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.

Jan 282014
 

After being out since October, Jordan Schroeder returned to the Canucks’ lineup last night and promptly made an impact. He scored his first 2 goals of the season – the Canucks’ only 2 goals of the night.

It’s too bad David Perron scored 3 goals himself, and the Canucks went on to drop a 4-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jan 272014
 

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(canucks.nhl.com)

Vancouver Canucks (27-17-9)
Edmonton Oilers (16-32-6)

For the fourth time this season, and the second time in just six days, the Vancouver Canucks take on the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks won all three previous games (6-2, 4-0 and most recently, 2-1).

After Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win for the Canucks, they’re looking to keep the momentum going and start a new winning steak. However, the Oilers are looking to start a new winning streak of their own. On Sunday, the Oilers ended a six-game winless streak as they beat the Nashville Predators 5-1.

Who’s Hot

As we all know, the Vancouver Canucks have experienced trouble scoring goals lately, but they sure didn’t have any problem on Sunday.

Kevin Bieksa scored twice, including the game winner in overtime, to lift the Canucks to a 5-4 victory over the Coyotes.

Chris Higgins helped lift the Canucks to a 5-4 victory with one goal and two assist. He now has two goals and two assist in the past two games.

For the Oilers, Jordan Eberle extended his point streak to five games on Sunday (four goals, two assist).

Who’s Out

Henrik Sedin (ribs) is still day-to-day. Forward Mike Santorelli (shoulder) and defenseman Andrew Alberts (concussion) are on injured reserve. Jordan Schroeder, who has missed most of the season with an ankle injury, will not play tonight, but did start his conditioning assignment with the Utica Comets.

The Oilers are likely without defensemen Philip Larsen (illness) Andrew Ference (upper body), along with forward Ales Hemsky (ankle).

Jan 252014
 

CBC is upping the ante with Kraft Hockeyville this year, by bringing in five NHL stars to help promote the annual event that helps Canadians brush up on their geography. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Scott Hartnell, Nathan MacKinnon, David Clarkson, and Daniel Briere will each be representing a region of Canada, and helping to bring Hockeyville to one lucky community.

buzzfeedmap

A guide to the popularity of various sports around the world. Via Buzzfeed

While most of the world prefers their football (both kinds) or even cricket, Canada is one of the few to pledge allegiance to the ice. Unfortunately, hockey is also expensive. Besides the equipment and the litany of ever breaking sticks and outgrown skates, hockey rinks don’t come cheap. It may not be a problem here in the Lower Mainland, where rinks tend to be plentiful, but small communities across the country can’t afford upgrades to keep their rinks in working order. Enter Hockeyville.

Every year CBC and an ounce of corporate sponsorship puts these communities in the spotlight, pitting 16 of them against each other in a national competition to win fame, glory, thousands of dollars in rink upgrades, and even the honour of hosting an NHL pre-season game.

thenuge

Photo from Postmedia Edmonton

In advance of the February application deadline, CHB spoke to Ryan Nugent Hopkins about his role in Hockeyville. And no, we didn’t ask him about which draft pick the Oilers will be aiming for this year.

If you’re unaware, The Nuge grew up in Burnaby, and he’s well aware of the importance of community in a kids hockey life.

“It gives a lot of kids opportunities, no matter where you are around Vancouver, there’s always a rink around, so it’s great. Most cities and towns have rinks, so you always have a chance to get on the ice.”

Nugent-Hopkins played all of his minor hockey with the Burnaby Winter Club, the team that also provided him with his proudest moment as a kid, when his Bantam team won a Western Canadian Championship in Winnipeg. “As kids, it’s as big as you can get.”

Of course, parents play a serious role in any kids hockey dream, even if they never play past Bantam. Believe it or not kids, your parents would probably prefer not to be up at 6am every Saturday.

“They’re everything, for me and every other kid,” said Nugent-Hopkins.  “If you don’t have a parent driving you to and from practice and games you’re not going to succeed. You owe them so much. You don’t realize how big of a deal it is until you get older, it really does make a difference.”

All of these community memories helped fuel his excitement to support Hockeyville.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “Growing up playing at the Burnaby Winter Club, where I played all my minor hockey did wonders for me, hockey-wise, and as a person.”

Unfortunately, as of now there’s no competition set up between the regional ambassadors. Personally, I think it’s a lost opportunity for someone to end up doing something embarrassing with some Kraft Dinner, but that’s just me.

You still have time to sign up your community, or just follow along with this years competition.

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.

Jan 222014
 

Kellan Lain takes on Kevin Westgarth of the Calgary Flames

Photo credit: canada.com

Love em’ or hate em’ no one can deny the pure entertainment value of a good old-fashioned dust-up. Young and old, alike, left their seats on Saturday to take in a few minutes of rock em’- sock em’ hockey as the Canucks and Flames unexpectedly erupted into a brawl seconds after the opening faceoff. Was it neccesary? Probably not. Did it make the league and the teams look bad? Probably. But we all know this league isn’t a morality convention – it’s a business. And until something can usurp the popularity of fighting, we’re sure to see a few more of these situations in the future.

The Canucks have struggled all year to find an identity that works for them and as of late, the identity seems to be that of the tough guy. Players like Tom Sestito and Zack Kassian have climbed to the top of the penalty minute leader rankings and the Nucks’ penalty killing has been put through the ringer. Only time will tell if this identity sticks but it isn’t the first time we’ve seen the boys frustrations boil over into chaos.

