Aug 072014
 
Source:  http://www.reddit.com/user/kmhokies35

Source: http://www.reddit.com/user/kmhokies35

On Tuesday, TSN’s Bardown website posted a blog about a survey that some Reddit users had conducted asking hockey fans throughout the world to name their most hated hockey team. The results were grouped by Canadian provinces, American states, and continents world-wide.

The findings were amusing if not unsurprising. For instance, the Boston Bruins are the most hated team in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. For reasons unbeknownst to me (aside from possibly small sample sizes), the Montreal Canadiens are the most hated team in South America, while the Winnipeg Jets (?!?) are the most hated team in the hockey hotbed of Africa.

When it came to the USA, there was a good amount of hatred for the Bruins, Blackhawks, Red Wings, and Kings. And for Canada, every single province and territory polled listed the big, bad Bruins as their most hated team.

That is, except for Alberta. Our immediate neighbours chose the Vancouver Canucks.

I had my own theories why but I went to the Twitterverse to get some more opinions. Thus, we proudly present to you the Top 10 Reasons Why Albertans Hate the Vancouver Canucks.  

10.  The Canucks have dominated Edmonton and Calgary for years. – submitted by @deepakmaroke

9.  They like bears. – submitted by @LarryWong84

8.  The Bertuzzi years/Northwest Division dominance, Sedins lighting them up, and maybe Kassian-Gagner & Torts incidents. – submitted by @GradySasSports

7.  The shift.

 

6.  The Medicine Hat Mafia: Trev. Willie. Shinkaruk. Vey. Dorset. – submitted by @nine30shineshop

5.  The Canucks have laid a merciless beat down on Alberta teams for the last decade. #NWdivisionChamps. – submitted by @JamesLawnsocial

4.  The Canucks have better bloggers.

3.  A combination of the constant flow of natural gas and cow manure makes them stupid. – submitted by @ch1oconn

2.  We are their Toronto. – submitted by @RobTheHockeyGuy

1.  Because a “Canuck fan” worries about why people hate the team. Who gives a rat’s ass? – submitted by @THECooop

 

I guess I do. Well, enough to write a whole blog about it.

Jul 072014
 

C4 on CHB

C4 on CHB – a canucks hockey blog podcast

Fresh on the tail of free agent frenzy, Kelcey Brade from the CTV Sports Vancouver joined Chris, Clay and Matt to discuss how the team fared in their plunge into the pool of free agents in the 21st episode of C4.

They start off by covering the position that never goes to sleep – goaltending – and give their thoughts on Ryan Miller signing with the Canucks. The boys also discuss Radim Vrbata, any further moves the Canucks may make this offseason and put their pride on the line by predicting whether the Canucks will make the playoffs (it’s never too early for a prediction)!

And as always, they wrap things up with #AskCHB and Canucks Hakiu.

Zero to Hero – July 7, 2014

Jun 302014
 

C4 on CHB

C4 on CHB – a canucks hockey blog podcast

In the special 20th episode (nearly two months in the making), Scott Rintoul from the TEAM 1040 swung by to join Chris, Clay and Matt to talk a little puck.

With “Trader” Jim Benning in charge, Scott and the boys discuss the Kesler and Garrison trades, how the Canucks fared at the NHL draft with two first-round picks, what to expect the Canucks to be after during free agent frenzy, and everything else in between! And as always, they wrap things up with #AskCHB and Canucks Hakiu.

Change Is Coming – June 30, 2014

Jun 272014
 

Gino Odjick at Pavel Bure's jersey retirement ceremony.

Gino Odjick at Pavel Bure’s jersey retirement ceremony.


(Photo credit: cbc.ca)

It was heartbreaking to read about Gino Odjick last night. It was even more heartbreaking to read his letter to his fans. It’s just hard to picture the guy with one of the biggest hearts in the game now battling a terminal heart disease and may only have weeks to live.

