hockey

Team Toughness Already Exists On Canucks… Without Gudbranson

First and foremost, I am not declaring the Canucks are a tough team, far from it. They also aren’t complete pushovers. With the trade deadline looming and the rumours of a potential Erik Gudbranson contract extension getting major press, it should be noted that the Canucks are doing just fine, relatively speaking, without Gudbranson’s “toughness”.

Saturday night, the Canucks had a pretty spirited game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and of all the players that should be making a case for their spot on the team, Erik Gudbranson was pretty much invisible when it came to the checking part of the game.

Technically, he had one hit. I wasn’t able to pinpoint when that was. Above him: Michael Del Zotto, Alex Edler, Jake Virtanen with nine, three, and three hits respectively. Notable hits were also executed by Brendan Gaunce who is starting to come alive, Brandon Sutter because obviously, and a hard-nosed Sven Baertschi.

All of those players were noticeable while Gudbranson could be seen many times hunched over and watching the play. OK, he’s a big guy but if his claim to fame is that he can stand up for his teammates and deliver hits that keep opponents wary of his presence, he was anything but that guy against Tampa.

He’s been anything but that in most games this season, healthy or not. He signed a “show me” deal this season to prove his injuries last year weren’t a one-off but it’s looking more and more like they were the norm. The mantle that comes with being a top draft pick is a heavy one to bear but at some point, the Canucks have to cut their losses. He isn’t the guy they thought he was.

I agree with Benning but I don’t think I agree with who he is referring to. If there actually is a market for Gudbranson, they need to move him ASAP and not let this drag on further than it has to. This also could be a defining decision to get Jim Benning re-signed or let him walk after his deal is up this season. A bitter pill to swallow is that Luca Sbisa was probably the better overall defenseman.

Yikes.

Statistically, Gudbranson is towards the top of the Canucks in the hit categories but it doesn’t seem to be visible during the game. He has the worst CF% on the Canucks with 42.37%, same in the Rel CF% with -8.46%, a full 1.5% lower than the next closest teammate Brandon Sutter. Vancouver shouldn’t be holding on to his services for his offensive game, which I doubt they were, to begin with, but he won’t be turning into the second coming of Willie Mitchell on the Kings.

He’s a liability to the present and the future of this team and even with the stats pointing out he’s doing an alright job of being physical, it hasn’t shown up anywhere that matters.

This guy might be serious but if the Leafs follow him on Twitter, he’s doing great work to # GetGudbransonTraded. However, looking at a bunch of his other posts, he’s a bit off the deep end.

Taking a chance on Jake Virtanen panning out is a much safer bet than signing Gudbranson long term, or at all. There are hits to be given up and down the lineup and Travis Green should be able to make his players buy in that they have to push back. Going forward with #44 would be a very bad idea and the final nail in the coffin if Trevor Linden and the Aquilini’s decision to move on from Benning.

The clock is ticking…

 

 

photo – Independent Sports News

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The 5 Types Of Players At Play On! Tournaments

I’ve played A LOT of road hockey in my day and I’ve seen so many different people that play and yet the same people keep showing up almost every single game. Add to this the tournament aspect, the need to stay in the game and…..rules; you have the setting but do you know the players? When you show up to Play On! Kelowna on June 18/19 @ Prospera Place, THIS is what you’ll see.

 

The Ringer

This guy is all kinds of awesome. He’s probably a washed up major junior player, the guy that killed it in school sports and everybody wants him on their team. He’s good, he’s really good. He’s usually the one putting the puck in the net and most teams that have him rely on him to carry them when quite frankly they just don’t have anything left….after the first half.

The Ringer passes if you ABSOLUTELY are open and he’s ready for a line change, he’s also the guy that somehow knows everyone from every tournament he’s ever played in. The Ringer is so good though that it really isn’t a big deal overall for him to play in this tournament and he most likely is out partying hard the night before. He’s just that good. I will never be the Ringer but I’ve known plenty of em. Instagram the ringer in your game and tag me. We’ll both laugh and that’s good enough for me.

