Vancan Outta The Blue

The Skills Competition
December 14, 2011, 15:09
Filed under: Canucks & NHL, Definitions | Tags: , , , ,


CompetitionThe act of competing, as for profit or a prize; rivalry; A test of skill or ability; a contest.

The opening drop of the puck and two players jostle to skillfully obtain the puck for their team. Who’s quicker to get their stick on the puck? Who has defter hands?

Play goes on as players glide across the ice at great speeds. Skating; a skill these men learned at such a young age and one that is essential to being a good hockey player at the NHL level.

A saucer pass over not one but two sticks; not only that, but it’s right on the tape, leaving the receiver of the pass with an open net. The saucer pass and passing in general is a skill very few players can say they are great at.

It’s mid-way through the 2nd period now and a talented winger drifts down the right side boards, his skating sleek as silk. He’s got company; one defenseman. The winger cuts to the middle and undressed the d-man. He left all his finesse skills out on the ice with that dipsy doodle. It doesn’t end there though; no that winger put the puck on the toe of his blade and snipes it top shelf above the goalies glove hand. He was aiming right where he put it. Now tell me that is not pure skill.

The score is tied 2-2, both goalies having put on a clinic the entire night; a clinic of their skills that is. Stopping pucks, snagging point shots and hot dogging it once or twice are just a sample of what they managed to do this night.

The play is down in one team’s end for the final 60 seconds of regulation. The pressure being withheld like none other during that game. The puck finds its way to the right of the net, 15 feet out. The D turn to that man as he threads the needle to his teammate, unmanned, 20 feet away on the other side of the net. The goalie is down, but not out. The forward who took the pass takes a shot and somehow, someway, the goalie lunges back, stretches his stick out into the gaping void that is the open net. Some will call that luck. I call that a skill of strength and determination and never giving up on a play.

Regulation ends with the squads deadlocked at 2 goals apiece.

OT is played and chanced are traded back and forth, with both teams coming close to ending it on numerous occasions. It was a tremendous display of pure hockey skill.

Then comes the hated and loved shootout. It’s what many call the skills competition. “How ignorant,” I say to myself just about every time a colour commentator blurts out those two words upon the ending of OT. Were we not all just treated to a skills competition? Who can shoot the puck better? Who can make crisper passes? Who can maintain possession by constantly winning faceoffs? Even the act of throwing a hipcheck a la Ballard would be considered a skill.

Yet some of us are so quick to judge the shootout as something different, when really it’s just not.

The moral of the story is…Don’t judge a shootout by its cover!

Follow me on Twitter @vancan19

Original Post on VSBN


The Fans
November 19, 2011, 14:58
Filed under: Canucks & NHL, Definitions, Replace The KB | Tags: , , , ,


**Author’s note: This post is ANOTHER in Josh Hall’s bid to Replace the KB as part of The Province Newspaper’s Hockey Blogger Competition. When sharing on twitter or facebook, please use the hashtags #ReplaceTheKB and #ProvNeedsVancan. Thank you for supporting Josh in his quest! For more info on the details of the contest and other bloggers, click HERE!**

By Josh Hall

Fan (noun): A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art or entertainment form, or famous person.

By now, anyone who’s followed my journey through the twitterverse and/or blogosphere will know that I am an undying Canucks fan. By that I mean my love for them will never die, regardless of the outcome to a game or an entire season.

Going through this Replace The KB competition has been fun and it’s been a challenge. That being said, I’ve had the opportunity to share my stories and opinions with a much larger audience than usual. With that has come the chance to get to know more Canucks fans and find out exactly why it is that they love this team and also why they may love the game of hockey in general.

I have collected a few testimonials from followers, friends and fans alike to share with you, the beloved reader, on why they love the Vancouver Canucks. Without further ado, I thank you all for your support throughout this competition; I will continue blogging about the Canucks regardless of the outcome and Go Canucks Go.

Here are the responses (give these fans a follow on twitter [click their names]):

@jrcaptain91 I’ve grown up watching hockey with my Dad and loved it since I was a baby. I’m a fan through thick and thin ‘til the end.”

JH: Arguably, there is no better reason than family.