As I’m sure all of you have seen clips of Saturday’s brawl replayed ten times over, I chose to exclude that moment from the list, but here are 5 other memorable brawls from the Canucks past:

5) Vancouver vs Edmonton: A regular season game with no real meaning, this brawl erupted in the closing minutes out of Oiler frustration. Highlighted by a Gagner-Kesler tilt, this one involved some unexpected combatants.

4) Vancouver vs New York: A classic and tense conflict that foreshadowed a heated Stanley Cup Finals. Mike Keenan and Pat Quinn may have been the most heated people in the rink.

3) Vancouver vs Colorado: Forever a black mark on the Canuck franchise, this night infamously ended the career of Steve Moore. Todd Bertuzzi seeks retribution for his fallen comrade Markus Naslund, through a brutal sucker-punch and an ensuing pile-on.

2) Vancouver vs Boston: The follow-up to the heated series a year prior, this game had been marked on both teams’ calendar for months. An entertaining and spirited brawl that reignited this rivalry and helped keep it burning to this day. On a sidenote, I loathe these Boston commentators – note their undying bias.

1) Vancouver vs Chicago: The moment that started one of Vancouver`s great modern rivalries. This one had it all: the Burrows hair pull, Ben Eager fighting Kevin Bieksa, Dustin Byfuglien punching Luongo in the face- just classic.

Jan 212014
 

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(source: nhl.com)

Vancouver Canucks (25-16-9)
Edmonton Oilers (15-30-6)

This is the third of five games between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, the Canucks won the first two games (4-0 and 6-2). Roberto Luongo has stopped 40 of Edmonton’s 42 shots.

After snapping a 3-game losing streak on Saturday night with a rambunctious 3-2 shootout win over the Calgary Flames, the Canucks look to stay on the winning track tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. They’ll try to do this without coach John Tortorella, who was suspended by the NHL for 15 days after trying to get to Flames coach, Bob Hartley, in the Flames’ dressing room during the first intermission last Saturday. They’ll also try to push through without captain Henrik Sedin, who was the league’s Ironman and had played 679 consecutive games, but will miss tonight’s game with a suspected rib injury. Hank, who is officially listed as day-to-day, hasn’t missed a game since missing 4 games during the 2003-2004 season.

The Oilers are currently on a 4-game losing streak. They’ve lost 9 of their last 11 games and have allowed 45 goals against during that span. Sitting in 29th place in the NHL, they’re 3 points ahead of the last place Buffalo Sabres but have played 4 more games.

Who’s Hot

For the Canucks, Ryan Kesler got both a goal and an assist in the Canucks win against the Flames on Saturday.

For the Oilers, Jordan Eberle has goals in consecutive games.

Who’s Out

Besides Torts and Hank, the Canucks will be without Mike Santorelli, Ryan Stanton, Andrew Alberts and Jordan Schroeder.

For the Oilers, Nail Yakupov missed the previous game and Ales Hemsky has missed the past two. Philip Larsen and Corey Potter are also out.

Dec 142013
 

Late in the third period with the Canucks leading by 3 goals and the game well out of hand, the Edmonton Oilers finally remembered that they wanted to exact some revenge on Zack Kassian for breaking Sam Gagner’s jaw back in September. (Well, they didn’t actually. David Perron had to remind them.) Anyway, a scrum ensued with the Kassquatch in the middle of things with Perron and Oilers enforcer, Luke Gazdic.

As with every other scrum, much talking and taunting were involved. But Kassian drew some heat for apparently taunting Gagner’s injury, and have pointed to video evidence as proof of his douchiness.

Now, is it just me or did it seem that Kassian was taunting Gazdic, not Gagner? I mean, Kass was looking at Gazdic when he said whatever he said and made the motion with his hands by his neck. And it seems a stretch to suggest that Kass was directing this to Gagner, who at the time wasn’t part of the scrum, sitting on the bench behind a bunch of Oilers on the ice. Like, was all this fury after the game because Kassian was making fun of Gazdic’s neck beard?

I dunno. You be the judge.

Dec 142013
 

With his preseason high-stick on Sam Gagner still fresh in mind, Zack Kassian entered last night’s match-up between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers as public enemy number one. Threats of retribution followed immediately after that incident back in September, and for his part, Kass was ready regardless of whatever the Oilers threw his way.

Except the Oilers didn’t throw much of anything the Canucks’ way last night. The Canucks were as dominant as the Oilers were soft. Roberto Luongo recorded his 3rd shutout of the season, Jason Garrison had 3 assists, and hell, Dale Weise scored a powerplay goal. And Kass? He scored a goal to give the Canucks some breathing room just 2 minutes into the third period, and had irritated the crap out of the Oilers by the end of the night.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Dec 132013
 

183207951_slide
(source: nhl.com)

Vancouver Canucks (18-10-5)
Edmonton Oilers (11-19-3)

This is the second of five games between the Oilers and Canucks. In their last meeting on October 5th, the Canucks beat the Oilers with an impressive home opening win of 6-2.

The Canucks will look to continue their perfect December (5-0-0), while the Oilers look to bounce back after a 4-2 home loss against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. The Oilers allowed three goals in less than eight minutes, scored two in the second period but came up short two goals in a dissapointing loss.

Who’s Hot

In his last five games, Chris Higgins has six points, getting the assist on both of the Canucks’ goals in their last game.

Roberto Luongo is 3-0-0 and has allowed only four goals in his his last three starts.

For the Oilers, David Perron has five goals in the Oilers’ past five games. Perron scored both of the Oilers goals against the Bruins in their 4-2 loss.

Who’s Out

The Vancouver Canucks are without both their Alex’s – Edler (lower body) and Burrows (broken jaw), neither of them are close to returning.

The Edmonton Oilers are without goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov (head) and forward Boyd Gordon.

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