 

The Temper

I probably don’t even need to type this one cuz you know him. The Temper is sometimes a hybrid of the Ringer but still he is his own man. He is an intense player, he’s aggressive in the corners and at some point there’s a confrontation. Temper usually has a pretty powerful shot and pushes the envelope on slap shots and going a bit further than just bump and run.

The Temper is potentially a big player on your team so when he goes off, you’re hooped. Thankfully, this person can be calmed down and usually learns his lesson. He won’t actually fight someone as he knows it’s still a game but no one would question the possibility of him totally annihilated the guy in his way. There’s always a guy that goats the temper…I hate that guy.

I know the temper and he’s a great guy but on the court/ice/road….he’ll own you in the moment.

 

The Lifelong fan/Clearly not all that great guy

I’m pretty much almost this guy. I love hockey, I mean I live it. The problem is as much as I love hockey, I can play but I am not that good. I’ll have my moments like anyone else but put me out there for 20 minute halves and I’m reaching for breaks after 10….like reaching. Thankfully with line changes I survive a lot longer.

This guy wants in 100% and wants to give it his all but he’s a 3rd line player on a 2.5 line team. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. He wants to win and he’ll hustle but there is no finish there and any goals that DO come his way are forgotten by pretty much everyone but him. He’s thrilled he gets the free tee and energy drinks and just loves to be part of the action.

He might write a blog.

 

The Boozer

Our friend here is the one who hits up the pub in between games and might have even played the first game of the tournament hung over. He’s usually a pretty good player but this isn’t the most important thing in his weekend. Somehow, the boozer still manages to out play the lifelong/clearly not that great guy and he still is going to hit up the pub before the 3rd game.

There is no drug testing or breathalyzers so the boozer is safe. The funny thing about him is that he can definitely be the goalie and he’ll play out of his freaking mind the whole tournament. What a messed up group of characters we have here.

 

The Striker aka What Is Defense?

No one likes to play defense, I’m sure of this. Maybe actual defenseman and really they don’t count here. The Striker is all goals baby! He leads the rush and gives it all on every play; the problem is he doesn’t come back to help. He doesn’t need to be the guy that starts the play because he knows everything flows through him anyways.

El Striko gets it done on the offense but odds are he is a heavy minus because the rest of the team is paying for his striking. His legs are always fresh and they always will be. Everyone wants him to come back and usually for about a goal or two he does, but that’s not where he belongs.

It’s not his style, it’s not home.

He’s the Striker!

Play On! Kelowna is coming fast and there’s time to register your team. If you know who these people are make sure to put it up on instagram and tag me @always90four and hashtag it with what guy he is.

Could be fun.

Instagram – @always90four

Twitter – @always90four

cover photo – usedcowichan.com 

Play On! Kelowna Is Road Hockey At Its Finest

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my debut at Play On! Kelowna 4 on 4 hockey tournament. Sure, I was on a co-ed corporate team that just lost out on the playoffs by ONE goal on aggregate and yes I could barely keep up but still what a weekend! Play On! gets started on June 18th and finishes the next day. It’s the perfect way to get your summer started.

Maybe you’re not in the know, maybe you’re green to what this all is? Play On! 4 on 4 hockey tournament is the biggest of its kind anywhere, even Germany! Basically 3 on 3 with a tendy and oh the line changes! There will be line changes galore.

Its hot, its fast paced and if you are of legal age, there’s beer just across the street. Kids from as young as 4 have played but I bet if you had a ringer that was 3, they’d let them in. Its hockey, we don’t discriminate, we include. All you need is a stick (maybe two if you have rage issues), sneakers, your Play On! commemorative shirt and entry level hockey skills.

