Jarkko Polo

JARKKO POLO:  Rescindments, Fertlands and Dumb Dumbs

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have begun! Actually, they’re very much going and kind of in the middle right now. Your Vancouver Canucks were lucky enough to host the Calgary Flames in Round 1. Every Canucks fan got what they asked for; the best matchup for the Canucks to prevail. Ask and ye shall receive.

These things are a recap for the people that may have been on vacation in the U.S and A where NBA and Nascar hilites are the only thing that make headlines. For those in the know, this might not be as fun for you. But fear not, I will save your sad face emojis! The Canucks opened up with the noise but through 3 games, they sure have quieted down.

THE GAMES WE PLAYED

GAME 1 – CANUCKS VS. FLAMES – LOSS 2-1 (Reverse Shades of Game 1 against Boston)

RECAP: The towels were waving, the fans were….cheering? Rogers Arena was buzzing heading into Game 1 and the Canucks were ready to show they were going to own this series. Bo Horvat scored his first ever Stanley Cup Playoff goal off a ricochet and put the Canucks up 1-0 in the 2nd period. The Flames would tie it in the 3rd on a David Jones shot. In what has become standard in these playoffs, the Flames would go ahead with under 40 seconds left in the game off a Kris Russell blue line rope. Flames go ahead in the series 1-0.

FOOTNOTE: Eddie Lack was beyond good and looked like he was ready to silence the critics in his first ever playoff start. We also were introduced to Michael Ferland.

Photo - Calgary Herald

Photo – Calgary Herald

GAME 2 – CANUCKS VS. FLAMES – WIN – 4-1 (TAKE THAT CALGARY!!!)

RECAP: Again Eddie Lack put up quite the game and held a shutout until the bitter end of the game, before giving up one. The Canucks absolutely owned the Flames in pretty much every category. Ronalds Kenins scored, so did Daniel Sedin. Radim Vrbata emptied a net with his first and good ol’ Higgins got one of the hockey goals too. Derek Dorsett ended the night with Deryk Engelland and some fisticuffs which were oh so dandy! Brad Richardson mamed Matt Stajan in their tilt and again, we saw the antics of Michael Ferland. Canucks were in the driver’s seat all game, they never looked back.

FOOTNOTE: Engelland was sure energetic this game. He got 42 minutes in penalties and THREE game misconducts however one was rescinded. Lucky duck!

GAME 3 – CANUCKS @ FLAMES – LOSS – 4-2 (The shoe finally dropped)

RECAP: If you would have told me the Flames would score the first goal in this game, I wouldn’t would totally have believed you. Corning the Canucks at every turn, there was nowhere to hide. Shawn Matthias would tie it but it really didn’t matter. Michael Ferland hit everything that moved and had the Canucks anticipating his hits all night which…is not good. The electric 18 year old Sam Bennett took a beating all night as well and kept ticking until he scored in the 3rd. 18 years old folks, he’s so resilient.

FOOTNOTE: Alex Burrows took his turn getting ejected for his hit on Johnny Hockey and the fight that followed. It too was rescinded. See a trend here?

Photo - Steve Belski USA TODAY Sports

Photo – Steve Belski USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver has been playing catchup in 2 of the 3 games and it doesn’t bode well for them if they keep it up. We’ve seen how they spot teams leads in the regular season and that doesn’t even seem to be the problem, they just aren’t matching Calgary’s intensity level! The talent is there but the goals aren’t.

Having Kevin Bieksa and Luca Sbisa baking turnovers is really hurting the bottom line as well. Coach Willie should mimic his use of that pairing like he uses the Sedins, not a lot. I still believe in these Canucks but they have to show life or so help me, the Flames will beat them quickly.

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

 

This series is not over yet and the Canucks just need to tap into that “skill” thing. Calgary has upped the ante and Flames Nation will be out in full force. Still saying

Canucks in 6

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 JARKKO POLO: 101 Reasons To Love The Final Week

This Canucks season has been all kinds of different; new coaches, GM, prez, goalie, no kes and Ronalds FREAKIN Kenins. Making the playoffs would have been welcome but not expected. I really don’t think we could have expected the current team to be as productive as it has. Its kind of like the Fast and the Furious series; the first one was great, but knowing how sequels go you usually expect a letdown. This year was like Furious 7 (which I have not seen yet but heard its awesome), seems like just another sequel but it rocks your world. That being said, we get to find out HOW productive they can really be.

Going into the final week, the Canucks had an opportunity to clinch at some point after failing to do so the week prior. Monday we played the Kings and dubbed it “the biggest game of the season” and boy was it! Thursday the Coyotes came to town and didn’t put up much of a fight. On Saturday, not gonna lie, I was watching the Kelowna Rockets attempt to dismantle the Victoria Royals in game 2 of the WHL Western Semis. But we played the Oilers and boy oh boy do the Canucks like a good story.

