Canucks and Beyond

Opening Night Lights Up Vancouver

10/10/2008 at 5:05am EDT

imageLast April, Vancouver finished the 2007-08 season with a dreary 7-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. This year they opened their new season by returning the favor, handing the Flames a 6-0 beating.

The pre-game ceremony honoring Luc Bourdon was emotional (as expected) and a well done affair by the Canucks. And Tom Cochrane’s Big League was the perfect tribute. (You can watch the video the Canucks produced here; to see the whole ceremony at GM Place, go here and fast forward about 2 minutes).

It was a bit of an emotional-overload transitioning from that to watching a hockey game, but once we did, what a great game it was. Here are some meandering observations:


  • On Goals: Two minutes into the second period and the Vancouver Canucks are up 3 goals to none? Geez, who are these guys? But I guess that is what team-speed will get you—and nothing stands out about the new-look Vancouver Canucks more than speed. They just fly. And since they’ve picked up some toughness, too, they fly and they hit. They’re like a bunch of freakin’ speed skaters on meth.
  • On Broadcasting: CBC stuff— (1) Mark Lee, always excellent. (2) Marc Crawford is a very good color commentator, I don’t care what anyone says. (Though it was a bit surreal when he’s praising Todd Bertuzzi about something, and you remember there’s all that bad blood—and various lawsuits—flowing between them. Still, Crawford was very professional about it.) And lastly, (3) Mike Millbury. This man is going to annoy the crap out of me this season.
  • On Steve Bernier: He could find himself being the darling of Vancouver if he keeps this up. The first time I saw him play in the preseason, I liked his determination; a competitor. But tonight he took it a step further, not only notching a goal, but taking on Dion Phaneuf (of all people) for an open ice hit DP laid on Daniel Sedin. The fans roared their appreciation and I’m sure Sedin did, too. I don’t think the Sedins have ever consistently had a guy on their line that is willing to throw his weight around.
  • On the Sedins: Speaking of Twin Powers Activate! is it just my imagination or did the Sedins attack the net straight on in nearly every rush they had tonight? I don’t think I saw them cycle the puck even once…
  • On Dog Breeds: Are we all calling Jannik Hansen “The Great Dane” now and everyone already knew this but me? I wish someone had consulted me about this—it’s retarded. (And yes, I realize he’s Danish. It’s still retarded.)
  • On Rick Rypien: His contributions tonight, it was like an entirely different player put on his number. And that goal of his… where the hell did those skills come from? I wonder if maybe the footage was faked… that just couldn’t have been Rick Rypien…
  • On the Kipper: Miikka Kiprusoff is a scary-talented goalie and he’s punked the Canucks too many times to count in the past. But as I’ve said before, I bet that Mike Keenan is eventually going to destroy that guy. Slowly but surely drain every bit of talent from his body till he’s a worthless shell of a human being. (So get out Kipper, and save yourself while you can! Preferably in the Eastern Conference where you can regain your form while doing it far away from my team…)
  • On Alex Burrows: I’m such a huge fan of Burrows, it’s ridiculous. So watching him have a night like he did tonight was a pleasure to watch. After the game, Burrows admitted he’d watched the Bourdon film from the ceremony nearly a dozen times earlier this week, and yet still he nearly started crying tonight. So it seems that all that emotion the Canucks were worried about, actually helped them… because it’s certainly one of the best games Burrows has ever played.

Canucks 2008-09 Record: 1-0-0. It’s fun being “undefeated”. :)

Note: the Canucks complete photo gallery of Thursday’s game

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