So since I have written, I have spent time here:
That's the Dominican Republic. That boat in the photo? Yeah I went out on that for some diving.
Enough with the bragging though as I flew back on Saturday just in time for playoff hockey.
During the time while I was away, I had limited access to NHL updates as I was relying on the ESPN ticker which tells you jack shit about hockey.
I finally caved and spent $5 to access the internet for 30 minutes to find that the Canucks had been on a 7 game winning streak. To someone just reading the scores it looked like that was a pretty awesome little run but of course there was more to the story than just that. I've missed Luongo getting pulled and the Canucks battling back as well as some Ryane Clowe stick antics in the second to last Kings-Sharks game of the regular season.
The Kings blew their 2-0 lead over the Sharks to end up our playoff opponent which provides us this:
The schedule clearly sucks so let's all take a moment to blame the Lakers/Clippers/Coldplay for this. You suck: Lakers/Clippers/Coldplay. If someone could explain why some games are at 7 and others are at 7:30 that would be just excellent.
Honestly, this season went by so fast and even though we somehow ended up with the President's trophy (huzzah!), did this regular season not seem that exciting? So three days left to what feels like the true beginning of our season.
But with three days left to the start of the playoffs, the stress level is coming back from last season with force. The puck hasn't even dropped yet and I've got that nervous feeling like I can't eat and my work day seemed a little frenetic. Or maybe this is the all-inclusive alcohol withdrawal that is setting in on me.
Whatever the reason for my jumpiness, HOW AM I GOING TO DO ANOTHER PLAYOFF OF THIS?
Blogger buddy @theroyalhalf asked if I was going to a game this series, and I said that I couldn't handle the stress. I did make it a point to see all the Kings games during the season, but with the playoffs, no thanks, I'm locking myself in my house, closing the blinds and being my own stress ball in private.
Even though I might not be travelling down to Los Angeles this round, I encourage you the Canuck fan to do so. It could end up being cheaper (even with airfare and hotel) and at the very least it will keep pissing off these fans who don't want Canucks fans to show up.
A post on this Kings message board has 'FiresOne' posting:
Look how Canadian the person is! They used a 'please' in their discussion post!
Cry me a river Kings fans, I hope you sit in a sea of blue and green.
But late breaking news tonight by Bob McKenzie it seems that things have changed. Here's what we learned:
Rather strange proceedings going on with the Duncan Keith discipline hearing for his elbow on Daniel Sedin.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 23, 2012
Hours later, NHL indicated it wanted an in person (potential to suspend for 6 or more) hearing instead.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 23, 2012
Duncan Keith has not agreed to waive his right to an in person hearing but neither has the in person hearing been confirmed.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 23, 2012
I am told no decision of any kind will be made until the morning. So all of this very much remains up in air but it's become complicated.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 23, 2012
So an in-person hearing opens up the suspension to be 6 games or more. It's not guaranteed that it will be 6+, but it allows Shanahan to do go that route if he so chooses. No idea if that means the scheduled hearing tomorrow will change from its scheduled time but this this tweet from Kypreos is also interesting and contradicting McKenzie:
After missing most of the 1st period rushing home from work, about five minutes into the 2nd period I came to the conclusion that I was ok with a loss tonight. Amid all the fracas in between whistles I was ok with all the penalties takes in the 2nd period, well except for that Henrik hooking one in the neutral zone, because sometimes during the season you just need a night like this. For a little pushback for 20 minutes, I'll take the loss. We've had a lot of losses lately, one more is no big deal. When you come to that conclusion so early on in the game the game becomes enjoyable to watch (aside from the Duncan Keith elbow on Daniel Sedin that I only saw the replays of) with all it's intensity and chirping between every whistle.
Thoughts on tonight
- Best game I have seen Luongo play in a while
- Best game I have seen Mason Raymond play in a while
- Why did it take Zach Kassian so long to become involved in all the pushing and gloves in face stuff? He eventually got a 10 minute misconduct and 2 minute roughing minor but I kept wondering why Bieksa was the one going after Keith and not Kassian
- Is my questioning of Kassian coming from seeing that Cody Hodgson scored two goals tonight. Yeah, that might have something to do with it
- That sell-job by Luongo in the third was terrrrriiiibbblllle
- Malhotra was scratched tonight but in every article written about him in The Province, do we have to spend a paragraph going through the backstory on his eye injury? If you live in Vancouver and are reading an article about the Canucks, doesn't everyone know he has had an eye injury by now?
- Earlier today the Canucks announced that they signed goalie Joe Cannata to a two year entry level deal. He was a sixth round draft pick of the Canucks in the 2009 draft who just finished up his four years with Merrimack College. He'll be coming to Vancouver to watch some Canucks games before joining the Chicago wolves on their roadtrip when they take on Abbotsford. Expect him to be playing for the Chicago Wolves next year
- Getting a point tonight in the overtime loss the Canucks are now 5 points back on St. Louis
- We play the third place, and Pacific Division leader, the Dallas Stars tomorrow night
- I really hope that Daniel Sedin will be ok
Keith only got two minutes for elbowing and Daniel Sedin only skate for 1 shift after before leaving the game.
TSN broke down the hit during their intermission and post-game with their panel and I agree with TSN's analysis over the hit: it was a hit to the head, the puck was well clear of Daniel Sedin at the time of contact, Duncan Keith isn't following the puck and there was an injury on the play.
Since we saw earlier tonight Shane Doan get a 3 game suspension for an elbow to the head of Jamie Benn, I'm expecting a similar suspension to Keith. One thing Keith has going for him is that he doesn't have the history of previous hits to the head like Doan did, so perhaps 2 games for Keith?
