Victoria Pattison Denault

Feb 142014
 
Getty images

Getty images

A shutout and the first Team Canada natural hat trick since 1956. And a Nation breathes a sigh of relief. This is more like it.

  • Roberto Luongo saw as much action in the first 5 minutes as Carey Price saw in his whole game. And he handled it better. I have nothing against Price. I know he’s a great goalie.  I’d even be okay with the argument Price is a better NHL goalie. But Luongo is an amazing Olympic goalie. 2010 proved it and this shutout game keeps proving it.  So if the Canucks ever make it to another serious Stanley Cup playoff run can we put the Olympic decorations back up in Rogers and pretend it’s an Olympic run? Maybe he’ll do better that way.
  • I don’t know if this ‘Bring a Buddy’ selection process was worth it. At this point it doesn’t seem to be. Patrick Sharp was sitting this one out and Jonathan Toews did just fine without him. Chris Kunitz hasn’t made much of an impact.  He’s not scoring off The Kid and Crosby is making plays without him just fine. So far it hasn’t hurt us but it hasn’t helped us either. So much for that established chemistry people said these guys would have.
  • I am a HUGE Jeff Carter fan. I make no apologies for that. I’ve been going to Kings games consistently for a year now. Carter’s got great defensive skills and can find the net from any angle. He’s also one of the best skaters I’ve seen. Really good especially considering his size (6’4, 198 pounds in case you don’t know). I was shocked so many people thought he was the wrong choice for this team. Today he proved me right. If you’re still on the fence about him being on this team you legit suck.  End of story.
  • Did you notice Subban much? Me neither. That’s a good thing. In the NHL he gets a little too much attention for bad plays and ego trips. Glad to see he can reign it in and be a team player.
  • My heart-melting moment: Carter getting the puck for Luongo and Lu telling him to keep it for himself. God, I love a good Bromance moment, especially on Valentine’s Day!
  • So who starts in net against Finland? Do you think Carter and Marleau have earned their spots now? Do you put Sharp back in? Do you keep Kunitz in? Subban?

Tell us your thoughts!

Feb 132014
 
Getty Images

Getty Images

We came, we conquered! Well… maybe that’s an overstatement. ‘We came, we won’ is more fitting.

  • We had a rough first period. Canada had 7 off-side calls. Clearly the boys hadn’t gelled yet. More concerning was the abysmal first powerplay. It was so bad I thought I was watching the Canucks for a second. You had to be a bit concerned, even if it was almost expected. After all these guys haven’t had a lot of time together yet. Babcock’s furrowed brow on the bench wasn’t helping my nerves either. That said, although we beat Norway in 2010 by a score of 8-0, Canada did not score in that first period either.
  • There was some good in the first period. Jeff Carter kept Norway from their best scoring chance with some awesome stick work. I have to make note of this because so many people didn’t want him on Team Canada. I like to rub noses in stuff, sue me.
  • The second period felt a little more cohesive. And we got to see the deadly weapon we forgot we had – Shea Weber’s slapshot. No, it didn’t rip through the net this time but it wasn’t from lack of effort. Weber’s shot is so fast you can’t even see the puck.
  • Not only did we get on the board in the second, but we had one of those HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN moments in front of Norway’s net and the much hated post shot. There’s something comforting in seeing that kind of effort from Team Canada even if it didn’t result in more goals. They were getting their legs and starting to gel. Always a good thing.
  • Jamie Benn’s goal, putting Team Canada up 2-0, felt like the flood gates opening, but yet they never fully opened.
  • And there were Norway chances, their best coming with 27 seconds left in the period. Luckily, it also resulted in Carey Price’s best save of the game. The score remained at 2-0 as the second period ended.
  • The third period had a shaky start with Price misplaying the puck and resulting in a Norway goal. The Olympics like to create new and different hockey rules, like the one where if your helmet comes off you have to go directly to the bench or take a penalty. They should implement the rule where the goalie can’t play to puck. Why? Because Canadian goalies are horrible at playing the puck. Price and Luongo both suck at it. But it’s not just about us, I’ve watched Quick (as an LA King) cost himself a goal too. So come on IOC, if you won’t do it for us, do it for America.
  • It was a little weird but mostly sad to see the Norway player get injured and then, while trying to leave the ice, get slammed by the referee. What an NHL thing to do, Ref. After the player literally crawled to the bench, the ref did go over and apologize to the team. What an un-NHL thing to do, Ref.
  • Doughty’s goal, the final nail in Norway’s proverbial coffin, was, in my opinion, a much owed apology goal because Doughty had made some mistakes throughout this game.
  • Is it just me or was the game a little rougher than anticipated? Sidney Crosby got shoved around and Chris Kuntiz got into it. For such a match-up with a non-traditional rival, it seemed a bit much.
  • In the end, although I think the game should have been easier, it was still a win and I’ll take that any way I can get it. Also I have to remind myself that maybe not repeating the ride and road we took to the 2010 Gold isnt a bad thing. Yeah it ended with the right color medal but the path was rocky in huge, over-dramatic ways that cause Ativan addictions. Kind of slow, mostly steady and relatively drama-free wouldn’t a bad way to win Gold either.
  • Looking ahead, I’m glad Roberto Luongo is going to get a chance in net. Price’s performance wasn’t strong enough (like Quick’s for the US earlier) to make trying another goalie a crazy idea. Also, I think Weber needs as much ice time as possible and so does Carter. I wouldn’t mind seeing Kunitz sit a little more. So who stood out for you on Team Canada? Who should get more ice time and who should get less? Let us hear it!
Jan 222014
 

