Canucks and Beyond
From Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun:
Sundin skated with Vancouver Canuck teammates this morning after missing Sunday’s 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues due to a mysterious lower-body injury. But the 38-year-old, signed to a one-year, $8.6-million US contract in December to give the Canucks scoring depth and experience at playoff time, told reporters after the skate it will be a game-time decision whether he plays tonight against the Blues.
Given that there’s so many fake NHL-related accounts out there (as entertaining as they might be) here’s the start of a legit list of mainstream hockey media Twitterers that people might like to add to their accounts:
- Cassie Campbell—(CBC)
- Elliotte Friedman—(CBC)
- Jeff Marek—(CBC)
- Scott Morrison—(CBC)
- Scott Oake—(CBC)
- Kelly Hrudey—(CBC)
- Hosea Cheung—(24 Hours)
- Jason Botchford—(Vancouver Province)
- George Richards—(Miami Herald)
This list is only a starting point from a quick glance at my own account. Can you suggest some others? Surely someone at TSN is twittering hockey talk! Or at Versus? Or NBC? Beat reporters at other city newspapers?
Updates: Suggestions from the comments and from (who else?) other Twitterers—
- Bob McCown—(Fan 590)
- Aaron Portzline—(Columbus Dispatch)
- Tom Reed—(Columbus Dispatch)
- Carrie Milbank—(NHL.com The Hockey Show)
- Damien Cox—(Toronto Star)
Numerous Canucks fans have written with their complaints that CBC won’t be broadcasting Canucks/Blues games #3 and #4 in high definition. I’ve also seen the same concerns expressed on Twitter this morning, where Brian Wawryshyn of Canucks Corner finally explained to us that:
“Jim Hughson was on the @TEAM1040 and stated it’s logisitics with the truck. They could rent one but they won’t. Budget cutbacks!”
Sadly this makes some sense, given the cutbacks at CBC are massive this year and the cost of those satellite HD trucks are exorbitant.
But while Canucks fans continue to mobilize an effort to press the CBC into finding some way to get an HD feed for those road games, it’s fair to say Calgary Flames fans are even more annoyed at some CBC-related issues today.
“Any team with human excrement like Burrows deserves a beating of the greatest magnitude. Go St. Louis!! I may not be a fan but any team is better than the Vancouver No Cups and their trashy lineup of scabs, overpaid Europeans, and greasy haired oft injured goalies.”
Source: Emotionally distressed commenter at HockeyFights.com
How can anyone not love the internet hockey world? Where else can you find such unbridled hatred and borderline psychosis on display? Quite entertaining. And while the remarks are largely nonsensical (“scabs”??), it’s easy to see what motivated the rant.
While watching the Canucks—Blues game last night, one of the least-charitable exclamations that I shared with the room in the third period was: “Wow. This is amazing. It’s the playoffs and we’re the ones with the dirty team!”
And that wasn’t a criticism; it was sort of a compliment.
From Jason Botchford at The Province:
Think Fabian Brunnstrom, but bigger.
This year the name of the young, relatively unknown free agent who has NHL general managers buzzing is Matt Gilroy, the winner of the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college player in the U.S.
The 200-pound defenceman is considered the best college free agent available, maybe in years. Gilroy is thought to be good enough that he could step into an NHL roster right now. He will next year.
There are as many as 10 teams that have expressed interest, but the Canucks are considered frontrunners.
More from The Province, which goes on to quote Mike Gillis on the subject of trying to replace the role Luc Bourdon was meant to fill. But there’s a catch to all this: Gilroy is 25 years old and his introductory NHL contract isn’t going to be signed for small change.
The AP via the Sporting News has more on Gilroy here, mentioning among other things that he was made offers as a free agent last summer by no less than 23 NHL teams.
Canucks vs Blues—Game One
The Battle of the Cinderellas is ready to commence, so here’s the first installment of the Princess Diaries—random game day notes for this series (*or at least for as long as I can get away with calling Keith Tkachuk & Co. “princesses”).
- A group of Canucks fans have decided to add charity (and off-the-charts lunacy) to their playoff hopes: They “plan to donate a live goat to a needy African family for each game the Canucks win during their run for the Stanley Cup.” Seriously. Who else but Vancouverites would think of that?
- Alternately, Nucks Misconduct will be putting the cash to the Canucks for Kids fund in honor of Luc Bourdon. Readers are encouraged to throw in. (Please do. It’s easier than shipping a freakin’ goat to Africa, for godsakes.)
- A new Canucks Special Edition Playoff Card: Pavol Demitra has been added to the collection:
Tonight, CBC‘s Hockey Night in Canada playoff preview special featured a segment with three gentlemen many of you are very familiar with: Tom Benjamin of Canucks Corner; Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy; and our own Paul Kukla. I’ve taken the liberty of popping the video onto YouTube so more people might have a chance to see it.
Great job by all… although there is a disturbing lack of trash-talk for a bunch of bloggers during playoff time.
*The complete show is worth watching, but I couldn’t find the video on the CBC website. Perhaps it’ll be available later.
“Hockey is the Canadian metaphor.”
Bruce Kidd and John MacFarlane, from The Death of Hockey.
That quote was cited in this posting by Scott Russell today on CBC, where he pointed to the importance of playoff hockey in Canada’s national story, as it unfolds in the coming weeks.
This season, it’s the Canadiens, Canucks and Flames who carry the burden of a nation’s expectations and for the next seven weeks or so, we’ll all be watching these three standard bearers night in and night out as they conduct a Canadian crusade to recover the most precious of national treasures. Even the national news on the public network will accommodate the unfolding plot. And so it should, because in Canada there is little that matters more to the country’s sense of itself than the pursuit of what we believe is ours.
Hockey takes on enormous consequence in both news and watercooler talk during the playoffs in Canada, and not simply for the fans of teams at play but for hockey fans of all clubs.
Given that, which team will most Canadians get behind in the first round? Who is the favorite Canadian team (sentimental or otherwise) across the country to open the 2009 playoffs?
Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues
The Canucks own website is making this matchup into a Battle of Cinderellas, which is a bit of a stretch when you consider their own team just won the NW Division. But it’s to be expected—every team wants to pretend to be an underdog. It’s a good psychology to attack a playoff series with.
But by that unfortunate analogy, it seems the Canucks are going to have to beat up a whole lot of princesses to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. Starting with the Blues.
Meanwhile, in honor of round one of the 2009 NHL Playoffs, here’s the start of a new selection of Canucks hockey cards.
From Matthew Sekeres in the Globe & Mail:
The Vancouver Canucks remain alive for the Northwest Division title and home-ice advantage in the first round of the NHL playoffs next week.
But, truth be told, the Canucks have a bigger priority right now as they face the Los Angeles Kings this evening at General Motors Place.
After permitting 46 shots in their last game, and 14 goals in the three games before that, Vancouver needs to tighten up defensively or it risks making a quick postseason exit.
Indeed. The full article is here.
Sekeres’s assessment is accurate, though you could look at it in another way: that even when they’re terrible in one respect, it’s often another aspect of their game that steps up.
About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]