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Written by Dani Toth | 03 February 2012

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The Canucks has no business winning this game tonight. Their first and second period was all Detroit, the only reason they were still in it going into the third period was because of Luongo. Bitch all you want about him losing the shootout, but we wouldn't be in the overtime or the shootout if Luongo hasn't been huge tonight.

Question we are all asking ourselves: why was Mason Raymond in the shootout?

God I hate to play Detroit. They are just so damn good.

A bring spot for the Canucks were the two Michigan born players playing great tonight.

But how about Sam Gagner? Ridic.

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Written by Dani Toth | 16 January 2012

Now that the majority of my real life people all have twitter, I often assume that they are over the hockey news like I. So when I launch into a conversation about Penner and his pancake letter last week and there is a look of dumbfoundedness on the listener's face, well I realize that maybe not everyone seems to read the same things I do. And that's cool, that really is. Honest. That's why I have a blog.

Since I'll be at tomorrow's game with one of my season ticket buddies, I thought it would be fun to chat about the latest stupid things in hockey if say the Canucks played as lacklustre-ly as last night. So in prep for tomorrow, let's get started on an education of silly things in hockey, today's topic is Dustin Penner of the Kings. And for a bonus, I've also thrown in Ovechkin's guest spot in a rap video as well.

Pancakegate

As you may or may not have heard, Penner was injured last week due back spasms caused when he was settling into eating pancakes. Yes, you read that right.

Here is Penner describing it via the LA Kings Insider:

“Not bad. Better than yesterday. I woke up fine, sat down to eat and it locked right up. It never happened to me before. I couldn’t stand up. I was probably at the third stage of evolution. So my wife helped me get dressed, and then I drove to the rink here, to hope they could do some magic and get it opened up. Kinger [trainer Chris Kingsley] just looked at me and said, `Go home.’ So I got some treatment and went home.

“Apparently it’s one of those mysterious things, where you can throw it out (from) sneezing. I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made. It’s just like it [the pain] wraps around you and squeezes. … So it was disappointing. Hopefully it’s just an isolated incident, and not something that’s going to become chronic.”

And then Penner decided to pen a hilarious reponse to the events which came via MayorsManor.com:

So it seems as though I need to address Pancakegate for those in the sports media world, as well as those following #pennercakes on twitter, in light of the recent phenomenon I've created.

Right off the bat, I'd like to clarify a few things.

For example, they were vegetarian pancakes. The injury happened as I was sitting down to eat, not mid-bite. And yes, I did finish them.

There has been some feedback from the media as a whole regarding the lack of transparency involving injuries. So, I decided to be candid.

Continue reading after the jump...

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Written by Dani Toth | 16 January 2012

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Coming home after a four game roadtrip and then playing their first home game on a Sunday night against the Ducks, this game just looked like it was going to be a mess. The Canucks haven't played well since their win over Boston, they come home with two wins since then, but not very good games played. After giving up a lead to Tampa Bay and having to win it in the shootout, and having to play from behind against St. Louis and win in overtime, you would think with two days off the team would have found the jump to play tonight.

That was not the case...

Tonight's game was lacking energy and motivation to win. The Ducks came in with a 4-0-1 record in their last five games and just looked like they wanted it more. They outshot the Canucks 34 to 23, were more aggressive on the forecheck and were blessed with turnovers aplenty from Vancouver. I think I heard the name Bonino like 15 times tonight, which was 15 times too many. And then there was the hattrick of penalties taken by Bieksa.

I can see why fans left with seven minutes of the game. Sometimes, the product on the ice just isn't there to win.

It was nice to see David Booth back with the team. But like when he first got traded to the them he brought his speed and quick shot with him, but with no trailer of a player to put in his rebound, his effort was wasted. With his return to the lineup the Canucks sent down Mike Duco back to the Wolves.

With tonight's loss and Chicago's win over San Jose, the Blackhawks move up into 1st place in the Western Conference. Next game is Tuesday against the Kings. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 10 January 2012

As we all heard earlier today Brad Marchand was suspended 5 games for clipping Sami Salo on Saturday.



