Written by Dani Toth | 09 December 2009

Welcome to my first Benched Whale edition of This and That. For those of you who are new to my blog, this is where I address all the Canuck news of the day. Each link may or may not include a line of analysis, wit or sarcasm. Enjoy.


Shane O'Brien has been getting some playing time recently on the roadtrip which leads me to believe that they are trying to entice some team to have interest in him, but really which teams would actually want him?

So, how do you shop a player like O'Brien?
Mike Gillis: Big huge defenseman that really doesn't know how to use his size, can't really embrace his toughness without taking penalties and likes to spend him in your coaches doghouse. Oh, and his price tag is a paltry 1.592 million. He's no Shea Weber or even a Douglas Murray, but he may consider himself that at this point in his career he should be a top 4 defenseman.
-This may or may not have been said by "mike gillis"
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Written by Dani Toth | 09 December 2009


So instead of recapping a terrible Canucks game that was on last night, I won't, but basically it was the Martin Erat show. Instead, I wanted to share something I wrote for Cycle Like the Sedins' Odd Woman Rush feature.

I get asked "Why do you blog?" all the time, (I also get "How did you end up a Lightning fan?" as well but that will have to be another post) so when CLS asked if I would participate in their Odd Woman Rush feature I was all over it. The first segment of the feature has 14 female bloggers submit their answers, I was in the final round up of Part IV. So check out it all of it here at CLS (which has a photos) or if you just want to read my answer, it's tucked away after the jump.

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Written by Dani Toth | 07 December 2009


After almost a full year hanging out at blogger, the Vancity Canuck has joined the Bloguin family! I am thrilled to be the resident Vancouver Canuck blogger on this network of great blogs that are written by bloggers I read and respect.

The site has a new design, a fantastic banner and a new name! Benched Whale can now be easily found at benchedwhale.com

Benched Whale will be a blog about my love and sometimes hate with the mediocrity that is known as the Vancouver Canucks. Did you come here for news and insightful analysis? Oh you did? Well that may or may not happen. What I do try to bring is my own brand of analysis, sarcasm and wit to everything Canucks or hockey related

I am still stunned that the bosses at bloguin said they liked my work, and not just one blog but both of them (the other is my Tampa Bay Lightning blog named The Hockey Bay). So when they asked if I wanted to move both of them over to the bloguin network, clearly the answer was yes. I get a site re-design, spiffy new banner (love it!) but still get the creative control over what I feel like I want to write about.

In addition, one of the things that really swayed me to join was the community of hockey blogs that have joined bloguin. The puck blogs are growing fast here, so it's very exciting to be part of something that feels big. One of the great things about being a blogger is getting the chance to work with other bloggers on collaborative features as well as just having an enemy blog to hate on when writing a game preview.

So enjoy the new site, I know I do. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 01 December 2009

So the Canucks begin December with a little eastern roadtrip starting off in New Jersey. It begins 15 games in 30 days for the month of December which includes one back to back game (on the road) and one 10:30am PT start time (in Carolina).

Wednesday's game against the Devils will be on TSN, while Thursday's game against the Flyers will be PPV. Strangely enough, two of the Christmas shopping days for ticket holders fall on those days where they have a game. It's kind of lame of the Canucks to make us choose to either watch the game or take a photo with Santa Fin instead.

Anyways, links about Canuck related things:
  • O'Brien should get to play soon, either on Wednesday or Thursday because of the back to back games, with Schneider sitting out the game against the Flyers maybe? AV said to the press that O'Brien needs to play like Douglas Murray of the Sharks "There's a guy who, when he was on the ice, our guys knew it. He was physical, he was hard to play against. He was a guy, who if something happens on the ice you know he's going to be in there and he's going to defend his teammates," -AV to The Province
  • Mirtle put together a list of the top 25 defensive defencemen in the NHL so far (a little past the quarter mark of the season). Christian Ehrhoff and Willie Mitchell come in on that list at #22 and #25 respectively.
  • Brodeur was just named this past week's NHL second star of the week. Tommorrow's game could be great to watch for the goaltending alone. Brodeur and Luongo face each other in net on Wednesday for what is going to be the matchup of the starter and backup for Team Canada (with Fleury taking the 3rd goalie spot) (barring any crazy injuries or terrible play for either player).
  • Even though New Jersey had a coaching change this past summer, don't expect their games to have gotten any more interesting to watch. Their new coach is former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire. Yes, the hated defensive style Minnesota coach. Does this help Brodeur look better in net? Oh maybe. Though what Brodeur has going for him on his resume that Luongo does not is Stanley Cups and lots and lots of playoff experience
  • Brodeur just became an American citizen, actually dual citizen, but don't worry, he'll still play for Team Canada
  • Jeff Vinnick is on the road with the Canucks to capture their Eastern roadtrip, check out his first set of photos here. I love the candid one of the Sedins having lunch (click to enlarge, photo from Canucks.com). Feel free to throw captions in the comments.
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Written by Dani Toth | 29 November 2009

People eat pizza, but sharks eat people. Protect your pizza by shaping it like a shark.

Maybe if I shape a pizza like a whale, do you think that gives the Canucks better odds to win tonight? The photo is a screen cap of one of my favorite websites called F-ck Yeah Sharks, if you need some time to waste, do check them out. For your enemy blog needs, check out my friends over at Couchtarts for your Shark needs.

I don't think there is a team that I fear more than the Sharks. I keep up with the Sharks quite a bit since I know the biggest Sharks fan in Vancouver. They win with efficiency, and in a way that is entertaining to watch (not like Detroit). When they lose, then tend to do it in blow out fashion, see last game against Chicago, but then they bounce back and look like they didn't even miss a beat.

Of course, they haven't had success in the postseason, which if you need to make fun of a Sharks fan is your fall back conversation ender.

If I was a hockey player, I think San Jose would be my choice of the team I would play for. They have a great fanbase, great weather, great looking jerseys (love the black armour) and have teal, black and white as their colours. The only thing that they have going against them is that they play the Ducks 6 times a year.

What will happen tonight? Me and Nate were talking last night and could agree that the final score would end up being 4-2, well 3-2 with an open net goal. Nate thinks the Canucks will win and I disagree and think the Sharks will take it (I'm just being a realist here). Last year they took 3 out of the 4 games that we played. Currently the team is the best of a ton of categories: best team in the league, goals, in the top 3 of the PP, the PK and my current favorite fantasy player leads the league in points, Joe Thornton.

This is the first time that Christian Ehrhoff will face his old team. And though I don't think I've written about Ehrhoff yet, I love this guy on our team. Due to this years' weird schedule, after this game, we won't play them again until March, where we will face the Sharks 3 times in the last 24 days of the season.

On the San Jose team, the tandem of Thornton (set up guy) to Heatley (finish man) has been on fire, what a great trade for the Sharks for Heatley. Oh, and Cheechoo has how many goals these days? Yeah. Anyways, I can't wait to see those two play on Team Canada (maybe together?). Patrick Marleau, who was stripped of his C during the summer (it was given to Blake who is currently out on the IR) is having a great year with the lowered amount on pressure on him. The Sharks also have great goaltending, who if you ever get a chance to see, give great interviews on SharksTV. The only thing the Sharks are lacking, to me, is a really good checking line.

Tonight will be a great test for the Canucks, who with Daniel back, are now healthier. Up against a great team, it will show us how good the Canucks really are (or aren't). no comments