The Great Blogger Ego Boost

Today, Mike Gillis said the swirling rumours about Torts’ imminent firing were started by bloggers. I know, right? The Canucks have been spiralling down the standings since the beginning of January. Their head coach tried to fight another team’s head coach, on camera no less. Ryan Kesler is allegedly dying to be traded. And even though the team had one of the most mind numbing, embarrassing losses in recent memory the other night that people all across the NHL were talking about, it’s obviously bloggers that are responsible for these scandalous firing rumours.

Now, we could all be offended at these allegations. But I prefer the more glass full approach of being incredibly flattered! I mean, Mike Gillis thinks we’re talented enough to start rumours about a head coach being fired apparently out of thin air. It sounds like he admires our pluck and gumption.

Gillis has made several mistakes recently, most notably turning his embarrassment of riches in goal into two Swedish rookies who aren’t sure if they want to be Batman. Or almost guaranteeing no free agents of any consequence will want to sign here in the off season. But rest assured, Mike Gillis is not afraid to voice how highly he thinks of us bloggers. And for that I salute him.

If You Love Him Set Him Free: Roberto Luongo

Loouuuungo

Roberto Luongo has been traded. This trade news was only shocking in that I think people had given up on it ever actually happening. Personally, I found myself feeling nothing but relief and happiness for Luongo when the news broke. I will miss him terribly, because he is both a wonderful goalie and a wonderful person, but Luongo leaving was the best thing for him. It’s like if you read about someone leaving horrific circumstances to get a fresh start in a new country, when you hear about an animal abused and abandoned who ends up in happy home, or like someone escaping prison to live out their days on a tropical island.

I have a lot of Luongo memories I will never forget. This picture after his first playoff win with the Canucks is stuck in my memory for all time.

stickraise

My first year as a Canucks diehard, the only way I had access to their games was on the radio, since I was living in a dorm room in Saskatchewan. Tommy Larscheid’s quirky, exuberant radio calls every time Luongo made a spectacular save never failed to make me laugh.

We’re left wondering what would have happened if the Canucks had just a tiny bit more talent and a little more luck while we had the pleasure of Luongo in net.

The trade return the Canucks received for him isn’t all that bad actually. Markstrom and Matthias have struggled certainly, but they are both still young, and there’s no reason why they can’t play a lot better with a fresh start in Vancouver. And I do find it delightful the Canucks now have THREE Swedish goalies. Joe Cannata is going to feel like a bit of an outsider. Heh.

Having said all that though, all of the lead up to this trade is completely terrible and completely on the Canucks. They went from having both Luongo and Schneider, to having neither in less than a year. From two of the better goalies in the league, to a tandem that has not even a full season of NHL experience between them. With all due respect to Lack and Markstrom, who are lovely, that is not great. At all.

On top of that, how are you going to attract premiere free agents or expect great players to waive their no trade clauses to come to Vancouver after seeing how Luongo was treated?

Gillis has done some really good work with the Canucks. But after this goalie fiasco, I don’t see how you can argue he should keep his job.

But anyways, run free Luongo! Enjoy your second term in Florida with your family and friends nearby. You deserve it.

A Hockey Poem

Canada won

The hockey game

Everyone (in Canada) was very happy

Even the moose

Even the beavers

Rob Ford did a weird dance

Stephen Harper did one robotic fist pump

Would Stephen Harper write a new hockey book?

No one knows

Now it would be maple syrup versus meatballs

Maple leaves versus IKEA

For the prettiest medal at the dance

Would ABBA ring out from iPods in victory?

Or would it be Nickleback warbling away?

We wait for 4 am Sunday(7 am eastern) in anticipation

Do we stay up all night?

Or do we sleep and rise before the birds?

No one knows what the result will be

Except for the hockey gods and lady luck

And maybe those tricksy stats guys

We stand on guard for thee hockey

We stand on guard for thee

Canucks/Kings: Anger Bowl

Where to even begin with this game? Was it a hockey game? Or was it a performance art piece demonstrating how not to play hockey? I mean, it was less a hockey game and more a two hour dick measuring contest. I generally like my hockey to be heavy on the scoring chances and low on the feeling of “someone is about to get stabbed on the ice”.

I think the most entertaining moment (for me) was when the refs confused Henrik and Daniel and sent Henrik to the box to serve Daniel’s penalty. It got even more wacky immediately following this when Daniel then proceeded to help kill off his own penalty.

But there were certainly some items to add to the pro column for the Canucks besides that. The defence suddenly looked sharp and competent, holding the Kings to not too many shots. This was a far cry from the recent defensive play where they all looked like they had been cryogenically frozen and then thawed out to play defence for the very first time in their lives. It was nice to have Alex Edler back in the lineup, at least by the eyeball test. Oh and the penalty kill. Wowee. You could write a sonnet about the Canucks penalty kill. Shall I compare thee to an ice-y day?

