Monday, December 31, 2007

Mike Keenan's travelling apology show

It's match #5 of the Canucks and Flames tonight at the Saddlesoredome in Cowtown, and two things are becoming apparent: 1) Mike Keenan and Mikka Kiprusoff are headed for a showdown that GM Darryl Sutter will have to solve, and 2) Keenan has a book FULL of excuses for why they have dropped 4 straight to the Canucks.

"The first game here was in overtime and went their way," said head coach Mike Keenan. "The second game here, I thought Roberto Luongo (who made 36 saves) probably won the game for them. The third game, I thought there was an indiscretion in league scheduling -- we played a 5 o'clock game (in Vancouver) after we had played the night before (in Edmonton). They sat and they were rested. I didn't think -- and I still don't think -- that's what the competition would want in the NHL.

"Then we outplayed them fundamentally in the last game (Thursday at GM Place) but they were able to find a way to win. We gave up 20 shots -- that's a pretty good road game. Everybody knows that Kipper (Miikka Kiprusoff) didn't have his best night. What are you going to do?"

He is trying to put a rosy little spin on it, but what it boils down to is in a head to head battle of goaltenders, Luongo has simply been better, the Canucks best players have been better than the Flames best, and good teams will find a way to win. I love the quip about the "indiscretion in league scheduling". Is that like the "indiscretion that saw us play in Edmonton then fly to Minnesota the next night (and win, behind a Markus Naslund hat trick)? You would expect Mike Keenan of all people to not want to BS the fans of Calgary, but to serve this up as though it were a valid reason they are 0-4 against the Canucks is insulting to the Flames' fans intelligence. And that is saying something. Sure they may win tonight (we played last night, so we get to use the excuse, right Mike?), but it's been a great season so for for the boys in blue, so celebrate tonight, and all the best in 08 from all of us at WAACH!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Avalanche 3 Canucks 1

Kind of disappointing to see the let-down in the 3rd, but I have a feeling that this is still a very tired team, and it sure looked like it in the last period. Perhaps a little bit of an emotional dip after the big shootout win the night before in Phoenix, but still as Canucks fans we have little to complain about. We have 44 points, are in 4th in the West and our goalie is playing even better than he did last year. I would also like to point out that the Philadelphia Flyers now sit in 13th place in the East. Yes they are 2 points out of 8th, but it is encouraging for the bet I have against my buddy from work, that we head into the Christmas break with an 8 point lead.
We are taking a little break from the podcasts (as you may have noticed) but should be back and ready to go on Saturday. We will update the blog though while we are in Kamloops.

To all the listeners, and everyone who stops by the blog to see what we have to say, Laurie & I wish you all the best this holiday season, make sure it's happy and safe. Go Canucks Go!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

If I could have just one wish...

(With sincerest apologies to Steve Martin)

If I could have just one wish, it would be that this would be the year the Vancouver Canucks finally raise the Stanley Cup.

If I could have just 2 wishes, the first would be the Canucks winning the Stanley Cup, and the 2nd would be that all hockey announcers would stop saying "Boy, I bet he'd like that one back" after a goalie lets in a soft one, because it drives Laurie crazy.

If I could have just three wishes, the first is the Canucks and the Cup, the 2nd is banning 'Boy I bet he'd like that one back' forever, and the third would be for the Calgary Flames to have to deal with the kind of injuries we have had this year.

If I could have just 4 wishes, the first is the Cup, 2nd is no more blatantly obvious statements, third is a rash of injuries for the Flames, and the 4th wish would be for the Flyers to get a taste of their own medicine.

If I could ... hmm.

You know what? I think I will stick with 1 wish. Ok, two. But that's it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

episode 60 and 61

Episode 60: the No Panic Episode here
Episode 61:Did I or did I not tell you this would happen? Ok, I don't think anyone predicted Jason jaffrey and Mason Raymond would have the kind of game they did, but the Canucks marched into Anaheim and left with another win over the defending Cup champs. No time to sit and admire it, they've got those pesky Sharks tonight, pregame show right now on WAACH

or here

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Penalty Shot

Will bring the post-game wrap up later... in the meantime here is the penalty shot of year, the reigning mvp vs. the best damn goalie in the NHL

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hockey School: Keep your head up

A little karma for his elbow throwing? I like to think so...

Episode 58 Canucks vs. Penguins pregame

It's sad that the NHL's schedule geniuses allowed this to happen, but the day has finally arrived: In his 3rd season in the NHL, Sidney Crosby is finally in Vancouver to play the Canucks. Can Sid the Kid and the Penguins sweep Western Canada, or will Roberto Luongo stand tall for the Canucks tonight... Canucks and Penguins pregame show right now... on WAACH


Also I will be co-hosting NUCKS TALK radio live this afternoon, so make sure and check it out, We go online live at 4pm Pacific, 7pm Eastern time. I mean hey, you really didn't want to watch the Leafs again, right?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Episode 56 up...

It's back to business for the Vancouver Canucks as they hit the road, they're in the Windy City tonight, as the Hawks will be looking for a little payback after getting shutout by the Canucks last month, We have your pregame show as well as a bit of controversy brewing over Mr. Canuck Trevor Linden, all on this episode of WAACH
listen here

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Luongo NHL 1st star of the week

Some accolades from the league for his strong play in November. Our boy Bobby was named 1st star of the week, and 2nd star for the month of November. Let's hope he continues the strong play (as do the Canucks) as they roll into Chicago tomorrow...