So here it is, the final week of the regular season – JARKKO…..POLO!

THE GAMES WE PLAYED (started week at 95 points)

Vs. Los Angeles Kings – MONSTER WIN  2-1 SHOOTOUT

RECAP: We all figured this one would be epic, it would essentially decide if the Canucks or Kings would make it to the post season on top of what the rest of the week would mean. In typical Canucks fashion, they went down 1-0 to Dwight King and would have to battle hard to get anything. Eddie Lack and Jonathan Quick were fetch on this night, no they were other wordly. There were a handful of saves that Quick, one would assume, guessed/fluked on, he was that good. As any good story goes, late in the third Henrik came down the left side, started to turn around the net and dished what can only be described as a telepathic drop pass to Daniel, which in turn opened up quite the spot for Daniel to wire a laser top shelf past Quick.

NOW AT 97 POINTS

Not only did this one need OT, it went to the famous shoootout which believe it or not the Canucks are actually good at this year. Once again, both goalies not letting anything by. Chris Higgins would make good on his post shot earlier in the game and put one past Quick for the game winner! The fans chanted “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie” after Lack’s monster performance and the Canucks beat the Kings for a second time, this one way more dramatic.

BREAKING NEWS!!!!! KINGS LOSE 4-1 TO OILERS, CANUCKS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT!!!

Vs. Arizona Coyotes – WIN 5-0 (Hammer Time)

RECAP: It was all Vancouver in this one. Penalties cost the Yotes big time and in a meaningless game for them, the Canucks had home ice on their minds. Brother Daniel put his name on the score sheet with a difficult tip shot in front to put the Nucks up 1-0. Ronalds Kenins found the back of the net next on a nice drag move around Mike Smith. Then it was the powerplay that took over; Yannick “Don’t Call Me Shea” Weber BLASTED two consecutive bombs past Smith from inside the blue line to put the Canucks up a whopping 4-0!

The game had one more nice story as well; Dan Hamhuis put on quite the little dangle earlier in the game but didn’t score. He looked like he did when they panned to him on the bench.

With three minutes and change left, the Canucks got one more PP and Hamhuis got his first goal of the season on the second last game of the year. 5-buzz Canucks.

NOW AT 99 POINTS

Vs. Edmonton Oilers – WIN 6-5 OT THRILLER

RECAP: With the Flames losing to the Jets in spectacular fashion earlier in the day, the Canucks secured home ice advantage for the first round against those same Flames. In basically a meaningless game, it was one final tune up before the big dance. Gino Odjick was honoured on Fan Appreciation Night and the fans showed their support for one of Vancouver’s greats.

Last game of the season or not, the Canucks finished up in style. Spotting the Oilers THREE 2 goal leads,  they would come back each time. Daniel Sedin scored yet again but couldn’t catch Jamie Benn for the Art Ross, he needed about 12 more points. Second best Sven ever for the Canucks, Baertschi, lit the lamp twice, Hansen got back into it as did Bieksa.

Ryan Miller started this game and gave up two goals about 20 seconds apart half way through the first period. The Canucks didn’t exactly help his cause but at the end of it all, the blue and green prevailed. Nucks forced OT in this 11 goal affair and Alex Edler tapped in a 2 on 1 pass from Daniel to end it all.

FINISHES AT 101 POINTS!!!! Not bad for a team led by the washed up Sedins.

 

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

Photoshops have taken over this season in the Canucks twitter world, also known as PSHAPS. This week’s 3TFT is dedicated to that.

 

So the regular season is over and now its on to the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Canucks/Flames round 1 starts Wednesday. We’ve all waited apparently 23 months to be back here, hopefully it was worth the wait. The last time the Canucks played the Flames in the playoffs, Jarkko was actually involved, so its fitting you read this post this week.

JARKKO………….POLO!!

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JARKKO POLO: Clinching, Clenching, VRBAWESOME!

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are just over a week away and every game’s importance is magnified tenfold. The Vancouver Canucks went into last week with quite the task: away games against the Blues, Preds, Hawks and Jets and hopefully enough points to keep Calgary and Los Angeles at bay. The results were actually surprising except for the patented two goal deficits….they made their return.

You have to love the midwest road games; early start times mean you are just leaving work when they get going so you HAVE to PVR them to see it from start to finish. I have two little girls so I’ve PVR’d 3/4 of the season anyways, and I said I never would. RIGHT. The Blues were first up and despite their record, they aren’t as good as they show. The Canucks played them amazingly well and got what they came for. Nashville was without Shea Weber and James Neal but they still managed to give the Canucks a full 65 + min. A showdown with the Blackhawks just ended up being too much for the Canucks.