In the con column, well, the offence. The Canucks current offensive line up is where the dreams of all little pucks go to die. Hurry back Alex Burrows. Go on a goal hunting mission David Booth. You are our only hopes.

On a slightly different tangent, the Canucks could be an interesting case study in how society’s constricting ideas of masculinity are harmful. The 2011 Canucks were speedy, flashy, and fun to watch, yet didn’t have much traditional “brute force”. Cue the cup final loss to the Boston Bruins and the irritating narrative that the Canucks are JUST NOT TOUGH ENOUGH. RAWR. This narrative didn’t die down when people looked at Tim Thomas’ gaudy save percentage against the Canucks. Oh no. It simply picked up steam. And now look what you’ve done, society. Because the Canucks felt like they needed to get MORE MANLY AND GRITTIER, you have unleashed Tom Sestito, he of the seconds of ice time and countless penalty minutes onto the world. I hope you’re happy.

I will admit, I do have some conflicting feelings with the Tom Sestito incident myself. I don’t like goons on my hockey teams. I think The Code comes from a bizarre fever dream that an enforcer wrote down one time. And then when a player runs the Sedins, I turn into some kind of mutant offspring of She Hulk and Don Cherry. It’s something I need to work on, I realize.

But if the Canucks find some scoring again, and control their Tom Sestitos, there’s still plenty of time to make this a decent if not extraordinary season.

Borscht

Geno left the hotel on the corner of the busy Montreal street. It was snowing lightly, and the air was crisp. Geno tucked his face further into his scarf as he dodged a pack of teenagers going the other direction. He had just finished a rousing game of ping pong with James Neal. Geno had won 8 games to 6 and he wanted to celebrate by going for a walk in the snow. Maybe Geno would stop for some ice cream too. He wasn’t sure.

He was contemplating how Russian social values would have to adapt to coexist with the largely Western influenced populations that would be coming to Sochi during the Winter Olympics, when he heard a noise. Geno paused. It was coming from somewhere beside the noisy pub in front of him. Geno waited. He heard the noise again. *Yip* He walked closer towards the side of the pub. *Yip. Yes, there was definitely something there. *Yip* It was coming from a large cardboard box, that lay next to the restaurant’s dumpster. *Yip* Geno was right in front of the box now, he picked up the lid and tossed it aside. *Yipyipyipyip* the noise was more frantic now. He looked into the box and saw a puppy, its fur matted and covered in mud. Geno couldn’t believe it. How could someone have the evil and careless whim to cast out a puppy like a piece of trash.

He knew that his hockey team was on the road, in a hotel, and taking care of a puppy was not really a beneficial responsibility to have, but Geno knew he couldn’t just leave the puppy in the box. He picked the puppy up gently. The puppy was quiet now. Geno and the puppy stared at each other for a long moment. The puppy stretched up and licked Geno’s nose. Geno grinned and tucked the puppy under his jacket, hoping the layers would help in the cold.

“Your name is now Borscht.” he said. “I’ll get Sid to come look at you. I think he’s having an existential crisis and maybe you will make him smile.”

He turned and started to walk back to his hotel. Borscht wouldn’t last much longer in these cold temperatures outside. The ice cream could wait.

A Robot With The Wrong Job

Sidney Crosby’s motor hums moodily as he stares out his hotel window at the downtown street in Montreal. Or was it Toronto. Or maybe Minnesota. Crosby couldn’t keep the cities straight any longer. Did it even matter? The sensors in his heart like region ping painfully as he strides morosely over to the mirror. He stares at his reflection. He picks up the hockey stick resting against the wall next to the mirror, redoing the tape on the blade in perfectly straight strips, without needing to blink. The minutes tick on, ever so slowly. His gears ache.

Crosby’s phone pings. A text from Geno: I found puppy to pet come now. He stares back into the mirror, mulling over whether or not he should follow through on Geno’s request. Crosby runs a comb through his hair. It’s a habit he picked up from the other players on the Penguins. His hair doesn’t need it because it always perfectly coiffed, but he does it anyways. He decides to go. Maybe it will make this evening go by quicker. Crosby manages to turn the corner of his lip up in a semblance of a smile as he heads out the door towards Geno’s room.

He walks down past three doors, and an abstract painting that seems to be found on the walls in every hotel in the world. The door for Geno’s room is open a crack, the dead bolt holding it ajar. Crosby slides in, with a tiny wave. Geno is splayed out on the bed making funny faces at the puppy. He smiles widely and tosses the puppy gently towards Crosby across the bed.

“You pet PUPPY! Is fun for anyone!” Geno said.

Crosby rubs his hand back and forth over the puppy’s ears. What was that sensation? His control unit clicks and whirs. Soft. That was it. The puppy felt soft. It was the first time in months Crosby had felt something other than vague despair. The puppy was soft. It bounces up on the bed and licks his cheek, and Crosby’s control unit clicks and whirrs a little faster this time. He hums, a lighter hum than before. He feels light, and something else. Maybe…it was excitement.

“Thanks Geno.” he said. “I have to go. Good night.”

Crosby walks back to his room, much faster than on the way there. He slides his key card into his room door, and turns the handle. He grabs his lap top from the desk and sits on the bed. He opens it and types “dating site for farmers/robots”, pausing for a long moment before pressing return. Crosbot isn’t sure what he is hoping to get out of this search result, but he is ready to find out.

4 More years! 4 More years!

I’m overwhelmed with happiness and boisterous glee that the Sedins re-signed for 4 more years. They are just the best people around and I can’t wait to watch them score beautiful goals for the foreseeable future and (fingers crossed and sacrifices to the hockey gods!) hopefully get that Stanley Cup.

I’m a day late but you know. We can drag out the glee and euphoria, right?

Pavel Bure was before my time as a fan so I don’t think I can add anything worthwhile to that commentary. But I hope all the Canucks fans that loved him have a wonderful time tonight!

I made a blingee to commemorate the Sedins signing:

sedins2

Then! I read this totally swoon-worthy post where John Tortorella basically said if you think the Sedins are soft players you’re wrong and you should feel bad. And it was AWESOME! So I had to make a blingee for Torts too.

Torts

Markus Naslund is in town! The Canucks play the Leafs. It’s going to be a good night.

Fun With Stats

In the last while, a good chunk of the hockey blogosphere has gotten quite into advanced stats. There’s been a little drama with some stats guys being a little snarky about people that prefer to watch hockey without looking at advanced stats. And some people that prefer to watch hockey without looking at advanced stats being a little snarky about the stats guys. But for the most part I think it’s been a pretty fun addition(see what I did there? Everyone loves a good math pun ;) to hockey watching.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m naturally prone to being against stats because well…if there’s a phobia about being afraid of math, I have that. But, I do find if I come to one of my smart stats inclined hockey friends with an open mind and I ask them a stats related question, they are super nice about explaining it and it ends up making sense. I enjoy it once I understand it and it’s a fun way to enjoy my hockey fandom in a new way. I have always been a proponent of watching hockey in whichever way makes you happy (Basically don’t turn your kids into Canucks fans), so with that in mind I decided to think up my own hockey “statistics”.

Tra la la feeling bits/60. This stat is pretty simple. It’s how often throughout a 60 minute game, a player you love makes you say things like “OH MAN YOU’RE JUST THE GREATEST!” or “THAT GOAL YOU SCORED WAS SO PRETTY I WANT TO RUB MY FACE ON IT” or “LET’S TAKE THAT DEFENSIVE STICK CHECK OF YOURS BEHIND THE BARN”. I think you get the picture. I like to think of this stat as out of a hundred. So like a 90 is an A+ in tra la la feeling bits.

I will pee on everything you love or IWPOEYL. Think of this one as the reverse of tra la la feeling bits/60. This statistic involves any opposition player doing something so heinous to your team that you simply must yell at your television like the opposition player can totally hear you “I WILL PEE ON EVERYTHING YOU LOVE.” If a player causes you to yell this more than once during a game, well, his IWPOEYL reaches horrible negative numbers.

Relative rate of needing a fainting couch. This is closely linked with tra la la feeling bits but it is connected to purely physical actions. So for example, when Chris Higgins flashes his abs on the bench. Or when Keith Ballard hip checks someone. The physical action causes you do declare “GET ME TO A FAINTING COUCH! MY STARS!”

On couch needing a drink while watching percentage. Now I think this one is pretty self explanatory. What percentage over a season your team forces you to drink alcoholic beverages to cope with being a fan of them. This one could be graphed with huge surges during playoff season and if you’re a Leafs fan during free agency with Dave Nonis as a GM. You would also reach high percentages if you’re a fan of the Canucks and logical, competent management of goalies.

Do you have personal stats that suit your team in particular? Let me know!

The 12 Days of Re – Wooing Luongo – Mas

So, wow. The Canucks goalie situation went from like a 10 on the bonkers scale to a 10 million on the bonkers scale. But, well, here we are. Back in hockey bed with Roberto Luongo who was, to put it mildly, not exactly treated like a King by Vancouver for the last 2 years or so. Basically, a completely Vancouver Canucks thing to happen when you think about it. Now the Canucks are red faced and have to convince a scorned Luongo that no they really DO love him! They were just confused, baby. Lost in a Cup-less world, searching for answers. They’ve come to their senses! Or they had money issues and no other choice! But mostly the latter!

Now Mike Gillis and the Aquilinis and Torts are flying down to Florida to woo Luongo back and it’s all terribly awkward and embarrassing. But here is how I see it going down…

On the first day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the second day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…two Lamborghinis and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the third day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the fourth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the fifth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the sixth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the seventh day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the eighth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the ninth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the tenth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the eleventh day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…eleven backup goaltenders who only want to play a few games, ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie.

On the twelfth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…twelve disguises to avoid the media, eleven backup goaltenders who only want to play a few games, ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie