linden vey

The Canucks Have Sucked EXACTLY As Much As Expected

So I just got a new Dyson from a refurbished  goods auction site, saved about 200 bucks. I missed out on about five or so in the last few weeks so I felt redeemed I finally got my unicorn. But because I was so excited to just “get one on the cheap” I failed to read the semi fine print; it was missing some key accessories and I was kinda bummed out.

This Canucks season in a lot of ways is like my “new to me” Dyson; when the season started, we knew things weren’t a whole lot better but we figured we knew what we were going to get. They were going to most likely suck and probably miss the playoffs. Just like me and my Dyson though, we didn’t read the semi fine print – but in the Canucks case, when your team actually DOES SUCK, it’s not a whole lot of fun.

 

There are only seven games remaining on the Canucks schedule and it will be a struggle to get through them all. The saving grace is that they could easily lose all seven of those and with the Leafs and Oilers randomly pulling off the odd win, that’s good news in Canucks land.

It’s passed the point of finger pointing and blaming when it comes to Willie Desjardins and his methods; Jim Benning has a C+ INCOMPLETE on his GM report card and his bright spot is basically his draft picks, Sven Baertschi and the end result of Nikita Tryamkin sans the contract issue.

Is it really surprising the team has ended up being this bad? This offseason, Zack Kassian was traded for equally awful Brandon Prust who by the way doesn’t really want to be here. Chris Higgins was waived and has up until recently, been banished to Utica to waste away (well he’s still getting paid but you know what I mean).

Frankie Corrado, yet another budding prospect, waived for absolutely nothing and claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hunter Shinkaruk was this year’s Cody Hodgson and found his plane ticket to Calgary for Markus Granlund. On the surface, this year was doomed from the get go.

Going back to my Dyson for a sec, it has that great ball technology and the loss-less suction, this is the reason you get it. It’s the best and you want the best. Henrik and Daniel Sedin are the Canucks main selling feature and the reason they didn’t plummet to the bottom much, much earlier. My vacuum has some scratches on it but at the end of the day its a Dyson vacuum and it still does what all the other ones do – sucks.

The Sedins are 35 and lead the team in scoring; they have wear and tear and have to shoulder the load of criticism and noise as the losses pile up. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy and even though they’ve paid their dues, how they do to finish off their careers and how they set this team up for the future is how their legacy will be capped.

Thankfully for Willie Desjardins, his unique coaching style has been given the vote of confidence for next season. I don’t entirely buy that but to be fair he hasn’t been given a very good team. The 2006-07 Canucks had a mediocre team but with Luongo in the pipes, they won a ton of games and most of that was defensive hockey; this year’s team does not have that luxury.

Another luxury they don’t have? Anything better than Linden Vey and Derek Dorsett. This can’t actually be what hits the ice every night, can it? When your GM fails to charge his phones on trade deadline day and accidentally drops his chirpy in the lake on July 1, you can’t have a lot of faith in the team he has paid to play for him.

Willie has given Vey a bit more ice time than is warranted according to basically everyone but him, but with Henrik Sedin being the top pivot for the Canucks, letting Vey get key faceoffs makes sense. Or not. The Canucks almost look like they want to be bad on purpose.

Injuries have really hampered this team but the Canucks aren’t the only team with banged up players, they’re actually 7th in the league with 277 man games lost; just under 100 less games than the Leafs. Think of it this way: the Canucks are 2 points ahead of the Leafs and have done it with 100 more man games played and a more complete NHL roster. Basically, the Canucks are bad and you should have known this already in October.

There isn’t any reason to think Bo Horvat was going to win over everyone along with Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann and lead this team back to the playoffs one year later with a new found direction; the Flames kind of did it but you can check the standings and they suck again too! It doesn’t happen that way, you can’t win overnight.

The argument to this would be of course Ben Hutton.

Hutton had a great camp and was absolutely a lock to make the team. He has had a quick learning curve and hasn’t looked out of place. Without Hutton, the Canucks looked even more lost than they do now and we would all shutter to think what this team would look like if he didn’t play for them all year.