Finally, the Nucks went to the ‘Peg and I really thought that game was going to end different.

Let’s see how our boys faired:

THE GAMES WE PLAYED

@ St. Louis Blues – WIN 4-1 (Who’s singing the blues now?)

RECAP: A rare game that the Canucks didn’t give up the opening goal, they played the Blues hard and proved they can hang with the top teams. I don’t believe the Blues ARE a top team but their record says they are. Shawn Matthias got back on the scoreboard this week with a tight feed from Chris Tanev to give the Canucks the opening marker. Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata both had goals with Alex Burrows adding an empty netter and the Canucks actually owned the Blues 4-1.

Have to like that start to the week!

@ Nashville Predators – WIN 5-4 in a shootout (AWFUL REFEREEING ALERT!)

RECAP: I’m just going to cut and paste this line from another game. The Canucks went down 2-0 in the first and Nashville looked like they might have the Canucks on the ropes. Here’s where the next cut and paste job comes; Vancouver ties it up in the second and wouldn’t you know it, they go ahead too! Linden Vey and Jannik Hansen netted some huge goals to get things going and King Clutch Alex Burrows scored a shorty breakaway to tie it up early in the third. Chris Higgins would put the Nucks ahead but not before Eddie Lack let in the tying goal late.

An absolute screwjob of a call against Burrows on Paul Gaustad got him ejected along with Kevin Bieksa for one can only assume taunting, but who calls that really? The Nucks had to kill off a 5 min penalty with 4 mins and change left in the game. Eddie Lack played lights out and got Vancouver to the shootout with Vrbata and Bonino scoring the goals that won it for Vancouver.

Despite the awful officiating, it was a great game.

@ Chicago Blackhawks – LOSE 3-1 (They are who we thought they were)

RECAP: This one plain and simple was not the Canucks night. The opportunities were there and blue collar Derek Dorsett gave the Canucks hope tying the game up late in the first period, but Corey Crawford proved too much for the Vancouver offense and absolutely stole the two points for Chicago. Patrick Kane is still injured and he is a huge loss to the Hawks but man, Chicago is still an amazing team! If the Canucks make the playoffs and they should, they will have to bury their chances because the goaltending only gets better in the spring.

Eddie Lack is only so good so his defense in front of him has to make their assignments and stick to them. Chicago is a good measuring stick of what the Canucks should expect from every team. They play hard, roll four lines and have timely goaltending. We all can’t wait for April 15 but the Canucks need to fill some holes if they want to play in May and June.

@ Winnipeg Jets – LOSE 5-3 (Nail Biter Central)

RECAP: I probably made mention of the Canucks going down 2-0 in this game before the puck dropped so when it happened I could only laugh. Here’s my take from the Jets/Canucks game on canucksarmy.com:

MY TAKE

Those Canucks are still at 95 points, the Kings thumped the Oilers two nights ago 8-2 to gain some ground and they still have a BEAUUUUUUUUTY matchup on Monday so I’m guessing the Canucks take care of business today to swing things in their favour. The Jets will not lay down for the Canucks – no sir – so giving up the patented 2 goal start may not end the same way again. Canucks need this one. Need it big. 3-1 Canucks is my prediction. – canucksarmy.com

 The Canucks, true to their play, obviously came back to tie it and we figured it would be last goal wins. It almost was. Ondrej Pavelec was great and made some saves he had no business making. Henrik and Daniel both put goals in the net, Vrbata hit the scoresheet a few times and Alex Burrows did his thing late in the third to get the game close.

The Canucks lost this one but in doing so, they helped keep the LA Kings back as the Jets got 2 points they desperately needed. Sometimes you have to take one for the team and we’ll know next Sunday if it all paid off and the Canucks don’t have to face LA.

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

FINAL THOUGHTS

Going 2-2 this week was actually a good week. Real good? Well I dunno Willie. Some lessons were learned and it looks like Ryan Miller may be closer to returning than we thought. Doubt he does factor in before the playoffs but you never know. Hopefully Zack Kassian and Brad Richardson come back soon; their presence is needed. This is the final week of the regular season and I can’t wait! Final games against LA, Arizona and the lowly Edmonton Oilers will close out the season. I predict 3 for 3 and its awesome sauce time!

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

JARKKO POLO: Millionaires Bankrupted

The bad weeks always start good don’t they? A tease of maybe what’s to come and then WHAMMY! kicked in the junk. Watching the Canucks this past week was basically that; big win against the Jets, then rocking the Millionaires jerseys should have been so much fun but no, yet another embarrassement. Of course to cap it all off, the Stars found a way to shame the Canucks.

