, had two points in game seven alone and five overall in the series. If you ignore game six and hitting goal posts in game seven, Modano was barely noticeable. Have fun losing to the monkey in the upcoming round.

Jean-Jacques Taylor. Alanah keyed in on this guy yesterday. Prior to game seven he decided it was time to make the mother of all predictions and guarantee a victory for Dallas. A bold call considering, when reading his bio, I see not an inkling of anything Stars or hockey related in his background. But why bicker about that? So does he own up to it this morning in yet another riveting column? Sort of; he makes a very minor two word mea culpa before suggesting…(wait for it)…that the Stars be “blown up”. Amazing what passes for hockey coverage in America; I guess I should be happy that the Dallas Morning News even bothers to have someone covering hockey.

Bottom line is that this was a great series. The Stars could have easily won it; they figured out a way to blatantly expose Vancouver’s weaknesses and it was quite painful at times. To see the Canucks not even show up in game six was insulting. But give them credit, when they did show up, when they did get their forecheck going and when they did learn to properly play Turco (not just in net but also when he stick handled and moved the puck out of the zone to the Dallas defense), the Canucks were very solid. And got enough done for the win which just extends their streak of getting things done both the hard way and in the ugliest way possible.

Lastly, I have a bet to myself to own up to. I did keep the drinks and liveblog part easy enough, but now comes the third component - four Vancouver wins at 25 a pop is 100 bucks to the North Texas Food Bank:

I’ll take a closer look at the Ducks/Canucks series tomorrow.

Someone help her


Game Seven Liveblog

8:37 - Less then 30 minutes from the game. Will we get a matchup with the Ducks later in the week or just be furious and be relegated to viewing the Red Wings obliterate the Stars? Jes is on to something with his letter perhaps.

If you're a Vancouver fan and not drinking, permit me to suggest now is quite possibly the ideal time to even try a wine spritzer.

Lastly, a win tonight gets those good people at the North Texas Food Bank more money. Do the Stars hate starving people? I sure hope not.

8:58 - I am a bit concerned Versus is showing IFC and has it slated to go until 9:30. I tell you this: if Versus fucks up a game seven, they don't deserve their NHL contract. Seriously. If this was the NFL playoffs, someone would be murdered. Guaranteed.

9:00 - All good now. Sorry about jumping the gun there.

9:03 - Zubov is out I understand. That's one thing going in Vancouver's favor. He's been great this series, especially on the power play.

9:05 - Well, a final kick in the ass to yours truly. Strader and Beezer will talk to me tonight. The anger level jumped up just seeing little Beezer.

9:11 - Wow, 26 seconds and they take a penalty? WOW. Kick ass guys. And I drink...

9:13 - I am happy they went with the vintage jerseys tonight.

9:15 - Good kill, Luongo chops Lindros and Bulis bursts down the ice for a shot. It's amazing, without goals, what makes me happy.

9:18 - The power play aside, each team looks nervous or cautious. The Canucks D needs to stop messing up the clearing passes too. How's everyone's beverages tonight? Good I trust.

9:20 - Strader is wondering out loud if the Canucks wore the vintage jersey because they were 10-5 with them in the post season. Why...WHY is this considered decent coverage?

9:23 - And Beezer gives his first official love soliloquy to Turco. Only took 6 minutes or so. Not bad. Only Beezer could follow up some sustained Canuck pressure with a compliment to the Stars offense! Update: Mike Modano is the most amazing thing to Beezer since Turco. Young budding love is so adorable isn't it?

9:30 - Admidst the Turco love in, Strader had to interrupt Beezer to inform him Lindros just plastered Josh Green. Don't let the game interrupt your bullshit ideas Beezer.

9:33 - The Sedins force a penalty. Nicely done.

9:35 - Cowan getting PP time? No wonder we are now 1 for 29. Christ...

9:40 - Joel Lundquist just schooled both Beeska and Luongo. 1-0 Dallas. I think I just tore a vocal chord cursing.

9:43 - Burrows trips up Lindros and the Stars could absolutely kill us now.

9:45 - I have come full circle. I am having a tough time watching the game and simply trying to filter out Beezer. I guess a 1-0 Dallas lead is all the evidence he needs to say the Stars "can do anything they want right now" and "Dallas owned that period". To speak nothing of his frequent "Luongo can't score goals" pithy insight. You're a fucking embarrassment man.

OK, I will leave the rest of this blog Beezer free. If you don't know he sucks yet, simply ask me to elaborate later on. As for the game, Dallas controlled a bit more then Vancouver but it was hardly lights out for them either. Vancouver got some big hits in and had some decent pressure at times. Far better then game six already. Turco is working on 8+ scoreless periods now.

10:05 - There just seems to be a lack of energy on Vancouver's side starting the second. Good pressure but still nothing. Sedin almost beat Turco, but I guess almost doesn't count, huh?

10:08 - Henrik takes a hooking call...more of the same shit. Mindless penalties.

10:11 - Just when I was ready to be even more furious at the Canucks lack of pressure, they get some and force Morrow to take a interference call. Nice to see a call come our way. Morrow went to the dressing rooom, so Ott sits in the box. Fuck all of them I say.

10:14 - Barnes has a mental hookup and gets a questionable call. Whatever. A 5-on-3 for the worst PP in the postseason (too busy to back that up right now). I think they have 90 seconds on it too. I won't insult your intelligence to say how big this is...

10:16 - Sorry, its only 30 seconds on the five on three. Jumped the gun again. Wishful thinking...

10:22 - Nothing going on the powerplay still, but they are outshooting Dallas 10-1 this period. That's a start...

10:26 - The officiating is clearly starting to suck. I've counted at least two missed Dallas penalties in the past 4 minutes, so in that last scramble it's only fair they get called for something. The Vancouver pressure has to cash in.

10:29 - ...and cash in they did. Henrik Sedin was left alone in front of Turco...not sure who passed it, let's guess Daniel, but I don't give a shit. Fuck you Turco. Fuck you Dallas. 1-1 tie 'ballgame' (Beezer just called it that, so why can't i?)

10:33 - It may have taken all season, but Alex Burrows finally did something worthwhile: he pissed off Morrow enough to have the latter take a call and negate the man advantage. Huge Burrows, I don't hate you temporarily.

10:36 - Did I just watch two Canucks slam into each other on a 4-on-4 rush? It MUST be a game seven.

10:39 - Linden just missed the lower corner stick side. Damn. Mr Canuck getting the lead would be beautiful. Shit, a lead would be a beautiful.

10:42 - That second period was precisely what Vigneault and every fan wanted. The Canucks tie it, are forcing the game on a depleted Dallas D (yes, Zubov is that important, sorry Klemm) and they'l l start the third on the power play. 20 minutes...this is shaping up to be a classic.

10:59 - Third period pending...here we go.

11:01 - Power play is over and Modano had a great chance but missed it. Expect to see Modano, Lindros and Morrow leading the charge this period. That's an impressive line no doubt.

11:05 - Canucks head to their 7th man advantage. It would be poetic to get the go ahead goal on their shit power play skillz of this series.

11:08 - I've seriously lost count with our power play futility. We're one for a zillion.

11:12: The Sedins again draw a power play. Let's go for one for a zillion and one! No just kidding...let's just blow the roof off GM Place with a goal.

11:14 - Do you want a beautiful sight? A power play goal for Mr. Canuck. Wow. I can't even scream, it's just a view to behold. 2-1 Canucks with 13:00 left.

11:16 - Fuck you Nagy, it's called boarding. Call this shit.

11:21 - If anyone was curious what watching a game seven is like WITHOUT Dan Cloutier in net, Luongo just showed you. Absolutely robbing Stu Barnes. Sick. Less then ten minutes to go.

11:21 - Cowan takes another run at Lindros and gets a call. Can you blame him? Well, if the Canucks win, then no I can't. If they score though? I won't even entertain the thought...

11:26 - Wow, Luongo just grabbed someone. Shit, I've never seen him react. That's amazing, hopefully there's no call on that. I think it was Morrow.

11:27 - Another call against Dallas and Salo, who got drilled looks ok and is skating to the bench. We could absolutely ruin them now with a goal.

11:29 - Just kidding, you can't bury a team when your captain takes a hooking penalty. Time to calm down Lui, you'll be needed.

11:30 - The coaches are going to have their heads explode. Dallas takes another call now, so it's a 4 on 3 for a bit and then Vancouver will have a power play for about 15 seconds. The Sedins have answered the call tonight, good or bad outcome.

11:33 - Fuck this is getting hard to comment on. Good tries on both ends of the power play then Linden with a great chance on a lucky bounce and now one to two players will go off for something or other. The refs have been busy in the past 35 minutes.

11:36 - Linden goes for diving (??) and Lindros goes for being a general pain in the ass. 4 on 4 with 4 left. That's poetic.

11:37 - An open net for Modano becomes a cling of the post. Wow, this is going to be a crazy end...

11:41 - Turco to the bench. Here we go, can they hang on? 90 seconds left to the second round...

11:44 - What's up Brian Burke? We'll be seeing you shortly. 3-1 Canucks on a Pyatt empty netter. It's amazing this team did it.

11:44 - Er, they're not done. 4-1 Canucks on Smoke's empty netter.

11:47 - That's it everyone. Everyone counted them out and they still, despite a bad first, made something out of nothing. It made me proud to see crowd salute both goalies as they meet at center ice. Take nothing away from Dallas. Three shutouts? That's amazing. They played a hell of a series. With Zubov in there, I'm not sure we could have won tonight. But that's a game seven for ya.

Postgame - I will save the bulk of my comments for tomorrow. But just a reminder that Linden now leads all active player in
game 7 points with 12. What more could you want from a guy who bleeds Canuck blue (or green or white or whatever)? And Luongo did his thing again. Every negative comment about the Sedins was answered. Naslund had a solid game too. They responded to Vigneault's comments. They came to play and, just like every game in this series (except six) the team that won used an aggressive forecheck to get the bounces to turn the tide.

The Ducks are next. For now, congrats Canuck fans! We live to see another day and it feels incredible.


Make It Count

On October 27, 2005 a contrite Todd Bertuzzi, in response to a reporter asking what it’s like to be booed in his return to the Pepsi Center, dropped the now infamous “it is what it is” comment. It’s a great comment for its sheer simplicity; “it sucks”, “this blows” and “I’d rather be anywhere else on this planet” could all be extracted from those five simple words. It was Bert’s way of acknowledging the obvious, the harsh reality of his own mistake and recognizing that the treatment he got was one of the many prices he had to pay. What's the point of complaining?

