Written by Dani Toth | 15 March 2011

Hilarious no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 13 March 2011

After attending one of the most boring hockey games this season (Nashville game), the Canucks have surprised me in their past roadtrip. A sweep of California? Check Some of the most exciting games of the season in one week? Check. Coming back from being down to the Flames to win the game? Check. Do I want to play the Flames in the post season? Nope

Being that I also blog about another team, I can tell you how much that makes me appreciate the level of hockey our Vancouver Canucks play. Up until recently both teams I follow (the other is the Lightning) were right up there in the standings. Lately, the Lightning have taken a tumble in the standings are being left in Washington's dust. I could get into it more, but I feel that I complain about them enough on twitter and quite frankly, I'm sure you don't care about Tampa Bay at all. But what I'm trying to get at is how good the Canucks are. How great it is to watch this team play so well.

I don't know if many other people who follow the team has felt like this past season has just been a lead-up to the inevitable playoffs. I've said before that I can't get into this season as much as I did last year or the year before, but now that we're in the home stretch of games (12 more), I can feel the start of my nervous anticipation.

Other random thoughts
  • The owners of the clubs must like what they see with how Bettman is running the show for them to give him a five year contract extension. They also understand the issue of going into a renegotiation of a new TV deal and upcoming CBA expiration on a united front. Yes I understand that David Pratt thinks he does a terrible job, but obviously the owners think he is doing something right
  • I hate discussion about head hits or intentional injuries lately. I'm finding myself not wanting to read the 100 blog posts about Chara/Pacioretty. We all know that they are awful and something needs to be done, either by the league or the players themselves....and the players don't seem to care enough to make a change.
  • Winnipeg/Phoenix. Wishing this could just get resolved. Either move or don't move the team NHL, but if I lived in Winnipeg or Phoenix and as a fan of hockey, I would hate to keep hearing about it every day
  • Every time Grabner scores a goal, I lament trading him for Ballard. I've lamented 28 times so far this season
  • How awesome were the Kesler interview bombs? And the video that Canucks.com put together of them? Really shows how loose the team is right now.
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Written by Dani Toth | 28 February 2011

I don't know what to make of today's trade deadline day. Coming into it with already so many trades having taken place over the last few weeks, you could predict that today's deadline would be quieter. But I don't know if I was still hoping for something to surprise me. I imagine it was a painfully slow moving day at TSN. In the end the 'big' trade was Dustin Penner to the Kings. And while Dustin Penner is big and this does make the Kings better since they finally have a LW-er, it was a bit ho-hum.

I had written off the Canucks from doing anything once the trade deadline was technically over, but Gillis surprised me today with acquiring Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins for nothing that hurts the team now. Draft picks and players that aren't on the current roster for two players that could make the difference for a Cup, I'll take it.

I like the Maxim Lapierre trade because sh-t we needed a 4th line center. This is like a late Christmas gift to Tanner Glass for having to put up with rooking centers rotating through his line every odd week. He's been such a good sport about it all his new mistake-making rookies he's had to deal with but this must be nice now, no? He'll have first and foremost a center. And a player that can be called an NHL player because he's played more than 10 NHL games. And he's feisty. Throw in a little Jeff Tambellini, and I'm liking the look of the line. Just have AV throw a really really short leash on him and have him buy into the current Canucks motto of 'don't do anything stupid'.

As for Higgins, well, isn't he the Mason Raymond motivator? That's what his job is right? Either motivate Raymond into actually producing or take his spot in the top six. I'd like to see this make Raymond step up his game (does he have game these days?) since we have him signed to a contract, but if it comes down to it that Higgins will be more effective, then so be it.

And so in close, based on not having ever seen either of them play in a Canuck uniform yet, I'm going to give GMMG a thumbs up on this trade deadline. He addressed a need (4th line center) and even surprised me with a possible top six forward. And he paid for it with monopoly money. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 14 February 2011

Another injury to another defenceman you say?

Andrew Alberts has a broken wrist?

And you are calling up Yann Sauve to replace him?

This being the same Yann Sauve that was hit by a car during rooking camp in September? Him then? Alrighty then. Although perhaps I should be a bit more concerned that our IR list houses enough good players to make up an NHL team (Hamhuis, Edler, Ballard, Alberts and Sweatt), I guess I'm not really fazed this latest news. It has gotten a bit comical now though, no?

But at least the situation itsn't that horrific as we're still weeks away from playoffs so there is still plenty of time to heal. Add in the lead in points that the Canucks have over the other teams in the Western Conference and the Canucks are still in an ok spot.