Being bad on purpose might be the only thing that makes sense in all of this. Yes, every team says the playoffs are the goal every year; you don’t want to say you’re content with just playing 82 games and calling it a good year – restructure when you know things aren’t going to pan out and start molding the future instead of watching it whittle away game after game.

If Auston Matthews is the end game, then sucking as much as my Dyson is the way to go. This season shouldn’t have been a surprise, so appreciate the fact that this team was actually following through on a promise. Normally predictably unpredictable, this Canucks team sucked EXACTLY as much as we should have expected.

 

Canucks Are Kinda The Phantom Menace

Positive – I just saw the new Star Wars movie. It was pretty good. Some cheese but building basically a new story isn’t easy. Its been a few years since Episode VI so you can forgive them a bit. 

Negative – The Canucks can’t seem to figure out what it is they’re doing. Are they destined to tank and get Auston Matthews, he of Zurich fame? Or will they continue to part together this team and hang by a thread like Luke Skywalker’s hand did in the Empire Strikes Back? Sweet reference hey?

How do these both tie together? The Canucks are basically Episode I – The Phantom Menance. Everyone couldn’t wait to see the rebuild, the how it all began or in the Canucks case, will begin; but sadly once people saw it, they realized it wasn’t all that good and everyone wondered if the franchise would get any better….or if this was the new suck they would have to endure.

A long time ago, in a salary cap era far, far away…

 

The 2013-2016 Canucks existed. There were questionable draft picks, questionable trades, questionable signings and ROCK SOLID CRITICISM at every turn. This has always been the norm in Canuckland but lately it seemed every decision was getting harder and harder to make. Was this team really that bad? Or are they a victim of injuries, some bad roster moves and an inability to see the forest for the very near trees?

Jim Benning and Trevor Linden have done some things that would make you scratch your head: trading for Derek Dorsett, Brandon Prust and Brandon Sutter are a few of those things. Signing those same players PLUS Luca Sbisa, Linden Vey to not very good contracts as well as waiving what seemed to be up and coming defenseman Frank Corrado are also things that happened. If you’re shaking your head even with no numbers in front of you, odds are your neck hurts.

This has and will continue to be a season of “Will they or won’t they” draft Auston Matthews with the first overall pick and it also is joined very tightly by the question of will this team lose out in the first round of the playoffs? As of today, both are very real possibilities which should frighten everyone. How can a team be so bad that they pick first overall but good enough, albeit, in a Wham!’s greatest hits (awful) of a division to hang around in the playoff hunt?

In two words – The Sedins.

No matter how hard this team seems to botch the opportunities they get, the Sedins always seem to be there to bail them out, usually in droves. Jannik Hansen is the latest benefactor of their talents and he’s having a career year, it’s no joke. The rest of this team is struggling to even possess a cold body that the crime lab could identify dental records from; they’re basically a skeleton.

The word “tank” comes up so much but no respectable athlete will ever tank. It’s not in their DNA. No one likes to lose. What the Canucks have in front of them though is a losing lineup. Injuries to star players, and I use that term quite lightly, Dan Hamhuis, Luca Sbisa, Ryan Miller and Chris Tanev (OK he’s actually a star) have hampered the team to the point of starting Linden Vey, Linden Vey and unbenchable Alex Biega.

Other decisions however, put the team in a position to lose all on its own. Starting Linden Vey in place of Adam Cracknell against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night is dumb. Does Vey really bring that much physical impact to a game that benching the only guy even putting in a visible effort on that line makes sense? It’s beyond me. That’s on the coach.

These decisions, however minuscule add up and eventually may be the reason the Vancouver Canucks are proud to select from Somewheres, Arizona…Auston Mat…you get the point.

I have long supported this team, even with the decisions that have been made and I still believe there is some grand plan. What I don’t get is the path on how they plan on getting there. Finding out a trade was available for Ryan Miller to be shipped is shocking; Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom would have been an entertaining tandem until Thatcher Demko was ready to take the throne.