“It is what it is.”

As his old team sheepishly walks into a game seven tomorrow night, that phrase never felt more accurate. In fact I’m just waiting to hear someone say it. At the very least, it means recognizing their own dreadful mistakes that have let this series lead evaporate. That they deserve the price and humiliation of, quite possibly, dropping yet another series when they were in command at home in front of their own fans.
Almost seven scoreless periods. 1 for 28 with the man advantage. Taking undisciplined penalty after undisciplined penalty. Assuming lackadaisical play is permissible because Roberto Luongo will bail them out.

“It is what it is.”

It’s quite possible that in the spirit of suffering and often choking failure that we as fans have come to expect from this franchise that they need to be embarrassed like this if the story is going to have a happy ending. Just like a child has to get burned in order to learn not to touch a hot stove. If you play without passion, if you play without thinking and if you don’t dig deep and tap into that reservoir of talent that transforms ordinary athletes into an army of legends that will become part of that city's culture and identity, then they certainly deserve their exit.

“It is what it is.”

I get asked a lot why I root for a team like Vancouver, a city I’ve never stepped foot in. It’s because when that team came to Manhattan in 1994, their team was special, enough so where I could ignore the actual hometown team. I barely knew what hockey even was (you could argue I still don't), but I knew that Bure, Linden, Courtnall, Ronning, Adams, Lumme and McLean were doing something amazing. They found a groove, a rhythm, a common belief in themselves that they could win no matter what. Even in losing, they still had it somehow. That won me over. Even now, those guys, that army, set the bar and created the image I think of when a post season starts.

That was then. And here we are now.
“It is what it is.”

This team’s success hasn't been a fluke. These guys can play a lot better and they know it. Anyone who has watched this team knows it. And they have 60 minutes to prove it. That’s it. A single official hour from being burned or learning from their burn.

It’s tempting to give up on them. When you look across the league and see what other guys on other teams are doing, it’s very very tempting to give up.

But I just can’t. From the first game of the season in Detroit they’ve made something out of seemingly nothing. I believe they can still do this.
That, even now, with the walls crashing down around them, this team can find its pulse, its rhythm and its belief and make something out of nothing one more time.

And if they can’t? If it has to be another long summer of questions, finger-pointing and playing the "what if" game?

“It is what it is.” What more can you say?

One night, one game, one team and
one win. Make it count and get it done.

Go Canucks.


Game Six Liveblog

7:43 - Here we go again. Another night, more scoreless periods, more heart wrenching play and one goal will decide it. Here's hoping this is the night to put this series to bed.

By the by, if you get bored of reading me, scoot on over to Dan Olson's livestream and his bitching Don Cherry jersey. I also came across this too if you're a Facebook fan.

7:59 - I had to wait for Bullriding to get off of Versus. And their intro tease already used "resilient" in reference to Dallas. Kill me now.

8:01 - Versus has two different guys calling tonight. That's a welcome change to what game one and two were. We'll see though.

8:11 - Pyatt with the Sedins. I like that already.

8:13 - Man, Linden's penalty seemed tame to anyone who watched the Flames/Red Wings today. Oh well, Dallas goes on the PP first. What a shock! And now Beeska takes a high sticking penalty. Excuse me while I vomit...

8:16 - Well what a shock. Another five-on-three and Modano, who's been invisible most games, makes it 1-0. This is sickening simply because the Canucks, once again, become their own worst enemies. For fucks sake.

8:19 - So Beeska leads the playoffs with 8 minors. Awesome stuff buddy, way to chuck your coming out party of a season into the toilet.

8:21 - The E train takes a hooking call and now both nations can laugh at what the Vancouver PP is.

8:23 - If I have to hear "...and the Vancouver powerplay has to regroup" one more time, I'm going to break something. The two minutes us up, I think Salo got a shot and that was it. Pathetic. Everyone drink.

8:25 - Hey, Budlight had a funny commercial with talking gorillas. That's the best part of the last 25 minutes or so. Thanks crappy American brewmaster.

8:28 - Versus just shared a fun stat: when a team is trailing 3-1, the Canucks lead the league is allowing that team to come back and win the series with 4 times! ALRIGHT! Sigh...

8:33 - Hey guys, don't exert yourself too much in clearing the zone. It's fun to watch Dallas set up shot after shot.

8:35 - Not for nothing, but there's quite a few empty seats in the lower section of the grand ol' American Airlines arena. Then again, not too sure I would shell out good money for a 1-0 game either.

8:37 - We are closing in on 4 periods and maybe 8 minutes of the game 5 OT in which the Canucks have not scored. And somehow they are tied in shots up to this point. This is beyond sickening.

8:40 - Vancouver gets their first legit chance to test Turco...nothing great though, but it's something. The anemic offensive attempts in this series is getting incredibly old.

8:42 - WOW Nagy, did you bring your pink panties to the rink tonight too? That's a beautiful embellishment of a high stick. God, I wish Mattias did make him bleed.

