Tortorella

Lacky Lu Mysteries: The Case Of WTF

As if the Canucks season wasn’t an absolute clusterspunk, the horror show that is now daily life in Vancouver just keeps getting worse. In danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, heck the first time they haven’t won the division in at least that long, the Canucks are struggling to make even breakfast right now. Like your favourite Saturday morning cartoons, Lacky Lu Mysteries is on the case.

On Sunday, Roberto Luongo was given the day off in favour of backup goaltender Eddie Lack. If it was ANY OTHER GAME Lack would have been a fine choice. It was the Senators, they could have started literally anyone in that game and it wouldn’t have made a flippin difference. The problem is: THIS was the Heritage Classic and it was at home. If your star goalie who has been raked through the coals, divorced, brutalized in the media, left for dead in a sewer and pretty much forgotten is STILL on your team, you play him. You play him out of sheer respect. Bobby Lu has been through more than most organizations will go through in their entire existance. Throw him a fricken bone.

Of course, Lu handled it professionally but he was visibly pissed off as anyone could see. Why Torts decided to go with Lack is pretty much anyone’s guess. Playing the hot hand is a pathetic excuse, the Canucks haven’t won a game that was even close to the word hot. You know who’s hot right now? Not the Canucks. Pick any team that plays with 3 forwards, 2 defense and a goalie and you have a better option. Tortorella is struggling to keep this team afloat and it might be the beginning of the “rebuild” everyone is talking about.

This team has spiraled downward quicker than Mason Raymond tripping over the blue line. Injuries, bad luck, more injuries, more bad luck and the curse of not being able to score a goal have brought the Canucks nothing but headaches. If this actually WAS a Lacky Lu Mystery episode, here’s what they’d find:

The Canucks are introduced to a new division in 2013/2014 and they are no longer the fair maidens anymore. No real changes to the locker room force the team to find answers on an aging roster that saw their success pass them and left them in the dust. Lack and Lu search high and low for answers to who has stolen the Canucks talent, their drive to win and Lu’s hair gel. Game after game, nothing but disappointment in the stands and endless questions looming large in the media.

A coach that doesn’t seem to have any legitimate answers dulls down an offense that used to be tops in the league, now just a fading memory. Lack eats another meatball and asks Lu “Is this how it ends for us? Is this our demise?” Lu having been through this far too many times pipes up “It gets worse before it gets worse” “WTF does that mean Lu?” “It means they should have traded me before they made this team into a sideshow”

Now, Lack and Lu Mysteries is a fictional tale and a brief one at that! But what isn’t lost on anyone is that snowball effect that is consuming the Canucks. There have been so many minor screw ups and bad moves that have led this group to become a mere joke in the eyes of the rest of the league. Not trading Luongo was a big mistake. Personally, I never wanted him to leave but in hindsight, at least this team wouldn’t have had to deal with as much of a circus.

Luongo is STILL in the spotlight and is commended for being “a great team mate” and a “real professional”. That is BS. This guy just wants to play hockey and not be the elephant in the room. Leave him alone, trade him, or at the very least, START HIM. Its unfortunate that budding star Eddie Lack has to be dragged through this at no fault of his own as well.

A much simpler time, when Luongo was king. Photo taken from canucksarmy.com

A much simpler time, when Luongo was king.
Photo taken from canucksarmy.com

Getting the start for the Heritage Classic was probably one of Lack’s worst memories as a Canuck. You really feel sorry for the guy, its not his fight but they put him in the ring.

Ryan Kesler is probably the final nail in the coffin for this season in Vancouver, it might even put the team back a few years. There isn’t a player ready to fully fill Kesler’s skates and there isn’t anyone that can skate along side of him either. However it leaked that Kes wanted out, was bad from the start. As bad as this season has been, at least it was being controlled internally. Now, all bets are off. If Kesler DOES want out, it better happen a lot shorter than when Cody Hodgson was dealt or when Luongo wasn’t. There has to be an end to the hemmoraging taking place because most of us can’t handle any more drama this year.

Kesler has done pretty much everything that has been asked of him and he hasn’t been rewarded. Sure, financially he is set, but you can’t buy a Stanley Cup. GM Mike Gillis has done almost nothing to help Kesler realize his full potential and his dismantling of Vancouver’s farm club has had to pay the price. Ryan Kesler would give his life for this team, its time they show some life and help him out.

The Canucks are in a world of hurt, literally, and don’t have any direction. They need a guidance counsellor or a map…or a compass…maybe even a street sign because they are lost.

Follow me on twitter @hankthetank10

Cover photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Sorvin – USA TODAY

photo courtesy: sports.yahoo.com

NUCKING AWESOME 2014 PREVIEW

I am happy to say the 2014 Canucks season is days away. No more talk about who will produce, how far will we go or what kind of sushi does Zack Kassian like, its go time. Below is yet another preview, with pictures though. I bring pictures to the table.

Taken from Google images

I am soooo DY-NA-MITE!!

  

Its been a long summer in BC; hockey was stolen from us early, unless you cheer for the Blackhawks or something. Many changes have come and some have altered the reality we know every day. Is it possible that the Canucks used addition by subtraction to get better? No one really knows, they never tell us anything.  

The home team bench at the Rog will have some new faces there this season and will miss a few faces, except for Raymond, man did he suck hey? Out is head coach Alain Vigneault and in is the controversial John Tortorella. Torts will bring an immediate change to the Canucks by adding shot blocking to every player’s resume, the twins killing penelties and hey! why not some scoring too? He has warned everyone however that his press conferences have a chance to be swift, not quite taylor, but swift. Check out this little diddy: 

So you can see that Torts already has laid down the ground rules and I kinda like it. AV just let everything flow after awhile and as good of a coach as he was, that doesn’t work forever. A nice kick to the pants for everyone is what the doctor ordered. Did I mention the shot blocking? Ya, they’ll be doing that on the ice this year. Somewhere, Ryan Johnson is happy he’s not here anymore.

Just when you thought Vancity was going with the youth movement, they sent all the kids down to junior. Mike Gillis must know what he has in house already because from what I could see, the kids were alright. Too bad really, Hunter Shinkaruk looked to be the lead candidate to make the team. His knack for big goals and game awareness was surprisingly good. I suppose letting them blossom another year doesn’t hurt too much.

I guess that means that its somewhat status quo this season on the West Coast. The Twins (Daniel and Henrik..but you knew that) will start the season with “Win da turd” himself, Alex Burrows. Nothing new here, but healthy and hungry for change, the start could look ok.

Line two has a 100% healthy Ryan Kesler in the middle. This excites me. Pretty much to level of when a 15 year old girl finds out Justin Bieber is singing at her birthday party.

Im singing at your birthday, but my likeness is on your screen Taken from Google images

Im singing at your birthday, but my likeness is on your screen
Taken from Google images

On the wings this season are going to be what I believe solid linemates. To start Hansen and Higgins will flank Kes, but eventually it will be Burrows and Higgins. The Canucks know what they have for talent and its time to see it stabilize.

Higgins is re-signed and looking to be a Terminator on the ice and he does have some chemistry with Kesler. You gotta believe that eventually things will turn around on this line.

Burrows and Kesler have chemistry from a long time ago and really, that’s what put Burrows on the top line in the first place. Re-lighting an old spark could pay huge dividends, both 5 on 5 and on the PK.

Lines three and four have a bit more work to do but they look like they will have lunch buckets every night. Incoming Zac Dalpe will slot in with Hansen and Booth. David Booth needs to prove himself this year and IF he’s healthy he may get the opportunity to be a big player for Vancouver.

I have liked Booth since the trade a few years ago, he just hasn’t been healthy enough to prove his true worth. He has the hands, a good shot and he can grind. Tough to figure out if he will pan out but it would be a really nice surprise if he did.

I suppose you want me to clean up this mess? Taken from Google images

I suppose you want me to clean up this mess?
Taken from Google images

 And to Luongo we go.

No more trade talks, no more goalie controversy, no more poop jokes. Just kidding, those are still going to hang around. Roberto Luongo is back! He is ready to be #1 again and a new coach, running mate in Eddie Lack and some renewed confidence going into an Olympic year are what Lu is hoping to base his play on.

We all know what Bobby Lu brings to the table; both good and bad. Its time to see what he can do when its on his shoulders again. He has the pedigree to get it done. He has the knowledge of knowing he isn’t going anywhere and has the support of his team mates. He also has a pretty darn good fantasy football team, but that will change come week 13. IM COMING FOR YOU STROMBONE1!!

This Canucks team is ready to take on a new division, a damaged fan base and the rest of the haters across the league. There is ONE Canucks team, ONE goal to win it all and ONE time to get it done: THAT TIME IS NOW.

The puck can’t drop quick enough. Let’s get it on already!

Well Coach, How are you gonna change our team?

Now that Brooksy has it through his head that John Tortorella is the Canucks new head coach, what is Torts going to bring to our team?

We all know JT has temper, he’s quick witted and strong willed. In Vancouver, that might be a good thing. Looking down the line of coaches who have come short of a Cup, Torts is one of two coaches who previously coached a Stanley Cup winning team.

Will the Nucks be his second ring? I sure hope so, but right now that is a mere pipe dream.

John has a lot to do to bring the Canucks back to superstardom. They don’t score near enough goals like they used to, their powerplay is non existant, they have a goalie who may or may not want to play here and I THINK, an identity crisis.
I wish the fix was as easy as buying a new corvette, but everyone on this team can do much better than that, and there is no mid life crisis.

There are some serious fixes needed this season and John Tortorella may be one fix that trickles down into the rest of them. From the outside, he looks like a guy that can get the most out of his guys and he makes his teams work hard, I like that.

I want to know if he will challenge @strombone1 for the team poker title. If you saw the HBO series 24/7 he was quite a character and it kept everyone tuning in. Alain was a similar coach who was withheld a bit as well. No information is information in Vancity, so don’t think there won’t be soundbites when he says nothing.

I don’t want to beat this drum too hard so I will leave it at this: Torts will need to turn around a team that was 2 years removed from the Cup being in the hall next to the Canucks dressing room, and he will need to get that team with a few matured parts back there.

Godspeed Coach