A Canucks Fan Stranded in a Hockey-Godless City

While you’re all in Vancouver enjoying the excitement, I am in Toronto getting ready to watch a Raptors/Celtics game.  After that, at 10 PM EST, I will be grabbing some coffee to stay up for our beloved Canucks. So as Brian has shared his random thoughts, so shall I, from Hogtown.

Weber and Bitz and Bitz and Hits

Shea Weber must have a meeting with Vince McMahon in the next few weeks. He is putting together an audition reel, starting with Zetteberg’s head. How does the pro-wrestling move of  “The Bulldog” have any part in the NHL? What’s disturbing about the whole thing is, why wasn’t there more disciplinary action from the NHL on this incident? Instead Weber pays $2500, a fee he probably pays to get custom suits made, and is still playing in this series. On the other hand, I have no problem with Bitz’s suspension. In fact, after seeing the hit again, a few times, I’m cool with it. However, if Bitz garnered two games, Weber should be suspended for at least that. Someone was even inspired enough to make a Youtube video with legendary wrestling announcer, Jim Ross, giving the audio to that Weber hit.

Kings Gate, and I don’t mean mall

I was pretty upset by this coming from a corporate organization’s account. You would think an NHL franchise would have some guidelines of what to tweet, as the face of the organization on twitter. I mean, twitter! Really? That person that is running that account considers his or herself a ‘social media specialist’? But it may have sparked some interest in the Kings down in LA, since you know, there will probably be more Canucks fans down that way for Games 3 and 4.

Blame Luongo!

Yes, yes even though the Canucks crapped the bed in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, there are those still out there blaming Luongo. Why? Because it’s no longer even a surprise, in fact, I think for many of the ‘fans’ out there, it’s just fashionable to blame him. Someone was calling for his head on goal #2. Really? The Canucks were parading back to the penalty box, I thought there were some good treats on the bench for the boys to munch on.

Fact or fiction? Does everyone in Canada want the Canucks to lose?

Oddly enough, I have yet to hear too many bad things about the Canucks here in Toronto. In fact, about 3/4 of the people I have ran into and chatted hockey were hoping they were going to be the ones to bring the cup back to Canada. The other 1/4 that I asked didn’t really care, it’s baseball season now...*wink* Perhaps I should publicize an apology in the paper to Toronto fans for having such a good team on the west coast, but someone has already beat me to that.

Boston teams
Random tidbit here, but as some know, I am a big ‘hater’ of Boston based teams. As a Yankees fan, I despise the Red Sox. As a Denver Broncos fan, I hate Tom Brady and his bunch known as the New England Patriots, and the Bruins? Yeah, no need for commentary on that one. Although, tonight, I will be cheering on the Celtics. I have adopted them as my NBA team until the Sonics are back into Seattle. So I will be cheering on the boys in green and wearing my Canucks jersey.

Game Two

I’m hoping for a kick ass effort from the Canucks tonight. I’m hoping they realize they can’t coast in the first round or any round for that matter in the Stanley Cup playoffs. LA has been playing playoff hockey all March vying for the last few available playoff spots. They are already warmed up and seasoned. I don’t want the Canucks hoping they run out of gas. So the Canucks need to turn off cruise control and compete like they are President’s Trophy winners.

From the Centre of the Universe,

Justine Galo

Twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

 

Contest: Game 4 on the Jumbotron anyone?

Stanley Cup banner hangs from the rafters in Rogers Arena: Photo: Justine Galo

Since the contest for Game 3 garnered  good attention. Congratulations to Armit Gill of Coquitlam in winning to viewing party seats to Game 3. I’d like extend it for Game 4.  There are a few Canucks that could be possible candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy.  My choice right now? It would probably Alex Burrows. He’s tied with Daniel Sedin for goals in the playoffs, for the Canucks with nine.  He’s scored timely OT goals to win a series and to put the Canucks up two games to none in the Stanley Cup Final.

1.Post a comment on here as to who your candidate would be, and why?

AND

2. Cut/Paste or Retweet

I want to go to the Rogers Arena Game 4 Viewing Party courtesy of @CanucksCorner and  @Aviewfromabroad http://canuckscorner.com/?p=2065

As I did for Game 3, I will deliver your tickets right in your hand. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow afternoon on Twitter and on this page.

Good Luck and Go Canucks Go!

Justine Galo

Twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

Western Conference Final schedule scenarios.

Here from NHL.com are the schedules for each scenario of the Western Conference Finals. Regardless, they begin Sunday in Vancouver. All times PT.

2011 WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS – IF SAN JOSE ADVANCES

Sunday, May 15 at Vancouver, 5:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, May 18 at Vancouver, 6:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Friday, May 20 at San Jose, 6:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Sunday, May 22 at San Jose, 12:00 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
*Tuesday, May 24 at Vancouver, 6:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Thursday, May 26 at San Jose, 6:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 28 at Vancouver, 5:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS

2011 WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS – IF DETROIT ADVANCES

Sunday, May 15 at Vancouver, 5:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, May 18 at Vancouver, 6:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Friday, May 20 at Detroit, 5:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Sunday, May 22 at Detroit, 12:00 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
*Tuesday, May 24 at Vancouver, 6:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Thursday, May 26 at Detroit, 5:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 28 at Vancouver, 5:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS

Well Played, Wellwood!

The Canucks came out blazing in the first two periods of last night’s game.  Although they did stumble for most of the third, allowing the Chicago Blackhawks to tie the game at three on thirteen shots on Roberto Luongo.  It was definitely something the Canucks need to be mindful of next game and prepare for better than Game 1.

