Oct 252013
 
John Tortorella shares a laugh with referee Wes McCauley

John Tortorella shares a laugh with referee Wes McCauley

The Vancouver Canucks continued their long road trip with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Devils in New Jersey. Once again, it was the battle of former teammates as Roberto Luongo faced off against Cory Schneider (figuratively and not literally), giving me yet another opportunity to post my latest Canucks music video.

But I digress. After overtime had concluded, the cameras caught John Tortorella, referee Wes McCauley, and a few Canucks players sharing a chuckle as Torts handed over his shootout line-up.

We will likely never know what exactly they were all giggling about, but it’s sure fun to speculate. So we proudly present to you the Top 10 Things John Tortorella and the Referee Were Laughing About:

HM: The initial shootout list had BURROWS – SCHROEDER – HANSEN. – submitted by @tony_p_power

HM: “You’re seriously going to put in a Sedin for the shootout?” – submitted by @Reinhart73

HM: Torts wrote “Sedin” on the shootout list in an attempt to have both Sedins on the ice for a single attempt. – submitted by @PPGoose

HM: “Torts, you spelled Kesler S-e-d-i-n.” – submitted by @Drbl24

10: “Sestito in the 3 spot… Yeah that’s funny.” – submitted by @auldie10

9: “…and then Sean joins Twitter and says he’ll have better tweets than his Dad!” – submitted by @Rozzy80

8: “Edler? Seriously?” “Yeah, watch this.” – submitted by @BrowntoBure

7: “I am just gonna use Luongo. He is the best player we have tonight.” – submitted by @basketballphil

6: “You lost some players Torts … you can always use Lack in the shootout.” – submitted by @carlz8

5: “Just keep laughing so Alberts thinks he’ll be in the shootout.” – submitted by @elmeebaterina

4: Torts: “Bet you ten bucks Edler will score in the shootout.” Ref: “No brainer.” *whispers to himself* “Idiot.” – submitted by @jocethetip

3: “Look, I don’t know why the kid behind me looks so damn confused, I just work here…” – submitted by @octobermidnight

2: Torts: “I’m going to put Daniel in.” Ref: “ROIL (rolling on the ice laughing)”. – submitted by @TheFalconer

1: “Watch this, I’m going to use Daniel AND Edler and we’ll still win this shoot out!” – submitted by @jaybizzones

 

I wanted to leave you with a nice video from after the game last night.  With Tortorella as he addressed the media was Liam Traynor and his family.  Liam suffers from cerebral palsy and has been friends with Tortorella from back when Tortorella was coaching the Rangers.  Liam was featured in HBO’s “24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the Winter Classic”.

Kudos to Tortorella for making time for Liam and his family.  Torts said it best at the end of the video: “This is more important than hockey.”

Oct 182013
 
Photo credit: canucks.com (Getty images)

Photo credit: canucks.com (Getty images)

Roberto Luongo picked up his first shutout of the young NHL season last night in a 3-0 win over the Sabres in Buffalo.  Luongo played a solid game while getting some help from the crossbar and post, and Ryan Stanton in two different situations in the third period.  Regardless, it was great to see Bobby Lu get the goose egg after an uneven start to the year.

While not privy to the post-game congratulatory handshakes and head butts, it’s still fun to imagine what Luongo was saying to his teammates after the game.

So here’s CHB’s Top 10 Things that Luongo Said Upon Completing His Shutout:

HM:  “It’s Buffalo so does it really even count?”  - submitted by @MikeVersace1

HM:  “Ok, which one of you said shutout?  What’s that?  I did get a shutout?  Awesome!”  – submitted by @HabsLions

HM:  “DeSchneid!”  – submitted by @dcrwrites

10:  “Oh yeah!  It’s the mask.”  – submitted by @JDCGA

9:  “Yeah baby! Karma’s a b*tch!”  – submitted by @cefair

8:  “I never let those ones in EITHER!”  – submitted by @bettyhenderson7

7:  “Mr. Hodgson is gonna be maaaaad.”  – submitted by @forevercanuck

6:  “We grounded the Flyers, we rattled the Sabres, now to ice the Penguins.”  – submitted by @tony_p_power

5:  “All those Fantasy poolsters who own me love me tonight!”  – submitted by @DaveLeeSon1

4:  A text to Cory Schneider:  “How many shutouts you got?”  – submitted by @basketballphil

3:  “Let’s get the hell out of this city.”  – submitted by @BrowntoBure

2:  “Cody…Cory…Cody…Cory.  Which one should I call first?”  – submitted by @THECooop

1:  “Good thing Hamhuis wasn’t on the ice in the last minute.”  – submitted by @ScreamHockey

"They didn't think they were going to score, did they?"

