Three Up, Three Down: January 5th

After the Christmas break, the Vancouver Canucks are 2-1-1 in their four games played. Nothing spectacular, but five out of a possible eight points isn’t so bad considering their opponents: Ducks, Sharks, Kings and Redwings. A much different cry than the October schedule that consisted of a good chunk of playing teams from Alberta. Based on last season, they would have been lucky to get two points from these four games, maybe three. However, there is no longer a John Tortorella or a Mike Gillis at the helm and just from being an observant fan, there is a different feeling from the guys we see on the ice. Despite recent struggles, they are fighting through it, instead of just succumbing to what befalls them.

Over the last four games, here are three of the guys that have been solid for the Canucks and here three of the guys who have been struggling.

THREE UP

1. Ryan Miller- Despite having some rough games in the month of December, Ryan Miller has found his form since the holiday break. He has been tracking the puck well and despite the late in the game loss to LA, he stopped 37 of 40 shots the Kings threw his way. In the OT loss to the Anaheim Ducks, Miller posted 28 saves of 30 shots while being absolutely stellar in the game versus the Detroit Redwings, last Saturday. In the four games Miller has stopped 126 of 133 SOG. His save % is at an incredible .947. If not for the play of Ryan Miller, this could be a different four games for the Canucks.

Edler2. Alex Edler- He could possibly be nicknamed “Steady Eddie” for his play the over this four game stretch. He recorded three points including a PPG versus Detroit. His +/- rating is at a +1 for these four games and the ability for him to just calmly and confidently move the puck out of this zone, gaining centre before shooting it into the other end has been a night and day difference from last season’s version of Alex Edler. Edler is looking a lot more comfortable this year on the blue line than last. He and Tanev have been a solid pairing and a bright spot for the Canucks D.

3. Alex Burrows- Say what you want about Alex Burrows and his often agitating demeanor on the ice, he is probably the most coach-able person on the team. He is  versatile. Ask him to play on the penalty kill, he is money. Ask him to play down with Horvat and Dorsett, he gives that line some good chances at the net. Ask him to play on the PP as the man in front and suddenly the very quiet power play is making a little more noise. After such a terrible and injury ridden season under John Tortorella, it’s great to see Burrows back to being Burrows under Willie Desjardins. Hard to fault him for what he does on the ice. He doesn’t seem to do much wrong. Sure we could have Burrows potting a few more to the back of the net, but I’m just glad to see Burrows feeling confident in two-way play once more and on special teams, I can’t name one person that plays them as well as Burr.

As some guys are finding their grooves, and finding their games, there are other guys on the team that have been invisible, struggling that it costs the team on the scoreboard or just plays you see and all you can do is shake your head.

THREE DOWN

Kevin-Bieksa-and-tiny-Hamhuis-600x3001. Kevin Bieksa- It’s no secret I am not the biggest fan of Bieksa’s play on the ice, and although I have thought him to be serviceable, he’s not by any means a ‘franchise blue-liner’ that some fans make him out as, but everyone knows I love the way he stands up for his teammates. I admire the way he conducts himself with the media and the fans, and his work and contributions outside the world of hockey. Kevin Bieksa is a damn good teammate, but his play since the injury to Dan Hamhuis has been far from stellar. The casual clearings of the pucks and the untimely penalties have really been glaring. They are even worse to see when he was paired up with Luca Sbisa. Things have somewhat steadied with Stanton on the other side and Juice has fought his way back to a -2 after being -7 in his +/- rating. One thing I will say, Bieksa looked pretty good versus Detroit. He made some really timely plays and maybe, just maybe, Hamhuis will be back to get Juice back on track soon.

2. Chris Higgins- Like Mikael Samuelsson before him, Higgins is a streaky player. However this long streak of being goal-less and invisible is really adding up to about a calendar month, maybe more. During this four game span, Higgins has recorded only six shots on goal. Yes, the rest of the team hasn’t really been shooting much either, but Higgins has enough speed to get himself open and take more shots. I was expecting a better year from Higgins but as of now, he’s been more often quiet than not.

3. Nick Bonino: According to Raffi (yes, that Raffi, Baby Beluga, Raffi) on twitter, the “Bonino Phone” has stopped ringing. In fact, it has rang since Dec. 13th versus the New York Rangers in a loss. Bonino is stagnant in terms of point production. He has recorded one assist in last four games. He centres the 2nd unit powerplay and some of it can be attributed to the Sedin PP unit taking up 1:30 of the 2min PP time, Bonino’s unit hasn’t produced and has looked lack lustre. Bonino needs to find a way to start contributing to the score-sheet and fast, because the Canucks aren’t looking like they won that Anaheim trade at the moment or remotely feel they ‘broke even’ on the deal. One positive about Nick Bonino in the last little while is that his faceoff % has gone up to the 50% range from the 30% range he was recording earlier in the season.