Giving in to Ryan Kesler’s demands and sending him to Anaheim when, if you really think about it, Chicago wouldn’t have been that much worse seems like a forced hand move. I don’t know what the return is on any given team for the players Benning wanted gone, but there has to be better options than what he received.

Thankfully there are bright spots, like the Phantom Menace, that keep us interested. Only recently have some of these come to light; take for example the Sven Baertschi line and what it’s produced. There hasn’t been a whole lot of actual “production” but the Baertschi/Horvat/Vrbata line since its brief inception around the beginning of December has netted those three a combined CF% of 59.4. Stunning!

George Lucas had to start somewhere and we got to see how cool pod racing was and the force, the force was there.

The goals haven’t arrived in particular but their opportunities have increased immensely. The Kings hammered the Canucks on Monday 5-buzz but guys like Baertschi have started to make an impact both physically and offensively. I believe its a matter of time before this line catches extreme heat. I’m rarely wrong, ask anyone.

Jared McCann is also a bright spot and carrying guys like Dorsett and Prust can’t be easy. This guy has had to endure awful linemates while his faceoff talents go to waste. He too will rise up the depth chart soon enough.  Being stuck with two Jar Jar Binks can only last so long before they axe those characters.

Playing out the games right now is all that they can do. A trade might be on the horizon but gifting a prospect or someone who can actually help the future isn’t the way to do it. This team might in fact go all the way to last place and if it does we should be ok with that. What isn’t OK is all the knee jerk reactions that come with it.

The coach can only ice what he’s given, the GM what is made available to him through trade or other. In the mean time, the Canucks will still struggle and that is all part of the process. It’s not fun most nights but it’s still a process.

Like Star Wars, it didn’t really get good until Episode IV.

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Debunking Your Canucks Arguments Because You’re Wrong

Since moving away from the lower mainland a few years ago, my intake of radio armchair GM’s has dropped dramatically. Thankfully I have been able to take a more thought out approach to my opinions without being influenced by the wacky ideas and comments that flood Vancouver sports radio on a day to day basis. Don’t get me wrong, if it wasn’t for the “intelligent” minds there really is only talking heads, that participation is crucial.

That being said, there are a few arguments out there that seem to gain steam, some that are downright ridiculous and believe it or not, a few good ones. WIth all the opinions out there, there’s bound to be a few that actually make sense. However, the wrong ones are the ones we debate the most and I am going to rip through all of those zany ideas and show you why you’re wrong. 

(Now go to your kitchen cupboards and grab a grain of salt.)

THE ARGUMENT: The Sedins are second liners now; they don’t have what it takes to be a top line anymore.

WHY YOU’RE WRONG: This one got me thinking after listening to the latest Pass it to Bulis podcast. You’d be hardpressed to find more than maybe eight teams that they wouldn’t be top line players. As far as the Canucks are concerned, they are still the number one line. They still  get the top matchups every night and lead the team by 11 points at 60 with Radim Vrbata next at 49. The drop off is huge after that. Nick Bonino, Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen all have 30 and down it goes after that.

Second line players don’t lead your team in points, well this team anyways. Until the Sedins show a dramatic drop off or they retire, odds are they are going to be the top line in Vancouver. They aren’t 100 point players anymore and maybe the 80’s are as high as they get now but by the looks of this season, 60 points this late is really good. John Tavares of the Islanders has 72 points for the league lead. Enough said. 

So if you have some crazy notion that Nick Bonino, Radim Vrbata and Shawn Matthias are your top line, or that Sidney Crosby is done too, you are very wrong.



 

THE ARGUMENT: The Canucks aren’t a very good team.

WHY YOU’RE WRONG…..TO A DEGREE: The Canucks are definitely not the king of the castle anymore, but they are way better than a season ago and really, better than they were in 2012. As soon as they lost the Cup in 2011 everything changed. Countless identity changes later, Vancouver finally is following a path that seems to be paying off. Credit WIllie Desjardins, Trevor Linden and Jim Benning for changing it to its current state.