“They didn’t think they were going to score, did they?”

Oct 142013
 
Source: a Clay Imoo original (such a nice pic...don't you agree?)

Source: a Clay Imoo original (such a nice pic…don’t you agree?)

I was blessed to be at all three of the Canucks home games this week.  Although the team only picked up two out of a possible six points, I was fortunate to be in the arena to witness three big games:  Cory Schneider’s return with the Devils on Tuesday, our rival San Jose Sharks on Thursday, and the popular Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Thursday in particular was a very memorable day for me as I was able to accompany friend of the blog Marie Hui as she sang the national anthems.  I hung out with her in the dressing room and tunnel prior to her singing, and then I was able to capture footage from rink side.  Check out the video at the end of the blog…she was awesome.  To top it off, the Aquilini family treated my family and me to complimentary tickets for the game.  Needless to say, I was very thankful for their generosity.

Thus, with it being Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada, I thought it would be an appropriate time to take stock of the things we can thankful for regarding our hockey team.  You know, things like the consistent play of the Sedins.  Jason Garrison on the powerplay.  A healthy Ryan Kesler…for now.

So last night, I went to Twitter (as usual) to ask the question and here are the replies that came back.

Enjoy CHB’s Top 10 Things the Canucks Should Be Thankful For:

10.  Passionate Canucks fans who care enough to say – “ONE Team, ONE Goal, Together as ONE for 2014!” – submitted by @tony_p_power

9.  That it’s October and everyone is going to forget about this as the season goes on. – submitted by @delaguitare

8.  That Luongo has been playing stellar! – submitted by @sprtschick

7.  That their fans are actually willing to pay exorbitant prices for tickets! – submitted by @krissymchua

6.  The Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. – submitted by @vansport

5.  That Dan Hamhuis has nowhere to go but up from here. – submitted by @justin_fung

4.  Santorelli’s ability to score in OT. – submitted by @kdmurray

3.  That Edmonton is in our division. – submitted by @iSwearImStrait

2.  A season.  – submitted by @ajtuliao

1.  That they’re not the New York Rangers. – submitted by @tpoole00

 

 

Oct 122013
 
Photo credit: canucks.com

Photo credit: canucks.com

Sean Imoo is 12 years old, in grade 7, and he’s the son of CHB writer Clay Imoo.  He enjoys playing guitar and piano, playing golf, volleyball, hockey, and other sports, and whipping his Dad in NHL 14.  Sean is passionate about his favourite team – the Vancouver Canucks.  He is likely the biggest Canuck fan in his school and he is always learning more and more about the Canucks every day.  Once in a while, Sean will share his thoughts about the Canucks with the readers of CHB.

As I prepared for my grade 7 year, I was extremely anxious to meet my teacher – one who was new to our school.  On the first day, he introduced himself as Mr. Bienvenu, or Mr. B for short.  Within the first couple days, I realized that Mr. B is both a great guy and a great teacher.  Except there is one thing I just can’t stand about him.

He is a Montreal Canadiens fan.

Once he learned that I was a huge Canucks fan, the war was on.  The morning after one or both of our teams play, we would sneak in a little trash talk about each other’s favourite team.  This went on for a good couple weeks.  One day, while on the topic of hockey, he brought up that he and a bunch of his friends were going to go to the Montreal Canadiens vs. Vancouver Canucks game on October 12.  I immediately recalled that I would be going to that same game with my dad.  So we decided to have a wager, all in good fun.

