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Columbus Vs. Vancouver. A seemingly easy game. The roles would seem to be clear when a 3rd place team plays a last place team. There should be a good team, and a bad team. There should be a visible difference in playing standards when the contestants are separated by 26 teams in the league standings.
But we knew better than that. None of us bought into that ‘it’s a sure bet’ hype. Being born and raised Canucks fans we were prepared for disaster. Our organization brought us up this way. We do not get suckered into believing what ‘should’ be or what makes ‘sense’. We know all of those crazy ideals are just mumbo jumbo.
We were ready for anything, and so we should have been. For it was March 17th, a day filled with green beverages, drunken mistakes, and crazy luck! Many teams in the league cashed in on the ‘luck o’ the Irish’: Colorado beat Lundqvist and his Rangers, the Leafs almost got a shut out against the Sens, and worst of all the Bruins won a game. *shiver* it’s just creepy.
The game between Vancouver and Columbus was mediocre at best. Somehow, the Jackets were battling harder than us to get the puck, but they still managed to make our lack luster ‘current team’ look good. The best example of this has to be the coast to coast goal by Edler. He literally skated down the ice like royalty. The Jackets politely moved to the sides of the rink to bow down to him as he went five hole on their stranded goalie. While the Jackets commenced an epic stare down on the ice trying to find one person to place blame, Nash was busy on the sidelines doodling in his sketch book trying to decide which city made his name look pretty… Captain. Detroit Nash…. Captain. NY Nash.
While the Canucks did not play to the best of their abilities, there were significant improvements in their play. The biggest improvement came from the first line.
Mason Raymond: While anyone listening to the game on the radio may have thought Mason had his usually clumsy, constantly falling down regular game, they would have actually been wrong this game. Due to the Jackets goalies last name being Mason, and the incredible boring, monotone announcing that was CBC, whenever the goalie went down to stop a puck, listeners could have easily confused the Mason in net with our speedy little winger.
Maybe Mayray made a sudden recovery from his back injury, realized that he was skating with the Sedin twins, or simply got bit by a magical hockey spider, but anyway you see it, the guy wasn’t half bad. While he did take a few spills, Mason stood his ground with a new found confidence. He put himself in the right spots to receive passes from the Sedins, developed various chances on net, and was truly a good addition to the line.
One thing that has never been lacking from Mason Raymond’s play is his never give up attitude. He has proved it various times throughout his career, especially when returning this year after a serious back injury he acquired in the final series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Raymond’s puck battle in the third period to keep the puck in the attacking zone was purely a treat to watch. Raymond skated circles around the opposing team, entrancing them into a hypnotized state. Eyewitness reports say that the Jackets continued to look confused on the ice for several seconds after their encounter with Mayray. They reportedly were quick to leave the ice after complaining of hearing Kelly Clarkson songs humming on repeat in their ears.
The Sedins: After a 10 game scoring drought Daniel Sedin finally brought back some life to the 1st line. Whether or not his success was due to the color of his beard, or true talent is not yet determined.
Over all, the Sedins had a fairly good game but the real story that emerges here is this: now that the Sedins are back on the scoreboard: who should AV pick Mason or Burr. Battle of the bromance.
Some may argue that since Mayray had a better game with the Sedins, that he deserves the right to stay and see what chemistry could develop. Others would say that Burrows is still a way better player than Mason, and has unmistakable chemistry with the twins. But once again we all know that what ‘should’ happen won’t, so I vote we don’t make any concrete decision here. We’ll leave it up to AV to decide. (plus that way: no matter what he chooses we can complain and not be called hypocrites) WHOS THE EVIL GENIUS NOW AV? Huh? Huh?
The Amex Line: Strong as always. Kesler is still in love with his wrist shot, Booth still loves snuggling up to goalies, and Higgins still experiences equipment malfunctions that always require him to lift his shirt up- but as he says no one really minds.
The Third Line: We saw less of the fearless Honey Badger this game, but this line was still strong all the same.
The Fourth Line: Zack Kassian had an excellent scoring chance on a break away pass. Unfortunately for Zack he forgot what a glove looked like, and only realized that he wasn’t looking at a net after he had gently handed the puck to Mason. Kassian was so embarrassed by his mistake that he disappeared into the abyss for the remainder of the game. Insiders have told us that they heard lingering whistle-y sobs from the locker room. Using our deductive powers, we believe it could only be our 6'4 Kassian. A man who was brought in to add intimidating force to the 4th line.
Schneider: It turns out every red head found a way to get on the scoreboard today. Schneider’s assist on Edler's goal was extremely lucky, but than again as were most of his saves. While I am quite aware that goalies must leave their net to play the puck, I have to wonder if they can make a special rule that people named Cory Schneider aren’t allowed to. You have to be a complete idiot to say that Schneids is any good at puck handling. He makes Luongo look like a Sedin in comparison.
I think we should all be kind of thankful that Schneider won, yet didn’t have a spectacular game. We can still maintain our love for Luo, and have our insurance in Schneider. Best of both worlds.
So now it’s road trip time. We’ll be making stops in Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas, and Colorado. Chicago should be a great game, which will hopefully fire us up. Nothing like a Conference rivalry to get you out of a slump! It’ll also be interesting to see what happens in Dallas. We seem to be having problems against the Stars, so seeing a win would be great for our confidence. In my mind, we will win this road trip if we see Bieksa do a Fiddler impression. Then off to Colorado for some Landeskoging. LETS DO THIS GUYS!
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Since the biggest trade on deadline day, there has been a TON of controversy over who won the trade.
There are still a lot of fans of Hodgson on the boards, as he was our top prospect. I was a little sad about losing him too.
I was a little upset when people started saying Hodgson asked for a trade and people are saying he's a douche n stuff, but at the same time, I was a little happy. It was good to see people supporting our new top prospect, Zack Kassian. But people have been underestimating (some overestimating) the value of him.
According to CDC (not everyone, but the majority of the people)
Hodgson is either the next Crosby/Linden, or the next Gomez
Kassian is either the next Bertuzzi/Lucic or the next Bernier.
And In my opinion, we're either overestimating there potential, or we're under estimating it.
The truth is, and you can't argue this one, no one can tell the future. Both players have good potential and no one can magically tell how they're going to turn out, we just have to sit back, and enjoy the ups and downs as they become better and better. Which probably won't be this year, probably not next, but 3-4 years down the road, we will have some good players. We just can't judge them on a game to game basis right now.
Another truth is, even though Cody was our best prospect, and Zack was Buffalos, neither was a highly touted prospect destined to be the next superstar, which a lot of people seem to think. Im sorry for sorta generalizing the CDC population, I don't mean to offend, but there are a lot of people who think they're smarter than scouts and GMs on this site.
Over the course of the next few months BrowntoBure will be scouring North America, speaking to a fan from each NHL city to find out the answer to the question that just won't seem to go away.
Why do they hate us?
First up, one of Vancouver's oldest foes, The Calgary Flames.
Today we caught up with Trevor Martins, producer of the Sekeres and Price show. Which airs 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday on the Team1040 in Vancouver.
Here's what he had to say:
So living in Vancouver, how exactly did you become a Calgary Flames fan?
Born and raised in North Vancouver, lived in best city on Earth my whole life. The reason I’m a Flames fan is pretty simple really. I started getting into hockey when I was a young kid, maybe 6-7 years old and at the time, the Flames were a powerhouse and won the cup. My earliest hockey memory was the Flames and Habs in the final. I was 6 years old. I jumped on their bandwagon, not knowing what a bandwagon was and haven’t jumped off since. Been through some tough times being a fan, the 7 years in the late 90’s/early 00’s and quite frankly, it’s a tough time right now. But the peaks and valleys of being a fan are worth it.
Who is your all time favourite Calgary Flame?
All time favourite would have to be Al Macinnis. I loved his big shot. Jarome Iginla is definitely up there as well. Love everything about him, everything he represents, on and off the ice.
What's your first memory of a Flames/Canucks game?
As much as I want to say the 89 epic series, I can’t really remember it. I do have that game 7 of that series on DVD though. Mike Vernon shutting down Smyl and Tanti in OT was unreal.
But my earliest memory has to be a bad one for me. I was at the game at the Coliseum, wearing my Fleury jersey, when the Canucks beat the Flames 11-0. I was 9 or 10 years old. I remember my father giving me a hard time the whole drive home as he was a Canucks fan.
A lot has been made in the last couple of years about the Canucks being the most hated team across the NHL, would you agree that they are?
I don’t think there’s any doubt the Canucks are the most hated team in the league. Whether or not I agree with that sentiment is a different story. The media outside of Vancouver has done a lot to further that angle. I frequent message boards of the Flames and there is no doubt the Canucks are the most hated team with everyone else a distant second.
I think people hate the Canucks because of their antics and because they win doing so. They have agitators and they have unlikeable personalities. That’s not to say they’re the only team that dives or complains, but rightly or wrongly, the damage has been done and it will be a long time for the Canucks to shake the reputation of being a team that uses certain antics to win games. I don’t think this current era of the Canucks with the Twins/Kesler/Luongo etc will ever rid themselves of this rep. And like I said, the fact that the Canucks are really good and can't be stopped, a sense of jealousy sets in amongst the Canuck detractors.