Of course, I meant if you play like I do. There’s an elite division, a corporate division and a bunch of the rest of us. Tempers will flare and the odd high sticking call will be made (slapshots are frowned upon unless you are in the Elite division).

Every game is played around Prospera Place downtown and on the Delta Grand parkade. There’s a reason half the NHL calls Kelowna home in the summer; what better place to be when you want to get your hockey on in the summer? Speaking of, the celebrity game will feature a few Kelowna Rockets, Westside Warriors, some mayor guy and possibly an NHLer who got to town early for the summer.

Want to be a ref? Sure you do. What’s better than pushing people around, missing calls, shrugging your shoulders and kicking guys out for not playing fair? OK that’s not all true, the game is pretty fast. Hockey is intense and things get a little nutty but they need dedicated men and women to keep this thing going, keep it fun and well…if there’s no officials, there’s no games.

Click here to sign up as a ref for this year’s tourney!

Maybe you just want to help out; there are tons of positions to fill and make this tournament the best it can be. Click HERE if you want a sweet tee and a good job reference.

I’ll be hanging around that weekend and I might even get back in the game. It’s Play On! Kelowna and once you go full hockey, you never go back.

Check out my instagram @always90four and twitter @always90four …..I know very original. I’ll have a bunch of behind the scenes stuff that weekend.

JUNE 18….JUNE 19….2016….DON’T FORGET.

Photo: castanet.net

Keep R2-D2 Out Of Sports – A Human Error Story

Here’s the thing – technology and progression is good for sports. No one will argue that. What is frustrating is when someone decides to take the human element out of the game. Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, was on the Dan Patrick Show discussing the future of calling balls and strikes. Should this really be a discussion?

There are far too many “fixes” being made that are shrinking the unpredictability of sports and at some point we’ll all be happy just simming a game. Thinking back to the 2015 MLB Playoffs and the variable strike zone the Toronto Blue Jays faced is all the more reason to leave it alone. Were calls being blown left and right? Absolutely, but there’s a vested interest in seeing your team beat the odds.

Coaches challenges, instant replay, goal line technologies and heck, the trapezoid in hockey all have a hand in determining a victor. But has the governing bodies of sport gone to far? Have they come up with too many rules and changes to the sports we love that we can’t truly enjoy human error?

Don’t get me wrong, there have been defining changes that have made sport better such as introducing the forward pass in football, removing the two line pass in hockey and video replay. Looking at video replay is actually a conversation in itself. This area has had amazing breakthroughs in all sports, hockey and football benefiting the most from these in my opinion.

However, all these changes have come at a cost; human error is being all but eliminated and with all the rules and regulations, it’s tough to determine where they’ll stop.

Baseball entertaining the concept of a computer called strike zone would ruin baseball. People thought video replay on foul balls/home runs would be the straw that broke the camel’s back but the anti climactic call that would come with a computerized strike zone would be terrible. The only way they could keep it interesting is if they had a delayed answer like on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

nytimes.com

nytimes.com

Well that or if they had the computer make the call in like a funny, text to landline type voice.

Hockey introducing the trapezoid was a bonehead decision as well because there literally were only two goalies it was created for, Martin Brodeur and Marty Turco. These two, albeit great goaltenders, were not worthy of changing how the game of hockey is played. The PGA “Tiger Proofed” courses after Tiger Woods thrashed course records at the drop of a hat; creating a zone for THESE two guys, give me a break.

An umpire’s strike zone obviously changes from ump to ump and although we hate it, it creates part of the story for that game. Some crew chiefs have oddly large zones, others terribly small; we never know what we’ll get and its the element of human error.

Imagine hockey introduces digital offsides, icings and penalties? You’d stop watching it. I would. Such a fast game has mistakes and even when we yell and berate officials, we need that room for error to keep us interested. The skate in the crease rule in 1999 is a version of that; people still made that call even with the cameras they had.

We need mistakes in every sport and the more commissioners and league officials tinker and toy with those mistakes to eliminate them, the more watered down our sports will become.

