stanley cup playoffs

Law And Order CVU: Canucks Victims Unit

This series has gone from bad to worse. We all wanted the Canucks to matchup against the Flames figuring THAT was their best way to advance, we were so wrong! What we failed to realize or maybe some of you didn’t was that even though the Canucks stellar record got them in the playoffs, they are far from contenders. OK thanks Capt. Obvious, we knew that. But seriously, how many opportunities did they have this year to right the ship or even put away awful teams or even worse: the Sabres?

Too many.

Willie rolled four lines and it proved to be a winning formula, enough to make the post season; adding unforseen depth in Bo Horvat and Ronalds Kenins has filled some gaps a lot quicker than first thought; heck even Yannick Weber has found a spot of meaning here. These additions are great and all but compare them to the teams they are trying to equal and they still aren’t close. A mediocre Flames squad is proving this quite easily.

So the referees haven’t exactly helped either. They have let Michael Ferland charge his way time after time to hit Kevin Bieksa, Kevin Bieksa, Kevin Bieksa, Luca Sbisa and Kevin Bieksa. No one debates a good hit but when the hit is preceeded by oh I dunno 5-6 strides, that’s a problem. The Canucks aren’t doing themselves any favours but the stripes aren’t making it any easier.

Vancouver has been left beaten, bloodied and left for dead. Short of a chalk line, the Canucks are basically D.O.A. No special victims unit can help this crew right now, they need a CVU: Canucks Victims Unit; I take that back, WE need a CVU.  

Do you know what it’s like to be bombarded by Flames fans arrogantly flaunting their new found wealth? It’s horriawful (horrible and awful mixed in a smoothie). They think this is just the top of the pops! Well i’ll let you down lightly Flames faithful, yo may beat the Canucks but there are a lot better teams than this. Four extra games isn’t as fun as you’d think.———–>Living proof<————-

Maybe the fix is on from the inside? Just kidding, we’ve all had it up to here with the conspiracies. But Brandon McMillan and Linden Vey? Bro.

It’s befuddling how Sven Baertschi gets called up and they throw in these guys? The lack of use of Henrik and Daniel over the first four games is enraging and to add to the fire Linden Vey, Derek Dorsett and Nick Bonino are the first choice? Wow! It might be time to promote Bo Horvat and get Radim Vrbata with the Sedins. Its not like that’s what you signed him for.

To see everything unravel regardless of the end result, hurts. Most of us had the mindset that if the Canucks made the playoffs this year, they were cool with losing if they went down fighting. This isn’t close to that scenario. Sure, Burrows getting the Sami Salo disease doesn’t help anything and Zack Kassian being sidelined by a mysterious injury never gave him the opportunity to set the bar. This team just hit their funk at the worst time possible.

Slightly better than the Jets though, not by much.

A higher draft pick would have been great but as one of the teams on the brink of elimination, they are one of the highest seeds to potentially fall. Was the late stretch really worth it? You have to believe it was and with some serious additions from the young guys next year (Shinkaruk, Virtanen, McCann?), the current new crop of players can build off of what essentially was a pretty good, nay, “real good” year.

There are still games to be played, at least one more tonight in Vancouver so all the worries could be meaningless if they flip the switch and make a series of it. The Canucks aren’t the best team in the post seasaon but if they figure it out, they aren’t the worst either.

Ryan Miller is supposed to start and Baertschi is making his debut. Baby steps. Score the first goal and go from there. NO, not YOU Calgary! I still believe in these guys even though I haven’t stopped crying since the end of Game 3. Just win Canucks, help get us to Saturday soberly.

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

JARKKO POLO:  Rescindments, Fertlands and Dumb Dumbs

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

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

THE GAMES WE PLAYED

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

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

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

Photo - Calgary Herald

Photo – Calgary Herald

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo - Steve Belski USA TODAY Sports

Photo – Steve Belski USA TODAY Sports

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

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

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

 

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

Canucks in 6

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Canucks 2015 Playoff Survival Checklist

So the Canucks clinched a playoff spot by beating the Kings on Monday night and then celebrated as the Oilers did the same thing the next night. It has been a rough two seasons for Canucks fans; missing the playoffs last year and getting thumped by the Sharks in five games back in 2013. An underrated Canucks roster that hasn’t over achieved but maybe lived up to what they were capable of becoming now has a 1 in 16 chance of lifting the Stanley Cup in June.

Aside from the obvious excitement, what’s next? There are two more games before the end of the season and wouldn’t you know it, the Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers are the last two tests. My guess is Willie Desjardins works on solidifying his power play, having a practice solely dedicated to line changes or more importantly Nick Bonino line changes and “pretending” they are down by a goal to start the game. 

Quick note coach, playing from behind every game before they announce the lineups isn’t a surefire way to a series win. 

OK, so how does the everyday Canucks fan as well as the players get prepared for the gauntlet that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Here’s your fool proof guide to help you out this spring.

  • First things first: April 15, ditch the razor. Maybe you wax, that’s cool. No judging here. Stop raiding your wife’s cosmetic drawer though once the playoffs start. Also, the lipstick…stop that too, we don’t need freaks in the playoffs.
  • Playoff towels; cool fan giveaway at the game, handy wipe for wings, cheezies, bbq sauce and if the Canucks happen to go down early again, the odd beer spill. (This is assuming you’ve been medicating since puck drop…more than normal)
  • Personal hygene – underwear ONE PAIR until the Canucks are done, Cup win or series loss. Act like a rock star inside, outside, backwards, forwards, and a combination of all of those. Socks; change every day. They are potentially visible to the public and smelly socks are the worst. I want no part of that, none. Don’t be sick.
  • Wearing Canucks apparel on game days to work. I believe this is a right. We all wore our Canada gear during the Olympics and the playoffs are the culmination (I think I used that word right) of 8 months of anxiety attacks, heartbreak, exuberation and yummy beer with friends; let’s see this through to the end.
  • Food, bevies and the people you share them with. Have wings, pizza, beer nuts and of course beer ready to rock come puck drop. The Canucks got this far and you don’t want a growly tummy. If you’re on a health kick or some 21 day challenge or something, it’s gonna have to wait. Make sure you watch with someone that shares your dedication level.
  • Hilite packages after game wins ONLY! Wins deserve to be remembered. If the Canucks happen to lose a game. Go to bed, forget it happened. Punch out the smirky co-worker that cheers for the other team out of spite when he brings the game up from the night before.
  • Maybe you do the twitters? Odds are, you will have sweaty hands from all the stress this team brings. I get that, it’s common. Maybe lay off the twitters unless something really big, really stupid or really supidly big happens. Also, if you are social media’ing on Facebook during the games, please stop.
  • No beanies
  • Car flags and big flags ONLY. No wind socks. Decals are fine but…decals are fine. That’s all for that one.
  • ALMOST FORGOT!!!! RIOTING…gang, this has been done to death. We get it, you like to flip cars, burn stuff and break windows. It’s been done twice now and honestly it’s old. If you see a rioter, corner him/her rip off their hippy beanie and and citizens arrest those punks. I hate rioting, nothing good comes of it 

 (credit – popscreen.com)

  • Well, I guess you could make out while the city burns
  • Finally, for all your pre game, post game, in game and round the clock analysis of the Canucks during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, head on over to CanucksArmy.com  It’s for real now, nothing will be the same.

So there you have it! You are now prepared to tackle this year’s Canucks run. It’s not going to be easy,  you’ll probably lose your mind a time or two and Zack Kassian will eventually return and we can all relax. Go get everything you are going to need to survive this trek and enjoy the last few games before ti all gets started.

GO CANUCKS GO!

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Facebook: Always90four 

JARKKO POLO: Clinching, Clenching, VRBAWESOME!

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

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

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

Let’s see how our boys faired:

THE GAMES WE PLAYED

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

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

Have to like that start to the week!

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

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

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

Despite the awful officiating, it was a great game.

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

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

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

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

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

MY TAKE

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

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

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

3 THINGS FROM TWITTER

FINAL THOUGHTS

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

Follow me on twitter: @always90four