@tpoole00 It’s because they play hard most nights whistle to whistle. Also, it’s exciting watching the finesse of the Sedins and Salo/Edler/Bieksa/Rome blasting point shots. In my opinion Luongo is the best goalie in the league. Go Canucks go and bring home the cup!”

JH: I don’t know how much longer Rome’s luck is going to run but for sure, the depth we have on defense is on most nights a treat to watch. 

“@vancitybeerguy The Canucks represent courage and perseverance, guts and glory.  The excitement of a break-away, the exhilaration of a last minute goal is why I love our team. The magic that is generated through the Sedins alone is worth the price of admission. They are a brotherhood in Vancouver and I couldn’t turn my back on that. I love the Canucks because I feel like I am part of the team, just like the strangers high-fiving me after another brilliant goal or a huge save by Luongo.”

JH: I couldn’t agree more with the brotherhood comment…but let’s not forget the sister Canucks fans. Those high fives you reference too, totally awesome after the game as well.

 @nuckiiee It’s impossible to describe the reasons why I love and support the Canucks. Being a Canucks fan and a hockey fan in general isn’t just a hobby; it’s a way of life. Supporting the Canucks has been like an emotional roller coaster for me these past couple years, but I know I’ll never give up on them. They’re more than a hockey team; they’re community heroes who we can all learn from.”

JH: Took the words right of my mouth; It’s a way of life. And hey, roller coasters are fun right? Scary and they make you panic, but at the same time, tons of fun…right?

 @GB_Canuck I’m a long time football (soccer) fan but in the last couple of years my love of the game over here in England has started to dwindle. I’ve always had a ‘passing interest’ in the NHL and as I’ve been to Vancouver before, I’ve decided to follow the Canucks. It’s not particularly easy to do that over here because of the time difference but I’m determined to stay committed whether we’re winning or losing.” 

JH: Well here’s to hoping you stay ON the bandwagon. Good on ya for not becoming a fLames fan.

@kenny_M_on_mars My family moved from N. Ontario to Kelowna in 1970 and I was a Leafs fan. It took a couple years but the Canucks won me over in 78/79. I loved the tough workman style hockey they played. Now we finally have ‘committed to winning’ ownership and it’s a great time for all true fans. Regardless I will pull for them win or lose but yes there are more important things, it is just a game after all. When that cup does come, Oh how amazing that day will be!?”

JH: I’ll forgive the “It’s just a game” remark because there’s something about the way you put it that makes me agree more than usual. But yes, how special and worth the wait that day will be when we finally lift the Cup.

So it’s clear; many things attribute to being a loyal fan, whether it’s of the Canucks, the Leafs, another team or just hockey in general. The most important thing to always remember as a fan is that as a true fan, you have that commitment to remaining as loyal as possible for as long as possible.

Once again, thank you and rock on Canucks fans.

Haters Be Learners!

Alain’s Illusion


**Author’s note: This post is ANOTHER in Josh Hall’s bid to Replace the KB as part of The Province Newspaper’s Hockey Blogger Competition. When sharing on twitter or facebook, please use the hashtags #ReplaceTheKB and #ProvNeedsVancan. Thank you for supporting Josh in his quest! For more info on the details of the contest and other bloggers, click HERE!**By Josh Hall

 “Illusion (noun):  Something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.”

It’s literally every night the Canucks play a game that Canucks fans are baffled by a decision that Head Coach Alain Vigneault makes. Particularly on an evening the Canucks are trailing their opponent, one can count on at least one absurd juggling of the lines. Sometimes this works out and AV looks like a genius. The most recent example is Jannik Hansen playing on the first line with the twins. Hansen has scored four goals since joining the Sedins mid-road trip two weeks ago, but does that really mean anything?

Does Alain Vigneault (gawd I hate typing his name) really deserve any credit whatsoever? Of course we can’t forget he just led the team to its first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1994. But what really has Coach Vee done to make this team better? What has he had to do?  Think about it; he stands on the bench behind back-to-back Art Ross Trophy winners, the reigning Selke winner and he has the Jennings Trophy champs to count on in net. Trust me folks, the answer to this is easier than when a doctor asks you, “What do you see?” in a Rorschach image.

