May 272011
 

[Inspired by Arsenio Hall's "Things That Make You Go Hmmm…", Clayton Imoo talks about Canucks-related things that make him go hmmm… You can follow Clay on Twitter at (@canuckclay) or on his website, Clay's Canucks Commentary.]

I was fortunate to be in Rogers Arena to witness the Canucks’ thrilling 3-2 double overtime victory over the Sharks, clinching the series 4 games to 1.  The euphoria in the arena (and in the streets) was very similar to the feeling after the Canucks beat the Blackhawks in game 7.  The game-winning goal capped off a dominant 41 seconds in the San Jose zone, and I just happened to be filming the play from my seat at the time.  See the live in-person footage in my latest Clay’s Canucks Commentary.

Reflecting back on the historic game and looking ahead to the Stanley Cup Finals, here are a few Things That Make You Go Hmmm…:

1.  Have you ever seen a more bizarre series-clinching goal?  Bieksa’s game-winner has been analyzed and talked about ad nauseam over the last 48 hours, yet I still can’t get enough of it.  I watched it over and over again tonight on my PVR and one thing I noticed is that 4 of the skaters actually tracked the puck to Bieksa’s stick (contrary to exaggerated reports of “no one except Bieksa” knowing where the puck was).  Those who saw the puck were Bieksa and Edler (who initially tried to wrap the puck around the glass) of the Canucks and Marleau and Couture of the Sharks.  In fact, you can see the 2 Sharks forwards yelling at each other to get to Bieksa as he’s about to shoot.  Meanwhile, the Sedins, Burrows, Pavelski, Huskins, White and obviously Niemi were all looking for the puck either behind the net or in the corner.  You also see Henrik adjusting his helmet and Pavelski pointing to the mesh…all while Bieksa is winding up to shoot.  Bizarre indeed.  But I’m certainly not complaining!

2.  Will winning the Stanley Cup finally silence Roberto Luongo’s critics?  As the saying goes, you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.  This seems to apply particularly well to the Canucks’ net-minder.  Luongo dissidents claimed that winning the goal medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics was hardly enough; he needed to win in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  He almost washed his Vezina-nominated season away with a spotty performance in round 1.  But in that epic game 7 overtime, Luongo slid to his right to stop a point-blank Patrick Sharp shot on the power-play, and he’s looked extremely confident ever since.  Sure, he’s let in a few softies (especially from behind the goal line) and he makes the occasional risky play (San Jose’s 2 on 0 goal), but he seems to have a different aura about him this year.  Having said that, there’s still a nervous buzz every time he handles the puck or in the first few minutes after he lets in a questionable goal.  Raising Lord Stanley’s Cup over his head will hopefully silence his detractors once and for all.

3.  Is there anyone in the city who hasn’t been in a Canucks music video in the last month?  I’m being a little facetious here of course, but it seems like there’s a new Canucks fan video popping up every day.  Some are really good, some are a tad embarrassing, and there are a whole bunch in between.  Good, bad, or ugly I think it’s great that there are so many Canucks fan who want to express their passion for the team through creative means.  It’s either a sign that Vancouverites are very talented or that they have too much time on their hands – likely a combo of both.  I’ve made cameo appearances in RKB Productions’ “Blue and Green” and David Blair’s “We are Canucks”; both of these songs and videos are really good (I may be a tad biased though).  I’m contemplating pulling some of my fellow CHB contributors together for a music video…at the risk of setting new records for website traffic here or single-handedly bringing the website down.  :p

With the Stanley Cup Finals schedule being released yesterday, the Canucks have almost a full week to heal their injuries and prepare for their last opponent.  Will it be the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning?  That’s certainly something that makes me go hmmm.

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