TSN also did point out that prior to the elbow, Daniel Sedin did lay a shoulder hit on Keith that connected with Keith's head. I'm not sure if Daniel will get a call from Shanahan on the shoulder hit but does that make Keith's elbow worse because now you know it was retaliatory? no comments
Let's start out with a look at the pads (both screen caps are from The Goalie Guild):
Look closely at the name stitched onto the pads...
Yep, those are Dustin Tokarski's pads with Luongo's name stitched onto them.
So the story that Sun Sports was trying to explain (that didn't go into great detail as to why Luongo's name was stitched on there) was something to do with Tokarski's original pads not being suitable for the NHL when he got the callup from the AHL (maybe something to do with the sizing) and so Reebok sent him a pair of pads for him to use.
These turned out to be a pair of Luongo's returned pads. In the post by The Goalie Guild, Justin Goldman gets in touch with Mike Mole, an equipment rep from Reebok who clarified the story a bit more. From the interview, the pads were originally made for Luongo to try out at a goalie summit that Reebok conducted and these ended up going back to Reebok after the summit. Tokarski tried them out and felt comfortable in them enough to keep playing in them for the last few games while up with the Lightning. With the signing of goaltender Sebastien Caron, Tokarski might be heading back to Norfolk so who know how long these will stick around, but neat story anyways.
To bad these pads didn't give Tokarski magical powers since he's been like a sieve during the last few games. Could that have anything to do with Luongo's name stiched on there?
To read the full exchange head over to The Goalie Guild to read Goldman's post, great job by him on contacting Mike Mole for more clarification on the backstory. no comments
- Radulov's agent he confirms he'll join the Nashville Predators after having his KHL contract resolved via Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy. No details on how he got out of the contract but you gotta hand it to him to be able to get out of contracts from both the NHL and KHL
- Zach Bogosian avoids a suspension on his leaping hit on Andreas Nodl (Puck Daddy)
- Three games back into his return and Bruce Arthur is asking if Crosby is getting special treatment since he hasn't been crunched yet
- It was funny when they chanted 'Croby's better' during the game against the Caps but the Jets fans chanted 'Jordan's better' against the Hurricanes last night and now it's just un-original. And the Hurricanes won which is kinda ending their playoff dreams (ProHockeyTalk)
- THE WALKING DEAD!!!! What an episode and what a sneak peak of Season 3 with the prison and the first appearance of Michonne (ninja girl)
Canuck related things for tonight's game:
- Malhotra will be back in lineup after taking some games off for personal reasons and Gordon McIntyre manages to call Malhotra a shadow of his pre-injury self. At this point haven't we all accepted that and just accepted that this is the now-Malhotra self?
- Based on Luongo's history in Minnesota, I think we are all assuming that Cory Schneider is getting his 2nd start in a row *Update* Sportsnet's Dan Murphy has confirmed via twitter that Schneider will start
- Tinfoil Toque hates when the media focuses on useless stats like +/- and blocked shots and idiots on twitter who chirp our own team's NHL and AHL players. If you missed it this weekend, someone chirped Kevin Connauton about how an athlete shouldn't ever eat McDonalds (Canucks Army)
- Nucks Misconduct's game preview for tonight
- Sami Salo and Mason Raymond are healthy scratches for the Canucks, with Malhotra and Gragnani in. Ramond falls from the top line to the press box...and it's about time he did
- Bieksa will be back with Hamhuis as a D pairing
For tonight's enemy blog check out the State of Hockey New for your Wild perspectiveno comments
Let's start off by saying that Rogers arena was reallllly drunk last night, it a fun, often hilarious way. I'm not sure I've ever heard a section of fans yell "shoot" at the team as much as I heard last night. Or saw two guys in my section on separate occasions fall up the stairs spilling their beer all over the stairs which is a terrible waste of $8 beer, and then lamenting about it to the crowd. How much of the game people actually watched is debatable and the drunkenness helped fans overlook the not so put-together plays that the Canucks made.
So the Canucks won which is great but a messy 4-3 win over the worst team in the league is nothing to be proud of.
A couple thoughts on the game
-Can we stop with the musical chairs on the defensive pairings? Bieksa without Hamhuis is not a good combination. I get Vigneault juggling the forward lines, but let's please stop doing this with the defence.
-Everytime I see David Booth score it just emphasizes how bad Mason Raymond is
-Speaking of Mason Raymond, let's end the experiment with the Sedins. The Sedins did score last night but not really from help from Raymond with Raymond keeps skating wide. He hasn't busted out of his slump while playing with the twins and I don't feel like he will anytime soon
-How many times a game can Mason Raymond fall down? Even when he doesn't have the puck anyone near him
-How bad is CBJ at hockey?
-JMFJ scored a goal
-Cory Schneider had some big saves at the end of the game
-both goalies, Schneider and Mason has a point tonight
-I missed this Chris Higgins abs photo since I wasn't on twitter last night but here it is via @gutsmctavish24:
Does he not wear a shirt under there? No? Ok, I guess not. This from earlier in the season is better though.
-That coast to coast goal by Alex Edler made everyone in the arena wet themselves:
So with the Canucks going on a four game road trip, how many starts should Schneider get? 2?
This is not Canucks but if you watched this morning's Pens-Flyers game, how good of a game was that? Great hockey to watch while having breakfast. If these two end up in the 4/5 playoff matchup it will be a scary series to watch. The 3 on 3 hockey there are the end was interesting, some chances but you also saw how the players became more conservative while they had the puck.
And if you watched the NBC Pens-Flyers game you might have seen this commercial. Can you guess who the actor is? Answer after the jump.