Gino has always been a big favourite of mine. I started watching the Canucks in the early 90′s and worked for Orca Bay for almost a decade starting in the mid-90′s. As many players and team personnel from that era have already commented, Gino was the ultimate teammate and a great friend. He was someone who exemplified everything we ever wanted a Canuck to be.

If there was ever a moment that defined the relationship between Gino and the Canucks family, it was this that happened in 1998. The Canucks were in shambles and the roster had been decimated by Mike Keenan and Mark Messier. According to team lore, during one game, Keenan tore a strip off Trevor Linden the encouraging his teammates after a bad period, after which Gino spoke up and defended Trev. Shortly after that incident, Gino was traded to the New York Islanders for defenseman Jason Strudwick. (Trevor was traded to the Islanders too, about a month before Gino was.)

As fate would have it, the Canucks were playing the Islanders the day after Gino’s trade. That night, I was working in what was then the Air Canada Club section at GM Place. When both first took the ice, the crowd roared. And then, Gino dropped the gloves against Struds, and GM Place exploded with “Gino! Gino! Gino!” chants.

The Canucks were awful that season – they were on their way to a 25-win season – and it wasn’t uncommon for large pockets of GM Place to be empty. But that night, the building was unusually full for that era. The funny thing was, it was full, not necessarily to cheer on the home team, but to welcome back Trevor and Gino. And man, did they ever.

Canucks fans always loved Gino. And how could you not? He gave his heart and soul to this team and this city. He gave his time to his community and inspired many Aboriginal children to follow their dreams. As word of his disease has come out and you read many of the tributes written for him today, it’s obvious the feeling is mutual.

Gino, we wish you the best and we thank you for being a Canuck. Rest assured that we’ll be next to you as you fight this disease as you were always there to stand up for us.

Jun 252014
 
Clay with Charly (MJ) and Joseph

Clay with Charly (MJ) and Joseph

We made songs for new Canucks’ President Trevor Linden and new Canucks’ GM Jim Benning…so rightfully new Canucks’ head coach Willie Desjardins deserved a song as well.

Thus, we proudly present to you a quick mash-up of two Michael Jackson songs:  “Will You Be There” and “Billie Jean”.  Our versions are “Willie is Here” and “Willie D”.

I’m joined once again by my good friend Joseph San Jose and our MJ look-alike is Charly Pimentel making his CCC debut.

 

Jun 042014
 

NHL_2014_StanleyCupPlayoffs

Hard to believe that the two biggest US TV markets have never met in the Stanley Cup playoffs. But here we are, and I’m sure, somewhere out there, Gary Bettman is giddy with glee.

New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings

Victoria: This is tricky. My gut says Kings in 6. But let’s be honest. Dustin Brown and his gang seem to be drama queens this year so I wouldn’t be surprised if they go to yet another Game 7 and finish this off in the most dramatic way possible. No matter what, Kings win. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go secure my spot on the parade route.

Chris: Rangers in 6. While the Kings seem to be everyone’s favourite, AV and the Rangers have shown how powerful the Darkest Timeline can be. Themes from cancelled TV shows aside, New York has nothing to lose and a goaltender who has been known to shut it down when needed. Sure the Kings win the battle of size, but the Rangers have some serious skill and firepower at their disposal. St. Louis for the Conn Smythe.

J.J.: Rangers in 7. Man, I would love to see AV hoist the Cup. One year after the Canucks dumped him. And replaced him with the coach the Rangers fired, and who eventually led the Canucks to their worst season in a decade and a half. But no, I’m not bitter.

Clay: Kings in 6. The Kings seem like a team of destiny this season. Although the Rangers winning would be a feel-good story (given the recent death of Martin St. Louis’ mother), I think the Kings will check them to the ground. The Rangers can thank the Habs that they didn’t have to face the Bruins… and I think they will be overmatched and overwhelmed. This will be the only series that doesn’t go to a 7th game for the Kings.