It’s widely agreed upon that despite the Canucks not actually winning anything this past June, they are still suffering from what fans call a hangover. Patrick Kane knows what those are too. So the Canucks are dealing with injuries brought upon from the extra long playoff run and overall fatigue from just not having as long a summer break as usual. Alain Vigneault can’t really do anything about it. This slow start we have seen as fans was inevitable. But wait, I just said AV couldn’t really do anything about it…and he did. He had Luongo play only 4 of the first 7 games. He let Kesler return when he shouldn’t have. He’s demoted Cody Hodgson from the 2nd, to the 3rd and to the 4th line…in one game. He should have left well enough alone and kept his fingers off the dreaded panic button because the ways the lines started (the way they ended in June) are the ways already been proven to have chemistry.

Burr has been tried with Kes before and yeah, they bring lots of grit. The 2nd line isn’t supposed to be grit; it’s supposed to be scoring and just because Burrows is a 30 goal scorer along Kes, a 40 goal scorer, doesn’t mean they will necessarily score in tandem. Hansen is not a 1st line guy and I don’t care how many goals he’s scored, Burrows is a proven commodity, not to mention triplet on that unit.

Let’s take a look back.  Alain Vigneault arrived in Vancouver in 2006/07 and he was known for coaching a defensive style. Many questioned his ability and willingness to make this team one which scores on a regular basis. The Canucks had the tools in the Sedins, Kesler and Burrows who had yet to break out but were ready to. Vigneault was going to hinder that but thankfully Mike Gillis came along just one year later to ensure that didn’t happen.  The Canucks missed the playoffs that first season with Gillis but the 4th leading scorer on the team was Taylor Pyatt, so it wasn’t exactly a collection of career years for anyone.

Mike Gillis has been the true mastermind and AV has taken all the credit because he’s the one we all see behind the bench. Gillis has brought in great players consistently, the first being Mats Sundin. You can credit him for getting the twins and Kesler over the hump. Love him or hate him, Christian Ehrhoff is a damn good NHL defenseman and MG acquired him. Gillis also signed Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard. Hamhuis has been a solid addition and with Ballard, well it’s been another case of wrong decisions by AV. The entire fiasco during the playoffs putting Aaron Rome in over Keith Ballard was just a travesty if you ask me. On top of all that, he acquired arguably the two best trade deadline pickups in franchise history in Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre. Without them, a lot of offense and grit would have been nowhere to be found in the playoffs. Again, what did AV have to do? These players are already talented. Oh but AV has weaved his little web around our minds and we’ve taken the bait.

I’ll say it again; Alain Vigneault has had to do nothing more than LET the players he has play like they know how. The Sedins don’t need to do drills so they can improve their game; they do drills to stay fit and fresh. They could do that with any coach, which is the thing here; any coach could win with this team. The only reason Gillis doesn’t hire someone else is because he knows exactly what I just told you. Alain has us all under this illusion that he’s some Jack Adams worthy coach, when really the only award he deserves is for having to do jack squat.

According to an article posted on that you can read here, Gillis spent parts of 4 years playing with one Craig Mactavish in one city called Boston for one team called the Bruins. He even represented him as a player agent in the 90′s. Funny right?

The talk of the town is what’s going to happen with this team by the end of the season and if I have to make one bold prediction with the way things are going, it’s that we’ll have a guy who once pulled a tongue out of an opposing mascot’s mouth, pulling the strings here in Vancity.

Rivalries: NHL to the Canucks

**Author’s note: This post is ANOTHER in Josh Hall’s bid to Replace the KB as part of The Province Newspaper’s Hockey Blogger Competition. When sharing on twitter or facebook, please use the hashtags #ReplaceTheKB and #ProvNeedsVancan. Thank you for supporting Josh in his quest! For more info on the details of the contest and other bloggers, click HERE!**

By Josh Hall

RIVALRY (noun)Competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.

Synonyms: Competition, Emulation, Contest, Contention


The NHL was whittled down to just six teams in 1942 due to WWII and so began the ‘Original 6 Era.’ Naturally, with only six teams, they would play each other so often in those 25 years prior to expansion, that great rivalries were born.  For example, the Toronto Maple Leafs played the Detroit Red Wings SIX times in the Stanley Cup Final. In that same 25 year span from 1942-1967, the Leafs and Habs each won 10 Stanley Cups.  Rivalry indeed.

 The 1980′s

Skip ahead now to 1983 and the Stanley Cup Final featured two of the most dominant teams in NHL History. By that, I mean they each won consecutive Cups during an era with more than six teams. The Islanders, winners of three straight championships, were facing off against the highest scoring team in the league, the Edmonton Oilers. Led by none other than The Great One, Edmonton faltered. The Isles ended up with a 4th straight victory, and had limited Gretzky to just four assists in the sweep. These two teams met once again the following season, with the Oilers winning their first Stanley Cup, and first of 5 in 7 years. Now imagine those two teams in the same conference.

Present Day

Fast forward to present day NHL, and really only one of the aforementioned rivalries still exists. Games between the Leafs & Canadiens are still bloody brilliant to watch. The fans in both cities know the history and that plays into each game’s atmosphere. The Leafs and Red Wings still entertain; although that one has been squashed out a bit since the two were separated into different conferences. Perhaps with Detroit possibly moving into the East with the upcoming re-alignment, that rivalry will be renewed. Obviously the final one with the Islanders and Oilers is completely non-existent today. This is due to the fact that over the last decade, both of those teams have sucked, but it also doesn’t help they’re in different conferences as well. That being said, Oil-Isles games could get pretty exciting over the upcoming seasons with all the young talent each side possesses.

Why are rivalries important today?

GARY BETTMAN. The way he’s expanded hockey throughout the USA has put teams in locales that don’t exactly scream hockey market. Without a doubt the greatest rivalry to hit the NHL in recent years has been that of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. Sure, it’s primarily because of Ovechkin and Crosby, but regardless, that rivalry has piqued interest in hockey south of the border. Unfortunately regional rivalries like Tampa Bay & Florida haven’t exactly worked out but if rivalries could be built stronger, maybe, just maybe teams in sunbelt markets could succeed. Florida should take a page out of Los Angeles’ book and snag a player in the realm of Gretzky. Hey, it worked in LA-LA Land.

It’s crowds like the ones in Florida that make me think a team in Seattle would do the NHL wonders. Seattle being home to an NHL team would provide a new geographical rival for teams like San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Colorado, Minnesota and oh yeah, Vancouver. Of course the idea is more rivalries are created amongst American teams but let’s be honest, what American hockey fan doesn’t love seeing the talent the Canucks have any time they can. The key to remember here is I said American Hockey fans, meaning they do in fact enjoy and can appreciate the sport. The whole arena situation is another story but it is safe to say Seattle is home to hockey fans. Many Seattlites already cheer for the Canucks.

Now on to our beloved Vancouver Canucks.

There is one team that automatically comes to mind when you think rivalries with the Canucks, that being the Chicago Blackhawks. Whaddya know; an Original 6 team. Of course it’s got to be fate; the Canucks could’ve easily played another team three straight times in the playoffs had a game or two each season gone another way, but that’s the beauty of it all. Rivalries occur because they are meant to.  The hockey gods may have chosen the Nucks to lose the first two times, but at least it was hella entertaining. Imagine playing Nashville or Minnesota three years in a row. Of course the Canucks rivalry with the Hawks does date back to the 80’s when Roger Neilson waved a white towel on the end of a stick, inspiring what we all now know as Towel Power. This rivalry, as clear as day, will continue into the future for sure.

Roger Waves The Towel 

Burrows Slays The Dragon << It’s really fun if you just keep clicking the :08 and :09 second marks

Without a doubt, the Hawks take the cake when it comes to Canucks rivals but what are the next closest? Here is my take on the top three after Chicago, starting with #4.

4) Boston Bruins

This past June, the Canucks played the Boston Bruins Seven times. That’s twice more than the amount they faced each other since the lockout. Needless to say, a rivalry was born. If there was one team Canucks fans would want their team to win a championship against now, it would likely be those pesky Bruins. All you have to do is look at that series. There was the trash talk between Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo. No one will ever forget the phrase, “Pumping Tires,” now.  The Canucks were up 2-0 in the series, and then Rome smashes Nathan Horton. He is then suspended for the rest of the Series. We then have consecutive blowouts by Boston, IN Boston amid reports of it being literally unsafe for Canucks fans to wear Canucks things inside the TD Gardens and around Boston. Proceeding to Mason Raymond’s back being broken and of course, Brad ‘the Rat’ Marchand punching Daniel Sedin in the face six times.  Eventually Cory Schneider came into backstop, only worsening Luongo’s mental situation and the Canucks lost in Game 7 here at home. These teams play once or less each season, but hopefully with re-alignment coming, the NHL can work out a more balanced schedule that includes a home and home against Boston. As much as the Canucks and their fans hate Boston, it’s not like Vancouver CAN’T beat them.