Wellwood pays the price in Game 1 versus the Chicago Blackhawks

Wellwood pays the price in Game 1 versus the Chicago Blackhawks

Kyle Wellwood’s play last night was outstanding.  To me, he was the unsung hero of the game.  He drew three penalties last night including two double minors. His face paid the price, but he didn’t care.  He got stitched up and he was back on the ice like it did not even happen.  He did his job and he did it well.

All throughout the regular season stretch and the Round 1 series against St. Louis, we have seen a different side of Kyle Wellwood.  We see a guy that has re-invented himself into a very good two way hockey player.   We have seen a guy who has been in Alain Vigneault’s doghouse and was called out publicly, to someone who has become a very effective third line shut down centre.

Perhaps seeing that he cleared waivers twice, and seeing his NHL career on the brink woke something up in Kyle Wellwood and he made a choice to be the player he knows he could be.  We are seeing that on the ice presently. During these playoffs, Wellwood has scored once, had three assists and playing good defensive hockey.

What really sticks out in my mind is his face-off percentage in the playoffs. All the Canucks regular centres are doing very well, but his 56.4% winning percentage is behind that of Mats Sundin (57.5%) and Ryan Johnson (62.5%). This is an area that the whole team has improved on this season but Kyle winning key face-offs on the third line has been a big factor in his success.

His contributions on the second unit power play have been noticed. His pass on Demitra’s goal last night was brilliant and to mention the beauty to Kesler for the Canucks’ third goal of the evening.

There was something in Kyle Wellwood that Mike Gillis saw to take a $1million dollar chance on at the beginning of the season, and it’s paying off.  Whatever it is,  let’s hope it continues in this series.
High sticks and tape may break his face, but the fatty names never broke his spirit. Good job Kyle.  Glad to have you aboard, in my mind, a magical team.
Go Canucks Go.
Musings from the mud.

Lotus Blossom,Canucks Corner

Canuck Musings: Down the Stretch

Just a few random thoughts popped in my head as I was thinking of the last stretch of the regular season concerning the Vancouver Canucks.  Since February 1st, the Canucks are probably the most consistent team in the NHL.  Looks like every single player has picked up their game, with the exception of the Phoenix game last Saturday, the Canucks are looking good and finding ways to win.  Even good teams like Detroit have bad games, just as Chris Osgood in Calgary.

Roberto Luongo and his infamous comments about winning a Stanley Cup, and it didn’t matter where. I do not recall at any point in that interview that Luongo made reference to leaving the Canucks was a certainty. If the Canucks can build a winning team around Luongo next year, and they have a good playoff run this year, I don’t see Bobby Lu not considering re-signing in Vancouver.  Get your knickers out of a bunch people! Luongo is a driven, hard-working, and competitive individual that would like his team to do the same. Is that such a bad thing?

Shane O’Brien and his public comments about coaching decisions. People think already think I don’t have any love for O’Brien, but that’s not the truth.  I do think there is a lot of potential with him, I just find that he is more of a reactionary player.  I feel he is a guy that plays with raw emotion and that’s ok, I like guys that play with passion and heart, but at the same time, there has to be some semblance of control to his game. Shane O’Brien has yet to master that.  Also, his word-waging war with management and coaching decisions via the media comes off a bit whiny and unprofessional. Take it with stride big man and find ways to get yourself back into the line-up. Actions speak so much louder than words, especially this time of the season.

Sedins: “Tubthumping” seems to be their Anthem in win over Dallas. Daniel Sedin looked like he got his tooth knocked out and also his upper lip stitched up.  As the famous lyrics go,

“Oh Danny Boy
Danny Boy…”
I get knocked down
But i get up again
You’re never goin’ to keep me down

(thanks Mr. Bjorkloven) *wink*

Everyone can say what they will about Hank and Dan. Many fans around the league find them ‘soft’ and some out there still have the audacity to call them ‘sisters’, but make no mistake about it, as much as these two get knocked down. They keep getting back up, and playing on. No words of complaints, just taking it in stride, like men, and doing what they are supposed to do on the ice. Take note Sidney Crosby.

Ryan Kesler: His drive for a winning franchise
I am not sure what the big deal was for Kesler to talk about wanting to win and keeping a winning team and people taking a few paycuts here and there to sustain winning ways. In the long run, Kesler is right, but we live in a “show me the money, results now” type of world.  At the same time, Ryan Kesler is earning his paycheque.  With 23 goals on the season and playing wonderful two-way hockey, Kesler is a bargain at $1.75million this season.  Bobby Clarke saw something in the boy with that offer sheet back in ’06 and Kesler has lived up to and beyond it.

Alex Burrows: True Grit Alex Burrows is the ultimate ‘feel good’ story of the Canucks recent times. Here is a kid that wasn’t drafted and worked his way into the regular line-up with hard work. Thing is, many of us didn’t think Burrows had the talent to back-up his hard work.  Now, we see differently. A tweener project of Marc Crawford has made his way to the first lines with Hank and Dan. Seeing major ice time with the ability to play on the PK makes Alex Burrows hot commodity in the NHL. I’m am very happy that Canucks GM, Mike Gillis, saw that and locked him up for four years at $2million per annum.

As we head in towards the post season. I do want to say that the Canucks barring major injury have addressed their issues of weakness from this time last year. The Canucks were not deep on the back end and were in a lot of injury trouble. As a collective unit, they were pretty small and soft. This year with the addition of Bernier, O’Brien,and Hordichuk, I don’t see the Canucks being a team to push around.  Roberto Luongo looks more focused and I have more confidence in Jason Labarera than I did in Curtis Sanford. All and all, I do believe although the Canucks aren’t supposedly at the echelon of the big teams like Detroit, San Jose, and apparently Calgary, I believe the Canucks can give anyone they face in the playoffs a good run for their buck.

Just some musings from the mud.
LotusBlossom