If (and when) the Canucks win:

Mr. Bienvenu will have to sing a One Direction song in front our class.  Why did I choose a One Direction song?  Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that One Direction is very popular right now.  So it goes without saying that our class will get a kick out of seeing Mr. B singing a song by the British boy band.  We will be at camp from Tuesday to Friday of next week, so I can picture him singing “What Makes You Beautiful”  at the campfire or “The Best Song Ever” in the mess hall.  Thus, there is more riding on a Canucks win than just two points.

If the Habs win:

On ferry on the way to camp, Mr. B will lend me his Montreal Canadians jersey to wear for the trip over.  Although I will have to wear a jersey of a team I hate, it sure beats singing a One Direction song in front of my peers.  I will try not to be seen by too many people on the ferry, and I’m prepared to hide in the washroom the whole time if I have to.  I doubt this will be the case though.  At least I hope not.

We confirmed the terms of the deal with a handshake at noon on Friday.  Needless to say, we are both anxiously waiting to see who comes out on top.

 

Oct 102013
 
from the 2007 video "The Ultimate Canucks Haiku"

from the 2007 video “The Ultimate Canucks Haiku”

I love me a good haiku.  Perhaps it’s my half-Japanese heritage (Imoo is a Japanese name if you’re wondering; my other half is Chinese).  Perhaps it’s because I’m lazy and a haiku – with its 17 syllables – is one of the shortest poems in existence.  Or maybe it’s because my Ultimate Canucks Haiku video on YouTube (with over 30,000 views) helped me win some nice swag in the Ultimate Canucks Search contest back in 2007 (I’ve included the video at the bottom of this post).

Anyway, back to the syllables.  A proper haiku follows the form of 5-7-5.  That is: a line of 5 syllables, a line of 7 syllables, and then a line of 5 syllables.  Good haiku (or haikus…you can use either form for the plural) usually bunches the first two “lines” together, and then leaves the third line on its own to conclude the poem. Think of it as a 12-syllable phrase followed by a 5-syllable phrase.

Tonight, the San Jose Sharks are in town to face the Vancouver Canucks in a battle for early Pacific Division supremacy.  A big focal point of the Sharks will be their exciting rookie Tomas Hertl.  Hertl enters Thursday’s action leading the NHL in scoring in large part to a great 4-goal performance against the Rangers Tuesday night.

An already highly-anticipated match-up now has an added element of intrigue with Hertl.  Will the Canucks be able to avenge their opening night drubbing to the same Sharks?  Will Hertl continue his hot streak?  And will he dare try a fancy move against Roberto Luongo?

In advance of the game, I went to Twitter to solicit responses for a rather unique CHB Top 10.  Turns out we have a bunch of poets and didn’t even know it.  See what I did there?

Thus, I proudly present to you CHB’s Top 10 Hertl Haiku:

HM:  Hertl Hertl don’t u score on us.  Hertl Hertl please miss the bus.  –submitted by @manlycc

HM:  Ahead of the pack, a quartet he assembled.  Lu will stop him cold.  –submitted by @kdmurray

HM:  European kid never been in a fight so Bieksa will try.  –submitted by @mrsurreyjack

#10:  Cute goal by Hertl.  However three years ago, Daniel did it best.  –submitted by @ClasssicDave

#9:  Of all the damn luck Hertl is good with the puck.  Come, Lu – pull the plug!  -submitted by @cefair

#8:  Sharks are dangerous.  Laying Hertl on Rangers.  Sets up Thursday night. – submitted by @PuckedintheHead

#7:  Luongo, Schneider?  That was the past, this is now.  Luongo, Hertl. –submitted by @mikejang

#6:  I’m Czech Republic hockey player this is dream.  To play with sharks, ya? –submitted by @camcharron

#5:  Hertl is quite good – he scored four times on Tuesday.  Trade Weise for Hertl.  –submitted by @passittobulis

#4:  Thomas Hertl balls.  I’m just saying he’s got game.  I don’t mean his junk.  –submitted by @jamjamtao

#3:  Canucks take on Sharks – oh please Hertl, don’t hurt ‘em.  Bobby Lu, stand tall!  -submitted by @gloomybb

#2:  Look at that kid score.  Twenty, thirty, maybe more.  Unsustainable.  –submitted by @petbugs13

#1:  Who is this Hertl?  If you think he’s a bad guy, better Czech yourself.  –submitted by @rebeccapalooza and @camcharron

 

Oct 072013
 
Clay with Marie and Arielle

Clay with Marie and Arielle

After a tumultuous and unpredictable season (and off-season), Roberto Luongo is back in the crease as the Vancouver Canucks’ undisputed number one goaltender.  There is no doubt that the past 18 months have taken its toll on Bobby Lu.