Progression across all sports needs to continue but they also need to be wary of what that will do to the future of the game and how its played. Instant replay for many sports has become a way of life and in the NFL the first down line on TV is so amazing, it won 8 Emmy’s the year it was introduced, pretty sure anyways. All My Children’s soap star Susan Lucci didn’t win one for 18 years, and she was arguably THE leading lady of TV. How is that relevant? A freaking yellow line affected real life decisions and now you have no clue how to gauge a first down without it. Sports technology 1, fake TV characters 0 – well, 1 actually but you get the point I was making.

Some changes are needed but don’t take away the strike zone! Don’t let R2-D2 decide baseball!

Maybe I’m Crazy But Let’s Trade For Dustin Byfuglien!

Let that sink in for a second. Think rationally about it and then think about what he would bring to the Canucks. Although Canucks fans have come to dislike the water buffalo, we’ve done the same to the likes of Raffi Torres, Shane O’Brien and um a way back throwback Esa Tikkanen. Other teams have welcomed players they have despised many a time as the Ducks recently have done with Kesler and Bieksa. So is it really that crazy to consider Buff as a Canuck? I do not think so sir.

 

This whole idea kind of spawned from a recent Pucks on Net podcast where they discussed the Jets building around/trading Byfuglien and it got me thinking that Buff is a pretty big dude, he’s generally well liked and he is good at hockey at an NHL level. I do remember that we weren’t a fan of his ways back in his Chi-town days but that was so long ago. Do we still hate Brad Marchand. OK bad question.

Seriously though, apparently Buff is on the trade block or so they say and a play for Travis Hamonic of the Islanders is out there. Not sure that deal gets made and to be frank, or Ryan (because that’s me) there’s a good chance the Canucks and/or the Jets do not make a trade involving Dustin Byfuglien.

Why friends would I bring up Byfuglien as a trade prospect of your Vancouver Canucks? For starters, as I already stated….he’s big. He’s 6’5″ and 260 lbs according to NHL.com and we probably have no single line that equals that. The Canucks don’t have really any physical presence and even though Brandon Prust and Derek Dorsett are employed by the team, they so aren’t doing what they’ve been asked to do.

The Canucks aren’t scary and no one is worried about going into puck battles with them. No one seems to be worried about getting hit by them and if teams are THAT confident they won’t be hurt, that’s when liberties begin to be taken and at some point the Canucks are just bystanders. Dustin Byfuglien brings a bit of a mean streak to him, which is sadly missed now that Bieksa is gone and his penalties can be obvious at times but would you not rather have a guy that’s capable of enforcing himself on opponents?

I know I would.

His offensive upside is there as well. Sure, Buff’s 30 now and his primo years might be behind him but in the mean time, he can still produce on a level that a good portion of the Canucks cannot. Byfuglien has 2G and 3A in his last 5GP, good ol’ NHL last 5 games stat; and he’s already put up 15 points and 2 game winners. Have we even WON 2 games?

Quick stat: there are only 2 Canucks (guess who?) that have more points than Buff. He….could….help.

He’s a fan fav in the ‘Peg, sells jerseys and he’s a Cup winner. The Canucks had no answer for him and that was no secret but what if he played here, would he bring anything new? Could he even whole heartedly produce for this team? Something that would need to be asked.

Byfuglien DOES have a LNTC (limited no trade clause) and I think we’d be kidding ourselves to think Vancouver isn’t on his 5 team list of where he wouldn’t play. The Canucks did that to themselves though. But this is hypothetical and you’re still reading so keep up!

Who do the Canucks give up then? In that same boat, Vancouver has guys that are still valuable and are also not young; Alex Edler, Alex Burrows and Radim Vrbata are all guys that would be a decent trade offering going to Winnipeg and that would free up a spot up front for one of the super rookies like Hunter Shinkaruk, Brendan Gaunce or Alex Grenier. Not to mention keeping a current rookie in the everyday lineup like Jake Virtanen.