I will say however, those antics have been way less this season. But some of the stuff in last year’s playoffs was a bit much. It was hard to respect some of those antics.
Do you share the same opinion of the Canucks, Or is there another reason you don't like them?
If this interview was done a few years ago and the Canucks were in the way of the Flames winning a division, you might get a better answer from me. I used to despise the Canucks, almost at an unhealthy level. But I guess I’ve grown up a little. I’ve come to accept the Canucks are far and away a better team and that the Flames just can’t compete against right now. I just worry about what the Flames are doing on and off the ice.
I can’t really pin point one reason as to why I don’t like the Canucks. I’ve just never liked them. But it reached new levels after the 2004 series and into the season following the lockout when the Flames and Canucks had a good competitive rivalry going. Now, the Canucks just dominate and it’s more frustrating than I can tell you.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy watching the Canucks lose. I cheered on the Hawks, Preds, Sharks and Bruins last year. Vancouver is the team I dislike the most. They’re a team that I love to hate. It’s the Canucks, then everyone else in terms of team I enjoy watching lose.
What are your favourite and worst memories from this rivalry?
Favourite memory- Pretty easy. Game 7 in 2004. Iginla’s best game as a Flame. The missed empty net by Iginla, leading to Cooke’s late tying goal. I literally had my head in my hands for the entire intermission, only to see Gelinas score the OT winner. I went insane, jumped up and down. Not only was it the first Flames series win in 15 years, but it was against the Canucks. The following day, I went into the big communal area at BCIT with my jersey on and got booed by about 100 people. I loved every second of it.
Worst memory? Bure in 94. I cried. End of story.
What are you going to do if the Canucks win the cup?
Go into hiding, take a few days off of work. Last year, before Game 6 in Boston, I posted on my Facebook and asked all my friends to give me 24 hours to grieve before giving me a hard time. I was fully prepared for the Canucks to win in Game 6 or 7. But when they lost, I gave my friends who support the Canucks the same 24 hour rule and didn’t give them a hard time.
If you'd like to participate in this and give us some insight from your teams perspective, shoot us a message or get to us on twitter @BrowntoBure
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Ever notice that all the Canuck games that have lots of emotion and penalties happen on the road? Games that are played at Rogers arena seem very sterile. The fans make a lot of noise when the Canucks score but that’s about it.
Playing in Boston or Chicago seems to have more emotion before and after goals, why is that?
I feel that making noise has a direct effect on the way the game is been refereed, and has an effect on how the players perform, our fans sit on their hands most of the game.
That game that was played earlier this year in Boston was fantastic because of the energy the fans where generating. It got the Bruins going and made them play their game. If that game was played here it would have been exciting no doubt, but I don't think we get 11 power plays, which was partly brought on by the emotion in the building.
The game last night against Chicago was exciting because of the history between the two teams, but it seemed to be lacking any feeling, the game on March 21st in Chicago will have way more emotion, I guarantee it. (Think back to the game in Chicago earlier this year)
So if you're lucky enough to be at the games, please show up ready, keep the energy up, not just after goals but throughout the whole game. We don't want to hear that recorded message (make some NOISE). So please go and enjoy yourself which will make the games better, plus more exciting for the rest of us who have to watch the games on TV. Regardless of the reason we are not at the game, you should feel privileged that you are. The game was important enough for you to purchase a ticket and go to the game, so make some noise at let our team know you are there to support them. |It will make a difference in the atmosphere of the building and encourage our team to play their best.
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This is the logic behind a trade.
People get a little excited when they hear rumours about a big trade, but when it actually makes PERFECT sense for the Canucks Playoff needs RIGHT NOW, then people start getting really excited.
It likely won't happen, and will just fizzle over like any other trade rumour. But man, can you imagine? Dreaming about a first line of Sedin Sedin Perry is half the fun in itself.
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Hey Guys doing my first ever blog and i want to know what you guys think with these trades:
To Edmonton - Keith Ballard + 3rd rounder
To Vancouver - Ales Hemsky
Both are first round draft picks Balllard 11th overall and Hemsky was 13th a year apart. Both teams need the players as for Edmonton they need the top 4 Dman and Keith Should be one mking 4.2M a season.With Kesler and Booth on the 2nd line with Hemsky would be scary to see.
To Carolina - Mason Raymond + 2nd rounder
To Vancouver - Tim Gleason
Both are helpful in ths trade because MayRay would help out Skinner and Stall by using his speed. Raymond was a 2nd round draft pick while Gleason was taken late first.Gleason would be cheaper then Ballard and still able to pair up with Rome on 3rd D pair or slot in 2 pair if Sami Salo goes down. (Knock on Wood) Maybe throw in someone like Andrew Ebbet for Ruutu to help out the fourth Line
Lines After Trades:
D.Sedin H.Sedin Burrows
Booth Kesler Hemsky
Higgins Hodgson Hanson (Triple H)
Lappy Malhotra Ruutu
Please Let me Know what you think?
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As the season goes on, it becomes easier to distinguish who will be looking to sell come deadline, and who will want to spend come deadline.
While some people think we need that one piece to "put us over the top", its unlikely Mike Gillis makes much more of a splash than he did last year. A couple 3rd round picks, and some contract moves and we end up with Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre.
The bulk of Canucks fans were left scratching their heads, and searching Hockeydb to get an idea of what they brought to the team. I don't think I need to explain how these moves worked out *cough* pretty damn good *cough*
So coming into this trade deadline, the pieces we need shouldn't cost us the farm by any means. A 4th line winger who can move up in the lineup if needed, and a guy who can play on the 3rd pair, but move into the top 4 if needed.
Mike Gillis is a very patient GM, and the team he has built has allowed him to do this. He is not going to enter bidding wars, or overpay for rental players, but instead maximize the value on his return. He's unlikely to outbid GM's and offer a first for Gleason, or move our better prospects.
For Argument sake lets say a rental defenseman is going to cost us a 3rd round pick (2013) or this years 4th from the Islanders (close to a 3rd) and maybe a mid-low end prospect.
Guys who may fall into that price range
With the exception of Carkner I would consider all of them top 4 d-men who could play well on the 3rd pairing. Carkner may have trouble beating out Alberts and Rome for a spot on the 3rd pairing, but could very well play 3rd pairing when we have injuries. We all know injured defensemen are inevitable on this team, so having as many guys who can eat up minutes is a major benefit.
As for the 4th line, its identity has been built as a shutdown line, handling the tough minutes, and getting the least amount of starts in the offensive zone. The player brought in will have to have a strong 2-way game, and be very competent defensively while adding some grit to the 4th line.
Lets apply similar value to these players as the d-men listed above. (3rd/4th round, lower prospect)
Guys who may fall into that price range
Travis Moen (likely a bit more)
So come deadline, don't be surprised when you have to hockeydb the acquisitions MG makes. Don't be surprised if you look at their stats on the NHL website to get a better idea of what they bring to the table.
Just know Mike Gillis isn't going to overpay for deadline players, and hes going to bring in guys who (like Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre) are able to give us depth and play in all situations.
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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.
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Newest blog post can be found HERE
This post talks all about the current goaltending controversy.
Lots of comments on both sides of the spectrum, check it out and voice your opinion NOW!
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Vancouver just told the rest of the league, it is back. The Canucks embarrassed the Washington Capitals in a game that had no meaning. Take that how you like.
The win against the supposed top team in the league got me thinking about how lucky we are to have a team that has a real chance at the cup again this year.
And look at how great our fans are as well. The solid “ Lou” chants, even at other arena’s around the league. The fact that we sing the two versus of "Oh Canada" better than any other arena in the country.The fact that the fans started chanting “Ove” when we were up, just trying to get him to notice that we beat his team tonight. The fact that our fans were able to recognize that the stolen hat-trick goal from OVE might very well have saved the game. The fans applauded the very guy we love and love to hate. The whipping boy of Vancouver. The one we person we have to tell everyone we are upset with because no one wants to admit how lucky we are to have Luongo.
We haven’t had a good goalie since Kirk Maclean. Irbe, Sean Burke, Alex Auld, Dan CLOUTIER! There was the best goalie we could get. We were guarunteed at least one bad goal a game. But we didn’t hold him to the same scrutiny as Luongo. We did, however, think Cloutier could play better than he did. But if you are capable of playing better every game and it doesn't happen on a consistant basis, maybe mediocre was the best he could play.
Put yourself in Luongo's skates for a moment. How would you feel if you won your country a gold medal, took your team to a Stanley Cup final, and signed a lifetime contract with a great city? Then got boo’ed by the same fans that placed Martin Brodeur or Patrick Roy type expectations. You can't tell me that Roy or Martin didn't have bad games. Who can forgot the last game for Patrick in Montreal?
And we already know Luongo has a high expectation on himself.
Plus, he stayed here didn't he? He wouldn’t have stayed if he had to move his wife from the sun and surf year round in Florida, to Calgary or Edmonton.
How excited were you when you found out we traded for Luongo? I know that was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve had with this team because we haven’t had a Franchise Player since Bure. The Sedin Twins combined are a Franchise player, and Kesler is building his case, but let’s see the twins go a whole year without the other.
