Back it Up B*tches, Support the Starter

For as long as I could remember, being the starting goaltender after Kirk McLean was not a great job to have with the Vancouver Canucks. I can see why no self-respecting starting free agent goalie ever wanted to come here and play for this team.  All the fans eventually hate them or are extremely disappointed by them, and they are ran out of town.

I remember it even happened with Kirk McLean. When Corey Hirsch came in to replace the injured McLean (knee), many fans were crying for Hirsch to be the new starter. In their eyes, McLean was done. He will never be the same. Sadly, they were right. Kirk was a shadow of his former self, and no longer at the level of a Vezina nominated goaltender. Off Kirk went, and after that, so did competent goaltending for a good stretch of years. 

We could go on and on revisiting all the goalie controversies here in Vancouver over the last 15 years, but there is no point. It all starts with not liking the starter for whatever reason (not good enough, not nice, too aloof…) and loving the backup in the games he plays. His job is to give said starter the break, so some fans want to see at times a more permanent one. As Canucks fans, we had to see it happen twice to the best goaltender this franchise has ever put on its uniform, Roberto Luongo. How about we put an end to it right now.

Remember this? Photo Credit: The Vancouver Sun

Remember this? Photo Credit: The Vancouver Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There is no #TeamLack or #TeamMiller in my eyes. It has always been about #TeamCanucks Right now, it’s not even really an issue. Miller still has not recovered from his injury. So, Eddie Lack is our starter, and we should support him. We should especially support him on days he has a not-so-good game. Fatigue starts to play a factor when one plays so many games in a row. It happened to Miller, and it has happened to Lack too. I like Eddie Lack. He’s a pretty cool dude and a good goalie. However, if Miller comes back, he would get my support as much as Eddie does. Why? 28 wins and 6 shutouts says so. Without that body of work from Miller, the Canucks would not be in a playoff spot. Besides, Ryan Miller seems like a nice guy, just a lot quieter than what we’re used to with guys like Eddie Lack and Kevin Bieksa on the team. To me, he hasn’t been given a chance to be accepted as part of this team by a good number of fans.  We all have to also remember, without Eddie’s improved game since taking over the net post- Miller’s injury,  the Canucks would not still be in playoff contention. Both goalies’ efforts have made an impact. That’s not fan fiction, that’s just how it is.

This goalie controversy can be looked at from a different perspective. Both goalies are both capable of winning, so it’s a problem of abundance. It’s a good problem to have. Two goalies capable of taking the team to victories, a problem? I’m sure teams like Dallas, Edmonton, Arizona etc, would love to have one goalie that could be capable, let alone two. Some should be so lucky.

Let's all relax and take in a Lack Dance.

Let’s all relax and take in a Lack Dance.

My point is, the more Canucks fans, and media alike, who buy into and propagate this message, the harder it could become in the future to find that All-Star level goaltender UFA. No one wants to come to a place where he is publicly not wanted by the very fans for he puts the uniform on, night after night. We don’t want another Heritage Classic situation. Frankly, that dressing room has been through enough over the last two years and there is no need to mount this on them too. Let’s cheer them all on, even the ones that ‘suck’ from time to time. Who knows, it might inspire better play from those players. When the team is winning, the less of an issue it all becomes.

What about next season? Well, let’s get through this one first and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

@Aviewfromabroad

Canucks 1 Panthers 3: Canucks Fall Apart on Luongo’s Return

Kevin Bieksa gets toppled by first overall draft pick Aaron Ekblad

Kevin Bieksa gets toppled by first overall draft pick Aaron Ekblad

AUTHOR’S NOTE: It has been over a month since I have published my last article “The Goaltending Controversy Del Två”. Due to personal obligations, I have not been able to pen my “After Ten” or other analysis articles where I discuss the current state of the Vancouver Canucks.

 

 

Last night Roberto Luongo returned to the city of Vancouver, the place he called home for eight years. The fans cheered him on throughout the game and it brought what looked like tears to his eyes. His old pals from the Canucks gave him one of the greatest presents of all, a victory in Vancouver allowing him to officially claim he has truly defeated every team in the NHL.

Five minutes into the game the Canucks looked like they had this game marked to be locked up with a win. Fans would have to guess again after the emotion took over the home bench but not the returning goalie.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored three points (2G, 1A) and rattled the Canucks to their core. The home team looked out of place and spent the majority of the time in their own defensive zone. The Canucks attempted to look like the almighty ones by sending out Dorsett to scrap almost every player on the Panthers line-up but he was eventually taken out by Luongo’s blocker.

The only players to show any consistency were Alex Burrows and Bo Horvat. Burrows lit up the highlight reel with his countless opportunities to score and Bo Horvat was, as usual, a face-off god.

It appeared the home team was dull in the second period when two goals were scored. The Panthers went in charging and did not let up on the ailing Canucks.

“When we came out our energy level wasn’t great,” Desjardins said in a post-game interview, “it seemed like we weren’t working hard enough.”

Bo Horvat looked to be in complete agreement with the words his coach spoke.

“We have to start capitalizing on our opportunities,” Horvat said, “We’ve got to play more aggressive and play with more energy.”

