Bruce Ng: Canucks Advent Calendar: 14 days to the Season Opener

CanucksCorner.com is pleased to welcome Bruce Ng to our team of writers for the 2011-2012 NHL season. Bruce is a big Canucks fan and also runs his own blog at http://transcendwebs.com/blog where you can find these posts as well as other thoughts he has on other topics. We pick up Bruce’s Canucks Advent Calendar series mid-stream as the team is just 14 days away from their season opener!

This series of blog posts will look back on the highest highs of last season, and hopefully get the Canucks faithful amped for the season to come!

14 days to get back to playing Canucks hockey. 14 days to get back to winning games.

With just 14 days to the start of the season, today’s memory is dedicated to Twitter’s @BurrowsGirl - and the focus is on the versatility of the often overlooked and under-rated 3rd member of the Sedin line, Alexandre Burrows.

Burrows started the 2010-2011 season on the injured reserve, but when he returned it didn’t take long for him to take his familiar spot lining up next to the Sedins. He has occasionally been accused of biting off more than he can chew, especially with referees (Stephane Auger controversy anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?), but Vancouver Canucks fans can’t get enough of Burr – it’s his heart, and his love for the game.

Haters around the league say that anyone could play with the Sedins and put up the kinds of numbers Burrows does. What most haters don’t realize is that the audition for the Sedin’s linemate was about 6 years long before Burrows. The closest thing to chemistry the twins had was with Anson Carter on the Triplets line. The resemblance is obvious.

Burrows is a reliable guy who can finish what Henrik or Daniel start. This setup by Henrik Sedin is nothing short of amazing – he passes between Antti Niemi’s  pads to find Burrows on the other side. Although you might think that’s an easy goal, Burrows doesn’t have much time to spot the puck and move his stick to shoot. A great example of why soft hands are important for a goal scorer.

It was this next goal that sent Canucks fans into a high Cup Fever last season. Burrows showed quickness gloving the puck to the ice, speed to skate to the slot, and a decent slapshot on a tough rolling puck. I will never tire of watching this, and to this day it is saved on my PVR.

Despite the finger biting controversy, Burrows elevated his game again in the Stanley Cup Final, scoring this beauty in Game 2. The more clutch the situation, the greater the chance that it’ll be Burrows that scores the Canucks next goal.

Should the Canucks ever find themselves trailing the opposition going into the 3rd period, the #Canucks hashtag inevitably turns to tweeting #Windaturd and #PeanutButterBurrowsTime. Did I forget to mention Burrows excellent interview skills, and his sense of humour?

Haters around the league consider Burrows to be a finger-biting, diving whiner. He is the type of agitator that teams love to hate, but with surprisingly soft hands and a nose for the net. He is an excellent penalty killer with great wheels. The Canucks have played him in every situation in the past few seasons, and this year looks to be no different.

Thanks to Trevor Presiloski (Follow on twitter: @nettrashcan) for the great Sedin’s linemate post.

Follow Bruce Ng on Twitter: @Transcendwebs

Come welcome Five Hole For Food home and fill Vancouver’s Food Bank!

The 2nd annual Five Hole For Food cross Canada food drive is well underway and by the sounds of it Richard Loat and his team are not only having a blast playing street hockey across the country, they are on the way to smashing their 20,000 pounds of food goal with just 747 pounds to go after they’re Winnipeg event. The team is on their way to Regina next and still have stops in Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria before ending their journey at home in Vancouver on July 9th.

Vancouver is where the idea of Five Hole for Food was born. After starting the trip on the very East Coast it is all going to culminate in the biggest game of the trip as the team will play hockey downtown Vancouver on Granville street for the last time on the trip.

Where: 800 Block of Granville Street

When: Saturday July 9th, 2011

Time:  12:00 PM to 18:00 PM PST

Food Bank Beneficiary: Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society

Special Guests: Hawkey and players off the Abbotsford Heat, Dante Marsh from the BC Lions, Winger from the Surrey Eagles, and Spike from the Coquitlam Express amongst others!

Come on out and bring your gloves and stick to play a little street hockey. Food bank donations will be accepted on site, and cash donations are welcome as well.

If you want to know more about Five Hole For Food the best thing to do is to check out their website and follow them on Twitter @FiveholeForFood.

A Little Faith, Please

As I have gone on this roller coaster ride in the first round so far in the 2011 NHL Playoffs series between the Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks, all I can say is I am glad it’s coming to an end, one way or another. This series has had the best of times for us Canucks fans in the first three games and the worst of times in the last three games of the series. But I will give credit where it is due, the Blackhawks have fought back to even up the series and bring it to seventh and deciding game. The team who wants it more will be winning the series. No sugar-coating and no excuses; it’s one and done.

I haven’t written a column in a while, and for whatever reason, I feel like putting up a few comments tonight. I could rehash the ‘would’ve, could’ve, should’ve’ angle of this series for the Canucks, but I won’t. There have been more than enough write-ups about that exact topic.  So I’m going to make this my rally cry. My pledge of allegiance to the team that I have been loyal to for 30 years of my life.

The Canucks can win this series, they just need to put their minds, their bodies and souls into this game.  It may take whatever they have left in the tank, but I know they can.  Why? It’s simple, they have been too good all year long and worked too hard to get to this point to give up now.

Last night in Game 6, I saw a team that wanted to win, dictated play for the majority of the game and most of all played for each other. Despite all that, they came up the short end of the stick.  I refuse to believe it will happen twice. I believe they refuse to believe it will happen twice, especially in their own rink.  I am not sure if I can call it destiny but I have had a feeling about this team since the beginning of the season. Call it ‘wishful thinking’ or whatever you want, but I’ve suffered through many heartaches with this team over the last 30 years to doubt this feeling I cannot shake off.

Believe, just like it says! Photo: Wikipedia Commons

If they happen to lose Tuesday, I will have to figure out as to why my feeling was wrong, but that’s for me to figure out. I just want to see a great game between two great teams playing the greatest game on earth. It’s what every hockey fan wants, but as a Canucks fan, I want my team to win…their way. So to the doubters in Canuck land who have their reservations, I ask you all to be like me,along others, who have been long suffering fans to give our team the support they need and deserve.  It may not seem like a lot because we’re not on the ice playing the game, but I want Canucks fans everywhere to unite and cheer our boys on in the final battle of this series.

I am not hoping they seek ‘revenge’ but rejoice in victory.  To me, as a fan, that’s the key to winning the series, playing their game.  The Canucks will play their game, and win like they have done so many times this season.

I don’t have any fancy sports cliches, no ‘motivational’ words of wisdom but I do have faith. So I ask you all, to join me and have a little faith in our Canucks and I am sure they will do their best to deliver.

Cheer loud and cheer proud my fellow Canucks fans, because we are all that seventh man and right now, the boys need us. As fans, that’s what we are supposed to do…believe.

 

Justine Galo

In Case You Missed It: The Sedins On The Hour

This is a little bit of old news, but Daniel and Henrik Sedin recently appeared on the popular CBC talk show “The Hour” hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. It’s a nice interview and the twins talk about their careers, their fondness for Vancouver, and what it’s like to play hockey in a Canadian city. I thought it would be nice to post it here for people to enjoy.

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Canucks Have Been Proactive In Getting Fans Engaged Via Twitter

This Sunday, May 9th, the next Vancouver Canucks Tweetup will be held at The Academic Public House in Vancouver. The event will be the latest in a series of Tweetups that the Vancouver Canucks have held this season, each one growing in popularity amongst Canucks fans on Twitter and Facebook.

What is a tweetup? Well, it’s an organized event for people that use Twitter to gather and meet one another. In terms of the Canucks, they use tweetups to expose their brand, and bring fans together to watch the game in a fun group environment. Judging by how popular the events have become, it’s becoming a great tool to engage their online fanbase.

The first Canucks tweetup that I know of, was an Official NHL event for game one of last year’s last years playoffs organized by Richard Loat who writes for CanucksHockeyBlog.com and is otherwise known as @Mozy19 on Twitter. Richard describes how the first tweetup came about.

“The NHL wanted to host a tweetup in as many cities as possible. on the same day, which was the firstday of the playoffs last year. I stepped up to host the first Vancouver NHLTweetup and the rest is history. The first tweetup had 25 people show up and the most recent event had over 100. I’ve had a chance to meet other fans and make good friendships with people I would have never ever crossed paths with otherwise.”

The tweetups have grown in size over the course of the last season. The first event held by Loat, who is still involved as an organizer, had 25 people attend, while the last one held for a round one match up between the Kings and Canucks had over 100 people show up to get in on the fun.

The Canuck obviously see value in engaging their online fans with these events. It gives them a chance to meet fans face to face, and gives fans the opportunity to come together and celebrate a common interest.

The organization has stepped up to provide fantastic prizes for those in attendance. Everything from signed photos, stick and pucks to big ticket prizes such as two tickets to a home playoff game. The Green Men have appeared, and hosts such as Scott Rintoul (@scottrintoul) of the TEAM 1040 have emceed the events. The event on May 9th will offer up a signed Roberto Luongo Team Canada jersey as one of it’s main prizes as well as other yet to be named goodies.

The club works with member establishments of their preferred restaurant program to reserve space for the event, making it a great night for those in attendance and giving the establishment a full house for Canucks games.

If you’re on Twitter and would like to see what all the fuss is about, come an join us on May 9th for game five between the Canucks and Blackhawks. You’ll probably meet some new people, and you just may walk out with a prize or two!

Tweetup Information: http://canucks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?bcid=31263

Confirm/Invite your friends on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=119074534788541&ref=mf

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