Top 10: The State of Florida

Back to back games starting on Sunday for the Vancouver Canucks in Florida and then to Tampa Bay on Monday. Sunday afternoon was a hard game for many of the Canucks fans to watch. It was the first time in eight years the Canucks had to face Roberto Luongo as an opponent. Strange times  in Canuckland indeed. Vancouver won the game in a shootout with a goal from Nik Jensen 4-3 . The next night the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Canucks by the identical score.  Some of the happenings were definitely memorable and a few moments would have been left better off forgotten. So from the “Sunshine State”, here is CanucksCorner’s

Top 10.

1. Luongo may not be a Canuck anymore, but it would be hard to tell he wasn’t, if not for that Panthers t-shirt.

Luongo in his Panthers gear chilling with old Canucks teammates.

2. Alex Burrows scored three goals and had three assists in the two games in Sunrise and Tampa. The winger became the ringer we have come to know and love over the years. After playing 30+ games without a goal, he is scoring in bunches. Now tied with David Booth with five goal on the season in about half the games. Here’s one on the power play:

3. Nik Jensen has brought some youth and enthusiasm to the Canucks line-up. Scoring the shootout winner against Roberto Luongo and reviving his line mates, Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows. The line looked good in both games. Jensen has good hockey sense and seems to just want to nothing more than score. Good. This team could use a little more scoring these days. Here’s his goal on Luongo and the Haida hat winner video:

4. Love him or hate him, John Tortorella was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup wining team in 2004. He and a few other members of that team were honoured in Tampa Bay last night, and the usually aloof Torts, was gracious and embraced the moment at the Tampa Bay Times Forum  from an appreciative crowd. The first 30 seconds of this reel sees Torts smiling and waving to the crowd.

5. Goat of the Tampa Bay game: Ryan Stanton doing his best Dan Hamhuis impersonation and scoring on his own goalie twice. Lack had no chance on those ricochets off Stanton’s body and the Lightning were up 3-0. Burrows scores two to battle the Canucks back and Hansen brings it within one with a shorthanded goal but still fell short 4-3.

6. Great Save!:Kevin Bieksa makes the best save of the night against the Panthers on Sunday afternoon. Really? Bieksa?

7. Tweet of the Night:I think Jason Botchford said it best:

This says it all down in Sunrise, FLA versus the Panthers, and all the goalie hoopla that went on over the last year and this past weekend.

8. .500 Hockey: It’s just not going to cut it with the Canucks playoff hopes dwindling. There are only 11 games left in the regular season. It would take a fall from the Dallas Stars, and an incredible and consistent resurgence from the Canucks to make the playoffs now. I don’t see it happening but with the way the team has spiralled since January, many of the bandwagon has now found  a new place to plant their behinds. Image courtesy of @CrownRoyal22
Look who's driving!

9. MIA: Ryan Kesler is rumoured to be missing action for about two weeks. This is not a good sign for the Canucks who are completely depleted down the middle. From the looks of it, Kesler won’t be back until the last week of the regular season.  The injury happened in Winnipeg and Kesler didn’t complete the rest of the trip. He went back to Vancouver to have the extent of his injury assessed. The infirmary is still full. Kesler joins, Richardson, Daniel and Andrew Alberts.

10.Good-bye Sweet Bromance: Probably the saddest thing about this whole weekend is not  realizing that Canucks aren’t probably going to make the playoffs, but the Bromance between Roberto Luongo and Eddie Lack  (at least as teammates) got some closure in that 4-3 shootout win over the Panthers. Thing 3 beats Thing 1 in a skills competition.

The road trip brought out some pretty good things and still glaringly bad things about the Canucks’ play. The good is, they are scoring more than just one goal again. The bad is, they are playing .500 hockey. This team should be winning but their defensive lapses keep coming back to haunt them. Three goals for, usually means a victory, but the Canucks just can’t seem to have a winning streak beyond one game. Let’s hope the last 11 games turn up some better fortune for Vancouver.