With the playoffs literally 2 weeks away, maybe now isn’t the best time to start flirting with disaster. Call me crazy but it probably isn’t safe. To make matters worse, I had my wisdom teeth pulled out and watching that OT loss to the Stars hurt just as much as the endless throbbing pain where my teeth once were.

I know there are wins hiding somewhere, come on out wins, we need you!

THE GAMES WE PLAYED

Vs. Winnipeg Jets – WIN 5-2

RECAP: Dare I tell you how it started? So we’re down 2-0, story of the century I know; all seemed to be lost once again. BUT WAIT! Chris Higgins is back and scoring goals? Yep sure is! So that made things feel a bit better and wouldn’t ya know it, our PP scored too! Yannick Weber was the latest edition to the man advantage and his booming slapper found its way to the mesh. Radim Vrbata would add a real goal and an empty netter as would Henrik and we grounded the Jets 5-2. This one felt pretty good at the end and those slick Millionaire jerseys were next.

Vs. Colorado Avalanche – LOSE – 4-1 (BURN THOSE JERSEYS)

RECAP: Vancouver trotted out their ever famous Millionaires jerseys paying homage to the 1915 Stanley Cup Champion team’s 100th anniversary. We’re seriously doing that now. Lets celebrate losing in ’82 and ’94 while were at it. I swear I am not copy/pasting this: Canucks go down 3-0 to the Avs and it just feels like we need to burn those jerseys before the end of the game, they aren’t helping. Yannick Weber would score his second PPG in as many games but that’s all the Canucks would get. Losing 4-1 to a team that played the night before and lost, not fun. Sadly, the week wasn’t over.

Vs. Dallas Stars – LOSE – 4-3 OT (Moral Victory?)

RECAP: Thankfully, after Jamie Benn opened the scoring, yup playing from behind again, the Canucks answered back with a real good goal by Nick Bonino. I know, he still plays for the Canucks; I was confused too! Chris Higgins would put Vancouver ahead and it was all coming together. Midway through the third, Dallas tied it up and then went ahead with about 6 minutes to go. Radim Vrbata would PPG it late and off to overtime we go. I’m not sure if the Canucks know how OT works but the point is to score the last goal, they did not. A point was awarded to the Canucks but they could have used the second one.

 

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

There wasn’t much to be happy about this week but there were a few gems:

I agree with Jeff here, but they are neato looking

Things may seem bad in Canucksland, but David Booth fought Phil Kessel in practice..Things are fine here.

I didn’t see WM but it sounds like a lot of my buds did. Sting is back?

It’s not that the Canucks are playing awful, they just are losing some games right now that hurt my feelings. Having Zack Kassian and Brad Richardson out of the lineup is huge and that extra grit and grind is missed. Hopefully on this final stretch the boys will bring it all together, or at least enough to beat out LA or Calgary. Good thing is no more Millionaires jerseys so things should be fine.

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

JARKKO POLO: Good Wins, BAD Losses and Bill Simmons

Oh man what a week! The Canucks played four very meaningful games, one of which they forgot about and helped their chances of making this year’s playoffs. The Flyers and Blue Jackets came to Rogers Arena and then the Canucks flew to Los Angeles and Glendale for games against the Kings and Coyotes respectively. It doesn’t get any easier from here on out so there will be a lot of puck until mid April.

Zack Kassian dropped out of the lineup with a back injury, Brad Richardson was in and out of the lineup and Ronalds Kenins was forced to play russian roulette with Willie D for his roster spot. With the bad comes the good though; Alex Burrows tapped into his 2011 archives and lit the lamp twice with the Sedins against Philly, Bo Horvat scored a pair the last few games and Eddie Lack might just be the new #1 goalie in Vancouver, might be. Also, some guy named Bill Simmons really hates the Sedins.

THE GAMES WE PLAYED

Vs. Philadelphia Flyers – WIN  4-1 (Burrows is BACK!)

RECAP: Injuries have hurt the Canucks this year and losing Zack Kassian seemed to be a real test but wouldn’t ya know it, Alex Burrows comes back to play with the Sedins and scores two gorgeous goals. It was a great win especially because the late Pat Quinn was honoured. All around great night.

Vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – LOSE 6-2

RECAP: Bo Horvat scored his 12th of the season followed by Daniel Sedin making it 2-0 in the 2nd. Somehow, that’s when the wheels came off. Marko Dano was the star for the ‘Bus and it just got stinky. The Canucks gave up 6 unanswered goals and were embarrased out of their own rink. To be fair, Columbus had been winning some games lately and they weren’t as bad as their record showed. Canucks still lost and it sucked. RESET

@ Los Angeles Kings – WIN 4-1 SUCK IT KINGS!!!