The power play this season is atrocious I’ll give you that and sure, they don’t score a ton of goals and yes I’ll agree they seem to enjoy being down two and three goals before they get their game going; but if you take away the fancy stats and some of the basic ones, they’re second in the Pacific. Albeit, a weak division that had their way with the Canucks last year, aside from a large collapse the Canucks are playing for the Stanley Cup this year.

Losing to the awful teams sure doesn’t help my case here but the overall game they have played this season has been fairly entertaining and has every line involved…every…single…game. The injuries definitely took their toll on the lineup but it forced half of the Utica Comets to show what they could do. It wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was great. You now love Ronalds Kenins.

If the Canucks weren’t a very good team we wouldn’t be talking about the potential for upsets in the playoffs or how well our three second/third lines are. A bit more grey area here but they dont’ suck. Agree to disagre on this?

THE ARGUMENT: Ryan Miller is washed up, he looks like he voluntarily gives up soft goals and he is passed his prime.

WHY YOU’RE WRONG: Actually, I agree with most of that. Even though Miller did post 28 wins, 6 shutouts a perfect shootout record going 2 for 2; game in and game out he struggled to make the easy saves and as a fan, didn’t look like he gave his team a chance to win EVERY game. Every goalie goes through struggles and the ones learning a new team, a new system and a goalie coach, they have it worse. With Eddie Lack gaining confidence and believing this is HIS team, Miller at the end of the day ends up being an expensive bridge to the future.

Ryan Miller may not play another game this season for multiple reasons, the main one being that even if he’s healthy; it will be the heart of the playoffs and there is no team that starts a cold goalie when you only get 4 losses in a series. Even the expensive mistakes have silver linings. 

So on this one YOU’RE RIGHT!

WILLIE’S ARGUMENT: Ronalds Kenins is the odd man out until someone plays bad enough or Kenins pots a goal every game.

WHY HE’S WRONG: Now that the Canucks are basically healthy (just Miller really), every game Willie D has quite a task of deciding who should sit. I called out Chris Higgins because I felt he hadn’t held his own as much as he should have this year, I did that twice. Both times, he scored and we won. So anyone can be wrong. What WD is doing is so wrong though. He has put Kenins in the linup and he has outperformed what most of us, if not all of us thought he would do originally. Once the injured players started coming back, Kenins looked to be the odd man out.

Thankfully, through some divine intervention a new injury reared its head and WHAMMY! Ronny gets put back in. His line with Bo Horvat and Jannik Hansen has been electric for some time now and their chemistry shows. Kenins has 11 pts in 19 GP and if Bo Horvat is considered the teams fourth line pivot, thats pretty good output for a fourth line player that was riding the bus to start the year.

There are a few options of who should be coming out now: Linden Vey and ocassionally Nick Bonino. Yes, both are centres but its not a stretch to move Shawn Matthias up to the middle. At some point its the guys that are getting it done that you want in.

So Willie, put Ronny in FULL TIME, because YOU’RE WRONG!

This doesn’t cover all those wacky theories that are out there but debunking a few of them will help you get through your day. I know i’ll sleep better tonight. Just remember, when you go to bash your Canucks think about how much worse you could have it. Check the standings, see where the Twins are in the scoring race and maybe chill out a bit.

The Canucks are winning the Cup this year because they are a elite team. They have everyt….I can’t go on anymore. Just settle down and realise you have it pretty good here. Really good.

I take back the Cup comment until further notice.

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Fifty Trades and Vey: Canucks VD TD Primer (Valentines Trade Deadline)

At the very least you have to admit its clever. Almost went with Jannik at the Disco or Now you Sedin me, Now you don’t. Linden Vey isn’t going anywhere but being that it’s valentines day tomorrow and there is a catchy movie coming out, it seemed fitting.

I recently had another deep discussion with my buddy Ted Wong, twitter’s @tee3ree, about the Canucks, their goalie situation, their future and what they should do this season. We covered a lot of ground and I totally thought I had a leg to stand on with a Sedin trade; problem is: they make too much money for any team worth going to.

Pittsburgh was the team we decided on for Henrik and Daniel but their cap hit is just too much without really dismembering the Penguins both present and future. So we left that alone. It’s a shame, they could do some real damage there for a few years.

The Canucks goalie situation is a hot topic yet again. The vibe right now is most would like to trade the “shady” season of Ryan Miller, even though he just signed a 3 year deal. It looks like Jacob Markstrom is a real keeper here and that leaves one chip that ultimately is the only thing they can move: Eddie Lack.

Lack would definitely fetch a decent piece in return for a playoff contender. He’s likable, talented and able to handle a heavy workload if given the opportunity. He also loves tacos if you didn’t already know.

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credit – Eddies Twitter account

If the Canucks decided enough is enough of their current #1 Ryan Miller, his price tag is pretty steep and there really is only one team, maybe two that he COULD go to if a trade availed itself: Washington and New York.

Washington is on the bubble right now and as we have seen before, you never really know their goalie situation. Ryan Miller knows the east quite well, not a shocker, and he would be tested right away. Thankfully, the Caps have goal support so if he lets in his usual stinkers like he has, they can bail him out with an extra goal or two.

Immediately that shores up the net for at least a year or two. Brayden Holtby is doing quite well but with a veteran and former all star running with him, he can have some added confidence if things get dicey.

Packaging Kevin Bieksa and possibly Chris Higgins or Jannik Hansen on the Canucks would give Washington added depth on the back end and on the bottom six. What I would like to see come back is Karl Alzner and 2013 second round pick Madison Bowey.

I don’t anticipate Bowey is available but if Lack is the piece instead of Miller going the other way, that would make them think a bit more. Washington intrigues me and after this season, they have a decent chunk off the books and adding the likes of Kevin Bieksa gives Juice a new start in a conference where he can shine.

Higgins and/or Hansen are pieces that will never have more value than they do right now and whatever team the Canucks are dancing with, these guys should fetch a fair return.

Whatever way Vancouver chooses, they aren’t winning the Cup this year. Jim Benning has proven he’ll make a trade and the Canucks should be ready for Jensen, Shinkaruk and Grenier to name a few, to head up the change. Bo Horvat was given his opportunity and he is just starting to show why he is ready and will thrive in the NHL.

New York has an issue right now with their star goalie Henrik Lundqvist out with an injury. Depending on how long he is out, they need a solid replacement rental. Again, Lack is the only real option that makes sense as I believe as you all do, Markstrom is the future. I’ve heard this before.

What the Canucks would ask for in return would be a prospect or a pick. Anthony Duclair would be fun! He had quite the World Juniors but I’m guessing Sather noticed too.

This year’s draft is pretty stocked so a pick wouldn’t hurt. Lack could definitely help NYR if that move was made.

There are so many possibilities right now as the Canucks can really set themselves up for future success if they sacrifice the present. We are getting closer to that big deadline day frenzy and this year I believe it’s going to be hectic.

Sorry for the “Lack” of 50 shades references, Im going to watch star NHL prospect Nick Merkley of the Kelowna Rockets this evening. But you don’t really care…do you?

Follow me on twitter: @always90four and @hankthetank10

JARKKO POLO: Canucks Week of Jan 12/15

Amazing the difference a week makes. Going in, it was a nice roadie to start out in Smashville with the Preds on top of the pops. Two weak teams later on should have topped up the points category and hopefully all would be right again. Well, Nashville didn’t treat the Canucks very nicely but Ryan Miller’s “sickness” motivated the team after that. Here is, the week that was Jan 12.

Coming off losses to Roberto Luongo’s Panthers as well as the Calgary Flames; the Canucks seemed a bit deflated in the obvious area of, wait for it: SCORING! Yes, it’s been an up and down battle this year putting pucks in the net. Lately, it’s been feast or famine so no one really knows how to gauge what’s happening. One minute its Linden Vey with the breaking and the awaying, Radim Vrbata with the goal/stare tactics, the next moment Vancouver is being outshot one Vegas bachelor party to DD’ing on the long weekend.

Would a road trip fix the Canucks woes? The red hot Predators hosted Vancouver and early on, it wasn’t close. Pucks just went in. Going down 2-0 early hurts. Things haven’t gone well lately and digging a hole like that is counter productive. Alex Edler is looking great this year and put his name on the score sheet, but that is as much as they’d get. The Canucks lost 5-1 but they left Nashville doing some damage to the Preds; Pekke Rinne was injured by Chris Higgins in the crease in the 3rd and will be out for a bit. If you don’t let us score, we’re gonna make you pay.


credit – nhl.com

Ok so things are bad mmmmkay? On to Philly! Well, the sick Ryan Miller was ready to test his health and baaaaasically put on a clinic. Before we get started, just wanna say God bless Shawn Matthias. This guy is doing everything right this year and is giving the Canucks life when they may not have it. The Luongo deal is slowly panning out, same can’t be said for the Kassian/Hodgson cluster. Ok, so Vancouver pressed early and it all got started with, how shall I put this, the dirty Bonino spinoramawesome goal. I don’t know if that was supposed to happen or whatever but I can watch it over and over again.

Hank the tank was feeling a little “tipsy” and potted goal numero deux of the night and it seemed like things were happening, they were. Radim “the dream” Vrbata scored from his office in the 2nd followed by Jannik Hansen’s breakaway goal. Its weird to keep saying that. Addition to Vrby, he scores from that spot, keep getting him the puck, its not a coincidence. Miller was amazing and really earned the shutout. People like him now.


credit – nhl.com

Finally, the boys in blue made their way to Carolina. Vancouver likes Carolina. This one had a rough start, but thanks to Ryan Miller, Riley Nash and a bit of luck, the Canucks took a poorly outplayed first and parlayed it into an onslaught on the second. Always the goal scorer, Derek Dorsett had a beautiful break and put home goal number one in the second period. These outlet feed passes are becoming a thing for some reason and all 3 Canucks goals actually came off them. Did I mention Shawn Matthias was amazing?

He had his standard drive the net, don’t let Zack Kassian see, move and put it behind Cam Ward. He is so much fun to watch and I think if the naysayers get their way and the Kass man is shipped out, Shawn Matthias might get a bump up in the lineup. Maybe we aren’t pumping his tires enough, Roberto?

Alex Burrows got the final tally on a slapperoo and that was it. Ryan Miller recorded back to back ROAD shutouts on back to back nights for the first time in Canucks history.


credit – canucks.com

A good week all in all and how better to start the following week but a date with our ex, Roberto Luongo with his new suitor. Canucks are coming on just in time for All Star weekend and the slump buster may have sparked the fire they needed. Now go beat the Panthers, the tears are over!

Jarkko………..POLO!!

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JARKKO POLO – THE CANUCKS WEEK OF JAN 5/15

In an effort to do something to establish Always90four as a more consistent and relevant piece, I have added two new feature posts, one today called “Jarkko Polo“. This feature will focus on the past week of Canucks hockey in a quick, fun and almost ridiculous fashion. If anything, I am dumbing down my own dumb downness, if that’s possible. So hopefully you enjoy what I have to offer and please continue to read the other stuff.

I don’t get paid to do this, so kind words are valuable currency.

Well, last week the Canucks only played 3 games, THANK GOODNESS!!! They didn’t exactly fair well and I bet they are happy last week is done. Vancouver had what looked like a nice little homestand against the Islanders, Panthers (LU ALERT) and the once lowly Calgary Flames.

The Islanders were first up and Eddie Machete got the start. We all remember last year when the fishermen exploded for 7 taters in the 3rd period to wax the Canucks. The result was different this time. Vancouver would prevail 3-2 with goals from the obvious Nick Bonino….yup he got one again, It’s been awhile hey bones? Ryan Stanton got his first goal since basically the last episode of The Sopranos aired and the man of a million puns, Linden Vey, scored a beauty of a breakaVEY goal.