Justine Galo

@Aviewfromabroad 

PS: Since the luck of the Canucks haven’t been of the norm these days, I am going to do something out of the norm and attend the Canucks versus Predators game. For those curious as to why I don’t attend such games, here’s a little reminder to that very subject. [ The Curse of the Predators ]

Define Tough? Answer: Henrik Sedin

I think I am not going to write about the 0-3 series lead the Los Angeles Kings have over the Vancouver Canucks so far in the first round of the NHL playoffs. In fact, I’m sure there are 500 other blogs about it from all over the blog-es-sphere. So I won’t rehash it. I do however want share a small experience and why I think the toughest guy in the NHL isn’t a prototypical NHL tough guy. He doesn’t fight, he doesn’t get in too many people’s faces and he sure isn’t what you call an ‘intimidating’ figure, but yes, I do sure feel that Henrik Sedin is one tough S.O.B.

This was all inspired after the Dustin Brown hit on Henrik early in the game. A tweeter put out there:

“Sedin currently day to day with a strained labia”

How ‘creative’ this person was! No one has ever heard the Sedins referred to as women before! Wow, I hate to break it to you, but I think that joke actually started in Vancouver in 1999 during Henrik and Daniel’s first training camp. You’re a little late to the party.

Another insinuation that Henrik Sedin is a wimp because he doesn’t ‘fight back’ or have any ‘testicular fortitude’.  Frankly I’m sick of it hearing how much of a ‘p*ssy’ Henrik is and the lack of respect he doesn’t get because in their eyes he’s not ‘tough’. I hate to break to you out of shape sports writers and ‘avid’ fans but he is damn tough. Why? Because he’s lasted over 560 games straight in the NHL without missing one.

It takes a tough man to take the abuse Henrik takes on the ice and do his job night in and night out. It takes a tough man to train rigorously in the off-season to make sure he takes the precautions to have a long career and a strong season. Wow, he’s smart also.  Most of all it takes strong man to go out there to do all this for over 560 games as many ignorant fans all around the NHL, call him a ‘p*ssy’, a ‘faggot’ and the one he and brother seem to always hear is that he is a woman.  My reaction tweet to that was:

@Aviewfromabroad: Hank takes his hits, keeps his mouth shut and keeps on playing. Leading by example. If that makes him a girl, he’s all woman. #Canucks

Another point that I need to address is what makes ‘demeaning’ Henrik or any other man on earth to refer to them as women, is a very misogynistic attitude towards the fairer sex and there is no real need for such insults in this day and age. As a woman, I certainly don’t appreciate having men referred to as women. Are you saying we are not equal enough in your eyes? Go back to the 1950’s please, we don’t need you in this modern world. Alright, back to Henrik.

There are different definitions of toughness in hockey. One is that of guys that can duke it out on the ice. Others have a mental toughness to keep their nerves calms in high pressure situations. One is to endure abuse day in and day out on the ice (and off) and continue to do your job, (well might I add) to the best of your abilities without games interrupted, season after season. The last one is what Henrik Sedin embodies and anyone with an ounce of intelligence of hockey will see what level toughness it takes to be the Ironman of the NHL, over 560 games tough.

Hey but according to that tweet and its writer that inspired all this, what do I know? I’m only a broad.

 

Justine Galo

Twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

 

Call it Canucks in 6.

It doesn’t get much better than this. The league-leading Vancouver Canucks, with their franchise record 117 regular season points, won their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy – in doing so, they became the first team since the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens to lead the league in points, goals for and goals against. They boast the Art Ross trophy winner for the second straight year in Daniel Sedin, and the first pair of brothers to ever accomplish back-to-back scoring championships in him and his brother Henrik. Despite a raft of injuries on the blueline – the Canucks were forced to employ 13 different defensemen through the course of the season – Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo finished third and fourth in the league in save percentage. Did I mention the team had the best power play in the league, and just missed out on having the best penalty kill to boot?

Yes, it was a hell of a season for the Vancouver Canucks. And what did this earn them? A first round match up against the defending Stanley Cup champions in the dirty, rotten, stinkin’ Chicago Blackhawks.

Okay, maybe not stinkin’. After all, Dustin Byfuglien is golfing in Georgia right about now.

Wait. Patrick Kane is still on the team, and sporting a wicked bad striped mullet. Yeah, stinkin’.