Jun 032014
 

Injuries, overtimes, near-goalie fights and sudden death wins. The Eastern and Western 2014 conference finals had more action that an episode of Game of Thrones. Okay maybe that’s a slight exageration… but not by much. Allow me to recap the best and worst of it.

hawks, kings, stanley cup playoffs, nhl, chicago, los angeles

Best Series: Chicago Blackhawks vs Los Angeles Kings

This series had some of the best hockey this entire NHL season has seen. Goals, hits, near goalie fights. And of course, a come-from-behind Game 7 win by the underdog team. It was incredible.

Both teams are so filled with talent that it was even fun to watch their fourth lines battle it out. Plus, on the bench it was like watching Grumpy Cat coach against Yosemite Sam. Pure awesomesauce.

Worst Series: Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

After such a big, emotional win against the Boston Bruins and an emotionally-disturbed Milan Lucic, this series was bound to feel a little less exciting. But it wasn’t just the energy that lacked, it was the Habs offense. As the games went on, the whole Montreal team began to resemble a deflating balloon. They were done. They weren’t coming back. Add to that two kind of chirpy, whiney head coaches and you’ve got a frustrating series.

new york rangers, nhl, chris kreider, carey price, playoffs, stanley cup

Biggest Jerk: Chris Kreider

Chris “Ice is slippery” Kreider. Jonathan Quick, watch yourself. This professional hockey player can’t seem to stay on his skates near goalies. Rangers fans will tell you he was pushed into Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price. Hockey fans know there’s a way to avoid contact and a way not to. If your legs are caught up in a stick, you fall face first, not skates-first, like he did when he ended Carey Price’s playoffs. This guy is making this a habit and it’s not cool. In the end, losing Price wasn’t what caused the Habs to lose the series, but if it happens against the Kings too, this guy better get a suspension.

Biggest Hero: Dustin Tokarski

This kid could have ended up curled up in the back of his net, sucking his thumb and crying for his mother and no one would have blamed him. He’s the back-up’s back-up, fresh from the farm team, and was thrown into the starting goaltender’s role in the Eastern Conference Finals for a team with the most rabid fan base on the planet. But Tokarski rose to the challenge, and in the end, you really couldn’t blame the Habs losses on the goaltending. He was a hero even if his team didn’t advance.

2014 playoffs, stanley cup, nhl, tyler toffoli, marc staal, beards

Best Playoff Beard: Marc Staal

Marc Staal of the New York Rangers proves gingers can do it, and do it well. And by “it” I mean playoff beards of course (get your mind out of the gutter). Unlike Claude Giroux he doesn’t look like a skid row muppet. His ginger facial fuzz is even, fairly full and well groomed.  He’s going to look really good losing the Cup. (Go Kings!)

Worst Playoff Beard: Tyler Toffoli (LA Kings)

Look very, very closely…. Put on your glasses. Pull out a magnifying glass. Blow the picture up as big as possible. No that’s not a caterpillar on his lip, or Cheetos dust on his chin. That’s a beard. I know the kid is like 19 or something so I should cut him a little slack but his attempt at facial makes Sidney Crosby look like a rugged mountain man.

May 282014
 
ClayMarie

Clay and Marie get dressed up for their new song.

Last week, Canucks’ President Trevor Linden named Jim Benning (affectionately referred to as “Jimmy B” for the purposes of our video) as the 11th General Manager in franchise history.

As soon as the hire was officially announced, a few of my Twitter friends had song suggestions for me.  But Steve May went one step further: he wrote an entire song and sent the lyrics to me.

Thus, I proudly present to you my latest Clay’s Canucks Composition: “Jimmy B” an ode to new General Manager Jim Benning to the tune of The Beatles’ classic “Let it Be”.

As always, I’m joined by the amazing Marie Hui; there is absolutely nothing that this girl can’t sing!

 

May 182014
 

Round 2 of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs was a barn burner all-round. Every series felt like a legitimate rivalry even though some of these teams, like the Anaheim Ducks and the LA Kings, had never met in the playoffs before. Here’s the best and worst of it.