Sans Torts and sans Hank, the Canucks went into Edmonton last night and took on the Edmonton Oilers.

Despite not having their coach or their captain, the Canucks did okay. For starters, Kellan Lain played more than 2 seconds, and in fact, on his second shift if the game, scored his first career NHL goal. Roberto Luongo stopped 28 of 29 shots, and Zack Kassian scored the game-winner (and drove the Oilers players nuts all game). On the other hand, the Oilers offered little resistance, which, I suppose after a week like last week is a welcome change.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Dec 242013
 

Santa has made his list. He’s checked it twice. Here’s which Canucks are naughty and which are nice! (See what I did there? I’m such a poet!)

Santa Loves Bobby Lu & Boothy

Santa Loves Bobby Lu & Boothy

Santa’s Nice List

David Booth. I think even Santa is stunned about this turnaround. David wasn’t exactly on the naughty list (well maybe with the reindeer who fear for their life). He was mostly not on any list. I’m not even sure Santa knew where he was what with the whole conditioning Utica drama. You can call it a Christmas miracle, but David Booth has cemented himself on the Nice list with his play of late. He’s skating fast and hard, he’s making smart plays and he’s scoring. Yes, scoring goals not more antlers for his mantle.

Roberto Luongo.  I half expected him to maybe not play that hard since he kind of acted like he was being forced to stay in Vancouver (and he was). But Lu put on his big boy pads and stepped up. Sure there was the standard October – as @strombone1 accurately labeled it ‘How did that go in?’ – but then Bobby Lu turned it around. As if that isn’t enough he beat the Boston Bruins. Santa hates the Bruins.

Eddie Lack. He beat the Hawks. We love when we beat the Hawks and Eddie did that for us – in a shootout no less. That’s enough to earn him a sweet spot on the Nice List.

Ryan Kesler. Kesler is doing well under Torts. He’s blocking shots, he’s taking shots, he’s scoring in a shootout, he’s fighting Iginla…yeah even Santa was confused by that but he’ll let it pass. Ryan won’t get coal this year.

Chris Tanev. He takes hits that would knock other players into next season and keeps on playing. Tanev’s a Goonie. He never says die. Santa likes Goonies.

Kassian and Edler are getting coal

Kassian and Edler are getting coal

Santa’s Naughty List

Alex Edler. The nicest thing Alex Edler has done for his team this season is get injured. We’ve done better without him that we did with him. Ever since last season, Edler has struggled. He’s made stupid mistakes and he’s been a little careless with his hits, drawing penalties or suspensions. Santa doesn’t take kindly to reckless plays or repeatedly giving the puck away. It’s coal for Alex.

Zach Kassian. He just isn’t living up to expectation this year. Sure the toothless grin is cute but Santa doesn’t like slackers. Zach needs to pick it up and contribute more if he wants more than coal next year.