8:45 - Nice, some fat Texan woman in a Modano jersey is giving Burrows shit in the box. You Texans let all your heifer wives fight your battles? Na, I'm kidding...I know you don't. You guys have all the guns! :|

8:48 - And yet another period in which the Canucks offense does nothing. The Canucks D (Beeska) take mindless penalties. And Luongo does his best to carry the weight of this team who simply do not want to elevate their game in front of him. What fun this is to watch. If that team doesn't come out for the second period with some fucking emotion and step in their game, then just save us the time and forfeit a game seven. Ugh...

9:07 - son of a bitch, why not start the second period off short handed? I mean, the Canucks clearly have control of this game and the series...sure, go for it. I'm positive we have the offense to come back from a 2-0 deficit...right? RIGHT??!

9:10 - If Morrison took the Nagy acting class, he could have sold that trip right there as a misconduct. Where's the effort?

9:15 - Wow Luongo just made a simply mind blowing save...launching himself from his knees to block an open net that Ott had. How...HOW...does this team not respond when the guy who got them here plays like this? This period is close to half over and it's been all Dallas. Yet again. Turco may as well make himself a martini and chill out a bit. We're not going to be bothering him tonight I see.

9:19 - Canucks go to the powerplay to try and make it 22 STRAIGHT without a goal. Great going. What fun.

9:22 - One shot on the man advantage. For anyone who cares. One shot. I think it was Ohlund who is our leading scorer so far. (*spits, screams, curses*)

9:29 - Vancouver is starting to get their chances, bit by bit. Pyatt just got stopped by Turco's toe, otherwise this game is tied.

9:31 - In complete honesty I have to give a glove tap to Versus tonight. Their production is BY FAR better and it's due directly to the play by play guy and the commentator, both of whom I missed their names. But they are exactly what'd you want in a game where there's few nice things to say about Vancouver so far. These guys are honest, pulling relevant stats and providing decent analysis even if it's still Dallas heavy. Good job Versus, a damn fine change.

9:37 - As yet another period of bullshit ends, I can't help but think the happiest person on the planet right now is Marty Turco's agent because, at this point, his shutout streak is guaranteeing a fat contract the next time a new one comes up.

9:38 - So, to recap, there's been a funny Budweiser commercial and Versus is giving America a far better, objective offering this evening. On the downside, the Canucks PP is redefining futility and they have not created consistent pressure on Turco, who's now dangerously close to getting his second straight, and third of the series, shutout. Vigneault needs to do something, anything, to get this team going. Break up the Sedins, punch Sopel in the face, something...ANYTHING...to get this team going.

9:59 - Vancouver started the third with an aggressive forecheck. I won't bother asking where this was the first 40 minutes, but suffice it to say it's nice to see. 15 minutes remain.

10:03 - Halpern makes it 2-0 after an Ohlund clearing attempt didn't quite clear. This is the essence of futility: nothing is going right. Nothing. Save for Luongo and I'm not even counting him anymore. Give credit to the Stars...they deserve this win, Turco deserves his shutout streak and the Canucks deserve another humiliating playoff collapse if THIS is the best they can muster.

10:09 - The Stars damn near make it 3-0 but the post saves them. The goal post, mind you, is doing more for this team then some of its forwards. The Canucks had a 3 on 2 directly after that but Burrows messed it up.

10:12 - OK, I realize I've been far too negative tonight. Even when losing I should try and find something uplifting in this mess. So let me try this: there's still a game 7. The Canucks should just start sending messages. Run Turco, take some guys out. Be dirty. Do something to make game 7 something more then a gut-wrenching 1-0 affair.

10:21 - The kick in the nuts here is that the Stars still have the better pressure. How Vancouver can't forecheck and press like Dallas still is, even with their lead, is incredible. Simply incredible. Vancouver just doesn't have anything right now.

10:24 - Dallas is just having their way with Vancouver now. And Cowan just did something massively retarded from the bench while Morrow gimped hi way off the ice. It's the like the fucking twilight zone now.

10:28 - You know what would make this loss acceptable? Vigneault jumping the glass and ramming his fist down Tippett's throat. Just for fun. But no...Daniel takes a penalty instead and Dallas gets one more chance to ensure Turco's shutout and add one more insult to what will be a fucking joke of a game from the Canucks perspective.

Post game - So, here we are. Vancouver has created the shit it finds itself wallowing in. I don't know if this team's lot in life is to be unable to put away a post season series, but they are looking at their third game 7 in a row and, obviously, they've lost the previous two. Tonight's game was disheartening because this team didn't show the passion, cohesiveness or skill it showed all season to win the division championship.

But, what are the positives? Well, first off, Zubov left that game early and Morrow sure didn't look good limping off the ice. So they could be down their best D man and their captain. Maybe, maybe not. Also, this game will be in front of a loud angry GM Place so if home ice advantage means anything it'll be Monday night. And last (fingers crossed tightly) the Canucks have got to be embarrassed. They haven't scored in two games and have been progressively outplayed in each one.

I look now directly at Vigneault. Game six showed Dallas knows how to shut down Vancouver, forecheck the hell out of them and set up and create traffic in front of Luongo. And it's working. Dallas will rightly deserve the second round if the Vancouver coaching staff cannot learn to establish a method that works. I'll forgive the PP...that working is gone. But 5 on 5 has got to be cleaned up. Otherwise, game 7 is lost before it even starts.

For now, take a drink everyone. Shit, take a few. Monday is a long way away and, soon enough, we'll learn how this team wants to respond to its biggest challenge in years.

The sky is falling...and I want my mommy

It's a Jello Biafra Saturday morning. Golf claps all around.

But I thought of that post title this morning reading about the VAN/DAL series. Mostly because it's all starting to slant back towards the Stars. They have all the momentum following their big win in game 5, the E train is back, Turco is starting to get respect and the Stars know how to win and beat the Canucks now. For Vancouver? Well, the Sedins can't score, Naslund isn't getting points either and, well, how will they ever score again? Is this going to be another game 7 heart breaker followed by a summer of questions, etc.? Was this team just lucky all year long and deserve this epic collapse? Is that it?

So, yeah, the sky is falling. And perhaps you want your mother. If that's all I can read this morning, then let me provide you with a simple solution to tide you over until the drop of the puck tonight:

Nuff said. Enjoy.


Game Five Liveblog

9:22 - Just gearing up for a huge G5...I truly hope this team can keep its play strong for one more night and close Dallas down in front of the home crowd. It would be nice to see a slaughter of a match too, but who are we kidding. A 2-1 or 3-2 score is quite likely.

9:56 - How about two teams north of the border clinching tonight? Only seems fair just to keep everyth
ing squared away and all.

10:01 - Sweet, Center Ice is giving me the Dallas feed. It opens with a cheesy video giving you the impression Dallas has owned this series. But why confuse reality with what could make a silly intro package? So, I'll be a bit more pissed this evening. But the bar has been set really low; could Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaguh (yes, this guy) be worse then Strader and Beezer? The race is on.

10:04 - And Reaguh (known here henceforth as porn star; take a look at his picture for god sakes) starts the ball rolling by saying a game seven is within grasp and tonight the Stars get a boost with Eric Lindros returning. Yes, old cracked skull is playing his first playoff game since being a Flyer. Ponder that for a second, I need a drink...

10:11 - The Turco chants are priceless as the puck drops.

10:12 - Argh...Smoke damn near made the roof come off GM Place. Once great attempt and almost a rebound effort too.

10:14 - And the "Stars" take an offensive zone penalty. Nice one. And Hagman takes a cheap shot; the porn star sees no problem with this. Tisk tisk...

10:15 - STOP EVERYTHING...Modano had a shot. He's already having a better game 5 than game 5.

10:18 - The PP looks ok tonight, still ineffective...but decent pressure during the span of the advantage. Small steps, small victories.

10:19 - So old wonky skull crashes into Luongo. Hmmm...paybacks are typically a bitch buddy, you should know that better then anyone.

10:25 - Ho hum, another amazing Luongo save...

10:27 - Cowan, who the porn star just called useless, takes a stupid penalty.

10:28 - Burrows with a shorthanded breakaway; man talk about the worst guy for that. BOOOLIS would have been the guy there.

10:32 - Man, Turco just saved his own defensemen's mistakes behind the net. The porn star is busy kissing his ass right now, but for good reason...that was pretty clutch. The audience needs to start that chant again to get under Marty's skin, he looks good so far.

10:34 - Thanks Hagman, you douche. Trying to fuck with Luongo and you take your team's second offensive zone penalty. If we HAD a PP, you'd be wetting yourself right now.

10:37 - Ooof, Vancouver's PP is really fucking bad. I guess, when you have the best PK in the game already, you just can't have it all.

10:40 - I do think the Dallas broadcast guys may be contractually obligated to mention that the series isn't over every 3 minutes or so. I guess they assume Dallas fans are stupid or something; as if they can't understand that for themselves? Or just poor broadcasting skillz? You decide!

10:43 - Another goalmouth mess in front of Turco thanks to Nagy's incompetence. Vancouver has been the better offensive team this period, but no goals yet. Not sure if that's good or bad...naaa, it's good.

10:45 - And yet ANOTHER scoreless period. Not the end of the world; Vancouver looked good. A few more lucky bounces and Dallas can go home for the rest of the season. And no one will miss them at all. OK, the porn star may...then again, he's a porn star. I'm sure he can keep himself busy this summer.

11:05 - The "Stars" start with a little more urgency this period...like they know they have one full period left in their season or something! Opps, the porn star won't like that comment...

11:08 - The dreaded E-train hasn't played a post season game in 7 years. That's almost last decade. That means he last played when I was in college. That's obscene...he's broken AND old. Or maybe I am the old one? No, it's him. Fuck 'em.

11:09 - Hansen just turned his jets on in a rush into the Dallas zone before stopping and braking...c'mon buddy, keep going! Dallas returns and Luongo makes some great saves; the porn star, so you know, just said Modano gave Naslund the "paralyzer", whatever the fuck that is, and mentioned nothing about Luongo's good saves there. I'm shocked and awed!

11:12 - You just know this game can end with Turco doing just what he did: trying to play the puck and getting caught doing it. The Canucks are going to need to capitalize here since their forecheck is making the Dallas D cough it up often.

11:15 - It's a rare moment when you see Brendan Morrison line up someone for a massive check. Damn.

11:16 - Burrows, Burrows, Burrows...keep the blind drop passes for non-elimination games, ok? Or how about, let's never see that again. Just go piss people off, let others do the scoring.

11:23 - The last Luongo glove save?
Strangis: "HOLY BUCKETS". Yup, holy indeed.

11:25 - Call me rash, but Vigneault may need to break up the Sedins and Naslund. Their effectiveness seems pretty limited tonight.

11:26 - Dallas goes back on the powerplay. The porn star's take? "This could be it". Simmer down there cowboy (damn it, I should have been calling him that all this time!), the game ain't over.

11:30 - Pretty great end to end rushes going on here. At one moment I'm standing and the other I'm cringing...honestly, I know some people have been bashing this series for being boring. I question whether they are watching every game in full. This period has been great from both ends as you can tell each team is pressing and trying to force mistakes.

11:32 - You know what's sad? The "stars" are outshooting the Canucks 12-3 this period so far...and yet I can't even tell. That means all Dallas shots are subpar for the most part while the Vancouver pressure and resulting shots have been great. Suck that porn star; work that in your commentary.

11:36 - And yet one more period ends scoreless. Dallas won on in the shots department, but nothing more. Both goalies look to be on their game yet again, so let's hope for another strong Canuck third period. I hate to even tease it but this definitely has the makings of a multiple OT game. (**slapping self in face**)

11:58 - OK, the Dallas powerplays can stop now...UNLESS own goals are really their thing. It's the third period. Let's end this before daybreak.

12:00 - Where did the Turco chants go? C'mon! Don't give up in a tight game, everyone needs to chip in here.

12:03 - Someone tell Daniel to stop passing. He lead this team in goals, his brother in assists. Let's keep that going.

12:06 -
Strangis just said Modano is 'methodical'. Check the stats chief, he's methodical at not showing up and being a disappointment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but his captaincy was removed right? So...is he methodically bad? Methodically disappointing? Oh, I know! Methodically American. Yes. I like that for some odd reason. It's both good and bad. But not a compliment...I'm going to call someone that tomorrow (which, at the current, means in a few hours) and get punched in the face. All for the Canucks...the things I do for the art of hockey blogging.

12:11 - Memo to the Dallas mouths: equating this hockey series to a chess game won't help sell it to an action-starved American audience. That should be 101 of your job. Why not just come out and say this series is a battle of two sets of paint drying?

12:14 - That would be a third offensive zone Dallas penalty. I'd get excited if we had any sort of chance to set up the powerplay, much less get a shot...so whatever, it's just two minutes.

12:17 - Daniel has the series winner on his stick and opted for the forehand instead of the backhand. Turco stops it...and we'll keep going...

12:24 - Well, son of a bitch. Let's go to OT again shall we? Both teams have been pretty equal this entire game although I am impressed with both Turco's composure and the Vancouver pressure...both have been weak earlier in the series respectively but are much better tonight. Canucks own OT, both in the regular season and this series. Vegas would say bet Vancouver.

12:39 - The porn star just said the law of averages says the "Stars" should win. Oh really? Really Razor boy? I'll be listening for your words when the Canucks win this.

12:43 - Somehow boarding calls don't count in an OT. Sorry Cowan.

12:47 - Hahahaha....Canucks take a bench minor, but that was after the porn star thought Ribiero had a clean breakaway and, I shit you not, squealed like a girl. My dog moved for christ sakes.

12:49 - Fuck me. Morrow I guess wristed it from the blue line and Luongo stopped part of it but it flipped over him into the net. 1-0 Dallas. We need a game 6.

Post Game - You know, you can and you cannot complain with tonight. On the one hand, the Canucks played well throughout the course of the game which sure isn't their strong point. Their pressure was consistent and I thought they could have made this game 4-0 or 5-0 a few times, but Turco was there. Turco, more then game 2, was lights out tonight. Like we've seen all year with Luongo: when your netminder is on his game, it's going to be tough to beat that team. Morrow's goal wasn't special, it was exactly like Linden's in game 4. Enough to count. It is what it is.

So we move to a game 6 now in Dallas on Saturday night. Imagine much more of the same, but keep this in mind: the media, the Dallas rags and I'm sure the porn star will tell you that Dallas has all the momentum now. Just be silent, take a deep breath and remember we have the better goalie and we just won two in their house this past week. The onus is still on the "Stars" to beat this team twice more whereas the Canucks need to take advantage of mistakes like they have all series. In my mind, Viggy needs to break up the Sedins and Naslund, work significantly on the power play and, for the rest, just keep doing what they're doing.

Nothing is over yet.


Game Four Liveblog

7:40 - The hockey gods have been kind enough to remove Versus from my plate this evening so my anger should be a tad less. Just a tad though, let's not get nuts here.

7:55 - Good lord Atlanta...

8:05 - Hmmm, well I have no idea what music the "Stars" come out to, but it's rather loud. I like it actually; there, that's all the positives I have for them. And believe me, saying "good music" and "Texas" is not easy.

8:09 - Wait, I forget Pantera hails from Texas. See, another positive! If only Pantera could skate and score goals...Vinnie Paul would be a hell of a goalie.

8:12 - Oh my, did Beeska just skate into the Dallas zone untouched? Let's see that about 50 more times tonight.

8:14 - Ahhh, I love the CBC. "Dallas is dancing with defeat"...you'd have to drug Beezer to get that phrase out of his mouth.

8:15 - Josh Green is playing? Who's sitting? Santala?

8:17 - I know I missed the last game, but I'm enjoying this early pressure from Vancouver. Sure beats getting scored on in the first minute.

8:18 - Naslund just fucked up a clearing attempt and took a guy down behind the net. He sort of needed to take the penalty there because someone was sitting right in the slot.

8:20 - You know a hidden benefit of Luongo is that it's a tough name to chant. Three syllables? You get 18,000+ people to get that correct all at once. Suck it TUR-CO.

8:25 - Dallas goes back to the powerplay; after some good early pressure, the camera seems to be pointing left too much. Let's fix that in two minutes shall we?

8:27 - Man, Modano is going to slit his wrists with his own teeth if he can't get a point in these final games. He's certainly had his chances so far.

8:29 - Everything Sopel does scares the living shit out of me. Honestly, I see a line of "Sopel Scared Me Shitless" t-shirts coming to a local store near you. I'll work on a logo though or else the shirt just doesn't work.

8:32 - BOOOLIS draws a penalty. This guy just makes me keeping liking him more and more. What bad regular season? I have no idea what you speak of...

8:34 - Fuck you Hagman; buy Luongo flowers if you love him so much, don't date rape him. In his own crease too! What happened to a little thing called manners? Prick.

8:37 - Nagy just kissed the end boards something fierce. My face hurts watching that.

8:40 - Cowman just took an ill-advised hooking call. Damn it all. Green follows it up by putting the puck over the glass. Dallas has another brilliant chance to give Modano a point before he takes his own life with his teeth. (see earlier post if that makes no sense)

8:42 - Burrows is out of control. Nice PK job for a guy who nearly lost his head a week ago.

8:43 - Simply massive PK job. Luongo, Burrows and Mitchell were incredible. And still Modano has nothing. Not that I'm keeping track of his futility. No, not at all.

8:45 - Less then a mile away from me Lehtonen is being utterly destroyed by the Rangers. In case you were curious of any games that aren't 0-0.

8:50 - Canucks will end the period on a man advantage. A goal here in the final seconds would be the essence of magical. Or just a great fuck you. Whichever.

8:51 - Holy shit, Turco just made a beautiful save on Linden. He must be paying attention to that other guy down the ice. So, as surprising as it must sound, we have a 0-0 tie going into the second. Pretty even so far, too many calls against the Canucks though. They need to settle down and regain that pressure they had in the very beginning of the first.

9:11 - Good start to the second as well; Vancouver had a few good chances in the opening two minutes. Let's see if it can be extended for...deep breath...a whole period.

9:14 - Pyatt damn near went through the glass thanks to Ott. As much as I don't want to see that, on the other hand, it would live forever on youtube.

9:18 - Dallas is doing that annoying "sustained pressure" play. Quit the shit.

9:19 - Jesus, what the fuck? How Morrow making both Mitchell and Sopel look like AHL-ers? Are you kidding me? Sopel...(*shaking fist, cursing, spitting*)

9:24 - Canucks are outshooting Dallas somehow. And the good guys go to the powerplay...c'mon guys, for kicks, how about setting up? Let's start with the basics...

9:26 - SOPEL!!!! DAMN YOU!!!! Our PP is bad enough without you falling down. Cut your hair.

9:30 - Canucks back on the man advantage thanks to Boucher. Trying to work on that 1/20 PP streak they've been on. Christ...it's telling that a Dallas two man rush looks more effective then our entire time on the man advantage.

9:35 - BOOOLIS and Green damn near find paydirt on a shorthanded two on one. Nuts. It's going to be that kind of goal that's going to decide this.

9:36 - Wow, critics of this series who think it's too boring must be slamming concrete over their skulls that even the powerplays are completely pointless. And the Canucks will try again to score on the man advantage.

9:39 - Canucks are loving these odd man rushes. But they're not scoring either, so it's win/win I guess for both teams. Five minutes left in the period, still scoreless...ugh, this is getting sort of painful.

9:44 - Canucks blow another two on one...damn damn damn damn. Dallas' PP, at least, is just as painful as ours.

9:47 - Holy shit...just as Turco made a killer save at the end of the first, Luongo just made three in a row, including a complete stretch across the goal line to stop a rebound effort. 0-0 heading into the third now. I have a feeling it's going to take a dirty goal to decide this one...which is fine with me. As long as the Canucks get it.

10:06 - 19 and a half minutes of combined powerplay time. Awesome. Vancouver needs another killer third like they did in game #3 to put this away.

10:09 - Considering the "Stars" are looking at a 3-1 series deficit if they blow this, I really hope this entire period isn't played in our end. FYI - Modano has zero shots on goal. ZERO.

10:12 - And, just like that, the Canucks can't get out of their end. You can see Dallas pressing and getting their D jumping up in every rush.

10:13 - Fuck you Nagy. Good to see that he's just a filthy cheat for it helps make up for his woeful lack of talent. Cowman, go get him.

10:17 - Hey, um, did I miss something or is Brendan Morrison out? Or just having a shit game?

10:19 - But, hey, I know that Ohlund is playing! 1-0 Canucks, BAM. Mattias had the whole net with Turco down and now expect a hell of a finish. 10 minutes to go.

