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TOMapleLaughs' Blog

The message is TOML. TOML is the message.

Posted by TOMapleLaughs, 12 December 2011 · 786 views

Control is TOML. TOML is control.

TOML posts this:
And Crosby falls to another round of un-Gretzky-like head injuries.

TOML posts this:
And Chara falls to the first significant injury he's had in years.

TOML posts this:
And Wellwood vanishes statistically again while Evander Kane takes over.

TOML posts this:
And Brian Burke bans media outlets and blocks twitter access to all those who don't fall in line with his controlling message in TO.

TOML posts this:
---> "Ron MacLean is a nice person and is in no way personally affected by his thoughts on Alexandre Burrows." <--- This content has been edited by the Ministry of Truth. Obviously the personal matters of those within the Inner Party are not to be discussed on a message board. That is all.

The future is TOML. TOML is the future.

**End transmission**

Negativity in the media hasn't helped so far. So why not change it?

Posted by TOMapleLaughs, 24 October 2010 · 465 views

The Vancouver Media.

While they're serving the public and the information is in demand, they sometimes cross the line and/or dwell in the negative. Either by making up stories, misreporting them to serve their agenda or by merely exposing what the Canucks would like to keep under wraps.

While a story is a story, they sometimes forget about the effect the story might have on the team that is in fact their main source of income in this town.

If they say it all has little to no effect on the team, they're lying. Depending on the story, the team/franchise could be hurt significantly to varying degrees.

Most recently, Rick Rypien, who was supposed to have the flu at the time, was reported to be in a bar with Kevin Bieksa.

So... Why do we need to know that? Is this important? Are Canuck players not allowed to do that? Are we supposed to think that Rypien is somehow not a good teammate because of that? Because that's what the media is portraying when they go on-air to say that out of the blue.

The only reason for reporting that Rypien was hanging out with a teammate in a bar (time, place and reason unknown) is to shed him in a even more negative light than the one shone on him last Tuesday. There is absolutely no other reason to report it. Only absolute negativity. Totally needless reporting. If you can call it reporting instead of rumour-mongering, that is.

And then let's go back to how Mats Sundin was (How dare he!) hanging around in Whistler instead of working his tail off in Vancouver during the 2009 all-star break. Afterall, the 'saviour' wasn't doing much to save this team at the time. He needed to shape up, dammit! What was it, a week of ripping Sundin's apparent laziness and lollygagging about in Whistler? Nevermind that he was in fact working out every day. The talk got so bad that Mike Gillis had to come on-air to defend Sundin's actions and after some forehead-knocking, Pratt and Taylor's reaction was, "Oh. Well i guess that makes sense."

And this is a daily thing with the local media in Vancouver. Afterall, a story is a story, right? Who cares about taking responsibility for how the information (or lack of it) might be portrayed?

However, it's not all local media to be certain. A lot of negativity comes at us from good ol' TO. TSN and the CBC are generally not Canuck fans and any negative story regarding the team will come to the forefront in most instances. Augergate and Maclean's ripping of Burrows' character comes to mind. Certainly the same comments wouldn't be made of the immortal Tie Domi, even after he delivered a sucker elbow to Scott Niedermayer in the playoffs. And don't forget about Cherry going on record to call Bure a 'Russian weasel' in the playoffs and start talks about how he wouldn't play in the finals unless he got a new contract. Meanwhile, Doug Gilmour gets dryhumped be the same man on-air. It never ends.

Even a story from the TO Maple Laffs' website directly and most certainly negatively affected this team. The leaked trade rumour involving Burrows, Bieksa and Tampa Bay's 1st rounder in 2009, which ended up being Vic Hedman. That leaked rumour sparked Burrows and Bieksa to question Gillis' actual intentions and the Canucks to promptly complain about the video to the league. I mean, why in the hell does Brian Burke open his yap about this on the Laffs' website when it has absolutely nothing to do with the Laffs? This is just an example. And they wonder why we hate TO so much.

Anyway, i could go on forever with examples about how negatively the Canucks have been portrayed over the years.

No, we can't control what the outside media says about the Canucks, but we sure could change things locally.