I did forget we still have Sven Baertschi and if Canucks management can get over the fact they botched a few trades for 2nd rounders and just eat their mistakes, we can all move on from the second best Sven to ever play on the Canucks. If they wanted some grit, Ronalds Kenins are both available and they aren’t the Leafs so it would be safe to assume they wouldn’t bring him on to just have him sit up in the press box.

Maybe our time to move some long time pieces is once again at a head; Alex Edler is not the 2009-2011 Edler he once was. Alex Burrows is still valuable and can be a healthy addition to many teams. He scores, he’s a valuable PK piece and he grinds out hard minutes. Radim Vrbata will not equate to anything in the playoffs and it took one round to find that out….against Calgary.

This isn’t a what can we get for these guys article but if you were to put something together to get Byfuglien, these are decent players. I don’t know if the Jets would require a hot, young player like Shinkaruk or Virtanen and if so, forget the trade altogether. What I’m suggesting is that Byfuglien can bring something to the Canucks we clearly don’t have.

Getting back to the bully factor and not being a bully, the Canucks just don’t hold their own in games anymore and they need a physical, dominant presence that won’t take crap from opposing teams. How Benning hasn’t figured out yet that his current roster is not the answer is beyond me. There are players out there that will grind, like Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre once did (remember 2011?) and now they just eat up minutes, the final buzzer goes and usually we lose by a goal.

At the very least, the Canucks should consider trading for Dustin Byfuglien. He actually could help the Canucks and he isn’t Marchand. Take out the personal feelings you have towards him and realistically see what he could bring.

So in short: Byfuglien to Canucks, 30 years old, big dude, won a Cup, intimidating, weighs many pounds, everyday we’re byfuglien.

Follow me on twitter and I will change your world: @always90four

 

An Ode to PlayOn! Kelowna

Twas the night before PlayOn! and all through the house, all my socks, shorts and tees…dirty; all that was left? A blouse. My sticks, they were all taped, my runners laced up; shin guards, maybe, but definitely not a cup. The anticipation was building and hockey was in the air, the puck drops tomorrow and the Redwood Cup would be there.

This tournament is going to be a memorable weekend and everyone that has a stick in their hand will have something to talk about on Monday. Even the NHL will have representation in the form of the Longsticks. Curtis Lazar and friends will be most likely laying waste to the Elite division; too bad Alex Burrows is done in the ball hockey world.

I will be live tweeting as much as possible this weekend, mostly on Saturday. My team “Best Westerners” will be playing up top on the Delta parking lot. Come say hi. Make sure to tweet your pics to @playkelowna and make this one the #bestweekendever.

I plan on having a few pics myself. Good luck to everyone facing off this weekend. Be safe, good sports and above all else: PLAY ON!

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

PlayOn! Kelowna Is 4 on 4 In Your Face Action!

Its Street Fighter meets Hockey…so basically street hockey, but imagine the possibilities. If you still are blown away by the previous sentence, please move on; Street Fighter is not hooking up with hockey. The annual PlayOn! 4 on 4 street hockey tournament is hitting Kelowna this weekend (June 20/21) and the area around Prospera Place will be jam packed with Canada’s ultimate past time. It will be in your face action from the opening faceoff to the presentation of the Redwood Cup on Sunday.

  

Road hockey is played across this great country all year round and CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has created the ultimate get together to showcase our love for the sport. Starting Saturday morning men, women, boys and girls will be facing off in a 4 on 4 street hockey tournament and a select few will get to play for the Redwood Cup, PlayOn’s official championship trophy…ok actually just the Elite division does but I mean, we can dream right?

Teams are divided into several divisions from casual amateurs to the best of the best in the elite division. There is also a Corporate UPS division that companies can enter teams and help raise money for the United Way and get a tax receipt as well. I will be playing on the Best Western corporate team this weekend so watch out! I’m amazingly awesome average.