So do me one favor. The next time you are at a Canucks game and Luongo deserves a "Boo" instead of a "Lou", maybe make the" Boo", into a "BLou" so he feels it could be one way or the other.
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The First Group Lesson.
It was pretty obvious that if I wanted to meet my goal of playing on a team next
October, I'd need some lessons. I scoured over the arena websites and tried to
digest all the information; Group or private lessons? Weekends or
weeknights? Hockey or beginner ice lessons? My head was spinning
so I resorted to emailing just one question to multiple different instructors
and all four rinks…
"I want to play hockey around this time next year.
How do you recommend I start to achieve this goal?"
Each instructor responded a bit differently. One recommended I absolutely get
private instruction from him. I found that odd considering all other instructors
seemed to lean toward group intro lessons. I have to admit, the thought of private
lessons was appealing, but the dollar amount slowed me down. Almost every
private instructor charges a dollar a minute for private instruction! Whew.
I eventually settled on the mall. It wasn't myfavorite rink, but the
schedule kept me from having to go on the weekend and it was very close to my
work. The session started at 7pm which gave me time to find a spot to park and
get a bite to eat before instruction. When I made my way over to the rink entrance
I found a small "pro-shop" with all manner of things for figure skating (not a
hockey stick in sight). Looking around, I realized that I was surrounded by girls.
The young ladies ranged in age from 5-12, and ran at full speed despite being
strapped tightly into skates. I sighed as I approached the pay window.
The place was hopping with youngens all impatiently waitingfor their turn to hit
the ice. Their classes had already finished but the public skate session wouldn't
start until after my adult intro class concluded. The kids' parents were staring at
me as I walked through with tattooed arms and the only pair of hockey skates in
the arena. I felt a bit out of place.
At 7pm sharp a voice came over the PA. He called my grou pout onto the ice. I
held on to the boards (no glass) as I set foot on the ice. Gliding to the far side I
met up with my instructor and classmates. I was briefly relieved to see another
guy, until I realized he was a 6 foot hairy mammoth, wearing spandex shorts,
fingerless bicycle gloves and a bike helmet. Reserving my judgement,
I introduced myself. He told me his name but I cant remember it (because it was
hindu, not because his giant red helmet distracted me).
The lesson wasn't half bad. We worked on forward and backward skating. We did
swizzles and slaloms, as well as gliding on one foot and strong push-offs. I
worked my way through the lesson pretty well and was happy with what
I could do out of the gate. My low center of gravity seemed to aid natural balance
and prevented me from falling (haven't fallen once), but I also haven't attempted
anything very complicated.
My main gripe with the lesson would be that the instructor was obviously
ignorant to difference in hockey and figure skates. When I asked where my
weight should be on my skate, she would say
"I'm not sure on a hockey skate, but in a figure skate you would want it…"
It got even worse when I asked her about my foot pain, she suggested I spray hot
water in my boots to soften the leather. I looked at my skates then back at her but
she stood by her word.
With no zamboni in site, the ice was a disaster before the public session even
started. In some small spots chunks of ice were gone all the way to the concrete.
I sighed again as I skated around on what felt like gravel under rollerskates.
The mall was also amazingly warm which left a thin layer of water atop the ice surface.
I was grumbling to myself about the condition when someone "bit it" in front of
me. Leaning hard I managed to swing around them without taking a header, but
was infuriated to see mall walkers point and laugh at the situation (literally).
I had to refrain from doing a skate-by knock out on the teenage boneheads.
Overall the environment was not welcoming to someone who was more
interested in hockey than triple axles and the onlookers were an insecurity
nightmare. If the trend continues over the next few weeks ill likely
be looking to hit another rink. I hope to be able to push my limits without
worrying about jerks taunting me for my failures.
FLORIDA – In what police are calling one of the most daring examples of auto theft in recent memory, Vancouver Canucks General Manager, Mike Gillis, was arrested early Monday morning after breaking into Dale Tallon’s 1987 Volkswagen Golf. The Florida Panthers General Manager reported the break-in to local Miami authorities at approximately 7pm EST on Saturday.
According to the police report filed later that night, the rear passenger window was completely smashed in. Tallon told police that the burglar had taken several items that were left in the car, including a GPS system, David Booth, and about five dollars in change.
“I knew something was immediately missing when I got back to my car and saw the damage,” Tallon told reporters. “I guess I kind of am asking for it when I leave David Booth just sitting there on the dashboard.”
Police scoured the scene for evidence, and were able to get a lead on Gillis after finding a pile of garbage nearby with the Canucks logo on it. Forensic investigators later identified the trash as being Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm.
Miami police chief Sam Levenstein held a press conference this morning at 10am, and it was there that it was announced that Mike Gillis had been apprehended.
“We were fortunate that Gillis was sloppy in the execution of his crime. This was one of the most obvious examples of robbery in quite some time. And I mean, to leave Sturm and Samuelsson behind? We really didn’t have to work too hard on this one.”
Dale Tallon has a history of leaving his car parked in shady parking lots, and leaving valuables there for the taking.
“I really have a bad memory when it comes to these kind of things,” Tallon told reporters. “Actually, I forgot to even lock the doors when I parked the car. Gillis didn’t need to bash in the window, he could have just opened the door and taken David Booth.”
At the end of the police press conference, chief Levenstein had a stern warning for the citizens of Florida. “This state has one of the worst crime rates in the country. We cannot be too careful with where we park our cars, and what sort of valuables we leave behind in there. There are countless examples of devastating car break-ins over the years – I don’t have to remind you all of the Luongo fleecing of 2006, the Horton theft of 2010, and we don’t even know the damage of the Frolik robbery of last year.”
Police have been unable to recover Booth, and it is expected that he will be welcomed as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
(Photo Credit: Creative Commons Licensed from Flickr user ‘luxpim’)
On a blistering hot day in July, you might expect to find one at the beach. Cooling off, getting a little sun and, perhaps most importantly, relaxing. At the very least you would hope to find someone like myself there, who has the privilege of living right on the water. By the same token, however, you might presume to find someone as passionate about hockey as myself glued to the television on that same date. On this specific day, the latter was the case.
Being July 1 - which in the National Hockey League is the first day of unrestricted free agency - there was a flurry of transactions as teams scrambled to finalize their rosters in preparation for the upcoming season. General managers' phones were ringing off the hook in an effort to acquire players they believed could help vault their team into contender status. It was a frantic day, with some players signing new deals with different teams, while others were being traded in exchange for one another.
I myself was caught up in all of the action, watching as all of the drama unfolded. Some of the players involved in these trades had been long-rumored to be dealt, while other guys were perhaps caught a little off guard. In the midst of the free-for-all, I recall hearing about one particular trade. The deal was a blockbuster involving Mike Richards, former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, who had been sent to the Los Angeles Kings.
TSN (the sports network covering the event) was quick to catch up with Richards in order to gauge his reaction. Naturally, he was shocked. Not necessarily upset, but more or less surprised by the outcome, especially with his recently minted twelve-year contract with the Flyers organization taken into consideration. And as he described, it wasn't his own manager, or even the coach who had broken the news about the trade. To paraphrase his own response, he remarked that it had been players on his new team who had sent him messages via text and 'tweets' him welcoming to the new team and city. It had taken an extra five minutes for Philadelphia to alert Richards to what had transpired.
It was this particular moment that made me stop and reflect. How and when did we reach the point in time where our society permits an event like this to occur? How on Earth had Richards' new teammates reached out to him before he was even aware of the deal himself? Did they find out through text or twitter or some other form of media? And if so, where did this mean our society is headed with such a lightning-fast dispersal of information?
In order to articulate a response to these questions, I decided to choose the blog route. I found this to be an effective way to communicate my thoughts and ideas, as they pertain to topics regarding the Internet and technology itself. Many of the technologies I discuss I am quite familiar with myself, which I found to be quite useful in guiding my writing. I also incorporated links into my writing where I found it to be appropriate and relevant.
Once again with the story of Mike Richards in mind, I would like to closely examine a few of the avenues that permit this to occur.
Technology is simply not what it used to be. With each and every single innovation that passes by, the world around us continues to evolve beyond the scope of imagination. In recent years, this phenomenon has truly come to light with advancements coming to affect just about every facet of our lives. Individuals across the globe can connect with one another through a plethora of means, without the restrictions of time and space. Such accessibility makes for uncharted waters for a society just beginning an era of marked technological change. And, quite simply, all of this can be traced back to a handful of innovations over the past decade. The proliferations of the smart-phone, social media sites, and Skype have been prevalent in the ease and increased speed of communications.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable new innovations of the century has been the development and popularity of the cell-phone, or more aptly, the "smartphone". From Apple's iPhone, to RIM's now famous Blackberry, the exponential growth of the cell-phone has been astonishing. What began just a decade ago as a relatively modest tool for communication has expanded with each of the latest advancements in the industry. Take for example the iPhone. In recent years, it has extended its array of capabilities to include that of GPS, internet-browsing, and high-definition picture and video, just to name a few. These tremendous progressions have paved the way for a new breed of cell-phone users. With incredible tools like these, there are an unlimited number of options, all right in the very palm of your hand. Whether it's updating a Facebook status or watching a clip on youtube, the speed at which content flows from one user to another has never been swifter.