On to the game of the week, the one many had circled on their calendars across British Columbia and well….Roberto Luongo’s house in Florida. The Panthers came back to show off their up and coming star goalie.The Panthers hadn’t won in Vancouver since the FIRST riot so it was kind of a big deal if they did. In typical Luongo fashion, he stole the show with a 3-1 win. A touching tribute to Lu for his time in Vancouver and on the ice he was nothing short of LUdacris. Still stings when we see him tearing it up in a non hockey market. Welcome home Lu, you are missed. He showed us why we missed him too, he’s on his way to the Vez.

The last game of the week was supposed to be a typical waxing of the Calgary Flames at home on HNIC. Not only did the Canucks NOT score ANY goals, they let a guy who just finished his shift at Denny’s post a shutout on them for the 1-0 decision. Don’t get me wrong, Vancouver was the better team as far as “moral” victories go, but they couldn’t have crowd funded a goal on Saturday night. It’s time for this team to decide who they want to be.

This week has the Canucks in Nashville, Philly and Carolina. If there are more than 3 goals this week, progress has been made. Oh and Dan Hamhuis is coming back.

JARKKO………….POLO

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Canucks Break Internet, On Paper Anyways

Despite my lack of Photoshop skills, I know a trend when I see one. Its not a new photo, its not even Kim Kardashian, but darn it, its art. After “Paper” magazine posted a very revealing photo of Mrs. West (shes nekkid), their goal was to, as the kids say “break the internet“. Im not sure how one would break the internet but I doubt a photo does it. The Canucks on the other hand, have found a way to make people talk about them again both on paper and on the world wide portals, thus breaking the internet.

At this point last season, the Canucks were BANG ON the same in the point totals, 24 if you are looking for hard line facts. So what makes things soooo different this season? Well, for starters all four lines are rolling, scoring and sharing pics of Eddie Lack eating tacos. Last season, Im not sure if pictures of Eddie Lack eating tacos were available but I digress. There wasn’t a goalie controversy or a battle really. Ryan Miller has done well as the Canucks new #1 and Mr. Lack has flourished as a backup. The headlines are gone with both Roberto Luongo and Ryan Kesler moving on and taking their talents to both South Beach and Long Beach.

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Mmmm tacos, canucks.com

Our coach Willie Desjardins seems to be getting the most out of this team and hey, the Sedins are looking Sedintastic again. We can thank RadimThe DreamVrbata for his contributions and his dedication to just shooting and staring.

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Photo courtesy of vansunsportsblogs.com

Im trying to figure out why this team feels so different and maybe it is indeed addition by subtraction, well and some addition again. The arrival of Bo Horvat and his keen urge to be a good team mate is promising as well. It just feels like a dark cloud has slowly been lifting off the city of Vancouver, figuratively of course, and the team is beginning to rebound.

With some extra grit through Linden Vey, Derek Dorsett and Brad Richardson, heck even the Sedins are throwing the odd hit, who knew? The Canucks are answering the challenges as they face them. These aren’t your Canucks folks, I think someone lost their Canucks and they landed here instead.

This team has a feel like they could pull off some upsets this year and if they gave us the indoor/outdoor classic again, I’m almost positive we win that this time. You see, we didn’t need that picture of Ryan Kesler posing nude for ESPN, we didn’t even need Ryan Kesler, ok this year I mean. With the new leadership throughout the team both in the front office and on the ice, all those lessons they learned are finally paying off.

We can put the moral victories to bed and enjoy ACTUAL victories now! If only we could get lower beer prices and Mark Messier out of that awful Rogers NHL commercial. Did they really not do their market research on that? This is that ONE time, we actually would like to be left out of a commercial. No one cares about the Canucks anyways, right rest of Canada? Leave our team alone, you ruined it once…..Mark Messier.

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