kings

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

New York Hockey Team Wins Big Game

Well folks, it happened. The Rangers (team that beat Canucks in 1994) are in the Stanley Cup Final with Alain Vigneault as their coach (Canucks fired him a year ago). Let that sit for a second…i’ll wait.
The New York Rangers are back in the big dance. Henrik Lundqvist has a chance to prove he is all powerful.

The Big Apple will be celebrating for a few more days and if they do it right, a few more after that. Gary Bettman has to be just going bonkers right now hoping that the Kings somehow finish off the Blackhawks. A NY/LA Final? Could it really be? There is a chance it will but tomorrow night has to happen first.

Canada now has zero teams left in the NHL Playoffs with the Canadiens losing to the Rangers on Thursday evening. It was a good run but we only had the one team, so that was basically what kept a lot of Canada’s faithful interested. Now, you have to pick a team that most likely you hate.

Do you pick the freshly minted Rangers? AV is behind the bench, back in the Final and running hot with equal contributions up and down the lineup, sound familiar? Or maybe its the Kings? The team that simply has decided not to listen to the critics and is still in the driver’s seat against Chicago. How about the Blackhawks? If the Hawks somehow go all the way and win, they will be a modern day dynasty.

Chicago would have 3 Cups inside of 5 years if they pull it all off and have kept a large part of their original group intact. Just shows that you can fully rebuild and make it work. I would love it if the Canucks were able to pull something like that off. Time will tell.

So hats off to the New York Rangers, Alain Vigneault and hopefully future Canuck Rick Nash. You earned a spot in the toughest competition in sports, go get it!

Follow me on twitter @hankthetank10 and @always90four

Outdoor hockey in California a success

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Photo courtesy of cbc.ca

Hockey….outside….LA? Yup. The NHL has hit a homerun hosting outdoor games in what now seems like any city they want. The Kings and Ducks played to an ecstatic crowd at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night. The Ducks prevailed but on that night, hockey won and so did its fans.

Cant wait to see more