He was penalized for the illegal hit, the injury (concussion) that resulted from the play and his previous suspension history.

Whether you agree with the suspension or not (my friend doesn't think it was a clip), the suspension was given. So was this a hip check that just went wrong?

Yeah that's possible. But where I think Marchand went wrong is his argument that he was trying to protect himself from Salo to the press post-game. This hit doesn't look like he is trying to protect himself, it's either an attempt to injure Salo's knees that went wrong or it was a hip check that went wrong. If his argument had been that this was supposed to be a hip check that happened to go lower than intended, maybe he doesn't end up with this long of a suspension or any suspension.

But that wasn't the case. Instead Marchand argued that this was protecting his own safety and Shanahan outlined how this didn't fit what actually transpired. Shanahan points out the previous shoulder check that transpired just moments before between Salo and Marchand that resulted in no injury to either player.

Here is the Bruins' reaction to the suspension:

"While we respect the process that the Department of Player Safety took to reach their decision regarding Brad’s hit on Sami Salo, we are very disappointed by their ruling.

"While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.

"It is equally disappointing that Brad sought the counsel of the Department this past Fall for an explanation and clarification regarding this type of scenario so as to adjust his game if necessary. He was advised that such an incident was not sanctionable if he was protecting his own safety.  Given our feeling that Brad was indeed protecting himself and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep, today’s ruling is not consistent with what the Department of Player Safety communicated to Brad."

And here is part of Marchand's blog today:

OK, the play with Sami Salo. It technically wasn’t a clip. Clipping is when you hit someone at the knees and I did not hit him at the knees. Anyone that has seen the video will see that I hit him in the upper thigh under the buttocks. They can call it a clipping, but they obviously don’t know the rules of hockey. I felt like I was trying to protect myself and get low and he went over me. It was very unfortunate that he was injured on the play. I know he has a concussion. There has been a lot of concussions going on this year. It’s a very fast game. A lot of guys are big and strong and physical. It’s very tough on the guys. It seems of late, a lot of guys are getting injured. Hopefully concussions can kind of start to drop off and we don’t see as many of them.

That was posted after the Shanahan video on the suspension is released.

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Written by Dani Toth | 09 January 2012

Almost almost two days have passed since that Bruins game on Saturday morning, and yet the win is still fresh in my memory. Everything about it, the tenseness as a spectator, the cringing while watching the play and the drop passes which the Bruins kept taking advantage of, and the fist pumps every time a PP goal was scored, is still so fresh in my memory. Which says a lot, since most days I can't remember what I had for dinner two nights before, and that's not because my meals are plain because they are most certainly not.

Yet even though I haven't been so nervous sitting on my couch watching a game since June, though there was a Sharks game that came close, it was just a game. As Puck Daddy wrote on Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks "win or lose, they really can't win" which, two days removed from the event, I agree with his prediction.

Yes, we did win the game. That was rather nice. There was some high fives post game between my roommate and I. We won it by doing what we could not do in June: scoring. In specific, we scored on the powerplay. Our 5 on 5 chances were not that good from what I recollect but it's obvious that we won because we could capitalize on the powerplay. Also, that the Bruins were dumb enough to keep making emotionally dumb mistakes.

As for this hit:



Marchand's defense was that he was trying to protect himself? From Salo? C'mon....

As for AV's thoughts on it (via The Province)

"That's a stupid comment," said the Canucks coach. "What Marchand did there, you could end a player's career doing that and I've never seen Sami Salo take a run at any player in the NHL. All I've seen Sami Salo do is play with integrity and play the right way.

"Marchand -- this is just my feeling on this -- some day he's going to get it. Somebody is going to say enough is enough and they're going to hurt the kid, because he plays to hurt players and in my mind if the league doesn't take care of it, somebody else will.

"Sometimes it takes the league time to figure things out and there's a difference between a good hip check when the player is coming down on you one-on-one with the puck and what we saw Marchand do with his definite attempt to injure. Something needs to happen."