A couple suspensions handed down by the league yesterday, Nashville's Scott Nichol got 5 games for his crosscheck to the face of Patrice Brisebois of Montreal... Nichol is a 4 or 5 time repeat offender, so you have to think eventually the league will start making the penalty more severe, right? Speaking of late reactions, Philadelphia's Riley Cote was given 3 games for his elbow on Matt Niskanen late in the Flyers' loss to the Stars on Saturday. They also warned the team that further suspensions could result in penalties directed at the team, though it was not made specific what those penalties might be. Here's the problem with that, besides the fact it should have been issued last time a Flyer was suspended. This was the perfect opportunity to apply that penalty. Coach John Stevens, who has tried to portray himself as an innocent in all this, insisting that they don't play dirty and letting his players parrot the now almost comical "I was just finishing my check" mantra, had Riley Cote on the ice with less than 5 minutes in a game that the Flyers were trailing by 3 goals. It is common in the NHL to pull the goalie with a 2 goal deficit to try and salvage a tie. Apparently with the Flyers, 3 goals is not only something they cannot overcome (and why then did you bring in Daniel Briere?), but cause to send out a player whose some purpose is to fight. Nashville scored 3 in the last 9 minutes against Montreal, surely the Flyers could have given it a run, right? It's all about perception, and the Flyers simply aren't convincing anyone these days, that the Broad Street Bullies Mark II campaign isn't on in the City of "Brotherly Love". They have accounted for half of the suspensions handed down by the NHL, and the total number of games? 52, while the rest of the NHL's suspended is 12. I want to see it happen again though, just to see if the Flyers will try and rock the boat, and to see if the NHL actually has the balls to stand up to a franchise that is making a mockery of the the rule book.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Minnesota 2 Vancouver 1

Well, it had to end sometime. No, I'm not talking about the shutout streak. I am referring to the strong effort we have seen from the Canucks over the last month. It simply wasn't there for most of the night, and when it did show up, it was with not nearly enough time left on the clock for it to matter. Though some will look at this game as a failure, Roberto Luongo was still very good tonight. We were due for an off night, and though this wasn't the prime night for it (is there ever?) it is out of our system, and we can focus on a tough back to back against Chicago and Nashville this week. It's a tough sled the next couple weeks, with a number of road games and just Saturday's game against the Penguins at home. Congrats should go to Mike Brown, for a great 1st goal in his NHL career. If I sound like I am not too disappointed, I'm not. This team has given us a lot to cheer about recently, and as frustrating as it was, things are still looking good in Canucksville. What did you expect from someone as 'biased' as I am.

Episode 55

Our pregame show, a recap of last night's action and a look back at an amazing week for Luongo and the Canucks

We're just not that into you...

It's another game against the Wild, and as has been their style lately, they are using the press to convey their love/hate relationship with the Canucks. Micheal Russo of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star-Tribune has dropped the Mother of All Bombshells: The Canucks are one of the dirtiest teams in the league, and it's their agitators that are hurting the players in the league. I was surprised to see they didnt have aerial photos of our agitator training facilities housed in rail cars, or sworn affidavits from a guy that used to sell popcorn at GM Place and Dave Nonis' paperboy.

The article is laughable, grasping at straws in an attempt to show that players who try to get other players off their game is something just a few teams do, and gosh darn it the Canucks are among the worst. "The thing is: Why's the NHL worrying about Boogaard when Matt Cooke, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows are the ones who run around every night? Is it possible that the NHL is this unaware of how the Canucks, back to face the Wild today, and several other teams have turned agitating into an art?" A nice compliment, but these guys are hardly in the league of Kenny 'The Rat' Linseman or Esa Tikkanen. Cooke is widely known as a top-class agitator, I will give them that, but labeling Kesler as dirty with his (gasp!) 18 penalty minutes this season is a fine example of sensationalistic journalism, and nothing else. I love the talking point thrown in about Boogaard, how he has never been suspended for running someone from behind. Russo is right, he hasn't. It's kind of hard to get suspended when you spend nearly 57 minutes a night on the bench. They insist Cooke's hipcheck on Nick Schultz was an attempt to take out his knees, but the replay showed while the hit was a bit low, it wasn't nearly that malicious. Cooke has been a dirty player in the past, but Canucks coach Alain Vigneault seems to have reigned in Cooke, showing him more ice time in exchange for a more controlled style of play, and staying out of the penalty box. Brian Rolston comments "The problem is [agitators] play this way because they can't do anything else," The problem is that every team has players like this in their lineup, even though they don't like to admit it. Stephane Veilleux is not in the Wild's lineup because he will challenge Marion Gaborik for the team lead in scoring. The best part of the whole article is the re-telling of the Gaborik/Kesler incident: "The most productive agitators are the ones who subtly play on the precipice of crossing the line and don't get caught. They make an impact because they antagonize and frustrate players such as Marian Gaborik, who finally had enough of the pesky Kesler and elbowed him in the head last month.

Kesler, an agitator who's also a quality player, skated away. Gaborik skated to the penalty box."

Oh, I get it now. We should just let Gaborik go to the net and not check him. Frustrating him is bad, bad, BAD! Besides, if we do, this star player will lose his cool and take a run at you, leaving his feet to elbow you in the head. My memory is a little hazy at times, but it seems to me that this is what the NHL really needs to worry about, and not guys like Ryan Kesler playing hardnosed defense. The Wild are as guilty as any team in trying to draw penalties. It's part of the game. But they need to complain about it, because some rivalries need a kick in the pants to make it interesting for the fans. Their fans, at least.

So this afternoon Mattias Ohlund returns to Minnesota for the first time since the incident. There will be much histrionics from the fans, attempts to extract some measure of revenge will be taken. If the Wild were smart (and judging by this article and the rantings of some of their fan base one has to wonder), they would spend more time trying to figure how to beat us for the first time this year, something no one in the Northwest Division has been able to do, save for two shootouts to the Oilers. Pregame podcast will be posted shortly... make sure to check out other past editions while you're there!