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Written by Dani Toth | 12 January 2010

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You know the Olympics are getting closer, in fact, it's only 1 month away. Do you feel the city starting to get into it?

You see it right as you get off a plane at YVR, you know all those ads in there at the airport.

You read it on the bus. Instead of saying 99 B-line, or Go Canucks Go, they now also say Countdown to Gold

You see it in the parking restrictions. Ah yes, those.

The Coke ads in the Granville skytrain platform has taught me how to say Open Happiness in french, which is 'ouvre du bonheur' fyi.

And how every single business seems to have sold itself off to somehow promo the Olympics.

All this hype in our city will only increase exponentially in the new few weeks....

But really, if you read this blog, you know the Olympics really only come down to one thing: Olympic Hockey.

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So, as if I do not have enough to do writing two hockey blogs, I am contributing to the Olympic Hockey Blog. Do check it out for anything Olympic Hockey, if you are only interested in Canuck related things, I've already written a piece about our German blueliner, Christian Ehrhoff and what he brings to Team Germany.

Thoughts on last nights game that I went to against Nashville and the Burrows accusation to follow later today.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 January 2010

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Written by Dani Toth | 09 January 2010

The Canucks are currently 1st place in the NW Division and look to hold on to that lead with a game against the Flames tonight. It's on HNIC!

Remember what happened last time these two teams played? There was a crazy red line goal, Kipprusoff was pulled and Mason Raymond got a hat trick!

Tonight, Lukowich will be in for Aaron Rome, who is out because of this:

You gotta feel bad for the guy. There WAS a lot of blood. Then you ask yourself: Where were those hits when Pyatt was on our team?

Life goes on, good things come out of bad events, like with Rome out, Lukowich is in! This will be Lukowich's first regular season game as a Canuck. In addition, even though Sami Salo took part in the game day skate, he will not play. Instead 21 year old Evan Oberg will be in for Sami Salo.

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Written by Dani Toth | 08 January 2010

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Ben Kuzma reported yesterday in The Province that Pavol Demitra has started to take one-timer slapshots today in practice. This is the first time he has done so since having his two shoulder surgeries to repair the shoulder injury he sustained in the Vancouver/Chicago playoff series.

Demitra expected that he would be back playing for the Canucks a while ago, but the shoulder did not get better after the first surgery, so the second one was scheduled. Then, it was reported that he wasn't progressing in his recovery, so Demitra went to Slovakia to see a specialist that he used previously and spent two weeks and a bit to work with the medical trainer. He returned back to Vancouver around Christmas to continue his rehab.

Now Demitra is speculated to return to the ice with the Canucks perhaps on January 20th in a game in Edmonton or maybe not until the end of January, the timing will depend on his progress during the next two weeks.

And as we all know, Demitra has also been named to Team Slovakia for the Olympics. Yay for being named to the Olympics, but I'm a little hesitant to encourage Demitra in any way to participate in the Olympics. The Canucks have waited approximately 4 months for their player to be ready to go to play for the team, the team he is being paid to play for. And based on the projected timing of when he will be ready to go, that may come just 2 weeks before the puck drop at the first Olympic game on February 16th (though first game for Slovakia in particular is on February 17th against the Czech Republic).

So Demitra will play two weeks for the Canucks before playing in the Olympics? Seriously? The possibility of Demitra re-injuring himself during the Olympics is too great for me to ignore and the timing of when Demitra's return makes me think that if he chooses to play for Slovakia that his decision is a little reckless. I hope that when he returns to the ice, his health is at 100%, rather than him rushing his recovery and returning to play at less than 100% just because he wants to play in the Olympics. This is a player that we are paying 4 million dollars a season for, and has been injured for more than half this season.

Demitra is 34 years old, so realistically this is the last chance he will have to represent his country at the Olympics, thus I can see the motivation in why he would want to play in this Olympics. But those two weeks off during the Olympics if he were to chose not to participate, could give him enough recovery so could he be ready for the long playoff push when the Canucks resume their monster road trip in March. Although I may not be the biggest fan of Demitra as I think he is overpaid and tends to just fade away when he's not scoring, the team could use a winger like him on the second line. So maybe I'm selfish, but I seriously think that someone in the Canucks organization needs to have a little sit down with Demitra and point out to him who is paying him 4 million dollars to be injured, it's the Canucks, not Team Slovakia.

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Written by Dani Toth | 04 January 2010

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Another freak accident, that's really the only way to describe it. In a collision with Petr Prucha against The Coyotes game on December 29th, Bieksa had another skate laceration. Prucha's skate cut Bieksa just above his left ankle, severing 2 tendons.

Bieksa underwent surgery in Vancouver and will now be in a cast for six weeks befor beginning the rehab process. The Canucks could be without Bieksa for up to 3 months, which puts him at being back just before the playoffs.

Bieksa has his calf laceration back on Nov 1 2007, which had him missing 47 games.

We'll miss you Bieksa, you and your smirks.

In other Canuck news:

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Written by Dani Toth | 04 January 2010

The Canucks just played game 42 against the Dallas on Saturday, which means we have just begun the second half of the season. Before we do that, I thought we should look at how the first half went, shall we?

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Here are my mid-season thoughts:

Steve Bernier - Not much has changed for you this year, you still have those hands of stone. But you did get a nice haircut earlier this year, and since you are on the 3rd line, I'm not mad at your if you don't score on chances when you are parked in front of the net.

Alex Bolduc - Can't say that I even pay attention to you

Alex Burrows - I knew that you would come back into form after the Daniel Sedin returned from injury. Keep up whatever you are doing and maybe a shorthanded goal sometime soon? I miss those from you

Pavol Demitra - You've been injured all season which limits the ability for MG to trade you. How much longer? Will you even play this season?

Tanner Glass - You were a nice surprise to the Canucks roster. I had no idea who you were since you languished away in Florida for so long but it's been nice to have you here. Keep up the good work.

Jannik Hansen - I want you to be good, isn't that enough? I'm rooting for you but if you aren't better, you're gonna be squeezed out of the line-up soon.

Darcy Hordichuck - You suck. God I can't wait till we get rid of you. How did I think you were some force when you played for the Predators?

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Written by Dani Toth | 03 January 2010

Just a few things to kick off the year:

  • According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Schneider will report to the Manitoba Moose today. He hasn't played for in a minor-league team in over 20 years but if he doesn't report to the Moose, he won't be paid his salary from the Canucks. This will push the Moose's maximum veteran player # over the max (which is 5) by 1, so we'll see what will happened in a few days with that (Baumgartner is our for another week with an injury, so no initial impact yet)
  • Lukowich has cleared waiver's and will be the Canucks' 7th defenseman while Bieksa is out with injury
  • Jordan Schroeder (Canucks 2009 draft pick) with 26 points and counting is now Team USA's all-time points leader in the WJHC (now ahead of Jeremy Roenick)
  • It's ugly sweater night next Monday at GM Place when the Canucks take on Nashville
  • The two teams (Philly and St. Louis) which fired their coach, both did so after losing to the Canucks
  • CBJ has only won 1 in the last 10 games (1-6-3) and they play the Canucks tomorrow. Just sayin'.

And for an adorable story about our Kesler in The Province about when his mom called him to congratulate him about making Team USA, here's the quote:

“My mom called me in tears,” said the Livonia, Mich., native. “Her first words were, 'I can't believe I have a son as an Olympian.' She was pretty choked up and very proud of me. It's obviously very special for her and my dad [Mike] and I get kind of choked up thinking about it, too.”

It's going to be hard to hate Kesler when he plays for Team USA....

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