RECAP: What had the makings of a playoff game, ended up being a playoff-like game. Vancouver and LA do not like each other and that was made aware early on. Hard hitting, chippy and cheap; the Kings came to get 2 points. After going down 1-0 in the 2nd, Nick Bonino hit a bloop single past Jonathan Quick to tie it up. Tyler Toffoli became the most hated man on the planet when he levelled Alex Burrows into the boards from behind. The Canucks went ahead on the PP in the 3rd and proceeded to pummel the Kings into submission. Oh ya, Eddie Lack almost fought Quick. HUGE win for the Canucks and a real death blow to the Kings playoff chances.

@ Arizona Coyotes – WIN 3-1 Marky Mark Gets the Win

RECAP: This one was not a game anyone had circled on the calendar unless you were going on a road trip. The Canucks needed these points though, needed em bad. Yannick Weber opened the scoring on a great play from Daniel Sedin and Radim Vrbata. After Arizona tied it up Alex Edler put Vancouver ahead on a shot from the point and the Canucks never looked back. Key notes in this one were odd: Kenins sat for McMillan, Markstrom WON!, there were more posts than a blogger on speed and yes, Mike Smith had an epic dive.

So the Bill Simmons thing. I really don’t get why he hates the Sedins so much. He is a self proclaimed Boston fanatic and yet he still hates the Sedins? Bud, the Bruins won the Cup 4 seasons ago, it’s old. He seems uneducated, ESPN must see something we don’t. Im sure he thought the Toffoli his was a masterpiece. Here’s another thing, why is he even watching LA/VAN to begin with? Im lost.

All in all, the Canucks had a great week despite the Jackets game and they are finding out how to play a full 60 with everyone they have. Vancouver might do ok this spring, weirder things HAVE happened. The way Eddie Lack is playing and the contributions from pretty much everyone, this season has been a welcome change from the dumpster fire of last year.

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

Screw it, that was a good pic!

Big week ahead with the Jets, Millionaires jerseys against the Avs and the Stars at the end of the week. Till next time: JARKKO………POLO!!

Follow this fly cat on twitter: @always90four

JARKKO POLO: KASSIAN AND TURTLES FOR EVERYONE

Things are getting a lot tighter as the season gets closer to the playoffs and every game is worth so much now. It was an eventful week at the Rog bookended by Canucks wins to Anaheim and Toronto. I am obligated to talk about the disaster that was the LA Kings matchup only because this is a week in review and I would be cheating myself and all of you.

The theme of the week seemed to be “turtling“. This is the action one does when one does not wish to fight a combatant for fear of their life. On Monday, Zack Kassian would amplify his hero status when he challenged Patrick Maroon and you guessed it, this happened:

First the setup from 2014:

Now the sequel:

Twitter went bananas and thus the world was given a great gif….t. Not to be lost in all this was Ryan Kesler getting um, levelled by Kassian and when Kesler wanted to get a bit of revenge he was politely hipchecked by Chris Tanev; love that guy!

The Kings/Canucks tilt was a snoozer and we didn’t even deserve to be a part of it. Honestly, that’s all I want to talk about from that night.

Finally, the Leafs came to town and wouldn’t ya know it, the Nucks kicked their butts! Once again, turtling was the theme of the night, Leafs fans were one step closer to seeing Connor McDavid in a buds jersey. Jannik Hansen provided the reptile relief for this game and ANOTHER classic clip was born.

Hansen-Turtle

(Credit to Hockey Night in Canada and Canucksarmy.com)

Say what you will about the Canucks this year, they have made it entertaining in a ton of games this season. Sure, they have soiled the sheets and gone down by two goals more times than you can shake a stick at but they’re still in the hunt and really, thats all that matters.

So let’s get into it:

THE GAMES WE PLAYED

Vs. Anaheim Mighty Ducks – WIN 2-1 (The turtle was born)

RECAP: Ryan Kesler came back, took a puck to the noggin in warmups, got Kassian’d in the first followed by Tanev’d right after. Bo Horvat lit the lamp uh-gen, Eddie Lack had a bit of puck luck but otherwise stunning and Zack Kassian scored the GWG late in the third as well as being super cool when he tried to fight Patrick Maroon.

Vs. Los Angeles Kings – LOSE 4-0

RECAP: I mean, do you really care? The Kings beat Vancouver again, proved we still can’t quite hang with them yet and made us long for an easier opponent. Would have liked to see A goal but that didn’t happen.

Vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – WIN 4-1 (TMNT 2: Turtles involved but no Super Shredder)

RECAP: I called out Chris Higgins in my game day preview for Canucksarmy.com, and what happens? He scored. I seem to remember the last time I did that in my Shawn Matthias article, Higgy lit the lamp that time too! Derek Dorsett had a SHG and 2 assists, the power play was dreadful and we saw another turtle incident. For a Leafs/Canucks tilt it really wasn’t a barn burner. Once again, let me state this: That Hansen mock turtlnecking Phaneuf was a thing of beauty!

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

Courtesy of @ZoSoNuck

So all in all, a good week. Vancouver was leap frogged by Calgary but then took the lead again after the Leafs game. Zack Kassian is quickly gaining steam as the most popular player in Vancouver. I love this because he still is so raw and is finally coming into his own. Might we see the emergence of Kassian the Conquerer come April? Maybe.

Last but not least, I DO NOT HATE CHRIS HIGGINS. This team is showing they have a lot of depth and Higgins looks like he has definitely lost a step this year. He is a tough worker bee and I would love to see him come back to the 2011, heck the 2010 version and prove he still has it all going on.

You can now read my ramblings on the Canucks Army Game Day Preview. So thankful to those guys for noticing me and giving me a great opportunity. I would also like to thank former blogs The Farm Club and Two Pad Stack for the first real writing gigs.

Ok I’m done. *drops the mic*

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Jarkko POLO: Hank Keepin it 900, Bo Scorevat and Wins

Last week the Canucks started their week with the trade deadline. Nothing happened. It had about as much value as what Bitcoin is trading for right now. Is it even a thing still? Oh, its worth stuff, oh how bout that? They followed up a boring deadline with a Jacob Markstrom start vs. the Sharks which did not go well, not well at all. 

But thats ok because the Coyotes were next and the Canucks…oh wait, we lost that too. The Yotes wore their inaugural jerseys when they came to Phoenix for that game. For the record, they suck. I love vintage hockey, I really do; but those jerseys sucked then, and they suck now.

Before I go any further, Henrik Sedin netted his 900th and 901st points against the Sharks with 2 great Henrik goals. Class all around that guy, you know Daniel was fuming because he didn’t do it first. The Twins are really turning it on and could see some top 10, well top 15 action by seasons end.

Finally, Vancouver had the Sharks in their own barn on Saturday and they made the most out of it, and by that I mean they coughed up a 2-0 deficit yet again and found a way to win.

So let’s get to it.

The Games We Played:

@ San Jose Sharks – LOSE 6-2….and it was a bad 6-2

RECAP: Markstrom starts, we all feel good, Markstrom lets in 3 straight really early, we all feel bad. Eddie Machete comes in and Henrik pots 2. Gets his 900 and 901st points and of course that’s awesome. Canucks made it close and then the patented pull the goalie early backfires and we lost 6-2.

@ Arizona Coyotes – LOSE 3-2 (Shootout Loss though)

RECAP:  2nd verse same as the first, Canucks go down 2-0. Surprised? Nope. But the come back was mounted. After I called out Chris Higgins in my blog last week, he scored a big goal. Radim Vrbata followed that up with the tying goal and the game went to a shootout. Lack was on our side, sadly luck wasn’t and the Nucks lost to the Yotes on throwback night.

Vs. San Jose Sharks – WIN 3-2 (Huge win, big points)

RECAP: Really not sure what kind of fetish the Canucks have giving up the first 2 goals of the game but they did it again. If they make the playoffs, they will lose these games. Thankfully, their hockeys were better than the Sharks on HNIC. Radim “Vibrate” scored a beauty behind the netter to end the first and BO “Come at me bro” Horvat netted his finest of the season. Vrbata would get the GWG on one of his most patient goals of the year. Eddie Lack was amazing and Patrick Marleau missed a wide open net tap in goal of Patrik Stefan proportions.

 

All in all, the Canucks are stepping up their 60 minute game but as I said, giving up 2 goal leads every game isn’t healthy. Zack Kassian is really coming into his own and Bo Horvat is looking like we have a star on our hands. With Ryan Miller out still, Eddie Lack hasn’t missed a beat and if they can find a way to move him in the offseason, Miller might lose that starter job.

This hasn’t been the best hockey Vancouver has played but its been pretty darn exciting. There might be playoffs this year, just maybe.

And finally: 3 things from twitter –

Yep he missed that one.

Finally here is the Bo Horvat goal

Follow me on twitter: @always90four and @hankthetank10

Jarkko POLO: Lack Is Back, Losing Sucks and BOOM!

Remember last year when Luongo was traded and Eddie Lack was given the keys? A year later it’s the same thing but now he has some backup. It’s amazing how the story has kind of been the same but the results are different this time. After watching all the NHL.com recaps, it’s a shame Eddie Lack can’t just face warmup shots; he does really well against those. Maybe just have the players yell “WARM UP” when they are in the Canucks zone.

