Thursday, January 31, 2008

waach episode 63

Is it time to sound the alarm? After another disappointing loss, the Canucks have sent out the call to the farm, and welcome back Roberto Luongo as they open a Southern road swing in Tampa... Should we be panicking? We will find out on this edition of WAACH
listen here

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gameday: Canucks vs. Stars

As low scoring as they can be, it's always a gooder when the Canucks and Stars match up. If we could play this way against, oh... I don't know, San Jose or L.A., then we would be laughing. The last few years have seen some memorable games between these teams, but the 7 game playoff series last spring cranked the rivalry intensity up a notch. The teams are very evenly matched, defensive-minded clubs with great goaltending and the ability to bust out of that defensive shell and score a couple. There are some twists this time around, as the Canucks will be without Roberto Luongo, who will be meeting up with the team later this week when they make their way to Florida, and Willie Mitchell, who was placed on IR by the Canucks today after it was revealed he had been playing with a fracture to a C2 vertebrae in his back. The team expects him back soon, though as it has been 5 weeks since the injury occurred. Lukas Krajicek will be a game time decision, and Nathan McIver will be in his place if he is not able to go, having hurt his shoulder in the victory over the Blues last Wednesday on a hit by Keith Tkachuk. Dallas has suffered in the injury department as well, they will be without Dman Sergei Zubov and forwards Jere Lehtinen and Phillipe Boucher. They have been struggling lately, just like the Canucks, though they remain tied atop the Pacific division with San Jose. The Canucks will be starting Curtis Sanford in goal tonight, and have called up Drew McIntyre from the Manitoba Moose, fresh off his strong performance helping Team Canada to a shootout win in the AHL All Star Game last night. The Canucks have won their last 3 at home against Dallas, and 3 of the last 4 against the Stars. With a win tonight, Sanford will be the first goalie whose name doesn't go well with "Bingo, Bango, Bongo..." to win at GM Place since Mika Noronen's ot victory at the end of the 2005-06 season. Expect Marty Turco to get the start for the Stars, no word on whether he plans to file a protest about Curtis Sanford's equipment before the game.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

waach episode 62

We're back, and just in the nick of time, too. After much soul searching and scouring hours of video tape, turns out it's our fault the Canucks play has been so bad lately. Ok, maybe not, but tonight the Canucks look to turn it around against the St. Louis Blues. It's gameday on the return of WAACH.
listen here

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday: Game Day vs. Kings and more

First of all, it's a sad day as Canada lost one of it's greatest broadcasters today. Don Wittman was one of the best CBC had to offer, from NHL and CFL to curling and the Olympics, he was one of the greatest voices in Canadian sports play by play. He lost his battle to cancer this morning, but leaves behind fond memories and great calls (Pavel Bure in overtime, anyone?). RIP.

The Canucks look to build on a strong comeback that almost was in Detroit as they take on the Kings at GM Place tonight. Good news as it looks like Mattias Ohlund may be ready to return after missing 11 games with concussion symptoms. He has been sorely missed, and the Canucks record in his absence proves it. The Canucks find themselves in 3rd in the NW Division, tied with Minnesota and 1 point behind the 1st place Calgary Flames who hammered the Kings last night 6-1. Roberto Luongo will be in net for the Canucks tonight, while the Kings will likely go with J.S. Aubin after Jason LaBarbera gave up 5 of the Flames' 6 goals in just 2 periods.

The rumor mill (you know, where people speculate on trades that never happen thanks to the CBA) has Vancouver and Calgary interested in Mats Sundin. The Leafs have to realize they are almost at the no hope point for this season, and dealing Sundin and getting some help for the future has to be done, lest he walks away for nothing after the season. While if there is a deal it probably wouldn't happen until closer to the February trade deadline, I for one wouldn't mind seeing Sundin here with the kind of season he is having.

If there was any doubt about the "character" of Chris Pronger, it should be laid to rest after his appearance on the Jim Rome radio show this week. The story goes that they had a "Chris Pronger Furniture Burning Day" and that the fans of Edmonton, so ungrateful for Pronger's willingness to honor 1 year of his 5 year contract before demanding a trade, burned his baby's crib among the other items.