10:21 - I see Morrison now, although no clue what line he's on. Whatever, just keep doing what you're doing.

10:23 - Naslund to Daniel but Turco was there to stop it. Nuts, that would be ended this contest right there. The "Stars" have eight fun-filled minutes to get past Luongo. I'm sure, if they can't, Nagy will just run him again.

10:29 - Sydor scores to knot this up. Looked like Naslund failed to clear that one too that was eventually moved to Sydor for the goal. That's upsetting, but nothing's over yet.

10:30 - From the words of canucksandbeyond.com's Alanah: motherfucker (you can quote me)

10:30 - Look at that! In the same minute Alanah curses, Linden answers with his own version of the motherfucker. 2-1 Canucks.

10:32 - This could be the best three minutes in this series upcoming. Dallas is going to chuck everything at Lui. Part of that everything may not be Modano though who still has ZERO shots on goal.

10:34 - OH....MY....GOD....THAT....WAS....

10:37 - This is going to be the longest 138 seconds I've seen in a long time.

10:41 - Luongo just saved me from disliking you for a bit Burrows...

10:42 - 13 seconds left, TWO missed shots on Turco's home...

10:43 - Mitchell clears up the shit in front of Luongo as the game ends. Dallas is now on a six game losing streak at home. Yet another 2-1 win for this Vancouver squad.

Post Game - You really have to hand it to these Canucks: they've got these 2-1 victories down like a fine art now. This Thursday they'll get a chance to close this out and get some well earned R&R at home in front of a "Turco Sucks" happy GM Place. While the big guns like the Sedins, Morrison and Naslund didn't get on the scoresheet, they certainly continued their strong play (which includes Mo who I mentioned I didn't even see out there, but led the Canucks in winning face off's anyway. So shut my mouth). Nothing could be more beautiful then a former Canuck captain on the third line getting the winning goal. Well, that or former-Star Willie Mitchell saving a goal in the final minute. You decide.

And what of Linden's fellow draft mate Modano? He was one of four "Stars" with no shots on goal tonight. Turco was incredible in the first when he needed to be, so you can't blame him. You can also see what they gave the "C" to Morrow, the guy is impressive and plays with a ton of energy. That said, this team just has no answers for how the Canucks play other then, if I understand the Dallas newspapers accurately, to take shots at Luongo when the play is dead. 3-1 isn't insurmountable, but I don't see how the "Stars" will yank three victories out of Luongo and the rest of this team now.

You know the best part of closing out Dallas Thursday night now? It gives me a few more days to laugh that the "Stars" lost a first round pick for Nagy. Hahahaha...fuck you Nagy. Keep your stick down.

Another 25 yankee dollars has been notched for the North Texas Food Bank. It just gives you that warm sickly feeling down deep doesn't it?

See everyone back on Thursday, we'll liveblog it again.


How to ruin your Sunday

Wikipedia Fun Fact: "...the manner of pronouncing from memory the 32 points of the compass, known in maritime training as "boxing the compass," is described by Ansted (A Dictionary of Sea Terms, Brown Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1933) with pronunciations "Nor'east (or west)," "Nor' Nor'-east (or west)," "Nor'east b' east (or west)," and so forth. According to the OED, the first recorded use of the term "nor'easter" occurs in 1836 in a translation of Aristophanes. The term "nor'easter" naturally developed from the historical spellings and pronunciations of the compass points and the direction of wind or sailing.”

Boxing the compass! Use that in a conversation at some point today and people will think you’re smart.

Let me introduce some brevity: When it rains so much that you break 100 year old weather records, guess what? Shit floods. And for me that meant getting caught away from home without access to the internet or a TV with Versus on it. I know, that last point is just totally shocking.

So first my apologies, I promised to drink and liveblog the third edition of “I hate the Stars” saga and I missed it. I will do better tomorrow, I promise. That is unless the flooding literally lifts the NYC metro area off its tectonic plate and we literally float out into the Atlantic. If that happens, then I’ll suddenly have ocean view property, will sell it for millions and go live high in the mountains somewhere far from everyone.

Looking at last night’s game recaps, it’s probably best for everyone involved that I did miss it. From what I can tell, the Canucks flat start would have sent me into another fit of rage, Dallas scoring first would have meant I may have broken something and see overrated Nagy kicking Luongo would have made me grab the first Czech person I see and knock their block off (ah, irrationality. It’s beautiful sometimes). Then again, seeing Bulis and Hansen tie it up, see the Sedins and Naslund put together solid shifts and seeing Pyatt, who I called out repeatedly in game two as not being on the ice may have made up for it. From what I can tell, sounds like a typical tight checking game that needed OT for the Canucks to win again. Not bad. Not bad at all.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Stars respond now. Certainly getting more traffic and mugging Luongo seems to be in the cards no matter what so Vigneault has to be able to counter that somehow. A win tomorrow night would be huge; giving the Canucks a chance to clinch at home and a few days off to recuperate would be huge. We’ll see, hopefully the bounces go their way tomorrow and Nagy gets Cowaned (or Burrowed or, hell, even Hansened!) at some point too. I know, I should say that Linden’s hit on Sydor righted the wrongs in the universe but…nope, sorry.