It was interesting week to say the least. Vancouver continues to lead the Stanley Cup Final of 2011, 7 games to 5. The Bruins put up a fight but Lack shut the door at the end. On to Buffalo where lead changes were as regular as costume changes for the host of the Oscars and then finally a last shot wins game against the Blues.

Bruno Mars said uptown fun gonna give it to ya’, so here’s the uptown funk:

 

The Games We Watched:

@ Boston Bruins  – WIN 2-1

RECAP:  Two early goals and a tight fought game, the new hero Zack Kassian nets the winner and of course we all loved that. We beat Boston AGAIN and Zack is back! Eddie came up big on a big test. NUCKS WHAAAAT?

@ Buffalo Sabres – Loss 6-3 (Price is right losing sound)

RECAP: Down 2, tie game, Up 1, tie game, 3 goals against and everyone sits in amazement as the worst team in the league beat a team they had no business losing to. Did I mention Buffalo was without Ennis, the guy that starts with Z AND Dominik Hasek? Still lost, not good.

Vs. St. Louis Blues – WIN 6-5 in a SHOOTOUT

RECAP: Early on this one seemed like last shot wins, it basically was. Ronny Kenins quietly got 2 helpers, LOVE THAT GUY, Zack Kassian carried on maybe one of the longest conversations in the penalty box with Ryan Reaves and despite giving up a 3 goal lead, yep, the Nucks pulled ahead in the shootout and man they made it fun.

 

This last week had trade deadline implications as well. Would they trade Kassian, how bout the goalies, is Shawn Matthias going? We all asked this and wondered out loud I’m sure “Does Jim Benning Trade Like A Boss?” We would all find out on Monday.

I do believe we need to start questioning the readiness of Eddie for the true starter’s role. He has let in more stinkers than Ryan Miller this year and hasn’t quite been lights out. However, he still has managed wins and really, that’s all it’s about.

There was also a moment during the Blues game that should never be forgotten, but don’t you worry, Twitter was all up in that bizniss.

3 Things From Twitter:  1) When Shawn Matthias scored, something happened that was the new cool, too bad there wasn’t a Vine.

2) This Matthew Henderson guy is wicked awesome. Every game with these amazing recaps! I hope to one day work with this chap.

3) I mean we like Kassian right? He just is easy to root for. And when he scores, he screams.

 

The Canucks are still in the thick of it but seriously, they gots ta win the easy ones. The reverse California Road Trip is coming to Vancouver so the test is coming. I hear the troops are getting healthy too! We might be ok. Until next time….

Jarkko…..POLO!!!!

 

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JARKKO POLO: BIEGA BOMBS, BIG APPLES AND BO KNOWS

It was another week of milestones and surprises for the Vancouver Canucks. Clinching a huge win against the Wild at the beginning of the week, capping it off with a win against the Islanders on Sunday and watching the Sedins get back to form kept us buzzing on the twitters, the radio and at the coffee machine, because really, why work?

 

The Games We Played
Vs. Minnesota Wild  – WIN 3-2 (NAIL BITER ALERT)
RECAP: Rookie Alex Biega was called up the night before and was inserted in the lineup when Chris Tanev was a no go. He scored his first NHL goal in his first game and wouldn’t ya know it? It was the game winner. Bo Horvat scored again, feels like we say this a lot now, and Eddie Lack stood on his head at the end of the game but not without a bit of crazy suspense. We beat the Wild, life is good!

 

@ New York Rangers – WIN VIA SHOOTOUT 5-4
RECAP: This one was basically a dog fight from start to finish. The Canucks stepped up to the challenge and earned their 2 points. Ryan Miller was less than bad against NYR and his team should expect a sizable free dinner in the near future. Bo Horvat scored again on a dirty feed from Ronny Kenins (he’s not two names anymore). Henrik Sedin had a deuce and has been a key member of the Canucks work ethic lately. Huge win against AV; Alex Burrows did a thing with his stick on his shootout goal, meh, it was different.

 

@ New Jersey Devils – Losedid 4-2 (But C’MON WE SHOULDA WON)
RECAP: Alex Burrows was a late scratch before the game started so even though Zack Kassian wasn’t supposed to play, he played anyways….and he played good! Eddie Lack had a Ryan Miller type game and let in 3 goals early. You could imagine that probably isn’t a good feeling to have when you are in net. Thankfully, good ol’ Zack Kassian continued to impress the coach and put up BOTH goals for the Canucks. The Sedins were in on both goals and quietly are getting back to form. An empty netter sealed the Nucks fate but man what a finish. Sucks to lose those ones.