The top two lines promise a classic playoff battle. D Sedin – H Sedin – Burrows & Kesler – Samuelsson – Higgins vs Toews – Kane – Sharp & Hossa – Frolik – Stalberg. Sound like an easy win for the Canucks on this point? Don’t bet on it. Jonathan Toews wasn’t the Conn Smythe winner last year for letting Dustin Byfuglien do all the hard work. Toews scored two points a game against the Canucks. That said, it wasn’t the top line that made the biggest difference last year. It’s the bottom six and back end where the Canucks have suffered the past two post-seasons. This year, the Canucks have Mason Raymond flying down the wing and Cody Hodgson playing at third line centre where he would have been all year had it not been for the acquisition of Manny Malhotra. Hello eye injury, goodbye Manny; Cody’s in and has his shot to prove his worth in the bigs. Maxim Lapierre, Tanner Glass, Jannik Hansen and Victor Oreskovich will be forechecking like mad. But where are those big pieces of the Hawks’ Cup run now?

Dave Bolland (C), 16 points in 22 games: Injured (concussion)

Adam Burish (RW), agitator played 15 games & got under Daniel Sedin’s skin: Dallas Stars

Dustin Byfuglien (LW), 11 goals in 22 games, and crawled into Roberto Luongo’s skull: Atlanta Thrashers

Ben Eager (LW), clutch goal vs the Canucks in Game Two: San Jose Sharks

Andrew Ladd (LW),  6 points in 22 games: Atlanta Thrashers

John Madden (C), veteran presence in the locker room: Minnesota Wild

Antti Niemi (G), 2 shutouts, .920 save percentage: San Jose Sharks

Brent Sopel (D), 6 points and a +7 rating in 22 games: Montreal Canadiens

Kris Versteeg (RW), 14 points in 22 games: Philadelphia Flyers

With an injury ravaged defense in front of him, a crushing letter C on the front of his mask and defensive-minded forwards like Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows playing hurt, last year’s Roberto Luongo unraveled at home. The Canucks were outscored 17-7 in three losses in Vancouver. (To be fair, the Canucks were the only playoff team to take two games at United Center in Chicago, and outscored the Hawks 11-6 there in three games.) He had been pulled in several games down the stretch, and never looked comfortable with the expectations placed upon his shoulders.

This year’s Luongo put up his best numbers ever, led the league in wins, and looks as controlled as he’s ever been in the crease. With his calmer demeanour between the pipes, the Canucks have only lost back-to-back games in regulation time once since early November. And that was during mean-nothing contests against the Edmonton Oilers after the Presidents’ Trophy had already been locked up – hell, peewee teams would have a hard time getting themselves up for those games.

Going into the playoffs, Vancouver has the healthiest defense corps they’ve seen all year. Dan Hamhuis, Keith Ballard, Christian Ehrhoff, Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo all dress for game one. There’s no one standout Norris Trophy candidate in

Come Up With A Round Two Twitter Hashtag And Win A Signed Canucks Stick

Round two of the playoffs is on the way and once again the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks are going to do battle to see who will advance to the conference finals in the west.

Blogger Trevor Presiloski of the Internet Trashcan came up with the idea to hold a contest on Twitter to come up with the best #hashtag for the series.

Hashtags by definition are used to create real time track records of creating groups on Twitter. Placing the # sign in front of keywords or targeted groups, makes it easier to track all conversations in the twitter timeline via search.

The Canucks have jumped on board and will provide a team signed stick for whatever hashtag is voted the best one via a poll on Canucks.com. The winning hashtag will become the official Canucks/Blackhawks hashtag for the series.

Last year the hashtag #blackhawkdown was used frequently. Add your hashtag on twitter and address it to @VanCanucks. The top five will be chosen and added to a poll, where the winning tag will be picked and that person will win the signed stick!

Good luck everyone! Share this post on Twitter and Facebook and let’s see what you can come up with!

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PODCAST: Jason Kurylo Playoff Predictions

Jason Kurylo checks in with another “Bernier is a Turd” podcast. In this edition Jason and Chris run through their predictions for the playoffs.

This time around we have two formats for your listening pleasure. An .M4A format with chapter breaks and images and the the stipped down .MP3 version. Simply click on the Ipod of your preference below and enjoy!

CC Podcast - Jason Kurylo  CC Podcast - Jason Kurylo
Download in .M4A format. Download in .MP3 format

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