Aaron Rome Takes Out Horton

3) Detroit Red Wings

Are you picking up on a trend here? All Original 6 teams so far. It’s widely known that Vancouver and Detroit have very similar team makeups. A lot of European influence, particularly Swedish, represent each squad. This rivalry is unfortunately a dying one as we will likely see the Wings move East in the aforementioned re-alignment. That means the Canucks and Wings will go from playing each other four times a season to potentially one or less. While this rivalry doesn’t contain so much disdain as the Chicago and Boston ones, the level of skill we see each time they face off is certainly a sight to see. Players like the Sedins for the Canucks and Zetterberg and Datsyuk for the Wings light it up consistently. Nowadays, both teams have great depth and pride themselves on strong defense.  Going back to the West Coast Express era though, the two teams do have a playoff history.  In 2002, Nik Lidstrom wired a slap shot from center ice and it snuck past Dan Cloutier. Up 2-0 in the series, the Canucks then lost four straight and were eliminated. Pieces of that rivalry still live on today in players like the Sedins and even Todd Bertuzzi who now plays for the Wings.

Lidstrom Ruins Cloutier 

2) Calgary Flames

Geographical connections aside, this rivalry has perhaps been the most consistent over the last 20 years. Nowadays, the Northwest Division is weaker and Calgary is a part of that. That hasn’t prevented Canucks-Flames games from being extremely entertaining. For example, the Canucks scored more goals against Calgary last season (24) than they did against any other team. Obviously they play the Flames more than most others but still 4 goals per game is considerably high. Once again, with the Flames and Canucks, there is a playoff history. In recent generations, you look straight to the 1994 Western Conference Quarterfinals. Vancouver, down 3-1, won 3 straight OT games to take the series 4-3. Game 7 which ended in 2OT, featured what Canucks fans now know as “The Save” and Pavel Bure’s breakaway goal to win it all. Jump to 2004, and again the Western Conference Quarterfinals. With the series knotted at three games apiece and the Canucks down a goal with 30 seconds left in Game 7, at 5 on 5 with an empty net, Markus Naslund make a streak down the left side, puts it on net and Matt Cooke roofs it sending the game to OT. Martin Gelinas scored about a minute into OT to send the Flames onwards and upwards to what would eventually be an appearance in the SCF. In conclusion, apart from Chicago, Calgary is the best rivalry the Canucks have simply due to the amount of amazing plays that have occurred during Flames-Canucks matchups and the consistency of great regular season games.

The Save 

Nazzy and Cooke Tie It Up


Future rivalries that could heat up involving the Canucks include:

a)      The Oilers. With the youth there, they are bound to be the next Chicago. The Kid Line will be something to be reckoned with.

b)      The Sharks. After a WCF Matchup last May, this rivalry can only get hotter. SJ still has their core from that series and with the Canucks potentially being re-aligned to the Pacific division, we could see more regular season tilts than in the past.

c)       The Jets. In the Eastern Conference now, once re-alignment is completed, these two could take things to the next level, especially if the Canucks remain in the NW and Winnipeg is inserted into the NW.

Booth Shafting The Silent G
October 23, 2011, 12:58
Filed under: Canucks & NHL, Definitions | Tags: , , , , , ,

credit to @QueenCrash (a rabid hawks fan) on twitter for this glorious picture!

By Josh Hall

Silent Letters: In an alphabetic writing system, a silent letter is a letter that, in a particular word, does not correspond to any sound in the word’s pronunciation. Silent letters create problems for both native and non-native speakers of a language, as they make it more difficult to guess the spellings of spoken words.

I love Cody Hodgson. This is probably why Alain Vigneault and I have never really become BFF’s. Saturday afternoon, as we all are aware, the Canucks picked up LW and All American American David Booth from the Florida Panthers. Sorry, did I say picked up? I meant they called him up!