 

@ New York Islanders – WIN 4-0 (Is it pronounced IS LANDERS?)
RECAP: So, I’m gonna be honest, I had to work Sunday. So the replays had to do for this one. The early starts sure are buzz killers let me tell you. So Zack Kassian scored the opening goal in the second period which was also a PPG. Willie D is starting to trust young Kass and he is making his coach proud. Miller got injured shortly after and Lack came in to save the day and save the day he did. Radim Vrbata stared in a goal, rookie superstar Bo Horvat and Yannick Weber all had goals. These road trips, I’m telling ya, we’re good.

 

OK, there is actually a lot to talk about but you know most of it already. Alex Biega’s call up and surprise start for Chris Tanev paid off with a HUGE FNHLGWGG (First NHL Game winning goal goal). Bo Horvat has been an absolute stud lately and it really is a shame he didn’t turn it on earlier, he might have been up for ROY.

 

Henrik got the 2nd star of the week from the NHL HQ for his sick ton of multi point games last week. The goalie situation took another turn this past week with Miller getting injured. It doesn’t sound good as of right now and Jacob Markstrom got the 911 call to back up steady Eddie.

 

This is a huge break for the Canucks and may determine how they maneuver at the deadline. Still saying, move one of them for Kelowna Rocket and Capitals prospect Madison Bowey, they won’t be sorry.

 

And finally….3 things from twitter:

 

 

 

 

I really don’t know how I feel about the Yeezy Boost by adidas. Does it have ANYTHING to do with the Canucks? Nope. But I’m sure you’ll let me know how you feel.

 

If you like this, submit something to me and see if it makes the cut. I’m pretty low on the follower totem pole so you’ll probably make it.

 

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Jarkko POLO: Kenins, Matt Tricks and Kassians

The new look Jarkko Polo is here! Its pretty much the same stuff with less effort, or more effort, not sure. A lot happened last week and without boring you with all the statistics and details and fancy numbers, I’m going to dumb it down so you basically just have to look at a red balloon flying around and that will make you happy.

One week ago, the Canucks were greeted by the Minnesota Wild who didn’t disappoint, as far as what we expected; they snoozed their way to victory and quite frankly I just hate mentioning the Wild. They smell, they have overpaid greedy americans and ya, we’re still bitter about 2003. A week later as I write this, they just really piss me off.

Here is the new rundown:

The Games We Played (notice the fancy use of caps?)

@ Minnesota Wild – Lost 5-3
RECAP – Former Canuck first rounder Jordan Schroeder put one past Ryan Miller and we all swore at our TV’s. It was one we didn’t want to remember but Zack Kassian netted a beauty far side off the wing and it gave us hope for the young Jedi.

@ Chicago Blackhawks – WON 5-4
RECAP – A true playoff type game ended in heroics from the Sedins. Kassian once again put Canucks fans on notice with his gritty net presence and it paid off with a goal ala Todd Bertuzzi. Bo knows put a beauty rebound past Crawford and the Dads trip sure had some fun attached to it. Side note, Marian Hossa ripped a laser after he skated 200 feet and tied the game up late in the 3rd. Great goal, not gonna lie.

Boston Bruins – made them beg for mercy 5-0!!!
RECAP – You really don’t need to know a lot here. The Canucks out played the Bruins for basically the whole game. Shawn Matthias scored 2 early goals and eventually put up his first career hat trick. It was a special night. Jannik Hansen scored an empty net goal, no breakaway needed.

@ Calgary Flames – Lost 3-2 in a nail biter
RECAP – Somehow when the Canucks face random cold goalies, we lose. Not sure how, we just, lose. The Valentines Day tilt was no different. Even with the loss, the Latvian Lunchbucket Ronalds Kenins scored yet again. It was basically the same goal he has scored every time so you know it was awesome.

Four games in one week? It must be the second half of the season. Feels so good to see hockey every other night even if we forgot they played in some of those games.

The Canucks are going through quite the war of attrition lately with huge losses on the blue line to Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Frankie Corrado (yo Franky!), Chris Tanev and Sami Salo. Sorry, force of habit. It’s quickly becoming the Utica Comets in Vancouver. That’s actually not a bad thing considering the Comets are the talk of the league down south.

Surprise efforts from Ronalds Kenins and Adam Clendening as well as the mentioned hat trick from Shawn Matthias, Zack Kassian’s recent surge and goaltending we are actually proud of has given the Canucks a chance to stay in the playoff race.

It won’t be a cake walk for the rest of the year so every game will be the ever famous “biggest game of the season”. That does it for the important stuff, time for the rest.

The twitter game sure is strong during the week, new feature

3 things from twitter:

Hopefully that last part becomes a thing.

See ya next week!

Jarkko……POLO!

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