The Canucks are aware of their actions on the ice and how it is unacceptable, but will they be able to correct their mistakes as of late?

Ryan Miller made key saves to keep the team within reachable distance in the third period but was let down by his teammates who gave Luongo easy shots to block.

The power play was an utter nightmare, when a two-man advantage that should have allowed the boys to gain some traction did not produce a single shot on net. This is partly due to the fact they were out defended and could not match up to the Panthers strength. Luca Sbisa and Kevin Bieksa were two of the players who were erratic on their play.

The Vancouver Canucks showed a few glimmers of hope in last night’s game but it was not enough to give them the win they needed.

 

Caleb Harder

@cjaharder

2015

Loss to Panthers No Big Deal, Perfect Night for Luongo

luu-700x400

The Vancouver Canucks lost 3-1 to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. While that generally isn’t a good thing, it’s a loss that was easy to take if you were a Canucks fan.

Roberto Luongo’s return to Roger’s Arena was pretty much the perfect script for the much loved/maligned former Canuck. The only thing that would have made it complete was if he had pitched a shutout against his friends in blue.

I’m a Roberto Luongo fan, and I think some of the stuff he went through here was pretty bush league and I blame Mike Gillis for that. He created a 2-year goaltending circus in Vancouver and it cost the Canucks one of the league’s best goaltenders, and one of its best young up and comers in Cory Schneider.

His detractors will point to his playoff collapses and his defenders will point to the lack of support in those games. Regardless of that situation he is the best goaltender the Canucks have had over their existence.

Rarely did he show frustration with the way things went down. He even went as far to say he felt Gillis did his best to resolve the situation. He handled it with class and played hard for the team until the end.

You could tell Luongo enjoyed it all. The tribute, the fans, the outcome. He even got a chance to salute the faithful after he was rightfully named the 1st star of the game. He spoke of trying not to watch too much of a first period video tribute because he was afraid his emotions would get to him.

“It was special. The whole night, people were cheering me on. Just really thankful for the support and really happy that things went the way they did,” said Luongo.

Roberto Luongo grew as a person as a Canuck. The guarded, emotional Luongo that arrived evolved into the relaxed, humorous Luongo. Maybe that was always there, but we didn’t see much of it in his early days as a Canuck. Thanks to Twitter, we saw a lot of it in his final years here.

Sure, the Canucks lost the game, but if you’re a Luongo fan, it kind of felt like a win.

As the video tribute displayed, let me just say one more time, thanks for eight great years, Lu.

#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”

The Goaltending Controversy Del Två (Part Two)

eddie-lack-ryan-miller-nhl-vancouver-canucks-dallas-stars-850x560

Since the arrival of Cory Schneider in the 2010-11 season, a significant era began. This period is what fans like to call “The Goaltending Controversy”. 

Schneider came waltzing in swooning the fans and management away from Roberto Luongo. The rookie eventually stole the spotlight from Luongo and became the new starting goalie. Schneider’s reign came to an abrupt end in 2013 when he was traded to New Jersey for a first round draft pick.

Luongo was the starter again and it was the end of the never-ending story. Then came along the 2014 Olympic break. When the break was over, former coach John Tortorella anointed Eddie Lack as the Canucks new starter.

The shafted Luongo was eventually traded to Florida and all was good again. The Canucks, under the new management of Jim Benning, signed Ryan Miller to become the new starting goalie. It was apparent the controversy was finally over and it was the start of a new chapter for the franchise.

Today after a pre-game practice on the Canucks seven game road trip, Jason Botchford went to Twitter with some “big news”.

“Miller will start,” Botchford tweeted, “Willie was leaning Lack but Miller made what the coach thought was a good point.”

One minute later Botchford continued to say, “Miller said it would be more difficult for Lack starting a day after a team day off. Easier to go with the guy who has been playing.”

After these tweets came out, social media erupted with debates and thus re-sparked “The Goaltending Controversy”.

It would be an absolute shame for this to become the highlight of the season. Vancouver has had enough of this recurring theme. It is unclear whether Miller was being selfless or selfish in stealing a game against the Washington Capitals from Lack. From how it has been interpreted by Botchford and other sports news personalities, it appears to be more selfish.

Eddie Lack has started in five games this season. Some may argue he will not be starting tonight because of his 1-3-1 record this season but Lack is not at fault for these losses. In his few starts, Lack has been thrown out to the wolves on the short end of back-to-back games.

Tonight Lack would have had a chance to prove himself to Canucks fans and his teammates as a reliable goaltender but has been given the shaft. It would make more sense to start Ryan Miller in the next game where they play the Pittsburgh Penguins and give Lack the start tonight. For all fans know, Lack may be in net on Thursday, but it will most likely be Miller taking both starts.

It would be a shame to give Lack only the short end of back-to-backs and it could be detrimental to his development. Miller has been given four straight starts as of Sunday afternoon.

It seems to be a no-brainer to start Lack in net after Millers disaster in Detroit on Sunday afternoon. If Miller blows up again tonight, it will be interesting to see what unfolds next.

Welcome back to the Goaltending Controversy.

Caleb Harder

@cjaharder

Has the Goaltending Controversy Reignited?