The expedited advancement of the Internet, along with the aforementioned smartphone, has facilitated the lightning-fast transition of information from one source to another. These two key aspects of the modern age have given rise to yet another digital revolution: social media sites. Although before Marshall McLuhan's time, websites such as Facebook or Twitter were perhaps exactly what he had in mind, when he described the planet as moving closer and closer towards a "". In particular, Twitter has experienced prolific growth in recent years. All you have to do is search Barrack Obama's twitter - who has over ten million followers - to appreciate just how staggering its popularity really is. It is not only presidents and celebrities signing up for Twitter these days either. Millions of ordinary people are using the forum to communicate their own content, with Twitter claiming the ability to "instantly connect with what's most important to you". Love it hate or hate it, Twitter is just one of many widely accepted social media sites these days promoting an increase in connectivity.
Another medium of interest is that of Skype, software that is free and can be downloaded off the Internet by anyone. Skype is similar to smart-phones and social media sites in that it is a means for communicating with other individuals, but differs by utilizing video chat as the avenue for users to connect. For this reason, Skype is a unique way to connect with others, from anywhere at any time. Skype's prevalence is growing too. Students that have left home for university are using it, in addition to friends separated by thousands of miles. Even businesses are favouring the software as a more personal way to communicate with their clients. Like its social media counterparts, Skype's popularity is astonishing. In fact, Skype recently eclipsed the half a billion mark in number of users. With Skype emerging as one of the dominant social utilities today, the speed of communications only continues to skyrocket. The fact that this technological breakthrough is free (much like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is crucial in enabling the ease and accessibility of conversing for the masses.
There is definite logic in suggesting that the influx of technology in today's society has hindered real-life interactions. In that respect, the idea that technology is bringing us closer together is paradoxical in that we are spending more and more time indulged into our mobile devices. In reality though, there is no crystal-clear answer to the debate of technology's merits and pitfalls. It is a mere personal opinion, where those who are "digital natives" (as Sterin refers to) are more inclined to believe technology is a boon to communications,and our collective society as a whole. Others who may or may not be quite as acquainted with technology's latest developments will argue against, claiming technology is precluding our personal interactions. Whatever the case, there is no denying there are some distinct advantages to modern day technologies. Where we stand today as human beings could not have been achieved without such breakthroughs. And the one thing that is for sure, is that there does not appear to be any slowing down. At least, as long as issues like this do not continue to frequent technology.
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My ideas on what the NHL are going to do with re-alignment have been mentioned a few times before but the most logical and the least tl;dr way to show you what I think is with pretty pictures. As such, meet the new NHL in map form!
Of course, the whole thing is an experiment by the board to see if they'll need to move certain teams (Florida, Columbus, Phoenix...) so expect another re-alignment in 2015.
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So, the Canucks have put out their new wallpaper for October, as many of you know. If you haven't seen it, take a look:
Now, look to the right and you'll see Ryan Kesler, as brought to CDC's attention by "Crazy'nucksFan" in Canucks Talk. Now, this may be a reference to Kesler's signature habit of "Keslurking," but then again, he's not wearing any shades, nor is he sporting John Garrett's old mask while creeping on Garrett and Shorthouse, as they try to hold back their smirks. There's nothing goofy like that, and that's what caught my attention the most.
Look as his face. He's got his game face on, and he's all business. Looking at him in this wallpaper made me realize that my mind refuses to accept the Stanley Cup Finals as it stands, and it still hurts. That damn Stanley Cup Finals patch... As a fan of a team who's top players still get called "The Sisters" by some, even after back to back Art Ross winning seasons; A team home to a city that went insane after Bieksa sent the Sharks packing in the Western Conference Final for the first time in 17 years; and a team full of players I've loved watching my whole life... Seeing that little patch just kills, knowing what it's come to represent.
I'm not saying the Bruins didn't deserve to win, because in all honesty, they did. They have their own story, their own passion, and their own determination to win, and they turned their dreams into a reality...
On our home ice.
What the patch means to me is it represents a season where the team finally became a winning team, without actually winning what matters. Had they stayed healthy, I believe they definitely could have beaten the Big Bad Bruins. Not that Boston wasn't a very worthy opponent, but you just can't deny all the skill this team has. People want to say the Canucks weren't tough? Tell that to Ryan Kesler's hip, Manny Malhotra's eye, and the many other players who played despite significant injuries. Kesler and Henrik Sedin essentially single handedly defeated the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, respectively. Nobody can say that the two would could combine for zero points and a -6 in a game for the Stanley cup unless their capabilities were very significantly hindered. Not that the team claimed an excuse, but some slack needs to be cut. It was an incredibly emotional post-season to be a Canucks fan, and the whole time everyone I knew kept themselves in check and not getting ahead of themselves.
Alex Burrows swats down a puck and slays the dragon in an instant.
"They haven't won the cup yet."
Daniel Sedin's PPG stands as the Game 6 and series clinching winner against Nashville.
"They haven't won the cup yet. They've won nothing until Henrik lifts the Stanley Cup over his head."
Kevin Bieksa astonishes everyone as he discovers the puck and throws it past Antti Niemi out of nowhere in overtime to send the Canucks to their first Stanley Cup Final since Greg Adams in 1994.
"They haven't won the cup yet. They've won nothing until Henrik lifts the Stanley Cup over his head as the Canucks parade down Robson Street."
I'm attending my first Canucks game tomorrow, and I can already tell it's going to have such a surreal feeling. I'll recognize every square inch of the arena I've spent so much time seeing it on TV. I'll look to my right and see the Canucks's blue line and all that'll pop into my head is, "That's where Bieksa scored that goal." Further to my right I'll see Vancouver's end-boards and think, "That's where the celebrations should have been on June 15th." And lastly, I'll look at my Canucks' bench and think, "That's where some of my heroes physically couldn't hold back tears, because something so personally tragic occurred to them, despite devoting their whole lives this this game and giving it everything that had, and then some."
But it will hurt just the same, seeing it in person as it did on TV. It was the chance they had to silence all the critics, but just couldn't beat the inhuman Tim Thomas. Lots of people still blame Luongo, but it's a team game win or lose. In the three games the team won in that series, Luongo was as solid as anybody.There was such a complex combination of factors that led to the crumbling of the team, and when you watch your team play with such desperation and still come up short, after being so unstoppable all season long, it's not the easiest pill to swallow. The Art Ross, the Hart, the Selke, the President's Trophy — It all means nothing.
But Kesler's expression leave's more than that.
What it leaves is hope. You can feel exactly what he's feeling. He knew that if his team had won, everything he worked for his entire life would have finally paid off. If it didn't, he would have to face heartbreak and another season just to get a sniff at seeing his name etched in that silver. Obviously Game 7 hadn't ended yet, but his intensity and compete level is there. "The most Canadian American in the game." He has the drive and passion to get back there, and it's infectious among teammates and fans alike. We all know the Canucks are getting back into the playoffs this year, likely with their fourth consecutive division title. Let's not kid ourselves. But that doesn't matter. What matters is the 16 wins they need to get after Game #82. He and the rest of the team know what they have to do to be prepared to get back to the big show in 2012, and I think they'll get there. They've all been there once now, and they're hungrier to win than ever. If they do win it all this season, what that patch represents will be changed entirely. It will not longer represent what was arguably the most heartbreaking season in Canucks history, but the last bit of hunger it brought that the team needed to gain before they were starving enough to say, "Enough is enough. We're taking home the cup now, and nobody is stopping us."
Bring on 2012.
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With the pre-season in full swing, the Vancouver Canucks are once again looking like the class of the Northwest Division.
Edmonton may be better than last year, but are still in rebuilding mode. Calgary remains the most enigmatic team in the league, and their aging core and lack of youth do not bode well, although a place in the post-season remains a possibility. Minnesota made a pair of bold acquisitions from San Jose in trading for Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi, but their team identity remains in flux as they transition out of Jacques Lemaire-style hockey and into a free-flowing offensive style. And then there's Colorado, which has alternated between challenging Vancouver for the Northwest crown and being bottom feeders. Last year couldn't have been much worse as they finished with the second-worst record in the NHL. So it's hard to imagine them challenging Vancouver, but this division is so weak right now and the Avalanche have enough young talent that they could finish second and claim a playoff stop. A lot will depend upon how the acrobatic Simeon Varlamov plays and whether he can stay healthy; much like Cody Hodgson, injuries have marred Varlamov's development.
As for their place in the Western Conference, playing in what is now the NHL's weakest division should help the Canucks vie for the top seed in the West and the President's Trophy. Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, L.A., and possibly Anaheim would have to be considered the Canucks' main competitors for Western supremacy.
Of course, the Canucks expect to have a strong regular season and will rightfully set their sights on the Stanley Cup, which means that their regular-season challenge will be to remain focused on building good daily habits so that the group forms a strong identity and they improve their mental fortitude along the way.
Last year's victory against Chicago was a big hurdle to get over, but of course Roberto Luongo's wildly inconsistent play against Chicago and Boston remains a concern not just for Canuck fans, but also for the Canucks' brass and no doubt Bobby Lou himself. Naturally, there were other problems that surfaced in the Stanley Cup final, and had the team not been so banged up, they might have come out on top despite Luongo's up-and-down series.
After a 2010 off-season in which Mike Gillis addressed more glaring needs by acquiring the services of Keith Ballard, Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres, and Victor Oreskovich, the Canucks' GM prioritized the retention of a few key pieces by re-signing Sami Salo, Kevin Bieksa, Chris Higgins, and Maxim Lapierre. But it is the competition Gillis has created between a gang of NHL veterans and AHL up-and-comers that will be intriguing to watch unfold during training camp. This group includes Marco Sturm, Steve Pinizzotto, Mark Mancari, Mike Duco, Byron Bitz (currently injured), Owen Nolan, Todd Fedoruk, and Steve Begin. Who will emerge and claim roster spots? Who will start the year with the Wolves and be injury call-ups? And who will be cut or traded the way Darcy Hordichuk, Shane O'Brien, and Brendan Morrison were last year when the team decides to go in a different direction?
It is already proving to be an extremely competitive training camp in which young prospects will be given opportunities, but may find it difficult to pull a Shirokov by making the team out of camp. There's just so much experience on the current roster and in the group of forwards Gillis has either signed or brought in on PTOs (i.e. professional try-outs) that for Darren Archibald or Anton Rodin or Jordan Schroeder to make the team seems like a stiff task.
In the near future, then, we will find out what kind of identity Gillis and Vigneault would like to create on the fourth line. We will also find out how the team handles to so-called Stanley Cup hangover. Kesler, Hamhuis, Malhotra, Samuelsson, and Raymond are five key components whose respective injuries/off-season surgeries leave a few questions unanswered. And in the long term, we must also ask how the goaltending situation will be addressed.
It is not like Mike Gillis to stand pat when a situation emerges that stands in the way of winning. But then again, he's much more liable to deal internally with a problem like Luongo. We could see a platoon situation between Luongo and Schneider emerge. And behind the scenes, who knows what Gillis has up his sleeve. But you've got to think that consistent playoff goaltending is something that Gillis has given a lot of thought to since Game 7 against Boston, and the plan will no doubt unfold as the season progresses. With those preliminary thoughts, here are the Top 10: Keys to the Vancouver Canucks' Season.
10. Manny Malhotra proves his versatility
This could be the year in which Manny Malhotra takes Cody Hodgson under his wing. From all reports, Malhotra's eye continues to improve, but still isn't 100%.
What does this mean for the Canucks? Well, prior to his miraculous return to play in the Stanley Cup final, Malhotra remained a leader in the dressing room, and I think one of his roles this year will be to mentor Cody Hodgson. Let's just hope he remains a defensive force on the ice and in the faceoff circle, because he had trouble in the faceoff circle against the Bruins (50.6% compared to his regular season average of 61.7%), and his limited vision may have been the culprit.
Regarding Hodgson, although he may start the year on the second line, Ryan Kesler will take that spot upon his return, which won't be more than a few weeks away. The likely domino effect will drop Hodgson onto the third line, which will shift Malhotra to the left wing. As Alain Vigneault has mentioned, Malhotra can play on the wing and step in to take key draws if they decide Hodgson is ready to be the team's third-line centre.
Either way, look for Malhotra to be a key penalty killer, play some centre, some left wing, and take on the role of mentoring Hodgson who has the tools to be a very effective third-line centre, while also running the second-unit power-play.
9. The fourth line finds its identity early on
It will be important for the fourth line to form an identity and gain Vigneault's trust early on. Last year, Gillis addressed a weak third line by bringing in Malhotra and Torres. Along with Jannik Hansen, they formed a consistent trio that won faceoffs, threw their weight around and had the speed to create chances and disrupt the opposition's break-out.
The fourth line, on the other hand, never found a consistent identity. Alex Bolduc's separated shoulders limited his usefulness. Guillaume Desbiens never made much of a mark, and Tanner Glass is now in Winnipeg. But having Maxim Lapierre centre the fourth line is a good place to start. And my guess is that Steve Pinizzotto has the inside track on the left wing spot, while Mark Mancari and Owen Nolan are running neck-and-neck for the right wing spot. And due to injuries to start the year, Mike Duco and either Mancari or Nolan could be the extra forwards. At this point, Oreskovich may be in tough to beat out some of these newcomers, but he and Byron Bitz will surely their shot at some point during the year.
However you see the fourth line coming together, it promises to be an exciting unit that can fight, hit, agitate, chip in offensively, and change the momentum when the Canucks need a spark.
8. Mikael Samuelsson has a bounce-back year
Mikael Samuelsson had a bit of a rough year in 2010-11 due in large part to nagging groin and hamstring injury that hampered his skating and eventually worsened to the point that he was shut down after Game 5 of the Nashville series.
After scoring a career high 30 goals in his first year in Vancouver, Samuelsson dropped to just 18 goals in 2010-11. Coupled with Mason Raymond's inability to put the puck in the net, Vancouver's second line came to be referred to pejoratively as the Helicopter Line because it featured Kesler in the middle with no wings.
This year, with no major upgrade to the second line, Samuelsson needs to put the puck in the net, and his potential role as a first-unit power play quarterback (with Edler and/or Salo) means that he will have to be healthy and productive after off-season adductor tendon surgery and sports hernia surgery. If he's not, Owen Nolan and/or Mark Mancari could find themselves getting a look in his second line right wing slot.
7. Alex Edler steps into the Ehrhoff void
With Christian Ehrhoff's departure, Alex Edler is expected to pick up the scoring slack. Of course, Vancouver's defensive depth has always been a key to their success, and Edler isn't the only one who will be counted on for more points.
Dan Hamhuis will no doubt play more on the second-unit power play alongside Kevin Bieksa and/or Sami Salo, and Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev both figure to contribute more off the rush at even strength.
But the power play is a vital component to winning, and the Canucks were lethal all year until the finals when Ehrhoff's shoulder injury, Samuelsson's absence, Kesler's injury, and — most of all — Tim Thomas' brilliance conspired to shut down the Canucks' vaunted power play.
If Alex Edler continues to evolve as expected, we could see a 50-point season from him, and the Canucks may need it for their power play to remain as dynamic as it was last year.
6. Cody Hodgson assumes a key role in the Canucks' lineup
The subject of Cody Hodgson has been beaten to death over the last three years, although this year's tempered expectations are that he will find his way into a full-time role with the big club this year.
With only eight regular season games under his belt, he has yet to prove he's a worthy Top-9 forward, but the Canucks could sure use a shot of youth in their lineup, and early indications are that Hodgson is fully healthy, lighter on his feet, and stronger on the puck, all of which should help him grow into a solid NHLer.
As mentioned in the intro and in the section on Malhotra, Hodgson will likely need to settle into a third line role once Kesler returns. Whether he does or not will depend on how he performs through the rest of the exhibition schedule and in the early going when he is expected to fill in on the second line for Ryan Kesler.
5. Dan Hamhuis stays healthy all year
The loss of shutdown defenseman Dan Hamhuis in the finals was one of the many hurdles Vancouver couldn't quite overcome. After a head-over-heels hip check on Milan Lucic, Hamhuis was finished, and like Kesler, Samuelsson, Raymond, and Malhotra, he enters the season with an injury that could mar his early performance.
Like Mikael Samuelsson, Hamhuis had off-season sports hernia surgery. The prognosis has been positive, and it is expected that Hamhuis will be ready to go on opening night.
But losing Hamhuis in Game 1 of the finals was a big blow given his stabilizing influence on the team. He also missed 18 regular-season games due to two separate concussions after missing only seven games in his entire six-year career in Nashville.
Gillis went after him in unrestricted free agency last year for many reasons, one of which was his durability, and the Canucks will need a healthy Hamhuis if they are to return to the promised land for a shot at redemption.
4. Cory Schneider repeats his rookie performance
Had it not been for playing a back-up role on a dominant team that featured Vezina finalist Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider would no doubt have garnered some Calder consideration.
With a spectacular record of 16-4-2 with a 2.23 GAA and a .929 SV%, Schneider may shoulder an even heavier load this year. He may not platoon with Bobby Lou, but getting 30-35 starts is very possible, and given the uncertainty surrounding Luongo's ability to carry the playoff load, Alain Vigneault will likely be more prepared to start Schneider in key playoff games should Luongo falter.
On top of that, it is a contract year for Schneider, and although he will be a restricted free agent, and it's hard to imagine that Schneider will re-sign in Vancouver unless he becomes their full-time starter.
In short, Schneider seems ready for the prime time, and yet the goalie market in the NHL is flooded, otherwise Vancouver may have traded such a valuable asset prior to the last year of his entry-level deal. That, however, may be a blessing in disguise, as the Canucks now feature the best goaltending tandem in the league.
But who will step up and prove to be the go-to guy when the games matter most? It will be interesting to monitor the situation as it unfolds through the season and into the playoffs.
3. Ryan Kesler returns in dominant form
Following post-season hip surgery to repair the torn labrum Kesler suffered towards the end of the Sharks' series, Kesler will almost certainly miss some time at the beginning of the season. How quickly he is able to return to his 41-goal Selke Trophy form will go a long way to determining how successful Vancouver's season is.
Of course, coming off a President's Trophy and a trip to the Stanley Cup finals has made his absence at training camp seem like a blessing in disguise. Cody Hodgson may get to start the season centring the second unit, which should give the Canucks' top prospect a couple weeks to get his feet wet as an NHL regular.
But while other Canucks have been training for the upcoming season, Kesler has been rehabbing. Let's just hope he can step into the lineup and find the stride he had throughout the regular season and through the first three rounds of the playoffs. Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the back-to-back Art Ross Trophy winners, but Kesler is the guy who excels in every aspect of the game due to his speed, strength, and dogged determination to win at all costs.
In other words, Kesler is the engine that turns Vancouver from a good team into a powerhouse.
2. The Sedins each put up 100 points
If the Sedins can have another scintillating offensive year in which they weave their Sedinery against the rest of the NHL, Vancouver should be in very good shape.
Especially in the early going, when Kesler is out of the lineup, it will be vital for the Sedins' to pick up the slack. Under Alain Vigneault, the Canucks have had a mediocre record in the first month or so, and some of this has to do with Luongo being a notoriously slow starter.
Although 100 points each is not the lone prerequisite for Vancouver's success, if they can repeat the numbers they've put up the last two seasons, it will go a long way to making the Canucks a Stanley Cup favourite once again.
The true test, of course, will come against teams like Chicago, LA, Boston, Nashville, and others who have a physically powerful defensive tandem to disrupt the Sedins by knocking them on their keisters. Hopefully, the Sedins will once again have evolved from last year and be better equipped to put points up while playing against the league's elite defensemen.
1. Roberto Luongo finds peace of mind
It's true that Roberto Luongo is one of the absolute best goalies in the business. But it's equally true that his confidence in his own ability can be very thin, especially when the pressure's on. What he needs is peace of mind more than anything, and the inner faith in his own ability to rebound from bad goals.
His tendency against Chicago for the last three years and against Boston in the final to let the goals pile up is not a good pattern; not only does it demonstrate to his opposition a fragile state of mind, but it shows his teammates that he's nervous, which makes playing in front of him very challenging.
In a lot of ways, your goalie sets the tone for your team, and Vancouver has a tremendous team that unravels when things snowball on Luongo. But if he can forget his ego, relax, and move on from bad goals and bad performances, he will be just fine, and so will the Canucks.
On the other hand, if he holds a grudge against the media for being hard on him and feels the need to have his ego flattered the way he did after his scintillating Game 5 performance against Boston, he will remain overly concerned with himself. As he should have learned from Tim Thomas, having fun and being unconcerned with accolades and criticism is the key to remaining in the moment.
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top 75 for the 2012 Draft- Sept 11, 2011
By Ian Esplen
ok here is my pre-season top 75 for the up coming draft. any questions or comments are appreciated
1- Nail Yakupov F 5”11 180 Sarnia Sting RUS
Assets- pure scorer, great shot, skill and skating, willing to play physical, hard worker, great attitude, smart
Flaws- sometimes forgets about his own end, D still needs work
NHL Comparison- Steven Stamkos
2- Mikhail Grigorenko F 6”2 192 CSKA Moscow RUS
Assets- Size, out of this world passing and skill, good skater, very smart player
Flaws- compete level is a bit hit and miss at times, lacks fire in his belly, a bit soft, doesn’t play physical
NHL Comparison- Evgeni Malkin
3- Griffin Reinhart D 6”4 202 Edmonton Oil Kings CAN
Assets- Size, excellent mobility, great skater and passer, can skate the puck out of trouble, very poised, smart, never looks rattled, bomb of a shot
Flaws- doesn’t hit enough, plays smaller then he is, needs to become harder to play against
NHL Comparison- Nicklas Lidstrom/Jay Bouwmeester Cross
4- Ryan Murray D 6”0 182 Everett Silvertips CAN
Assets- extremely smart, great passer, moves the puck very well, always in the right position, good skater, runs the PP, can play a ton, very smooth, doesn’t make mistakes
Flaws- only average size, not physical, may struggle at the next level against bigger players
NHL Comparison- smaller Nicklas Lidstrom
5- Jordan Schmaltz D 6”2 175 Sioux City Musketeers USA
Assets- good size, mobile, good skater, very smart, always in position, mistake free, great stick checker, excellent passer, good shoot, excellent skill, can play a ton of minutes, can shut top players down
Flaws- needs to get stronger, could play more physical, play a bit more nasty
NHL Comparison- Nicklas Lidstrom
6- Mathew Dumba D 5”11 172 Red Deer Rebels CAN
Assets- leadership, physical, hits, excellent shot, pure scoring D, excellent passer, hard worker, extremely competitive, strong character, excellent athlete, plays all out every shift
Flaws- gambles a bit too much, has his moments in his own end, a bit small
NHL Comparison- P.K. Subban
7- Andreas Athanasiou F 6”0 165 London Knights CAN
Assets- excellent skater, can play in every situation, good in all 3 zones, great at takeaways, good shot, excellent skill, good passer, very good all around player, great hands, makes players around him better
Flaws- needs to get stronger, could hit a bit more
NHL Comparison- Henrik Zetterberg
8- Nick Ebert D 6”0 195 Windsor Spitfires USA
Assets- physical, excellent shot, pure scoring D, excellent passer, hard worker, good skater, solid in his own end, mobile, strong
Flaws- has his moments in his own end, a bit small, runs around a bit at times
NHL Comparison- Dan Boyle
9- Filip Forsberg F 6”1 176 Leksand SWE
Assets- very high compete level, good size, very complete player, hard worker, leadership, good skill level, can "will" plays to happen, willing to go to the dirty areas, makes the players around him better, excellent passer
Flaws- skating is average, may top out as a second line player
NHL Comparison- Mikko Koivu
10- Martin Frk F 5”11 190 Halifax Mooseheads CZE
Assets- pure power forward, good skater, very physical, good hands, can score, score spectacular goals, great shot, will go around you or through you, hits, plays on the edge, nasty at times, hard to play against
Flaws- may be a bit small to play as physical at the NHL level, takes bad penalties, positioning in his own end needs some work
NHL Comparison- Bobby Clarke
11- Jacob Trouba D 6”1 183 USA NTDP USA
Assets- good size, very physical, hits, solid in his own end, works hard, good 2-way D, can play in all situations, good skater, excellent puck mover, good passer, nasty
Flaws- can run around a bit at times, takes himself out of position trying for the big hit, needs to bulk up
NHL Comparison- James Wisniewski
12- Jesse Graham D 5”11 160 Niagara IceDogs CAN
Assets- excellent skater(best in the draft), excellent speed, excellent mobility, play mistake free hockey, always in the right position, great passer, great skill, excellent poise, can skate or pass out of trouble, very smart, excellent PP QB
Flaws- needs to bulk up and get stronger, struggles in the corners and in front of the net, has troubles with bigger players, could work on his shot, could play more physical
NHL Comparison- Duncan Keith
13- Derrick Pouliot D 5”11 192 Portland Winterhawks CAN
Assets- excellent speed, great mobility, play mistake free hockey, always in the right position, great passer, great skill, excellent poise, can skate or pass out of trouble, very smart, excellent PP QB, great puck rusher, very strong for his size, steady, solid leader, good shot
Flaws- a bit small, can struggle to clear the front of the net, could be more physical
NHL Comparison- Keith Yandle
14- Sebastian Collberg F 6”0 180 Frölunda SWE
Assets- excellent speed(fastest in the draft), excellent athlete, high skill level, great shot, pure scorer, game breaker, hard worker, strong character
Flaws- a little soft, not physical, needs work in his own end
NHL Comparison- Marian Gaborik
15- Alex Galchenyuk F 6”0 185 Sarnia Sting USA/RUS
Assets- smart, solid 2-way game, willing to hit, high skill level, excellent passer, very coachable
Flaws- takes shifts off, plays a little soft at times, awkward skater, could be more physical
NHL Comparison- Alex Tanguay
16- Michael Matheson D 6”1 175 Lac St. Louis Lions CAN
Assets- good size, very mobile, hits, plays physical, great skater, great puck mover, mistake free, good in his own end, very poised player, excellent passer, excellent at reading the play, good leader, strong character
Flaws- may top out as a second pairing D, doesn’t wow you, needs to get stronger
NHL Comparison- Niklas Kronwall
17- Morgan Rielly D 6”0 190 Moose Jaw Warriors CAN
Assets- excellent skater, excellent mobility, very high skill level, great puck rusher, great passer, good shot, future PP QB
Flaws- needs to get stronger, could play more physical, struggles in the corners and in front of the net, needs to work on his play in his own end
NHL Comparison- Erik Karlsson
18- Charles Hudon F 5”8 165 Chicoutimi Sagueneens CAN
Assets- great skill level, feisty, has a motor that doesn’t stop, great passer, high compete level, willing to finish checks, plays his best on the big stage, great speed, great at finding holes, excellent passer, excellent shot, pure scorer, makes players around him better, willing to go to the net
Flaws- size, needs to get stronger, needs to play better in his own end
NHL Comparison- Danny Briere
19- Zemgus Girgensons F 6”1 182 Dubuque Fighting Saints LAT
Assets- good skater, high skill level, excellent at protecting the puck, good 2-way player, finishes checks, very competitive, strong will to win, great work ethic, good passer, good shot
Flaws- still leaning the North American game, may top out as a second line player, hasn’t played at a high level yet, can be inconsistent
NHL Comparison- Andy McDonald
20- Henrik Samuelsson F 6”2 192 Modo USA/SWE
Assets- Big, strong, athletic, plays physical, hits, has a nasty edge to his game, pure power forward, good skater, good puck protection skills, good in the corners and in front of the net, plays hard at both ends
Flaws- offensive game needs some polish, still learning how to play in his own end
NHL Comparison- Brenden Morrow
21- Olli Määttä D 6”1 198 London Knights FIN
Assets- good size, moves the puck well, rock solid in his own end, finishes checks, mobile, good skater, good shot, steady, blocks shots, 2-way ability
Flaws- makes a lot of good plays but nothing that stands out, may top out as a 3-4 D, could play more physical
NHL Comparison- Roman Hamrlik
22- Alex Gudbranson D 6”2 204 Kingston Frontenacs CAN
Assets- big, strong, good skater, moves the puck well, tough, delivers big hits, very good in the corners and in front of the net, physical, hard nosed D, hard shot, untapped offensive potential, great fighter, good leader, excellent character, blocks shots
Flaws- first few steps need work, mobility could be better, is a bit slow at reading the play (getting better tough), tries to do too much at times
NHL Comparison- Dan Hamhuis
23- Daniel Altshuller G 6”2 174 Oshawa Generals CAN
Assets- big, athletic, good solid butterfly, excellent at covering the bottom of the net, can steal a game for his team, plays well on the big stage, calm, doesn’t get rattled
Flaws- goes down a bit early, when he’s bad he’s really bad
NHL Comparison- Marc-Andre Fleury
24- Stefan Matteau F 6”1 188 USA NTDP USA
Assets- big, strong, good in the corners and in front of the net, finishes checks, decent fighter, good speed, passes the puck well, excellent 2-way player, leadership, goes to the dirty areas, good on the PP and PK, excellent work ethic
Flaws- lack of high end skill, first few steps need work, mobility could be better, could play more physical
NHL Comparison- RJ Umberger
25- Slater Koekkoek D 6”2 180 Peterborough Petes CAN
Assets- mobile, athletic, very physical, hits, decent skill, good skater, plays rock solid D, good worker, can play the PP and PK, nasty edge, great shot
Flaws- doesn’t wow you, can run around at times, tries to do too much, turns the puck over
NHL Comparison- Kevin Bieksa
26- Matia Marcantuoni F 5”11 185 Kitchener Rangers CAN
Assets- excellent skater, battles hard, good shot, good skill level, good passer, willing to go to the dirty areas, good leader, strong work ethic, excellent 2-way player, can play the PP and PK, hits, excellent speed, gritty
Flaws- may top out as a 2-3 line centre, needs to get stronger, not sure if he’ll be as physical at the NHL level
NHL Comparison- Ryan Kesler
27- Brady Skeji D 6”1 183 USA NTDP USA
Assets- excellent skater, excellent mobility, moves the puck well, solid offensive upside, good size, good passer, good skill level, able to get his shot through traffic, good on the PP
Flaws- prone to mistakes in his own end, could play more physical, tries to do too much, needs to get stronger
NHL Comparison- Tobias Enstrom
28- Pontus Åberg F 5”11 183 Djurgården SWE
Assets- Pure goal scorer, excellent skater, excellent speed, hard to knock off the puck, hard worker, finishes checks, great shot
Flaws- doesn’t pass much, sometimes forgets about his own end
NHL Comparison- Michael Grabner
29- Cody Ceci D 6”2 203 Ottawa 67's CAN
Assets- big, strong, fairly mobile, hits, fights, reliable in his own end, steady, moves the puck out of the zone, hard shot, blocks shots, stay at home D, good in the corners and in front of the net
Flaws- doesn’t wow you, may top out as a 3-4 D, won’t score a ton at the NHL level
NHL Comparison- Braydon Coburn
30- Gianluca Curcuruto D 6”1 187 SSM Greyhounds CAN
Assets- great skater, excellent passer, excellent puck mover, solid in his own end, good size, high skill level, good character, good leader, very mature, decent shot, excellent work ethic, great at reading the play
Flaws- doesn’t play physical, needs to shoot more, shies away from physical play, needs to be better in the corners and in front of the net
NHL Comparison- Tomas Kaberle
31- Brendan Gaunce F 6”2 205 Belleville Bulls CAN
32- Nicolas Kerdiles F 6”1 183 USA NTDP USA
33- Malcolm Subban G 6”0 178 Belleville Bulls CAN
34- Tom Wilson F 6”4 195 Plymouth Whalers CAN
35- Adam Pelech D 6”2 200 Erie Otters CAN
36- Matt Finn D 6”0 197 Guelph Storm CAN
37- Jaynen Rissling D 6”3 215 Calgary Hitmen CAN
38- Brendan Leipsic F 5”9 155 Portland Winterhawks CAN
39- Scott Laughton F 6”0 174 Oshawa Generals CAN
40- Troy Bourke F 5”10 150 Prince George Cougars CAN
41- Eric Locke F 5”9 171 Barrie Colts CAN
42- Kalle Torniainen F 5”10 172 Djurgården FIN
43- Mathew Campagna F 5”11 170 Sudbury Wolves CAN
44- Raphaël Bussières F 6”0 183 Baie-Comeau Drakkar CAN
45- Calle Andersson D 6”1 194 Malmö SWE
46- Ville Pokka D 6”0 187 Kärpät FIN
47- Patrik Machac F 5”9 165 Kladno CZE
48- Damon Severson D 6”1 188 Kelowna Rockets CAN
49- Jarrod Maidens F 6”2 170 Owen Sound Attack CAN
50- Ryan Olsen F 6”1 172 Saskatoon Blades CAN
51- Teuvo Teräväinen F 5”10 161 Jokerit FIN
52- Dylan Blujus D 6”3 184 Brampton Battalion USA
53- Jake McCabe D 6”0 195 USA NTDP USA
54- Luca Ciampini F 5”11 189 Halifax Mooseheads CAN
55- Cristoval Nieves F 6”2 175 Kent Prep School USA
56- Dominic Poulin D 6”1 185 Chicoutimi Sagueneens CAN
57- Colton Sissons F 6”0 173 Kelowna Rockets CAN
58- Nikolai Prokhorkin F 6”2 183 CSKA Moscow RUS
59- Miles Koules F 5”11 177 USA NTDP USA
60- Oscar Dansk G 6”2 183 Brynäs SWE
61- Emil Lundberg F 6”3 198 Södertälje SWE
62- Brandon Magee F 5”7 161 Victoria Royals CAN
63-Kristoff Kontos F 6”1 203 Sudbury Wolves CAN
64- Gustav Rydahl F 6”2 194 Färjestad SWE
65- Dalton Thrower D 6.00 195 Saskatoon Blades CAN
66- Jon Gillies G 6”5 202 Indiana Ice USA
67- Radek Faksa F 6”2 183 Trinec CZE
68- Brian Cooper D 5”9 176 Fargo Force USA
69- A.J. Michaelson F 6”0 180 Apple Valley Varsity USA
70- Chandler Stephenson F 5”10 170 Regina Pats CAN
71- Daulton Siwak F 6”0 196 Red Deer Rebels CAN
72- Marcus McIvor D 6”1 204 Brampton Battalion CAN
73- Dalton Sward F 6”0 165 Vancouver Giants CAN
74- Brady Vail F 6”1 190 Windsor Spitfires USA
75- Andrei Vasilevski G 6”3 200 Ufa RUS
I like Christian Ehrhoff as the next Canucks fan. Too see him leave it sucks, he was a 50 pt defense man and a hard one to replace. According to rumors he wanted a lot of money, like 5.5. But in Vancouver he is only worth 4-4.5M. He wasn't going to make more than our arguably number 1 defense man. He was reportedly offered 4.6 to match Kevin's contract, but apparently turned it down. After that his chances of staying in VAN dramatically declined. Christian Ehrhoff's rights were traded to the NYI for a 4th round pick, i was expecting a little more, but for a guy that could walk on friday, in retrospect that's not a bad deal, just for contract rights. It shall be interesting to see what Vancouver does to replace him, maybe see Ballard step up into a higher defense man position, as a 3rd or 4th D. But he is going to have to show a bit better play i mean 7 pts in 65 games is well lets be honest, that's quite terrible. But what i have seen from Ballard when he played in Florida, he can fill in that role, he is physical, loves the hipchecks and so do the fans. He can score, and post 30+ pts. So i mean Keith can do it. For now see ya Ehrhoff I hope you find a team that treats ya good, and gives ya a decent contract, it was fun while it lasted.
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What an amazing season we've had! President's trophy, rakeing in the awards, one win away from the cup...It's been a season to remember!
One win from the cup!
Sadly, we came up short one game, but what some people realize, is that we made it to the Finals with the least amount of goals in the playoffs. And that a series can change in an instant. One second, you've got a lead of the series 3-0, and the next second, you're going into a seventh game. Look at all the teams we've beaten to get to the finals. Chicago, Nashville, San Jose...San Jose was strong, and we beat them in 5 games. The players just need the confidence, and feel like they can succeed, to succeed. In the 7th game vs. Boston, it didn't look like they had that confidence and drive. In other words, it didn't look like they wanted it that bad. After that first goal, it seemed that Luongo gave up on himself and then it started a downfall from there.
Best team in the regular season, what more could you ask for? The Stanley Cup maybe, but my opinion, I think the President's Trophy is worth more that the Stanley Cup. Because in the playoffs, you only play against one team, and for the regular season, it's against all the teams. You know you're better than ALL the teams.
The players worked hard to get there and they deserve it!
Daniel Sedin = Ted Lindsay + Art Ross Memorial, Ryan Kesler = Selke Memorial, Mike Gillis = GM of the Year, and being so close to the Vezina and the Jack Adams (I think it's the Jack Adams...). We took home so many awards, I can barely remember who won what...
#1 D.Sedin, #3 H.Sedin, and #15 Kesler...what an accomplishment!
Can't wait for next season to begin! Remember, first game's October 6th at Rogers Arena vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00PT!!!
Great job Canucks!!!! Make sure you dominate next season! And welcome all new players!
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Hello Fellow Canuck Fans!
As I am writing this the NHL draft has begun and so to has an end come to the 2010-2011 season. But it was definitely a YEAR to remember as a Canuck fan. I know it didn't end the way most people expected. And I don't know about you, BUT I did not prepare myself in any way for the loss of game 7. I will admit I really thought it would go differently. But it didn't and that's just the way it is. Despite the devastating loss, it was a year that I will never forget. Not because the Canucks lost game 7 but because of the AMAZING season that it really was! If someone had told me at the beginning of last season that the Canucks would be in the Stanley Cup Final, I don't know that I would have believed it. They WON their 4th NW division in 5 years!, WON the Western Conference(in the Reg. season). KES & DANNY each notched 41 goals!, DANNY earned the ART ROSS(a year after HANK accomplished the same feat!!!) not to mention those 3 hat tricks that Kesler had! There was also the epic way that the Canucks absolutely dominated against Dallas this season!! That run after we lost in a blowout(7-1 to Chicago) and went on a run where Lou went 16-0-5(and as a team they only lost once in regulation in more than a month)... Lou, Daniel, & Kes set new career bests.117 points!(a previous high was 105!), they won 54 games(27 at home & a high 27 on the road!!!) KESLER finally WON the Selke(not that it was really a contest this year...he was a beast!), Danny WON the Lindsay(2nd Canuck after Nazzy!), LOU & SCHNEIDS earned the Jennings for being the BEST goalie duo!!!(they were incredible!) This was our greatest year so far, yet I think the best is yet to come. Every team will have their glory.
They WON the PRESIDENTS TROPHY for the 1st time in franchise history(and went 4 rounds!...even though most people said that they wouldn't!) And yes maybe the playoffs fell slightly short at the end, but it was a GREAT ride for this city to a part of(except of course those idiots who wreaked havoc downtown! that was absurdly ridiculous!!)
Seriously round 1 against Chicago?! I remember thinking...great! just great....! and thinking that if we couldn't get past them then the Canucks had no business being in the playoffs...and then GAME 7 happened...in OT...with BURR getting a HUGE goal! It was epic. Round 2 versus Nashville brought the emergence of MR. RYAN KESLER as a BEAST!!!!!!!! Anyone else remember that goal from game 4 where he broke between the defence?! That was nuts! and fantastic all at once!! Round 3 showed everyone that the SEDINS are indeed capable of playoff magic...and SALO's 2 goals in 16 seconds?! not to mention the beast KESLER'S goal with 14 seconds left in regulation to lead up to BIEKSA'S DOUBLE OT goal in Game 5!!! A little help from Edler and the stanchion...it was fantastic and the goal that sent this city's cheering through the ROOF!!!!
Round 4 may not have ended the way that us Canuck fans wanted, but it did deliver some great moments before it ended. RAFFI's game 1 winner with 18 seconds left?! Are you kidding me?! and THEN BURR's beautiful wrap around goal 11 seconds into OT?! LAPPY'S goal in game 5?! LOU'S 2 shutouts!
And yes ultimately in the end the dream came up short but it was one heck of a RIDE! And I'm glad that we got to be a part of it. And I know that next season the Canucks will come back even hungrier because of this experience. Like I said before every team gets their turn and ours is COMING SOON! I truly believe that with the team Gillis has put together it has made the Canucks legitimate contenders for the next few years. You don't have to agree with me, that doesn't really matter. It's just simply what I think. I love hockey and I love the CANUCKS and I always will. 2010-2011 truly was an epic year. One that I shall remember for all its ups and downs.
There is ONE major thing that bothers me about round 4....Rome got 4 games for the hit on Horton...and yes I know the league wants to get rid of hits to the head. BUT what about hits that seriously threaten to cause paralysis?! Raymond broke his back and Pacioretty had a broken neck thanks to BOYCHUK and CHARA...and yet NO punishment whatsoever to EITHER one?! What happens when the next time one of these guys gets paralyzed or worse dies?! There will not be a league much longer if Bettman continues to work this way heavily favoring certain players just because of the teams they play for despite tragic injuries that they cause. That's it...that's my rant. Its going to take me while to get over the complete biased politics that currently runs as Bettman's control.
That is all I have to say. It was an epic year. Bettman and his politics drive me crazy. And like many other Canuck fans I am ALREADY counting down the days to October 6th!!!! I look forward to seeing what the Canucks do in 2011-2012!!
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Seriously...............................for those people who doesn't appreciate what our team had accomplished, well you should BE PROUD. In the first round i'm sure everyone was afraid that we were going to be eliminated by the hawks for the fourth time, and say that did happen......that would of have been worst than the great lost over bruins i mean seriously..........OPEN UP YOUR EYES!!!! AND MAN UP!!!!!! like one fan said " were just fans, imagine how those players felt" c'mon seriously people. Sure canucks were the best team during the regular season but when it comes DOWN to PLAYOFFS, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS BUT THE STANLEY CUP ITSELF, you can be the 8th place in the standings and you can still win a stanley cup, but canucks came up short and they weren't the best team to beat bruins, bruins were the better team and they beat us fair and square, complaining, wining, going crazy about it DOES NOT BRING THE CUP TO THE CITY FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!! Doing well in the regular season is very important so you have a guaranteed spot and i'm sure we all know that but when it comes down to playoffs, again; Nothing else matter!!! but winning all the rounds and the STANLEY CUP, anything can happen, strangest things can happen, and that's what makes the playoffs so intense and unique because players need to win a game- not by points. There's no excuse for this lost, Canucks had many great chances to score but it just wouldn't go in, there's nothing you can do about it, IT IS WHAT IT IS LIFE GOES ON COME BACK NEXT SEASON AND THIS IS WHY IT'S CALLED SPORTS!!! Canucks left us with many great memories good and bad and we should be thankful and be proud of our team and the organization behind it. Were fortunate enough that we made it this far!!! For those people who are still bitter and sour, I suggest, go buy some ice cap, beer and enjoy our summer days, soon enough our nucks will be back and OWN the next season again and we will all forget everything.......all great teams even worst teams need great support from fans and the city, after all that's the least we could do, at least what i could do cause tickets are too expensive............so all i/we can say
GO CANUCKS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This 7 game final for the CUP was the strangest CUP FINALS I have EVER experienced in over 30 years of watching! It was like watching a completely different teams when on the road (Boston) and when at home, it was odd.
In the regular season we scored the most goals and had the least goals against. We also had the best PP and our PK was in the top 3 of the whole league. In the finals for the cup (not counting the 7th game) we had scored a total of 8 goals - 5 at home and 3 on the road, and we gave up 19 - 2 at home and 17 on the road. It was like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.
It is not just the skaters and the scores that was the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde but also Roberto had 2 shutouts in the 3 games at home (not counting the 7th game) and only allowed 2 goals in those 3 games. In Boston Roberto allowed 17 goals. It is truly the strangest series ever!
As the series went along I could see the effect of "Tim Thomas" on the players. Tim Thomas is a good goalie, but he is not the Wayne Gretzky of Goalies. I could see how Tim Thomas got into the heads of the whole team, specially after that body-check he gave Henrik. That body-check by Thomas set it in the minds of the whole Canuck team that Thomas was NOT GOING TO BE DENIED. What I mean by the whole team is that this fear of Thomas was even in the minds of the Coaching staff as well as the players.
The 7th Game;
With the 7th game this mind game was all set. Roberto was overly concerned too. If the skaters cannot score on Thomas, Roberto cannot win the game for us, 0-0 does not produce a winner. Someone has to score and if the Canucks cannot score on Thomas where does that leaves Roberto.
Boston did not beat us for the CUP, Thomas beat us. The biggest lesson we have to learn from this is how important the mind game is in these playoffs. How our determination needs to be stronger than the opposition. Not allowing a single player to get into our heads...