But if you tell me tomorrow that another one is injured, I might lose my sh-t. Can we wrap the remaining able-bodied players in bubble-wrap just in case? no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 11 February 2011

We still don't have any word yet on the state of Hamhuis' health yet. He didn't appear at the Canucks' Dice and Ice event tonight (though really, did anyone expect him to?) and will be examined by the team's medical staff tomorrow. During the assessment he'll go through baseline concussion testing. So we'll probably hear news tomorrow on whether he has a concussion and how much time he may miss from the lineup.

But since Wednesday's night's game against Anaheim, people have been starting to ask if we need to have a fighter on the team. This is all because of three recent incidents that have occurred: the Neil hit on Henrik Sedin, the Michalek slew foot on Ballard and the Getzlaf hit on Hamhuis.

Aaron Rome was the only player on the Canucks who ended up fighting after the incident, taking on a losing fight against Chris Neil, in which he ended up accumulating 17 penalty minutes. After the fight, I sat there debating with my roommate on whether that fight was worth it. Like the statement fight to stand up to the goading of Neil worth the 17 minutes of penalty minutes taking one defenceman out of a team already down one defenceman because of injury? I guess since we were up 2-0 at the time, it was not as big of a risk, but at the same time, you have to think about how many extra minutes your other defencemen are taking on having to play alternate shifts.

So now with the three incidents over the last week, because we need to complain about something with our recent 25-4-6 streak, we are asking if we are tough enough. Maybe instead of this conversation, can we just discuss how bad the Canucks really sucked on Wednesday? Because they sucked hard.

Click here to
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Written by Dani Toth | 06 February 2011

Sometimes I watch a game that makes me really want to write about it. Sometimes I watch a game and just don't feel that inspiration. This last Friday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks had that inspiration that I haven't seen in a long time.

This season the Canucks have been great. But because I expected them to be good coming into the season, this season has felt like I have just been waiting for the post season to start. Is it because we know as Canuck fans that what matters for the team is not what they do in the regular season, but what they do in the post season that has me overlooking how great the team has been playing this year? I fear that I have not appreciated their success as much this season because of it.

This team has been a machine. They were winning games back in December like it was no big deal. And even if they didn't play a great game, they still were able to manage out a win. Is that what great teams do? Does the luck pop in to help find you the win even on a night when you didn't play that well?

We've had injuries. Lots of injuries to our defence in particular but even with the injuries, we've been able to see our young rookies come up and fill in the holes when needed. When everyone thought Edler's injury would spell the end of our run, it looks like the team hasn't even missed a beat (ok we do miss Edler, but we're still winning). And really how good is Chris Tanev's first pass?

There have been problems with the lack of even scoring over the last couple of weeks. But even though it seems like the majority of roster had not scored in 10+ game (as of last week), the monsters of the Sedins and Kesler kept this team scoring goals.

And in goal, we have Luongo playing his best hockey here in a very, very long time. It's almost been overlooked because of how well the Sedins and Kesler have been playing, but Luongo has been able to quietly go on an 18-1-5 run.

So for Friday night's game, I met up with a friends at a sports bar in Vancouver. So why was this game to much better than the rest of the games this season? Because it FELT like playoff game.

The pace was perfect. Chicago came out strong, but the Canucks worked their way back to playing their game. There were goals, and goals that goalies should have had. There were goals that go off of rookies, and when the camera zero's in on them on the bench (Tanev), you can see on their face that they feel the weight of their mistake. But then an assistant or trainer pats them on the shoulder and the team just works harder together.

Or there was the hilarity of Aaron Rome's return to the lineup and running into his own goalie behind the net, allowing an open net for the Hawks, only to sprawl with the Luongo in front of the net helping making the save.

Sure there was a questionable goal by the Canucks (they really were offside) but hockey is fast sometimes and the refs sometimes miss stuff. And what's a playoff game without a questionable call?

But in the end, the score is tied 3-3 and everyone at my table is nervous as the minutes wind down on the clock. Four minutes left and Burrows starts the play out of the Canucks zone to Daniel Sedins. Daniel drops it to Henrik who sends it back to Daniel and then into the back of the net. Daniel Sedins takes over the NHL points race, leapfrogging Steven Stamkos. It was effortless. And I'm cheering like this really is a playoff game. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 19 January 2011

In a game that ended up a loss, there were quite a few bright spots in the game
1. Chris Tanev
2. Sergei Shirokov's first NHL goal:

I was pretty rah-rah about Shirokov last year, so it's nice to see him play so well tonight. But I'm quick to jump on the boat of speedy young players only to have them make me frustrated 10 games later when they stop producing (see J Tambellini). So I'll reserve the judgement on how good Shirokov actually is until I see a few more games of his, but that goal tonight was pretty, non?

So Canucks back home. Finally ended that roadtrip that really didn't go so well for how well you'd think a top team of the NHL should play. Next game Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks. no comments