Thus, I proudly present to you Luongo’s Lament to the tune of Phil Collins’ hit Against All Odds.  And I’m so proud to welcome my friends Marie Hui and Arielle Tuliao as the featured vocalists.  You’ll see that they are lovely, talented, and amazing.

With Cory Schneider returning with his new team – the New Jersey Devils – on Tuesday, I thought it would an appropriate time to present this song.  Enjoy!

 

Oct 022013
 

Jerseymusic

As a hockey fan and musician, I enjoy seeing the two worlds come together.  At a hockey game, it starts with the warm-up music followed by the national anthems.  There’s music in between plays (whether live or recorded) and music at the intermission.

Away from the rink you can find hundreds of hockey-themed music videos on YouTube.  And I’ve been known to put a few hockey compositions together, whether it’s a Christmas Carol, a song from a musical,  a classic rock anthem, or an R & B song about our new head coach.

By the way:  my new Canucks song will come out next week…it’s going to be a good one.

So in anticipation of the Canucks’ season opener in San Jose on Thursday night, I took to Twitter and asked:  “What song title do you think best describes the Canucks’ chances and team this year?”

I’m compiled some of the replies for this post.  You’ll see that there is both optimism and pessimism amongst the Vancouver fanbase.  So without further adieu, here are The Top 10 Song Titles Befitting of This Year’s Vancouver Canucks:

Honourable Mentions:

“Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane – submitted by @kdmurray.  Perhaps a reminder that this season is a long journey filled with twists and curves.

“Destination Unknown” by Marietta – submitted by @lyteforce. Of course Chris had to submit something Top Gun related.

“New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel – submitted by @DarcyRotaBlog.  A witty reference to John Tortorella coming to us from the Big Apple…or perhaps a comment at AV going the other way.

“Live and Let Die” by The Wings – submitted by @heatheranner.  Something tells me Heather isn’t counting on a strong season.

 

10.   “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits – submitted by @Canucks_Lions.  Not sure if Andrew is talking about the Canucks not having much cap room, or the money that he shells out for tickets.

9.  “As I Choke” by Ross Copperman – submitted by @OHYAHH.  In his tweet, Justin actually dedicated this song to Roberto Luongo.  How thoughtful.

8.  “Scream” by Michael Jackson – submitted by @Jas_Ferg.  Could be the fans (in a good way).  Could be the fans (in a bad way).  Could be John Tortorella after a loss.

7.  “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay – submitted by @Nrenton.  A nice reminder to all fans that the season is a long one and the window of opportunity might not be shut just yet.

6.  “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi – submitted by @Kyotea and @sylandrews.  Looks like Wylie and Sylvia think the Canucks are in need of some Divine Intervention.

5.  “Baby Blue” by Badfinger – submitted by @PrisonBull.  A very timely and clever suggestion given that this song was featured in the series finale of Breaking Bad this past weekend.  Not exactly sure how the line “Guess I got what I deserved” fits in though.  Or maybe the band name is in reference to Alex Burrows allegedly biting Patrice Bergeron’s finger a couple of years ago.

4.  “We are the Champions” by Queen – submitted by @Angie_Canucks.  Angie is a die-hard Canucks fan and truly believes that this is the year.

3.  “Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz – submitted by @carlz8.  Something tells me that Carly had a rough go of it in June 2011 (and in the two subsequent playoff years).

2.  “I Love You” by Barney – submitted by @PPGoose.  In his tweet, Puck Puck Goose pointed out that the lyric of “won’t you say you love me too” says it all.

1.  “Believe” by Yellowcard – submitted by @JThompsondesign.  Now that’s a glass-half full approach!