Andrew Alberts. I think he peed in Rudolph’s water bowl… or in Torts’ cereal. Or in the Hockey Gods’ coffee. He did something wrong because Andrew Alberts isn’t playing good hockey… on the rare time when he gets to leave the press box or dungeon or wherever it is they keep him.

 

Nov 032013
 
TGATT - The Game According to Twitter

Fittingly, on the night the Vancouver Canucks retired Pavel Bure’s number up to the rafters, they played perhaps their most exciting, most entertaining game of the season.

On a typical Saturday Fall afternoon in Vancouver, the Canucks took on the Leafs and slugged it out with them. All four lines scored and Roberto Luongo recorded his 64th shutout – yes, his 64th shutout, just 2 shutouts behind Patrick Roy, who had 66 shutouts in 269 more games, in the NHL’s all-time shutout leaders list – en route to a 4-0 dismantling of the Eastern Conference-leading Leafs.

It sure looked like it, eh?

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Oct 312013
 

Are you still trying to figure out your Halloween Costume? Picking the perfect costume can be a real conundrum. Just in case some of our beloved Canucks players are still searching for the perfect costume, we here at CHB have put together some choice suggestions that are bound to score them lots of candy… and maybe a few laughs.

David Booth should go as Ricky Bobby

Ricky Boothy... I mean Bobby.

Ricky Boothy… I mean Bobby.

This is the perfect costume for Booth because it’s hillbilly-ish which suits him and I’m sure he uses delicious Wonder Bread to make his freshly killed Moose meat sandwiches… or deer meat or antelope or wookie or whatever else he’s killed lately. Only drawback is he has to carry the helmet around because you know he can’t cover that lucious flow. But turn that helmet upside down and it’s a candy bucket!

Tom Sestito should go as Frankenstein

Sestitostein

Sestitostein

This works for Tom because Frankenstein is all stitched together and Sestito has a lot of facial scars from where he’s been stitched together. Plus at 6’5 and 228 pounds he’s a monster even without the green face paint.

The Sedin twins should go as Twins

Twins as Twins

Twins as Twins

Hank and Dank probably have matching outfits lying around somewhere. All they have to do is slap them on and then one of them has to walk on his knees all night and BOOM! Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the ’80s chucklefest “Twins”. Get it? Get it? Hysterical! Okay, well maybe not our best work…. moving on.

Eddie Lack should go as Elf

Lack Elf

Lack Elf

I read the article about Eddie and Zach Kassian carving pumpkins at Canucks Place and they said it was the first time Eddie ever carved a pumpkin. That made me wonder – do they not celebrate Halloween in Sweden? Has poor Lack never experience the sugar rush of a pillowcase full of chocolate?! If that’s the case then the whole holiday might confuse him. Perhaps it’s best if he clings to a holiday he knows, like Christmas. Plus, I bet he’d look adorable in tights.

Roberto Luongo as Razor Ramon

razorluI’ll be honest, I have no idea who Razor Ramon is. I just want to see Lu with even more grease in his hair and  shirtless in a vest. Who doesn’t want that?!

Ryan Kesler should go as Wolverine

Keslerine

Keslerine

Kesler would make a perfect Wolverine this Halloween. He’s got the hair. He can grown the side burns. And he’s recently rediscovered his beastmode again. Plus I can’t think of one female that wouldn’t give him all their candy if he showed up in nothing but a pair of adamantium claws. Rawr!

Other costume ideas I didn’t have time to make images of but were still great include:

  • Zack Kassian as the Hulk
  • Daniel Sedin as Henrik Sedin and Henrik Sedin as Daniel Sedin
  • Zack Kassian as Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
  • Andrew Alberts as Mr. Potato Head

Do you have any costume ideas for Canucks players? What are you going as this Halloween? Tell CHB!

Oct 122013
 

NHLWheel of Judgment

The season is still in diapers and I’m already confused. Here are some insights, speculation and just plain old rants about events around the league.