"Yeah, there's obviously a few things that didn't set well with me, for instance, taking the furniture that I had in my house and burning it, and having a ‘Burn Chris Pronger's Furniture Day,' that really did sit well with me very much," Pronger said.

"They burned my kid's crib and things like that. When you hear stories like that, it doesn't sit well." Just one problem. It never happened. I don't know who the bigger douchebag is, Pronger for telling the blatant lie, or Rome, who has always been such a classy broadcaster (and I apologize for setting off your sarcasm detectors) for making it worse by claiming Oilers fans broke into the house and stole the furniture. Thanks to Mr Brightside on CDC for the link.

Ottawa is happy to have Jason Spezza back in the lineup, problem is his linemates are now down, Dany Heatley will be out up to 6 weeks with a shoulder injury and Daniel Alfredsson is out with a hip flexor... and that means that 3 of the East's big guns will miss the All Star Game now that Sidney Crosby is out with a high ankle sprain...

Brendan Morrison will be filling in for Tom Larscheid on the radio broadcast of tonight's Canucks game, which can be heard at

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Canucks vs. Blues Gameday thoughts...

The Canucks are on the road for an afternoon tilt with the St. Louis Blues today, and they find themselves in the thick of a 3way logjam for top spot in the Northwest with Minnesota and Calgary. The Canucks have dropped 2 straight after losses in San Jose and at home to Phoenix, hopefully Roberto Luongo and the boys can end this little skid today and beat the Blues. The Canucks have sent Mason Raymond back to Manitoba, and recalled Rick Rypien. Maybe it's a response to the Canucks inability to handle the physical play of the Sharks and Coyotes, and the feisty Rypien will certainly help in that department. Players like Jeff Cowan, Matt Cooke and Ryan Kesler will need to step it up in the physical end of things, and Cowan especially will need to avoid taking penalties like the double minor Jovonovski suckered him into in the game Friday night. We get another look at Kris Beech today, as he plays his second game since being acquired on waivers from Columbus. He was certainly involved in the game against Phoenix, but it may be a couple games before we really get to see what he is all about. I like the idea of putting him on a line with Markus Naslund though, it will help see what he can do. It certainly seems like the Canucks are missing Mattias Ohlund, as their recent drop in quality coincides with Ohlund's neck injury... Lukas Krajicek will likely be a gametime decision, after missing Friday's game with the flu. Bottom line is we haven't won in St. Louis in 4 years, and the Canucks have lapsed into some lazy habits that are costing them games. The call up of Rypien is the 1st message sent by coach Alain Vigneault, and you can believe should the Canucks turn in another lackluster effort, he will make sure they get it by other means. The Canucks head to Columbus on Tuesday then up to Detroit on Thursday for an opportunity to get back at the Red Wings after a couple disappointing losses earlier this year. Congrats to Henrik Sedin for being named to the West All Star team, though many feel it was a surprise that Daniel wasn't named, either in place of or in addition to Henrik.

Around The NHL:
-Big win, Big Loss: A nice late goal from Daniel Alfredsson gave the Senators a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings last night in Ottawa, but it was a costly one as they lost Dany Heatley with a separated shoulder. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
-Will that be paper or plastic?: Leafs fans will be reaching for bags to cover their heads after that California road trip, but the most frustrating thing must be the revelation on HNIC last night that they decided against hiring Scotty Bowman as team president because he wanted complete control over the hockey operations. The audacity and ignorance that this decision shows is simply par for the course from the ownership group of the Leafs, and the real reason why the team continues to get worse. They have guys who know less than the fans getting their hands mucky in the operation of the team, something that never works.
-Calling Cujo: Calgary and Toronto San Jose are being mentioned among others as teams interested in acquiring Curtis Joseph. I can't see him going to the Sharks, as they have absolutely no intention of letting Nabokov have a night off (get the feeling this will come back to haunt them come playoff time?), and while some Leafs fans may like the idea of Cujo's return to T.O., he is not the answer to their problems. Calgary seems like a logical fit, as Kiprusoff has struggled this year, and they have a 0 experience backup. Can Cujo get it done though? Who knows, but if the Flames should take another skid, I wouldn't be surprised to see him show up in Cowtown.