 

And for making it to the very end, here’s a bonus music video for you: my Justin Bieber parody from Christmas 2011 called “Under the Minneso”:

 

Sep 272013
 
Photo credit: cbc.ca

Photo credit: cbc.ca

There was much anticipation for last night’s meeting between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers for one obvious reason: the first showdown between head coaches John Tortorella and Alain Vigneault since taking over as new bench bosses of their respective clubs.

Despite it being a preseason game, there was an undeniable buzz in the city, in the arena, and of course, on Twitter.

Thus, after the Canucks 5-0 win, I put a simple question out to the fans:  “Why is Torts a better coach for the Canucks (right now) than AV?”

A couple of quick notes:

  • I would have asked this question regardless of the result of last night’s game
  • I have respect for Alain Vigneault the person and the coach and certainly for all of his accomplishments.  Having said that, it was obviously time for a change at the end of last year.

So sit back and enjoy your (unedited) submissions in The Top 10 Reasons Why Torts is a Better Coach for the Canucks (Right Now) Than AV:

10. AV was an awesome coach and a great guy but it was time for the #Canucks to get a new perspective & Torts would give them that (@elmeebaterina)

We start off with a nice one from my friend Elmee, who shares my sentiment of AV being a good coach but that it was indeed time for a change.  Great minds think alike!

9.  He lowers amount of money in the budget allotted to purchasing gum. (@CaptToeDrag)

Indeed.  Too bad these savings can`t be added on to the salary cap.

8. because he makes the team play hard for fear of a bag skate the next day and his wrath (@tpoole00)

Fear can be a great motivator.  My wife uses it on me all the time.

7a.  easy. one word. guts…to make decisions, call it like it is, and tell off those who need it. (@brianna2shoes)

7b.  demands results, holds players accountable stars or not. Won’t accept mediocrity. (@codybarendregt)

7c.  canucks had become complacent after the boston game in 2012. Needed a new voice that would push. So far impressed (@drchill49)

7d.  Hands on, straight forward, brutally honest. Opinionated and demanding. A breath of fresh air. (@Showbot)

7e.  passion front line coach. Talks the truth instead of beating around the bush. #shootsfromthehip #pride (@TheGoodGnu)

These 5 responses share similar themes:  the team needed a change and it needed someone who isn’t afraid of speaking his mind.  I believe they got their wish.

6.  with Torts u can see the D-Men actually take care of the zone and let #luongo see the puck.Simple, effective hockey by #Canucks (@sdhaliwa)

5.  agressive forecheck, 3 F below the goalline vs AV 3rd man in slot. Not often canucks should get out manned in puck battles (@PPGoose)

#5 and #6 talk about some of the differences in game play and strategy under Torts.  Will be interesting to see if these trends continue.

4.  because AV can’t grow facial hair. (@TucoSalamanka)

I can relate as it takes me 2 years to grow a beard.  I’m guessing that @TucoSalamanka doesn’t have that problem.

3.  Because he’s Italian and we’re better at everything. (@BrowntoBure)

Never one to shy away from polarizing comments, @BrowntoBure doesn’t disappoint this time around.  I wonder this is related to #4.

2.  Press conferences. Duh. (@SirCanuckles)

Enough said.

1.  “Under Alain Vigneault…Vigneault…Vigneault…Eh, Eh, Eh” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

You just knew I was going to work this video in!

 

Jun 282013
 

Clay with son Sean and Marie Hui

My new Canucks song is a tribute to John Tortorella – the brand new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.  He brings with him passion, a wealth of experience, and a Stanley Cup ring.

This song features the amazing Marie Hui and my son Sean doing some background vocals (along with camera work and holding up cue cards…haha).

 

I was happy that I got in Torts’ famous line from his first press conference in Vancouver: “If you’re a good loser, you’re a loser.”

May 072013
 

The Vancouver Canucks are down three games to zero to the San Jose Sharks in their first-round NHL playoff match-up.  As they try to stave off elimination in this must-win game, I turned to my kids for their predictions.

Sean and Kayla are optimistic that the Canucks will still make this a competitive series, and they pulled out every sports cliche possible in expressing their optimism.

Meanwhile, Jacob took a more cynical approach as he worked in a few cliches and a bunch of thought-provoking questions regarding the Canucks’ future.

 

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