The Canucks Eastern Doppelgänger

Has anyone else noticed that for that last few years the Philadelphia Flyers have been the Vancouver Canucks’ Eastern Doppelganger? In recent years, a lot of people pick them as favorites (like Canucks) but despite their obvious talent they tend to implode (like the Canucks). They’ve signed goalies to ridiculously large contracts (like the Canucks). They’ve regretted it (like you-know-who). They always fall short in the playoffs (sadly, Canuck-esque). And just like Vancouver did, they blame the coach instead of the GM. The firing of Peter Laviolette was not unexpected because of these similarities, but their timing was crappy. Why give this guy a shot at all this season? Now he’s unemployed with no available NHL team to throw his skates onto the ice for. And let’s be honest I think that if Laviolette had been let go at the end of last season, he would have been a good choice for the Canucks. Yes, yes, Torts isn’t doing horribly (yet) but… I think Laviolette would have been a solid choice if the option was there. And I can’t help but wonder with blow-out loses like 9-2  and 6-0 if the Rangers are thinking the same thing.

Mike Fisher’s is the new Zdeno Chara

Shame on you, Mr. Carrie Underwood. The hit on Cpdy Franson was completely in-the-numbers illegal but he gets no supplemental discipline. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since Zdeno Chara got nothing for the same hit as well.

But seriously, Alex Edler collides with Tomas Hertl, who has his head down, and gets suspended 3 games. Brendan Shanahan continues to baffle. I continue to have no idea what is considered a suspendable hit, definitively… unless it’s something the Bruins did, then it’s never a suspension. That much I get. I think Shanahan has a wheel, like the Wheel of Fortune wheel, and he just spins it and wherever it lands, boom! Judgement!

And About Edler

All this said, I am not an Edler fan. I used to be… before his last contract negotiation when I thought he, you know, knew how to play. But for the last couple of years he’s made a series of bad passes, questionable plays and careless hits.

And those plays aren’t just in the NHL. That hit on Eric Staal in the World Championships was totally reckless and Staal is still dealing with knee issues. I really wish the Canucks had traded Edler for someone useful (and Alberts too while we’re at it). Hopefully Torts can scream some sense back into Edler or has the common sense to bench him. At $30 million over 6 years with a no-trade clause, the Canucks need better from him.

Oct 042013
 

Welcome to the first TGATT of the Canucks 2013/14 season! All of us at CHB are back to happy times. And while our expectations on how the Canucks season will turn out may vary, the one thing we are all absolutely sure of – The Game According to Twitter is going to do so well that we’ve already planned out a parade route for it.

So… should we do the same for the Canucks?

That can’t be good.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jun 152013
 

If you believe the internet (and who doesn’t?) then you believe John Tortorella will be the next coach of the Vancouver Canucks. The opinions on this potential move vary from ‘worst decision ever’ to ‘might possibly work’. But I’m yet to find someone who thinks it’s the perfect fit.

There are a lot of reasons for that. Mostly it comes down to the fact that the man who coached the New York Rangers appeared to be a ranting lunatic. He yelled at players, he benched stars and loved to openly hate the media.

Do you honestly see Ryan Kesler taking well to being torn a new one? Or being benched? I definitely don’t. Could tough love work on Roberto Luongo? If he doesn’t start to cry, his overprotective fan base definitely will. (I know, I know he won’t be here, but still.) Most importantly Kevin Bieksa has come out and said “I don’t think we need somebody to come in a crack the whip.” Torts is a notorious, public whip cracker.

So does Gillis and Aquilini you take the risk here and tell the team ‘you don’t know what you really need’ and give them Tortorella anyway? Based on what? His strategy? Let’s take a look at that too.

With the Rangers, Torts relied heavily on Lundqvist. Too heavily. A goalie can’t carry a team on his shoulders. We’ve seen that fail time and time again. And the last thing Vancouver needs is a coach who comes in and lays it all at the feet of the starter goalie. Who is our starter next season anyway? And blocking shots? Vancouver isn’t made up of young bendable players anymore. It’s mostly mid-career, breakable players (I’m looking at you Ryan Kesler) so standing in front of slap shots isn’t the smartest move for this team. And this team has too many strong goal scorers… who aren’t scoring. We need a coach that can fix that problem, not one that gets Henrik Sedin to lay down in front of a shot.

I’ve always thought that the Canucks were an overly emotional team. They need a coach that can harness that and focus that, not one that adds even more unfocused emotion to the room and the bench. Dan Bylsma was able to do that with the Pens when he first got there, although he seems to have lost that magic touch. Torts, in my opinion, can’t do that.. Sure the Canucks seem to do well when they think the hockey world hates them, but I don’t think they’d do well thinking their own coach hates them.

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