For all the out of towners, and there are a few, Best Western is the official hotel partner of the tournament so you should definitley check them out if you need a place to stay, I suppose if you gave me $2000 for the weekend you could use my place. Don’t tell my wife though, she doesn’t know I offered.

How the games work is pretty simple: 3 forwards and 1 goalie….that’s it. Games are 30 minutes long and split into 2 – 15 min halfs, and like the Maple Leafs, I don’t care that it’s spelt wrong. If games end in a tie, the good ol’ shootout starts up. Same NHL rules apply in the shootout, if you can manage a spin o rama on the street, knock yourself out.

When goals are scored its the other team’s possession and back and forth you go. We aren’t re-inventing the wheel here folks, it’s hockey. The sun should be shining all weekend so chug that water! Being that it is summer, there will probably be a few NHLers hanging around and maybe just maybe, YOU could meet one, YA YOU!

But this whole thing isn’t just hockey, its hanging with your buds, drinking some wobbly pops and having a great time. PlayOn! has coined the phrase #bestweekendever and having lived here for many years, you can cash that cheque all day long. But lets get back to the wobbly pops for a sec, you have to be 19, I don’t condone underage drinking. Have a Powerade.

This weekend is going to rock so hard and best of all it’s hockey in June. So with hours to go to register, SIGN UP HERE and get jacked for two days of some of the best memories you’ll ever have. Of course, if you have a wife, kids or a Lambourghini those are pretty great memories too! But the hockey memories, those will be good.

So to recap: Hockey memories – GOOD 

                       Wife, kids and lambourghini memories – ALSO GOOD

Some people want to play for the Stanley Cup, some want to own their own home, there’s a select few that just want to be able to skate without falling down…I am that one; but this weekend we all want that Redwood Cup and we want it bad.

Hockey Night in Canada’s PlayOn! Hockey tournament is about to land in Kelowna and it can’t come soon enough.

PLAYON!

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Follow PlayOn! Kelowna: @playkelowna

Make Up Calls, Saggy Balls and Dad Bods: No One Really Cares

By now you are so impressed with that tag line, I could talk about literally anything for the next 5 minutes and I bet you’d be ok with that. Its May and “deflategate” is still a thing. From what I remember of that shellacking of the Colts, the Patriots could have played the game an hour after it started and it wouldn’t have mattered if the Colts had a head start. We live in a sports world now where the meaningless becomes front page news. Why?

It should have ended there, but the need for “news” and “justice” was too much once again. There are so many stories that have come out that we really shouldn’t care about that at the end of the day, aren’t crucial to the sport. Tom Brady is now being fed to the wolves because apparently he kind of knew the balls were slightly deflated? Who really cares? Even if that had happened at the SuperBowl the call to pass the ball on the 1 yard line would still be the story; a bad play call not a slightly saggy ball. And who could even tell?

Too many times we see this and think “Why are they even telling us this?” The US Congress wanting justice because a handful of really good baseball players did steroids, good use of time and money. Doesn’t affect the game. Let the people that manage the game decide that. It makes for news fodder but like checking your Facebook account every hour, it won’t change the outcoume of the day. The stories on there are about as newsworthy as Congress trying to look important in sports.

Remember when Tim Thomas didn’t go to the White House after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup? That was about as relevant as deflategate. We deem anything to be newsworthy now and really its just a bunch of words from someone trying to get clicks to his website. Speaking of pointless, what about the latest “craze”: the Dadbod.

The genius that decided A) we need a name for guys bodies that could give two you know whats about what they look like physically and B) people need to embrace this latest style fad, deserves a busload of money and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are so many fads, super diets and tabloid tidbits to run daily that they classify it in the news category and its trusted. BREAKING NEWS: no one cares how old a computer thinks you are.

