Saturday, December 27, 2008


So as you may have noticed, the updates are not coming fast and furious right now...

I am currently back in Kamloops, spending time with family and will return on Monday, hopefully to rave about what a severe beating the Canucks laid upon the hapless Senators. You may just see a return of the podcasts as well, but probably not until after the 1st.

A belated Merry Christmas to all of you, hope you got what you wished for. As for me, I will let you know in June.

Cheers from Laurie & myself, and all the dogs :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Really? Mats Sundin? Hmmm...

First off, my apologies for not letting you know I was a little tied up. And by you, I mean the 7 people that read this blog. Christmas and work have been hectic to say the least. So... what's new? While the Vancouver media are in an almost dancing-in-the-streets type frenzy over the signing, most Canucks fans seem to be like myself: very happy but cautiously optimistic.
We do remember other big-name players coming here: Mogilny for one (he played well but never met his potential here) and of course He Who Shall Not Be Named. Let's be clear, this doesn't pencil us in on the cup. But you certainly have to think the Canucks have just taken a huge step forward both in talent and legitimacy. Right up until the announcement, the Rangers were touted as the forerunners in this sweepstakes. All they had to do was move some players and make cap room. We were led to believe that this was actually doable. The revisionism on the behalf of the Rangers and their media actually begins there. Teams have not been able to just magically make cap space, and those that have had to did so in ways that probably hurt more than helped. But Larry Brooks of the New York Post feels that Sundin's decision was based solely on money, calling him a 'mercenary'. That's pretty rich from the beat writer of a team that has been showing the failure of hired guns for a while now. If you look at the facts however, Sundin's decision was based more on hockey and integrity than anything else. he went to a team that yes, offered him a huge contract. But he left a ton of that money on the table. He also went to a team that wasn't going to have to dump salary and players just to make him fit, something that could potentially destroy chemistry on a team. He chose a team he feels is ready to challenge for the cup not just this year but in seasons to come. And most of, I think he chose the team that was straight-up and honest with him from the get-go. There is no way we are even contenders with Burke or Nonis as GM. Mike Gillis made this deal happen, and he should be commended for sticking to his guns and landing this one, when no one in the world thought he could. Now we wait for his appearance in the lineup, and a fresh chapter in what is already a pretty remarkable season for the Canucks.

I had wanted to make a post on Wednesday, but didn't get the time. But I do need to say a few words about Trevor Linden. First, what a classy ceremony. Fitting of the man who did so much for the sport, the team and the city. Secondly, what a great speech. Humble until the end, it certainly cements his reputation as one of the truly good guys, on and off the ice to play the game. Thirdly, good call on MG to postpone what was obviously a big announcement until Thursday. I laugh now when I think about how he basically told everyone he was announcing it Thursday and everyone still insisted the Rangers would get it done. Hah. Oh, and a note to Brian Burke: when you trash the house, being surprised that you don't get invited to the next party is kinda dumb on your part. Maybe you should have called Kevin Lowe for tickets, he might have been a better shot for you.

Pregame for the Blackhawks will be posted tomorrow and believe it or not the podcasts are on their way back very soon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Canucks 2 Wild 1

Another seemingly impossible win, another game where Jacques Lemaire complains to the press about the Canucks. In three losses to the Canucks this season Lemaire has deemed it necessary to let the press know that evil forces were at work, aiding the Canucks in their victories. Last night, it was the Canucks coaching staff:

"The only thing I have a hard time to accept is their coaching staff is always on top of the referees talking to them — always talking to them," Lemaire said after the Canucks' 2-1 victory at the Xcel Energy Center.

Lemaire and his players believed the Wild's Derek Boogaard had drawn an obvious tripping penalty in the third period. Vancouver's Willie Mitchell reached in with his stick and upended the 6-foot-7 Wild enforcer, but there was no call — and no power-play chance for the NHL's second-best power-play team.

"You saw the game tonight there," Lemaire said of that play. "I can't talk about the referees. You saw what happened."

However, Lemaire went on to say he believes Canucks coach Alain Vigneault and his staff are effectively badgering NHL officials.

"Somebody talks to them all the time," he said, "and you know I just feel at a time it pays off. That's what they're doing. And especially this team, that's the way they do it. It's every game."

I think it's pretty sad that Lemaire is doing this. He is arguably one of the best coaches in NHL history. I say arguably, because he has consistently, in both Minnesota and New Jersey, iced the most boring teams in memory. They were actually playing a trap while trailing in the first period, and apart from the press right at the start of the 2nd that saw Koivu tie it, really didn't muster much more than that for the rest of the game. They were held to 17 shots by a Canucks team that renewed their commitment to team defense and never let their foot off the gas. Congrats to Corey Schneider for his 1st NHL win, and a big thumbs up to Jason Jaffray, who had the game winner, and was an assist away from the Gordie Howe hat trick. We will have a little more on this game tomorrow as well as a preview of the Sunday match against the Avalanche. After that, we are taking a bit of a hiatus until after Boxing Day.