Anyhow, from what I can understand from Gillis’ presser, he wants Booth to be a top six forward and left winger to play alongside Ryan Kesler.  MG said, “I think he gives us an opportunity to have a top 6 forward, a left winger to play with Ryan Kesler.” Naturally, you’d think that means Higgins, the left winger that he is, would go down to the 3rd line. However, it seems the general consensus is that COHO will once again get the short end of the stick and have to pack HIS bags for a cold and wintery trip down to the 3rd line.

@SportsnetMurph even tweeted, Higgins, Kesler will likely play with Booth….

He also said la-dee-da about Reinprecht but no one really cares about him.

Cody Hodgson or ‘Silent G’ as I call him, among other things seems to have inebriated Alain Vigneault in such a way, that even his stellar play thus far, is silent to AV’s ears. If the Canucks are an alphabetic system, but ranked instead by skill level and effort put in, Hodgson should be near the top of the list. However, that silent G in his name apparently doesn’t correspond with any of Coach Vee’s francaise pronunciations. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be talking about COHO hitting the 3rd line as soon as Tuesday afternoon versus the Oilers.

Ya know what? Booth’s wavy hair and childish smile can stay out of this love affair. As the definition of silent letters says: “Silent letters create problems for both native and non-native speakers of a language” and Booth, along with AV, clearly don’t understand the language of love.

I mean BOOTH? Come on. That’s something you sit or stand in. Maybe the next sign at a game should say “Occupy Booth.” Or at the very least, the new Left Winger should tweet from his phone on the bench during the game.

My beef here is clearly with COHO being the odd man out. Now let’s say he gets demoted to the 3rd and Booth is given an opportunity to flourish with the likes of Kes and Higgy. Cody, who has earned his top six minutes, will be playing a wing alongside Hansen and Malhotra, or Hanny and Manny as I call them. The thing with Hodgson is he actually needs to play with offensively minded players. Credit to Manny and Hanny, they’re not defensemen, but Hodgson has a much better chance of putting up some points with Kesler beside him.

Then Booth gets a shot on the 2nd line. Booth and Higgins are both left wingers and they are both left handed. Obviously, they both can’t line up to the left of Kesler, so one will play RW. In my experience, you have a significantly different and arguably better angle to shoot from if you are left handed and play on the right side, and vice versa. So if Hodgson is right handed, why not put him on left wing and Higgins or Booth (preferably Higgins) on the right side of the 2nd line?!

Trade rumours have been plentiful when it comes to Hodgson the last couple years. People want to call him a bust and get rid of him to some team that I guarantee, would love to have him. Hodgson, who I’d rate in the Canucks all-time top 10 draft picks, is slowly proving to us he has what it takes. This organization is brimming with offensive talent, which is why it’s been so hard for him to get in there. Just when a spot would open up, Gillis would go get another player and leave Hodgson stranded. Let me remind everyone that Cody Hodgson was the CHL Player of the year in 2009 and also led the WJC in scoring that same year.

Obviously I realise David Booth’s -6 and 1 assist in 6 games have come with a Florida team that is basically filled with defensive liabilities and overall, not very good players. But shouldn’t AV be giving COHO the benefit of the doubt here?

Then there is Mike Gillis, who drafted Cody Hodgson 10th overall way back in 2008. You’d think the guy would have more pressure on the shoulders of Vigneault to play the guy, so as not to make himself look like an idiot. Yeah, he’ll still be playing on the 3rd if nothing else, but ‘Silent G’ was once dubbed the next Trevor Linden. Cody Hodgson wears #9, as famous a hockey number as you can get without adding another 9. Cut the kid some slack for Luongod’s sake! Is Gillis losing faith in Hodgson? If so, not good.

This kid hasn’t had a break since he’s been drafted. He should have made the team out of training camp two years ago. Who’s David Booth to swoop in with his double dimples and say, “Sorry Cody, but, uhm, I’m just going to take your 2ndline spot that you’ve earned. Hope that’s alright with you!”

I’m starting to think AV and MG for some odd reason, don’t want Cody to fit in here. It’s crazy but what other explanation is there? First you make him play wing and then you drop him to the 3rd line? Give the kid a chance. This is really the first real one he has had since being drafted.

I guess that silent G just makes him hard to understand. He’s like the kid in school who never eats with everyone else in the cafeteria, but alone on the stairs up on the 3rd floor. Wow, Cody and I have something in common.

In conclusion I will say this: if MUH BOI ‘Silent G’ is eventually shipped out of here, well he can join Bobby Lu and I for lunch at the airport!

PS Cody: I cried when I couldn’t make it to the signing at the Team Store the other day. Forgive me!

This article brought to you by the Sarcasm Society of Vancouver. Don’t forget to get your detectors checked monthly!

Bobby Lu, How Do You Do?
October 19, 2011, 11:26
Filed under: Canucks & NHL, Definitions | Tags: , , , , ,

By Josh Hall

Hotbed (gardening), a pile of decaying organic matter warmer than its surrounding due to the heat given off by the metabolism of the microorganisms in the decomposing pile”

“Hotbed (economics), a situation conducive to rapid growth or development”

It’s become quite unclear in recent days as to which of these applies to the situation Roberto Luongo finds himself in, playing for the Vancouver Canucks.

Not that I think Luongo should be blamed for the loss to the Rangers, but the way some “fans” criticize Bobby Lu is worse than how you would turn your nose to a pile of decaying matter.

There is no doubt in my mind that Luongo is strong mentally. He had an entire country on his shoulders in February 2010 and whether you like it or not, backed that team to a gold medal.

The Italian Stallion made arguably the save of his life on Patrick Sharp in Overtime of Game 7 against Chicago this past April.

Finally, #1 had not one, but TWO shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals. The guy’s no cerebral assassin (begging Triple H not to sue), but he has been around the block. Yes, he forgot to pick up the milk at the corner store, but hopefully there will be more opportunities to come.

The thing is, despite Luongo’s apparent mental fortitude, based on all of the above, he seems to lack that confidence every October that anyone should have if they’re getting paid 7 Million Dollars. I’m not going to argue about player salaries and say that Lu is overpaid. I’ve always maintained that players getting millions is just the nature of the beast that is professional sports. That being said, it still doesn’t make much sense that Luongo can play so fantastically from November to June (every 2nd game), but play like decaying matter in October. There’s no denying he’s been uncharacteristically flaily so far, and that he seems to lay like a frog on the ice every time an opponent is in close. He needs to work those kinks out and I know he will. Will everything be fixed tomorrow? Nope! One must have patience and most people in Vancity don’t have that.

Vancouver is often described as a hockey hotbed and there’s no denying that. The problem with that is that one day, those “fans” I mentioned, are going to run Luongo out of town. Sure, Lu is a Canadian kid, and any Canadian player would say it’s a dream come true to play in a Canadian city; but if Luongo waived his no trade clause tomorrow and asked to be traded back to Florida or somewhere a team doesn’t belong, I honestly could not blame him. He is a human being people. I dare someone to tell me they don’t have bad days at work; and money is relative. The abuse Luongo takes is ridiculous and it’s borderline criminal. “Fans” treat him like…well do I have to go back to the decaying matter thing again? It’s true. It really is.

Take a look at the other definition of hotbed. “A situation conducive to rapid growth and development.”

The environment Luongo plays in every October is not conducive to development. Last night in the media scrum he was asked if he heard the jeers when he went to collect the puck in the slot. There couldn’t be a dumber question. The media doesn’t help. Luongo answered by saying he has ears. Can I blame him for being sarcastic? NO! Look, whether you like it or not, Luongo is the best goalie we have ever had. He IS better than Captain Kirk. He IS better than Richard Brodeur. He IS better than Dan Cloutier. Forget fans outside of Vancouver who razz Luongo, he gets razzed worse by people in his own city. It’s not like the section of the crowd that gave Lu the Bronx cheer was all NYR or Chicago Blackhawks fans.

I will say it again: if the people of this city who claim to be “fans” of this team cannot see how obviously a game like last night was not Luongo’s fault at all, we can all say Arrivederci to our former Captain and Olympic Gold Medallist goaltender. Frankly, I’ll offer right now to buy Luongo lunch to say sorry on behalf of all real Canucks fans when he does buy that plane ticket out of here.

Follow Up post: “5 Reasons to Keep Roberto Luongo” on NWSPORTSBEAT.COM

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