Canucks and Beyond

Catching Up on the Hockey News

02/23/2009 at 4:53pm EST

Having disappeared from the hockey world for a week, it takes some major reading to catch up with the times. While I’ve got a long way to go, a quick skim through the past week’s news didn’t turn up much, but a few random observations.

Here’s my list—but feel free to supplement my 168 hour hockey information deficit with anything you think I gotta know.


—Some dooofus actually had to contact Brian Burke to confirm that this wasn’t Burke’s Twitter account. Geezus. How drunk do you have to be to have thought that it was??

[Update: I see A2Y has more on the doofus moment here.]

—Missing the games this past week, I caught up with most by catching the highlights and reading the box scores. My impression of the team’s turn-around (based entirely on nothing but my dazzling instincts and genius about the game of hockey) is that it arises from a number of major improvements (like Sundin’s play, etc) but one very pervasive yet subtle change: the Canucks don’t ease up on the gas at randomly stupid moments anymore. They don’t seem to panic and go into a (previously disastrous) defensive posture at inopportune times; instead, they keep pushing, while still defending. What a revolutionary concept.

—By all accounts, Mats Sundin turned in a Sundinesque performance for his HDIC return to Toronto on Saturday. Further, it sounds like the Toronto fanbase demonstrated far more class than I ever expected. (But that’s the problem with me assuming Toronto fans are the same as Toronto media. My bad.)

—The other day, Kukla used the post title“Frei is Right”, referencing the Denver Post’s Terry Frei. When a Wings fan is praising a Colorado journalist, surely Armageddon can’t be far behind. Still, having read Frei’s article now, I’d have to agree… Frei is right.

—The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, while generally having less rumor credibility than a drunk monkey, mentions that the Avs may be willing to part with Ryan Smyth. For once, it seems Garrioch has contributed a believable and sane supposition.

I’ve wanted Ryan Smyth on my favorite team since before he was born. Hell, since before his parents even met. I’d forgive the Canucks trading almost anybody for the cap space to steal Smyth from the Avalanche.

I’m reminded of when Jes Golbez used to SMS me (and a few other friends, I’m guessing) every damn week of last year, demanding support for Pavol Demitra to join the Canucks. He texted the same line every time: “If Nonis isn’t making this happen, he’s isn’t doing his fu$#ing job.”

Well, JG eventually got his wish, so I’m going to argue we apply this technique to Gillis and Smyth and hope for the best. (If I have your cell number, expect to see this one soon.)

—Prediction: Despite my heartfelt desire for Smyth, I expect that somehow, some way, he’s going to find himself playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, sooner or later. (Bah.)

—Prediction: Speaking of the Leafs, they will be ending their cup drought - or at least make the Stanley Cup Finals - in the next 2-3 years. Bet on it… but don’t assume I get any joy out of this realization. (Bah, again.)

—For all the depressing elements about my time in Vancouver last week, this photo represents one of my favorite things on Hastings - the Ovaltine Cafe. For people unfamiliar with Vancouver, the Ovaltine has been a city landmark for something like 60 years, its unique signage overseeing the neighbourhood, as life has endured around it in good times and bad. The cafe is also a frequent filming location for movies and TV, so film buffs may recognize it as well.

I had breakfast there the other day as I do most every time I’m in Vancouver, so I snapped a photo. I love the frontage to this place.


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