His hearing has been scheduled for Monday and is via phone with the NHL. I'll have my thoughts on it after the verdict comes down, but I expect he's going to get two games. Though we haven't seen a similar hit to be evaluated by Shanaham, for him, he's a repeat offender which I think weighs heavily on a suspension. Salo ended up with a concussion, which almost seems like a milder injury that what I was expecting, like his body to implode or his skeleton to shatter. Jokes aside, as we've seen, there's no standard concussion, so here's hoping for the best for him.

Right now we're moving on to a back-to-back in Florida against the Panther's on Monday and the Lightning on Tuesday.

For the rest of the night though, I could watch this slapshot of Cody Hodgson's over and over again:


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Written by Dani Toth | 07 January 2012

If you spent any amount of time on twitter today, then at some point you read tweets about why it's not a big deal that Schneider is starting tomorrow, why Luongo is a pussy (literally and figuratively) for not starting tomorrow and why as a whole Vancouver/Boston both suck as cities or fans. Maybe you also read a multitude of reasons why Brad Marchand is 'faking' sickness.

This is why I love twitter.

The combination of hockey and twitter seem to work just so well together. I rarely use my twitter for much else than talking about hockey or occasionally tweeting links to things I've written, but it's combo just works so well.

With tomorrow morning (thanks CBC for not picking this up on your regular schedule!) game tomorrow, last season's trash talking rivalries have been reborn. Though, today has been filled with @ArtemChubarov retweeting a multitude of people that make me wonder how people can be so moronic. No really, how can you be that unoriginal and dumb? Did you just make the 10 billionth joke about Luongo+tire pump+vagina? How novel! Moms should have eased off the drinking in your early life perhaps.

But for a good post that intends to troll the fanbase, check out Greg from Days of Y'Orr's post for embrace the hate. Be offended, then realize that about 70% is true and embrace the hate. When he trolled the Tampa fanbase I was more offended because the boys made more of the shit up, but this one is mostly truth. The only thing I couldn't get is why so many Americans seem to spell Kesler with two ss's. Wasn't he on Team USA? It's Kelser, not Kessler. If it makes you feel better he is doing it for money to be donated to his favorite charity if he wins the best guest troll blogger contest.

As for all the Schneider v. Luongo talk. This overblown. Like Laviolette said about starting Bobs over Bryz, he went with the goalie who gives him the best chance of winning. I don't think this is because Luongo said he did not want to play, nor do I think he should be able to demand he wants to play if AV doesn't want him to.

For whatever reason, AV thinks Schneider is the guy for tomorrow. Maybe he is being truthful and it's because Schneider is in his hometown, or maybe it's because he wants to protect Luongo, or it's an afternoon game and Luongo is a creature of habit, or maybe it's because he just had a feeling it should be Schneider tomorrow, it's doesn't matter what the reason is, the outcome will be that Schneider is starting. You could argue the for and against for an hour and get no where since in the end we're not the coach.

So tomorrow morning, I'll be grabbing myself a giant breakfast and spend my morning watching some Canucks hockey.

Perfect January morning, no?

Maybe a win by Schneider would make it better, but no pressure there Schneider. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 06 January 2012

Why must you make me watch so many Minnesota games?

Just over a month ago, I got excited that the divisions/conferences would get realigned as per the December 5, 2011 announcement by the NHL. More games against teams in the Pacific, home and home games against each team in the league and a new playoff format, among some of the highlights. Now late today, the NHL releases a statement that the NHLPA rejected the proposed realignment and wish to continue with the current format for next season.

Per the NHL:

The National Hockey League announced today that it will not move forward with implementation of the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format recently approved by the NHL Board of Governors for the 2012-13 NHL season because the NHLPA has refused to provide its consent.

"It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a Plan that an overwhelming majority of our Clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including Players," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.  "We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the Plan with no success.  Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format for next season."

"We believe the Union acted unreasonably in violation of the League’s rights.  We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate."

As a result of the League’s decision today, the NHL will maintain its current alignment and Playoff Format for the 2012-13 season.


