May 232011
 

[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 watched the Canucks’ 4-2 victory over the Sharks with a couple hundred of my closest Canucks friends at the Vancouver Canucks Tweet-Up at Guildford’s Boston Pizza. CHB’s JJ Guerrero and Chris Golden were representing, and everyone had a great time (due in large part to the Canucks’ win). I was able to bring my wife and kids out with me and they had a great time soaking in the sights and sounds. In fact, with the big screens, yummy food, and loud audio, it was a bit of sensory over-load…in a good way!

So as I reflect on game 4 and look ahead to game 5 on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena, here are a few Things That Make You Go Hmmm…:

  1. Does Keith Ballard give hip check lessons? I was happy to see Keith Ballard in the line-up, although it was due to injuries to Ehrhoff and Rome. Nevertheless, I was hopeful that Ballard would have a strong game and regain some of his confidence. Ballard’s stats weren’t overly impressive: 1 shot, minus 1 in 10:34 of ice-time. However, he had the best hit of the night as he sent Sharks forward (and Canuck d-killer) Jamie McGinn head-over-heels with a devastating hip check. I immediately flashbacked to some of Ballard’s other big hip checks from the season and again wondered why he doesn’t play more. I then wanted to find out if Ballard threw out these types of checks in Florida and Phoenix. YouTube provides more than enough evidence; he has always been a hip checking machine. Check out these bone-crunchers on Evgeni Malkin, Scott Hartnell, and the immortal Jack Skille.
  2. The Chris Tanev effect. It came as quite a surprise when defenseman Chris Tanev played in game 4 ahead of veteran Andrew Alberts, especially when coach AV initially said that Tanev would be in San Jose just for “insurance.” Well, the Canucks cashed in their insurance policy and inserted Tanev into the line-up as Ballard’s partner on the blue line. Similar to Ballard, Tanev’s stats were rather pedestrian (a bunch of zeroes in all categories in 9:13 TOI).  But more importantly, he essentially played error-free hockey and played well beyond his years, considering that this was his only the 30th professional game of his young career. With Bieksa, Ehrhoff and Salo all becoming free agents this summer, the Canucks might feel okay letting at least one of them go with players like Chris Tanev, Kevin Connauton, and Yann Sauve looking to crack the line-up.
  3. Where is Alex Edler? Since a monster performance against the Blackhawks and a decent series against Nashville, Edler has been very unnoticeable in this series against the Sharks. He has one point in the 4 games, and hasn’t laid out any of the Sharks forwards yet with hits like he dished out in the 2 previous series. Perhaps he is still feeling the effects of his mid-season back surgery, or maybe AV’s penchant of riding his top 4 D with heavy ice-time is starting to affect him. Regardless, the Canucks will need him to ramp up his play a bit if they do as expected and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Game 5 Tuesday night at Rogers Arena should be a good one, with the Canucks looking to improve their dismal 2W-4L record in elimination games in this 2011 post-season. Meanwhile, the Sharks will look to stave off elimination.

And have you noticed that no one uses the term “stave off” unless they are talking about sports playoffs. I’ve never heard it used in every day conversation… yet another thing that makes me go hmmm.

  • Fuckyou

     You didn’t know ballard is a monster at hip-checking? Obviously your a fucking bandwagoner.

  • http://twitter.com/waterboy99troop waterboy99troop

    Clay’s been a Canucks fan for a long time. I’d know because every time I see him during the playoffs, He’d have his jersey on. Why don’t you try to make constructive comments?

    I’m pretty sure Edler will show himself next series. I had a feeling he was rushed back, and I think his sudden “disappearance” proves that I was right. We don’t really need his big hits right now, so if he gets through the last bit of this series with little or no impact, I think he’ll be ready for next round.

    Tanev is definitely a pleasant surprise. He’s no PK Subban, but for a rookie D coming in with so much pressure, he was very steady. Reminds me of a younger Hamhuis. Here’s hoping he turns out to be one.

  • Fuckyou

    Yeah, Thats why he removed my comment instead of actually responding to it, and you just further proved my point, Everybody is a fan during the playoffs, It’s what you bandwagoners don’t know is the stuff that happens during the 82 game regular season, Which i bet most of you don’t even watch 10% of and then come playoff time, and everyone is a huge fan. I have no problem with that normally except when we lose in the playoffs like we have in the previous years, you all shit talk the canucks when you knew absolutely nothing about the team during the season. Like this guy here who is a “big fan” didn’t know ballard is known for his hip-checking abilities. An actual fan knew that before he was even signed to the canucks. Keep up the good work bandwagoners, just don’t bitch at my team when they lose because you couldn’t get a long ride on the bandwagon. Thanks.

  • http://www.leftcoastbydesign.ca/ Chris (@lyteforce)

    Might as well give you a reply before your post is taken away again.  It’s the language you’ve chosen to use which resulted in your comment being deleted.  At Canucks Hockey Blog, we completely understand and accept that not everyone will agree with what we have to say.  That’s life and we are all entitled to our opinions.  We simply feel there are appropriate means to express these opinions and don’t feel you selected one of those means.

    And before you tell me that your language is appropriate, why not take a look at your name?  Yes.. that would be a problem.

  • http://twitter.com/CanuckClay Clay Imoo

    I actually didn’t remove the comment (the webmaster did) but perhaps it was due to profanity as opposed to a differing in opinion.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been following the team since the early 1980s and consider myself a knowledgeable hockey fan.  I’m a season-ticket holder and made it out to more than half the games.  Also, I have been doing regular blogging for the entire season.  In fact, I did a video blog on bandwagoners here:  http://claytonimoo.com/2011/04/16/ccc-clays-canucks-commentary-for-april-16-2011-come-aboard-the-bandwagon/

    All of that certainly doesn’t make me an expert, as evidenced by my Ballard comment.  I was trying to point out that I love his hip checks and admittedly didn’t know much about him before he came here.  That doesn’t make me a bandwagoner….it just shows I wasn’t aware of one particular player.

    Obviously you aren’t a bandwagoner either…that’s a good thing.  Enjoy the final round! 

  • FudgeYou

    Sorry guys, I’ve gotten tired  of listening to people bash my team for soo many years that now finally something good is happening and everyone is jumping on, I apologize for the language and behaving like a child, You guys both make valid points. Enjot the final:)

%d bloggers like this: