ronny kenins

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

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:


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.

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 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….



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Canucks Are Past The Future, It’s Here

Going into the trade deadline as well as the final push to finish the season in the top 16 is an exciting time. Is making a trade going to help the Canucks go deep into the playoffs or is it false hope and a meaningless dump of talent yet again? Jim Benning has played his cards pretty cool this year and even though Ryan Miller hasn’t been entirely as advertised, or really as we fantasized; its been a very productive year.

Thankfully the rest of the NHL is making moves right now that don’t really involve the Canucks and some of them are trading for LTIR spots (while still paying said players). That’s just fine by me. In past years, former GM’s have traded for Keith Carney, Eric Weinrich, Sami Pahlsson (post mono), Derek Roy, Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre. Oh I forgot, one of those GM’s dealt Luongo too!

The actual market that exists still isnt exactly enticing this spring and the best thing Vancouver’s Jim Benning can do is take a nap; well unless Ryan Miller can be moved. It’s not that Miller hasn’t been a good goalie, its that its ALL he’s been. It doesn’t really make sense why they went after him in the first place but I can buy the theory that they wanted to groom the kids under his tutelage. 

Did that happen sooner than management thought? It looks that way. It was a pricey teaching assignment but who really cares, its not my money. So now what does Benning do in net? The cheap option and quite frankly the best option IMO is to move Miller as the Leafs did David Clarkson (Ok ok ok, not the same but it sorta is) to a team that can take the hit OR decide who gets you the most between the IKEA boys and milk it for all its worth as the market is paying great this season. Keeping Eddie Lack and/or Jacob Markstrom keeps the seat warm for Thatcher Demko in about 5 years or less.

What does the rest of the team hold though? Up on line numero uno, the Sedins are still proving their worth but the time is coming soon where they start sliding back down the rankings. Everything else has options; Alex Burrows despite his injuries has had a nice bounce back season. Moving him isn’t neccesarily a smart move. A finisher and clutch playoff performer, he may not put up big regular season numbers anymore but I like Burr when it counts.

Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Chris Higgins all strike me as trade bait this year. Bonino and Sbisa just aren’t Canucks. Sounds stupid to say what a Canuck is but there isn’t a “fit” there. Higgins is halfway through his 4 year deal but his role as the worker bee seems to be done. On the flip sided, Ronny Kenins, Shawn Matthias and upon his safe return, Brad Richardson, have fulfilled that role in spades and they all seem to be producing on top of many other talents.

Move a piece, get a younger piece.

Bo Horvat was the piece we didn’t reallllly know we needed until he got healthy and started being all faceoff winny and goal scorey. I thought Hunter Shinkaruk would have come up at the same time but that hasn’t panned out yet. Horvat took a shortcut and could really make a difference sooner than later; he’s not going anywhere.

This season was billed as a retool and as they played we would see what the team needed to do. Well, if any of us thought they would do this well, Benning and Trevor Linden probably would have made a few moves sooner. We all talk about the future and when prospects turn into valuable roster players and the results were different than we thought and actually better. 

Kenins has been a find and a half, Matthias has basically been the Tiger Woods 2015 putt preview for Zack Kassian this year and the diamonds in the rough keep coming. The answers always seem to come when the right questions are asked. Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Chris Tanev and newbie Frankie Corrado all signed up for injury camp and a few new guys stepped up. Enter Adam Clendening and Alex Biega

A Chicago cast off and a timely call up have turned the sting into a boost. This Canucks team should not be doing as well as they have been and they are far from the team that started in October. Clendening and Biega aren’t stealing anyones jobs right now but the ridiculous depth they have given the Canucks is stunning. They are a few key forwards and maybe a dman short of a poor mans 2011.

AGAIN, the cavalry isn’t here but the services of Kevin Bieksa start to become expendable. Just another salary cut the Canucks can afford to move. The injuries don’t help right now but hey Evander Kane got traded and he’s a mess. Every move towards the future seems to have taken a big step forward. Speaking of forwards…

Then there’s the young amazing young winger version of the career killer Bryan Allen: Jake Virtanen. He might get a shot as soon as next season; I bet Horvat is ok with that.

The future of the Canucks is basically here. So Jimbo, sell the old parts for picks or heck troll the Kelowna Rockets and make a move for Flyers prospect Tyrell Goulbourne, Caps future star blueliner Madison Bowey or somehow parlay the first pick you make this year into a better one for stud forward Nick Merkley. Now about those NTCs.

You are shooting out the lights Benning and the cresendo is about to be occur.

Playoffs or not this year, the Canucks are on the verge and you should be happy.

PS: This is not a public service announcement for the Rockets, but it isn’t hard to do.

Follow me on twitter: @always90four and @hankthetank10

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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.


Follow me on twitter: @always90four and @hankthetank10
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