Here is the statement released by Donald Fehr of the NHLPA:

"On the evening of December 5, 2011, the NHL informed the NHLPA that they proposed to put in place a four-conference format beginning with the 2012-13 season. As realignment affects Players' terms and conditions of employment, the CBA requires the League to obtain the NHLPA's consent before implementation. Over the last month, we have had several discussions with the League and extensive dialogue with Players, most recently on an Executive Board conference call on January 1. Two substantial Player concerns emerged: (1) whether the new structure would result in increased and more onerous travel; and (2) the disparity in chances of making the playoffs between the smaller and larger divisions.

"In order to evaluate the effect on travel of the proposed new structure, we requested a draft or sample 2012-13 schedule, showing travel per team.  We were advised it was not possible for the League to do that. We also suggested reaching an agreement on scheduling conditions to somewhat alleviate Player travel concerns (e.g., the scheduling of more back-to-back games, more difficult and lengthier road trips, number of border crossings, etc.), but the League did not want to enter into such a dialogue.  The travel estimation data we received from the League indicates that many of the current Pacific and Central teams, that have demanding travel schedules under the current format, could see their travel become even more difficult. On the playoff qualification matter, we suggested discussing ways to eliminate the inherent differences in the proposed realignment, but the League was not willing to do so.

"The League set a deadline of January 6, 2012 for the NHLPA to provide its consent to the NHL's proposal.  Players' questions about travel and concerns about the playoff format have not been sufficiently addressed; as such, we are not able to provide our consent to the proposal at this time.  We continue to be ready and willing to have further discussions should the League be willing to do so."

Their main qualms have to do with:
  • The unbalanced conferences
  • The request for a sample 2012-13 schedule showing travel per team was not addressed by the NHL

But this story has so much more than just the points that they have outlined in their statement.

They are upset that they were not consulted in the process of realignment and per their statement did not seem to have their concerns about the new schedule addressed in a complete fashion by the NHL. But this is also about the NHLPA putting their foot down in a radical plan that the owners thought up. It give them leverage heading into the upcoming CBA negotiations. This is the start of the many public stands that I see them making as we head into the end of this CBA.

During the last CBA renegotiation's, both during the lead up at the end of the CBA and the actual lockout, it got ugly from a PR standpoint for the NHLPA. This seems to be the first move by the NHLPA that tries to show that the NHL is being a bully. And more importantly from the NHLPA is that they won't agree to being just pushed around.

When you issue a statement/press release on a Friday afternoon/night, you do it to make the story die. Because traditionally it would be too late for most publications to write about it and make the info into a story. Happens all the time with polititions, corporations and celebrities. Was there some strategy to this? Or was the strategy coming from the NHL setting the deadline for January 6th? Did they foresee this rejection occurring? Perhaps didn't want a shitstorm of bad press during the Winter Classic, so they set the date for a few days after? Oh maybe.

They say that the deadline of January 6th for the NHLPA to agree to the proposal was set for today because the NHL needs time to create the schedule for next season.

Bullshit.

I'm sure they have tons of time, or at least can work hard to get it done in less time than normal. Maybe they can even make two schedules, one for non-realignment and one for realignment, thus giving the NHLPA more time to have their questions addressed. Remember when they were thinking about if they should revamp the schedule when they moved the Thrashers to Winnipeg? They didn't make a big fuss about the schedule tweaks that would have to be made and that was during the summer.

Right now the NHLPA is just saying they can't consent to the proposal now, but say they are willing to further discuss the proposal if the NHL is willing to do the same. That is also just being polite and writing a response that consists of 'screw you, signed NHLPA'. This definitely makes it interesting as we head closer to the All-Star game, which is also the start of when the NHL and NHLPA will begin discussion a new CBA.

Smart move by the NHLPA though from a leverage standpoint heading into CBA talks. This is just one more thing they can say they will agree to when they discuss the new CBA. Why agree to it now when you get nothing for it when you can just agree to it in a couple of months and use it as a bargaining chip?

So for now, the realignment proposal may not be dead forever, but right now it does not look like its going to happen next season. As a fan of what was proposed, that sucks.

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