As for the referees that fail to make a blatantly obvious call, the makeup call isn’t a good thing to keep doing. There should never be a term “makeup call”. Either you call the game one way or don’t bother calling it that night. In hockey, there are 4 guys on the ice that decide a game and if they screw up, there are cameras to help them. If the first 2 orange stripes can’t see what 18000 in house saw as well as millions of others, don’t just call something because the linesman 200 feet away saw it.

There still needs to be human error to a certain degree. We don’t want to see a bogus penalty called because you got it wrong earlier. Get it right next time then. Rarely in baseball do you see a makeup call because they are so ancient that they actually kind of have it right to a point. Umpire has a big strike zone to start? It stays big for the whole game and vice versa. In football the touchdowterception was such a glaring mistake, the NFL signed a new deal with its refs. WHen you get it wrong, make it right. Don’t just appease the peanut gallery.

Just because its on TV doesn’t mean its important. Leave the real sports to the real sports people that know the real sports. Unless a steroid hits a player knee on knee or a football oozes pine tar, its not really a story.

While everyone is still freaking out over some new Wells Report that outted a star QB, that same star QB dressed to the nines at the Kentucky Derby and that SAME night flew to Vegas to see the fight of the century; now THATS A STORY!


credit – laineygossip.com

#GOSPORTS

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Cover photo – washingtonpost.com

WIllie Desjardins And The Really Good Scale

This has defintely been a season of adventure in Vancouver with Willie Desjardins. Under his tutelage he has created a new way of doin the bizniss. He has found a way to get Zack Kassian beastin with the Sedins, he turned Ronalds Kenins into a guy that PLAYS like he’s two people but then benched him for a few games, not sure there. Willie D said nice things to Alex Edler and got him back to being a top defensman and he has said on many occasions the team and its players are “real good”.

Recently, there was a great little clip of the real good’s Willie D has busted out this season and he just kills it. On the twitters Monday night, I revealed the scale of really good by Willie D. This was a first draft and probably won’t be the last.

 

So after thinking about the scale’s meaning, there is actually some relevance to it. What classifies “real good?” Is it a hit of Sedin wizardry? Is it Bo Horvat flipping the puck over Antti Niemi after burning, Brent Burns? Maybe it’s Eddie Lack stealing the show night after night when the team in front of him decides 1 or even no goals is a pretty good buffer.

So I think there needs to be some substance to this scale so I bring to you the ….aw crap I need a new line to make this important:

– THE WILLIE DESJARDINS “REAL GOOD” SCALE –

It ranges from 1-10 (1 being real good, 5 being really good and 10 being unreal) The 10 is pretty much like a Unicorn, affordable parking, or a setup pass from Ryan Kesler. These simply do not exist. But that’s fine. OK we could maybe say a Stanley Cup win would be unreal, that would be fair.

So let’s break this down:

1-3) Real Good – This is basically your typical WD comment on any prospect, someone that scored a goal that night, a good hustle on a shift or really anything that resembles something we all classify as alright. It can cover anything that happened in a game.

This is a regular occurance as we hear “real good” a lot.

4-6) Really Good – Also known as really well or real well. This area is something along the lines of maybe a shutout, a two or more goal performance by a player capable of such feats, Zack Kassian getting a GWG and a big hit in the same game, getting that free drink at Starbucks, a sunny day in Vancouver or snagging the first Bryan Adams compact disc hot off the presses. Any reference to WD’s Medicine Hat Tiger days or the organization in general can be labelled Really Good.

“Really good” isn’t something that is just thrown out there. Its the hockey equivalent of saying the L word to a woman. You don’t just say it, you gotta mean it. You and I can say really good all we want, it’s not the same thing. I said my frozen yogurt was really good, The Departed was really good, deep fried chicken wrapped in bacon is really good. Say it right now, I’ll wait……..see? Great isn’t it. But not the same thing.

7-8) REAL Good – not to be confused with real good. Sure, they’re spelt the same way with some capitalization on REAL but they mean completely different things. REAL Good is on a level of its own; a win where the Canucks actually scored first and beat a hard team like the Ducks or Penguins, the decision to un bench Ronny Kenins and he gets a 1st or 2nd star and maybe bumps up a roster spot in the lineup, or any player on the team that hockey’d out of his mind that night.

This hasn’t happened really much at all this year so we know it’s going to be good when a REAL Good gets dropped.

( Just to clarify what hockey’d or hockeying or hockeys means; it’s basically anything productive in hockey. It doesn’t correlate with Corsi or Fenwick but it can be used to describe pretty much any hockey play. Goals, assists, fights, hits, being fast, good passing, etc. These are all hockeys. )

OK nitty gritty time!

9) REAL GOOD – Sooooo, you can see this is the all caps real good version. Willie is most likely furious, uncontrollably excited, possibly just won a playoff round as an underdog or his wife just told him he gets a man weekend and when he gets home she’ll be waiting….

And finally,

10) UNREAL – So far, Eddie Lack is the only recipient of UNREAL. As I stated before this is reserved for the most epic of real goods. Its basically untouched. This is grandpas 80 year old scotch, its the first edition Spiderman comic in your safe, its borderline the Kesler beast mode in 2011, the Burrows goal against Chicago, Pavel against Calgary, Luongo arriving in Vancouver, Luongo leaving Vancouver, the first time you played Nintendo, its a fresh Willie D haircut and moustache trim.

Its basically the Stanley Cup being hoisted in Vancouver for the first time with no riot. There isn’t a better feeling than UNREAL. We can all relate to this in one way or another but you won’t see it anytime soon. Now was Eddie’s UNREAL like all these things? No, I believe Willie had a slip of the tongue and probably meant to say Real Good or REAL GOOD.

So now you know the Willie D “Real Good” scale. Keep it in your records, bring it out if you can’t quite figure out what kind of real good WD is describing and make sure you haven’t mixed them up when you’re drinking with your buds. This is real good stuff guys, take it to heart.

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Canucks Win Two In A Row: Tom Sestito Wins Lottery

That escalated quickly! The game of hockey has it’s ups and downs and the Canucks are a prime example of that. Monday night, Vancouver throttled the Arizona Coyotes 7-1 at Rogers Arena. The previous game against Calgary went to OT but the Canucks snuck out a beauty from the stick of Chris Tanev. Losses were mounting, systems felt flawed and the bounces weren’t bouncing but if you play YOUR game consistently it’s bound to come back.

As for Tomplay me or trade meSestito, he finally got his wish: he played. He looked a little rusty on the score sheet however, with every player but him getting a point. He did shoot back with this gem though:

Oh Tom, you can stay, you’re funny.

It was a night of slump busters up and down the lineup; Alex Burrows potted two goals and fought hard to try for three, Kevin Bieksa redeemed his penalty by coming out of the box and netting a slick one, Daniel Sedin did a goal score and rounding out the fun, so did Matthias, Richardson and Higgins. Everyone had a point except Sestito, but really, who’s surprised?

What a game to get back some positivity! Canucks fans get to feel good going into the Christmas break with a two game win streak and every line getting back to their scoring ways. A new line comprised of Burrows, Bo Horvat and Derek Dorsett fit right away and seemed to energize the once surefire Burrows.

The Sedins got back to being productive as well and gave some hope to coach Willie D that things are about to get better. Does this mean Vancouver is about to make a run? Probably not, but when the Canucks roll 4 lines, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Sitting 6th in the West after Monday, the Canucks still need to build on that fortune they have created. Anaheim has taken over the position Vancouver once held and it won’t be easy to get back there.

Even though the Canucks beat the Coyotes, they can’t fight the moonlight…..that’s Tom Sestito’s job.

Just couldn’t resist the Coyote Ugly reference.

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