Since we're talking about all the things tried in the past that just haven't worked, like how playing Luongo a ton of games during the season hasn't worked, how about we get the media in this town to, oh, i dunno, be just a little bit more positive?

And i don't mean the sarcastic "This just in: The Vancouver Canucks will be Stanley Cup champions" version of 'positivity' that the media might portray now and then, but honest-to-goodness positivity. Heck, if they think it's just too mushy to report about, then forget all the outright homerism. Just try to eliminate some of the outright negativity. It'll be a start.

Because all that negative crap reported in the past?

Yeah, it's been 40 years. And it hasn't helped.

Time for a change.


Willie Mitchell was never in Mike Gillis' long-term plans.

Posted by TOMapleLaughs, 27 August 2010 · 269 views

The more I look at Gillis' approach to team-building, the more 'post-lockout Detroit' it looks.

Detroit doesn't have a $3.5 mil 'shutdown' defenseman and they do quite alright.

However, they have a hall-of-fame captain defenseman named Nick Lidstrom. Now... Believe it or not, Christian Ehrhoff just had a comparable season to Lidstrom on 09/10. His +/- was better. He had more goals. He had almost as many points. And his actual defensive ability was actually closer to Lidstrom's than most people would give him credit for last season. Of course Lidstrom had an off year, but whatever. Now Ehrhoff just needs to carry that regular season success into the playoffs.

When Detroit wants to score, it's Rafalski that is usually on the ice with Lidstrom. Our equivalent would be Edler. Problem: Edler is not Rafalski. He's just 24 and is still learning the game, but most experts are willing to predict that he's ready to reach the next level now. When that happens, then we have another excellent two-way defender.

Detroit also had another excellent two-way guy in Kronwall. He currently has injury problems, so his effectiveness could be limited for 10/11, but our equivalent would be Ballard, another hard-hitting guy who's capable of two-way play. Problem: Ballard isn't Kronwall. At least not yet. So how the Canucks as a team positively affect Ballard's performance level remains a question mark. Three down, no exclusive 'shutdown' guy yet.

The closest thing Detroit has to a defense-only 'shutdown' guy right now is Brad Stuart. But if you look at Brad Stuart's career in San Jose, he's not 'defense-only' at all. He scored 39 and 40pts just a few years ago. Willie Mitchell's career high was 29pts, and that was in 08/09, when Gillis took over. Basically, Gillis has been trying to get Mitchell to be a more dynamic defenseman than he's capable of being. It was plainly obvious that he wasn't in Gillis' long-term plans, however, as Edler was re-signed, Ehrhoff and Ballard were traded for and then Hamhuis was signed. (I'm not quite sure why some people thought Mitchell would stay after all that.) Hamhuis is our Brad Stuart as the moment. Actually, he's better at the moment. Stuart was a -12 last season. Hamhuis has also scored high 30's in points before and has been a consistent two-way force in Nashville for his entire career.

Overall, Gillis has setup a framework of younger, healthier two-way defenders to build the team on now and all that needs to happen is for the systems in place to help them grow as players, hopefully leading towards a dominant force in the NHL for years to come. Better: Our prospects will be able to come into this system later on and will be better, faster, so our team can maintain a high level of competitiveness indefinitely. Sounds a lot like the Detroit model to me.

Now i know a lot of you will say that Willie Mitchell is better than so-and-so defensively, and he is, but what good has it done so far? His defense-only skills haven't conjured up a second round victory for us so far. And let's not forget the clutch giveaway that led to Chicago's key goal in our 08/09 meeting with them. There's no way Hamhuis would let that play happen. Why? Because Hamhuis is capable of plays with the puck other than dumping it up the boards.

Hamhuis in his young age has already had a year better than Mitchell's best. imo this opportunity he has in Vancouver for this season will make him have an even better career year. It's all part of the plan that'll lead this team to glory And then we'll forget all about Willie Mitchell and his great, one-dimensional 'shutdown' plays that just lead to turnovers in our own zone anyway.

Nothing against Willie here. He gave it his all. But in the end, it was never going to be enough.

The Wild fans spouting negative comments on the Willie signing here were inevitably right: Not quite worth the money. Gives away the puck too much in his own zone. And has likely seen his best days as a player pass him...

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