Hopefully we can get the whole ship working on all cylinders as they were in late October, early November, once again,  but each line, each player needs to be picking up the slack more when they see teammates struggle, but with the Canucks having been out-shot 133-75 in these last four games doesn’t build a lot of hope in some of the fan base. These were top quality opponents. The Sharks, Ducks, Kings and Wings are no joke. Sure you can get away with it on the Oilers, Sabres, Flames even to an extent and the Coyotes, but if the Canucks wish to have any success in the Western Conference and specifically the Pacific Division, they need to start getting more pucks to the net, causing rebounds and making opportunities.

@Aviewfromabroad

#TICH: Iron Mike Makes a Deal

January 3rd, 1998: Iron Mike Keenan started his dismantling of the Vancouver Canucks. After 10 years in a Canucks uniform, the longest serving goalie in franchise history, Kirk McLean, gets dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes, along with Martin Gelinas for Geoff Sanderson, Enrico Ciccone and goaltender, Sean Burke. Those three players played a total of 38 games for the Vancouver Canucks before they, themselves, were sent away from by Keenan.

 

Kirk McLean spent 10 & half years backstopping for the Canucks. He was traded to Carolina January 3, 1998.

Kirk McLean spent 10 & half years backstopping for the Canucks. He was traded to Carolina January 3, 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McLean’s play suffered partly because of a reoccurring knee injury but in all honesty, many people believed Mike Keenan didn’t want the core there anymore and McLean was the first piece, with Gelinas, to be dealt out. McLean and Gelinas were the first but they were not the last. Change came, some of it ended up being blessing in disguise eventually, but this was a deal that Carolina got themselves a starting goaltender and Vezina finalist in Kirk McLean and “Notre Coeur” (Our Heart) Martin Gelinas. The Canucks got back, temporary workers.

It was the beginning of the end of an era that Pat Quinn had built previously. Keenan knocked it down with a wrecking ball and in doing so, set the organization back by a decade. He didn’t care, he wanted to make sure the stamp had “Iron Mike” all over it on the Canucks organization. It did, but it was years before we as fans, saw any of the fruition of it.

This is what happened on January 3, 1998, Today in Canucks History.

 

twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

 

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Notable players traded by Mike Keenan out of the Canucks organization:

TO BUFFALO: Geoff Sanderson

TO VANCOUVER: Brad May

TO NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Trevor Linden

TO VANCOUVER: Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, 3rd Round Pick(Jarkko Ruutu)

TO PHILADELPHIA:Dave Babych, 5th Round Pick(Garrett Prosofsky)

TO VANCOUVER:3rd Round Pick(Justin Morrison)

TO NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Gino Odjick

TO VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Jason Strudwick

TO PHILADELPHIA:Sean Burke

TO VANCOUVER:Garth Snow

TO NEW YORK RANGERS:Russ Courtnall, Esa Tikkanen

TO VANCOUVER:Sergei Nemchinov, Brian Noonan

TO VANCOUVER: Trent Klatt

TO PHILADELPHIA: 6TH Round Pick

#TBT Hockey Hair: Who Rocked What?

When most people think of “hockey hair”, the vision of the mullet comes up, because in the late 80s and early 90s, it was so. When I used to describe guys back then, I would use the term “hockey hair” guys  back then… “He’s tall, blonde, has hockey hair…”. Yeah, it was a thing.  However, not all “hockey hair” is that of business in the front and party in the back. In fact, we have some other categories to show you.

Classic Hockey Hair: The Mullet

Here are some guys that have rocked the mullet their way. Some make me want to cringe, but they all make me laugh.

Kenny Baumgartner rocked the mullet like he was Billy Ray Cyrus.

Kenny Baumgartner rocked the mullet like he was Billy Ray Cyrus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If John Stamos didn't use hairspray, I venture to say his hair looked a lot a like Jagr's famous 'signature' do.

If John Stamos didn’t use hairspray, I venture to say his hair looked a lot a like Jagr’s famous ‘signature’ do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps, Al Iafrate wore it until his last hair follicle fell out.

Perhaps, Al Iafrate wore it until his last hair follicle fell out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coaches got into it too. Barry Melrose sported his mullet with his Armani suits.

The coaches got into it too. Barry Melrose sported his mullet with his Armani suits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The infamous hockey hair better known as the mullet. Who else rocked a pretty good one? Well I’d have to go back to 2010…

Tanner Glass rocked a mullet during his time with the Canucks, although a much more modern version of it, but still a enough party in the back to make the category.

Tanner Glass rocked a mullet during his time with the Canucks, although a much more modern version of it, but still a enough party in the back to make the category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bald and the Beautiful?

My nickname for Alex Auld when he was playing for the Canucks was "Auldy the Baldy". Still, hair or no hair, you can't hide handsome.

My nickname for Alex Auld when he was playing for the Canucks was “Auldy the Baldy”. Still, hair or no hair, you can’t hide handsome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He rocked the bald look so well, he even got a blog named after him, Jan Bulis.

He rocked the bald look so well, he even got a blog named after him, Jan Bulis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The more Mats Sundin lost his hair, the more viking he became on the ice. The opposite of Samson, Sundin rocked that looked like a champ.

The more Mats Sundin lost his hair, the more viking he became on the ice. The opposite of Samson, Sundin rocked that look like a champ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason I want to play pool…

 

Greased Lightning!

Now there is greased…

 

roberto-luongo-canada

Roberto Luongo actually looks better with the slicked back look. It suits him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and there is greasy…

No matter what length of hair he had, Brent Sopel never had it look clean.

No matter what length of hair he had, Brent Sopel never had it look clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or this…

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who has the greasiest hair of all? Why you do, Mike Ricci!

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who has the greasiest hair of all? Why you do, Mike Ricci!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got Flow: Here are the guys that keep the hair product companies in business.

Kris Letang makes the 90's one length Seattle grunge hair look good. I wonder what conditioner he uses.

Kris Letang makes the 90’s one length Seattle grunge hair look good. I wonder what conditioner he uses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Kesler rocked the best Astro Boy hair ever circa 2009.

Ryan Kesler rocked the best Astro Boy hair ever circa 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Jose Theodore had model looks and the locks to go with it.

Vintage Jose Theodore had model looks and the locks to go with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These guys could basically have any hair style and they could make it look good!

Quit Clowning Around!

Ronald McDonald was apparently a hair trend setter for the NHL as well…

Trend Setter! Red Hair, don't care!

Trend Setter! Red Hair, don’t care!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should have the get out of bed clown hair…

Mike Commodore was rocking some ginger fro look during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes for a few seasons.

Mike Commodore was rocking some ginger fro look during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes for a few seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the perfectly coiffed

Daniel Alfredsson was trying to rock a more coiffed clown look.

Daniel Alfredsson was trying to rock a more coiffed clown look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a look at some of the hockey hair of yester-years (and some present). It just goes to show you not all hockey hair is a mullet, but it sure sparked some interesting hairstyles over the years on the ice. Which was your favourite player or hockey figure to every rock a memorable hairstyle? Mine? It belongs to one in stripes… “Hair” himself, Kerry Fraser

 

There was no one more proud of his hair that ever around NHL ice than Kerry Fraser. His nickname says it all... "Hair"

There was no one more proud of his hair that ever around NHL ice than Kerry Fraser. His nickname says it all… “Hair”

Remembering Pat Quinn

With a heavy heart and some streaming tears, I write this today. Growing up a Canucks fan in the 80s and 90s, the Quinn era changed the face of hockey in Vancouver forever. I couldn’t imagine Canucks hockey without the stamp of Pat Quinn on it. I don’t know what else I could add to what has been written and said about “The Big Irishman”. All I can do is go back and revisit his induction to the Canucks Ring of Honour.

Saving the Vancouver Canucks: Here is Iain McIntyre talking to Joey Kenward about if Quinn wasn’t hired and didn’t changed the culture of the Vancouver Canucks. the team would have not have been able to stay in Vancouver.

The Ring of Honour Induction: Introduced by Hall of Fame, Canucks play by play announcer, Jim Robson, Quinn gets his days.  It was on the last day of 2013-2014 season. Pat Quinn meant so much to hockey in Vancouver and of course the community. In his speech, he talked about how it had to be built and that stamp is still on the team today. Near the end of his speech, Quinn address the fans as part of ‘the family’, and talked about the ups and downs together and to have hope:

 And kind of lastly tonight, another part of the family is you, the fans. We’ve hit some hard times in this organization and we’ve had some great times too. Those great times are going to be back with us again… (crowd applause)…and you have been terrific. When I came here in ’70, it was hard to find a Canucks fan, now we are all Canucks fans. And thank you all, for how you’ve treated me.

Pat Quinn’s accomplishments with Hockey Canada were golden. Winning gold on many levels of International competition as a head coach.

2002- Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games- Head Coach- Gold

Pat Quinn wins Olympic Gold as a head coach in 2002 with Team Canada in Salt Lake City, Utah defeating Team USA 5-2.

Pat Quinn wins Olympic Gold as a head coach in 2002 with Team Canada in Salt Lake City, Utah defeating Team USA 5-2.

2004- World Cup of Hockey- Head Coach – Gold

2008- IIHF U18 World Championships – Head Coach- Gold

2009- IIHF World Junior Champtionships- Head Coach- Gold

Quinn has won Golds in International competitions he has coached, including 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake.

Quinn has won Golds in International competitions he has coached, including 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake.

It’s been a difficult day. The hockey world lost one of their best today. For us here in Vancouver, as Iain McIntyre said in his column, hockey royalty lost their king today. My condolences to the Quinn family, friends and inner circle. You will never be forgotten.

Quinn will forever be my favourite Canucks’ coach and GM. He had that special something and it manifested in the way he walked, talked and smiled.

Thank you, Pat Quinn.  RIP and give Pat Burns a fist bump for us, will ya?

 ADDITION: Via @VanCanucks

 

Fan Profile: Dominador Martin- Canucks Fan in Land of the Blackhawks

As you all know, not all Canucks fans reside in Lotusland (Vancouver), but there are some fans in certain parts of the world you wouldn’t think could be Canucks fans. Dominador Martin is a Canucks  fan who lives in Illinois, Blackhawks territory. He has graciously allowed me to share his Canucks fandom story and we had a little Q&A on how someone who lives just outside of Chicago, and was born there, could rock the blue and Kelly green of the Vancouver Canucks in public and have love for them in his heart. 

Name: Dominador Erwin Martin V (yes, the fifth!)

Born: May 29, 1977, Chicago, IL

Dominador Martin V is an avid Canucks fan who lives just outside of Chicago. Surrounded by Blackhawk colours, he bleeds green and blue.

Dominador Martin V is an avid Canucks fan who lives just outside of Chicago. Surrounded by Blackhawk colours, he bleeds green and blue.

 

JG: How long have you been cheering on the Vancouver Canucks?

DEM: I have been cheering on the Vancouver Canucks since the beginning of the 2007-08 season. Before that season I have sporadically followed the Canucks since the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.

JG: Who is currently your favourite player, and why?

DEM: This is really a tough one, because I don’t have just one favorite. All team members, in my opinion have shown that they can make a great impact for the team this season. But if I had to completely choose ONE favorite, it would have to be The Sedins because of their longevity with the team.

JG: Living just outside of Chicago, what is it like cheering on the Vancouver Canucks?

DEM: For me, it’s such an adrenaline rush, knowing that I represent a pure and proud Canuck fan, even while living in Illinois and being buried in a sea of red jerseys at the UC during Canucks-Hawks games.

JG: How do most of the Blackhawks fans treat you?

DEM: Most Blackhawks fans that I know have been really respectful towards me. However, there have been a few, though not many, instances where I was walking down the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois and I get heckled wearing my Canucks gear. For instance, once I was walking towards one of my Psychology classes wearing my Luongo jersey and I had one or two drunk hecklers, wearing their Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane jerseys, come up to me and tell me that the Canucks suck and wanted to fight me. So I just told them to get a breath mint. Campus security had to actually arrest them for being drunken and disorderly.But all in all, all of my Blackhawk-loving friends have been really cool and respectful to me.

JG: Do you go to United Center to watch any of the Canucks/Blackhawks games?

DEM: The last game I went to was on December 20th of last year, in which our beloved Canucks won in a shootout vs the Chicago Blackhawks at the UC. Eddie Lack was in between the pipes that night, and Ryan Kesler had the winning shootout goal. Prior to the December game of last year, I went to the game on March 21, 2012, Canucks overtime loss to Chicago at the UC. Roberto Luongo was in net that night.

JG: Being of Filipino background, the culture loves the sport of basketball, how did hockey turn your attention and win your love for the sport?

DEM: You also forgot to mention our love for the sport of boxing (Manny Pacquiao)…..lol.

JG: Haha! Of course, Manny Pacquiao, and he won again last night!

DEM: All sports aside, this is a little bit of a story that I love to tell because I have an older cousin who lives in Langley, British Columbia and several years ago, back in the fall of 2007 to be exact, my cousin came to visit my family and I for about two weeks and I fell in love with the sport from there.

JG: You’ve mentioned in previous conversations on twitter and Facebook you have relatives in Vancouver, and now I know they have influenced you to be a Canucks fan. How did that happen?

DEM: I believe it was a Saturday night, October 6th of 2007. I happen to be watching TV when my cousin walked in and asked if she could join me. So we were watching TV together and she asked if I could switch to the NHL Network. So as we were watching the Canucks play the Calgary Flames that night at the Saddledome. I asked my cousin if she was an NHL fan. She responded by saying that she loves the Canucks, and as a gift to me, I received an RBK Premier Canuck jersey (with no players name). As we were watching the game together, I had asked some questions about the players themselves since a lot of them were new to me. As the game went on, I wanted to keep watching the game to see what was going on. The puck movements, puck handling skills, speed, the strategy, the shootouts, are awesome to watch. That night, the Canucks won in OT vs. Calgary and I became a fan of the Canucks and then I fell in love with the game of hockey.

JG: Have you ever seen the Canucks play at Rogers Arena?

DEM: I have never attended a Rogers Arena game, which is something that I want to do and cross off my personal bucket list. From what I have seen on televised games, Rogers Arena always looked packed, and I want to be a part of it, the next time I visit British Columbia for a game.

JG: Have you visited our fair city ?

DEM: My cousin, who visited me,her husband and their three kids live out in Langley, BC. And yeah they are all Canucks fans.. I have visited the beautiful city of Vancouver back during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Although I wish I could have seen the games live and in-person in Vancouver. I returned home the day before the 2011 Stanley Cup riots.

JG: Where you do see the team finishing in the standings this season and who are the key players to put them at your prediction point?

DEM: This is a great question. I see us also finishing in the top ten, if not, top five, in the league, with the group of guys we have now. With guys like Linden Vey, Zack Kassian, Ryan Miller, The Sedins, Nick Bonino, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler, Luca Sbisa and if they can add in one, who I think is a dark horse pick, if he is called up from Utica…it is Hunter Shinkaruk, And of course there is always ‘Juice’ Kevin Bieksa

JG: So far, what do you think of the young guys, Vey, Kassian, and Bo Horvat?

DEM: Linden Vey and Bo Horvat……untapped potential. They would look great on any line. Since the February 2012 trade that sent Cody Hodgson to Buffalo for Zack Kassian, Kass is starting to show he can be a proven commodity for the Canucks.

JG: What did you think of what happened last season? The Torts meltdown, the downward spiral of the Canucks season and the falling out between the Canucks and Ryan Kesler?

DEM: Torts who? ……haha…..Just kidding. As far as John Tortorella goes, I respect him as a Stanley Cup-winning coach, but in retrospect, his style didn’t mesh with the Canucks system, period.

To simply answer this whole question, one name: Mike Gillis……enough said.

JG: I understand that. Gillis created something good, but didn’t keep progressing on it. Moving on… If you could spend a day with one Canucks player, who would it be and why?

DEM: Excellent question. I think maybe I’d like to spend a day with either Daniel or Henrik Sedin, to see what their lives are like outside of the NHL and hockey. I’d like to see how much and what they do in and around the city of Vancouver. How their off-ice work that helps them be an integral part of the Canucks team successes.

JG: Besides the Canucks winning the Stanley Cup, what is a Canucks related bucket list you’d like to share with us?

DEM: They have accomplished everything that needs to be accomplished except bring home Lord Stanley. That’s all.

Canucks Fan For Life…..case closed.

JG: Thank you, Dominador. Hopefully, the Canucks can fulfill that bucket list item for you and for all the other Canucks fans around the world.

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Fun Facts about Dominador Martin: He is a 2013 graduate from Eastern Illinois University, with a Psychology degree and a focus on Clinical Psychology. Since 1998, he is  martial arts instructor in Champaign, IL in the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do, and is a 4th degree black belt. In his spare time, he is also a profesional part-time DJ. Pretty diverse isn’t he?

TKDDominador

“Don’t mess with me Blackhawks fans, I’m a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do!” Dominador Martin is a Canucks fan in Land of the Blackhawks.