Brendan Gallagher, Zdeno Chara

Best Series: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens

Original Six. Longstanding rivals. Good versus evil. These games had everything – the good (Carey Price and PK Subban’s performances), the bad (Thornton spraying Subban with water mid-play), and the ugly (the racist rantings of some Bruins fans). In the end, the intensity elevated the Habs play and seemed to throw the Bruins off their game with their big lines doing much of nothing.

Worst Series: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers

This was bad because for some reason, after being up 3-1 in the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins checked out. For me, the best series are battle right to the end, and this is the only series that wasn’t that. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz and all that undeniable talent were deniable after Game 3. This can’t be laid on their goalie this time. It was disappointing to watch therefore, worst series.

Milan Book

Biggest Loser: Milan Lucic

Lucic wins this award not because his team lost, but because of the way HE lost. His childish, unsportsmanlike antics – spearing guys, being a sore winner taunting the Habs when Bruins won, death threats in the handshake line – make him not just the biggest loser of Round 2 but a life loser in general. Lucic, I’m embarrassed that you’re from Vancouver and even from Canada. You have a lot of growing up to do, punk.

Biggest Hero: PK Subban

I didn’t like this guy until this series. Sure, I never disputed his talent, but I thought he was an overemotional, hot-headed punk. Not anymore. I don’t know exactly when PK Subban became a poised, confident player but the change was noticeable this series again Boston. PK didn’t let the racist taunts, the bully antics of Thornton or the death threats of Lucic throw him off his game. He didn’t escalate it in the media when he honestly had every right to. Instead, he seemed to channel it into improving his already stellar play. His offensive defence was a major factor in the Habs nabbing the series.

beardsR2

Best Beard: Jeff Carter

Blondes aren’t known for thick beards, but Carter grows a Grizzly Adams one in the blink of an eye. And it’s got ginger in it, which is hot. The man is already talented and gorgeous, the thick, full beard just adds to it. Now if only he had more teeth… thanks Duncan Keith.

 Worst Beard – Patrick Kane

Speaking of ginger – Kane’s seems super orange this year. Like he used Sun-In or something. And, yay, it’s fuller than previous years but it’s an unkempt mess. And then there’s the mullet… shudder.

May 182014
 

NHL_2014_StanleyCupPlayoffs

The Bruins have been eliminated. That’s pretty much all we cared about. Now on to the conference finals.

Western Conference

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings

Victoria: Kings in 7. Because the Kings are the Goonies, they never say die.

Chris: Blackhawks in 7. I will give credit to the Kings at knowing how to clutch up when elimination is in sight. Unfortunately for them, doing it the hard way has likely warn them down and they’ll be facing a ready and rested Blackhawks team. Remember, even Joffrey Baratheon finally met his maker.

J.J.: Blackhawks in 7. Because the penny I found by my window sill said so.

Clay: Blackhawks in 6. Just like me in high school, Chicago is quite fresh (having played 12 games so far compared to the Kings’ 14). This should be an exciting and intriguing series. As long as Corey Crawford can play almost-even to Jonathan Quick, I like the Blackhawks’ firepower and depth on D to prevail.

*****

Eastern Conference

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

Victoria: Habs in 5. Lundqvist has a horrible record in Bell Center and Carey Price has a great record against King Henrik (*cough* Olympic gold medal *cough*)

Chris: Rangers in 6. I have faith in the Canadiens and think they have the right stuff. I also thought the same of the TV show “Community” and it just got cancelled? That’s right – THE DARKEST TIMELINE?! THE DARKEST TIMELINE!!

J.J.: Habs in 7. While I love the thought of seeing AV in the Stanley Cup Finals with a different team a mere year after being fired being the Canucks, Price and Subban are playing out of this world hockey right now.

Clay: Habs in 6. Montreal feels like a team of destiny right now and P.K. Subban and Carey Price are playing lights out. Not to mention Dale Weise. Lundqvist’s struggles in Montreal have been well-documented. Look for Montreal to win in 6, and then both teams come together for a flash mob of Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” during the post-series handshake.

%d bloggers like this: