The Puck Drop: Well, that was unpleasant, Caps.
That “nervous feeling” we had? A little too much rest, a little too little regard for the opponent? That, combining with a too many penalties, snapped our garters and our streak. Lookie here, Canada: we tried being nice, and you had to go and dump all over our parade. We obviously need to approach this in a different way.
The Set Up: If you’re anything like us – and frankly, what are the chances of that? – you’ve always had a secret crush on Vancouver. It’s like Portland, but with less smug. And more Olympics. So we were seriously pulling for the Canucks to smear Boston’s smelly faces all over the ice last June, which they didn’t. (They did sort of try to riot, however, which was really very cute.) But now it’s different. City-crush be darned; we want the Canucks, and we want to break them, especially after that Edmonton nonsense with the Jonas Brothers Line, and that brick-wall Japanese netminder of theirs, Kabuki something.
And we just might get them. From last year’s highs the Canucks have fallen… well, not to new lows, but certainly somewhere in the mid-level yawns. 4-5-1 is not the start of a championship season. Pucks on net seems to be the biggest problem; in only 10 games so far they’ve been shut out three times. So….
What Makes Them Hot
1: Duh. We cannot get enough Ryan Kesler. Nor can his fans. Or even Kesler himself, it seems. Did you see the latest loving video of him, “Heart of a Canuck”, rambling around his old home town, getting all weepy about what it means to play in the NHL, blah blah? Cue the Diane Sawyer-soft focus and slo-mo home-movie clips. At least he dressed the part, sporting a t-shirt so tight that we guess it came from the “Childrens” section of Kmart.
2: Twins Lounge. We would like to propose a rule, right now: identical twins shall not be allowed to play on the same hockey team. Or at least, creepy twins. (Maybe if they’re hot… we could go for that.) Seriously, there’s just something not quite right about Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin. They share everything: the same beady eyes, same scraggly beards, and unfortunately for us practically the same performance on the ice – 3 or 4 goals (depending on which Sedin you’re talking about) and 8 assists so far. That, and they’re totally using their special Wonder Twin powers of telepathy during games, which we consider cheating. As long as they’re on the ice, they’re a threat.
3: They Don’t Have a #3. They’re that bad. However, previously we did write about some of their prettier players. Click here if you want to sigh longingly while at your desk.
What Makes Them Not
1: Roberto LOLongo. And we thought we’ve had goalie drama… All the glass groins in the league couldn’t add up to the conflama (conflict + drama) that has swirled around the Canucks #2 netminder. One day you’re a hero, the next you’re a goat. Just ask Lou. His numbers have genuinely been awful this year; he stunk up Rexall Place so badly that Alain Vigneault pulled him after 26 in the second period. Arguably it’s not all his fault – even his teammates say as much when they talk about needing to get more offensive and defensive support. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a punchline. “Hey Roberto – why the Luongo face?”, that sort of thing.
Over on the Twitter he’s getting a virtual pantsing, which really isn’t that uncommon for any player these days, but we’re just piling on. And as long as we’re piling on, Roberto’s long term contract (Zillions (CAN) through 2018) may be the only thing that could make the federal budget deficit look reasonable and manageable.
2: Under Over: The geniuses over at Nucks Misconduct write: “The “combined” plus/minus of Kevin Bieksa and Keith Ballard, good for #646 and #647 in the entire National Hockey League, out of 649 players.” Now admittedly, we’ve never really payed much attention to +/- rankings, especially in sentences that don’t seem to have any active verbs. But it gave us a chance to look a little more closely at these two. Bieksa and Ballard each have exactly 1 point this entire season (an assist for Bieksa and goal for Ballard) which, even for defensemen on a sputtering team, is sad.
Crash the Net: We’re still pissed at Timmy Thomas and company for making Ryan Kesler cry. Hey – Ryan doesn’t care. Maybe Ryan didn’t want your stupidy, stinky Stanley Cup anyway. So there. But say what you will about RK, he was responsible for the biggest traffic day ever over on PB. And we can’t mention the Canucks without a stick tap to two pals who follow the team: our pal Tom who covers them for our humble little site (and who was responsible for the monster RK traffic), and Thom (note the adorable Canadian spelling), one of the sharpies who manages Canucks Army.
As Seen on TV: For your viewing pleasure, our freinds at CSN, and their spiffy suits, will bring you the game in living color at 10:00pmET. So let’s have a sleepover and giggle the night away on the twitters. We’ll make popcorn, build pillow forts, tell spooky stories (“The call is coming from upstairs! And it’s Zdeno Chara!!!!), We’ll dish about boys compare notes on PIM, ATOI, S%, and OMG.
For readers with access to the CBC, the game is featured on Hockey Night in Canada, and that could mean Grapes and Milbury. Consider yourselves warned: Dangerous mold has been known to spontaneously grow on TV screens, so you may want to consider outfitting your sleepover guests in hazmat suits / PJs.