Optimist_Prime

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  1. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/pest.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" />Showing up late for a party is never a good thing and seeing how we're 22 days into 2010 and I have yet to wish you a happy new year, I'll hold off until 2011. Truth be told, I just woke up from a New Year's Eve hangover that makes what they went through in look like a pleasing spa package. Things have been rough, cat's tongue rough, but from what I'm hearing it hasn't been half as bad for this sunny side upper as our boy Alex Burrows. Burrows vs. Auger, Burrows vs. MacLean, Burrows vs. NBC; all the undeserved negative media attention he's received has put pests under a burning fluorescent light. Having them crawl around your house is one thing, yet it's quite another when a pest is sparking your team by getting under the opposition's skin. My fear when Burrows spun out was that it would force him to alter the way he plays. Luckily, that hasn't come to light – like Tiger Woods' marriage counselor, he's just been trying his best to get things back to the way they were. Somehow, like a bat out of hell, Burrows has actually soared in the face of adversity and shat on the idea that bad press can affect a player's performance. He's tough as nails and just as stubborn, which is why we love him. Keep battling, keep scoring and keep telling it like it is. The world, even the one this optimist lives in, could use a few more players like Burrows. The one surprising thing about the Burr in everyone's side is that he's not from Saskatchewan, of most scrappy NHLers. Of the 41 current players who claim Rider pride and deserve to be covered in with green slime for admitting as much, Darcy Hordichuk and Tanner Glass both found their way to the Canucks. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/shaq.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="Left" />The impact of having two Corner Gasers in the line-up this season has been a more hostile Burrows. Normally the best super pest – hands down without any Kanye debate – Burrows has been forced to grow a few more legs to keep pace with the rowdy Regina rednecks. The result of this has been night in and night out meetings between that has made for appointment viewing. People can't get enough of Burrows right now, but the fact remains that many spectators have him painted with a Sean Averian brush. This makes as much sense as Shaquille O'Neal joining the Lake Eerie Monsters, even if just in bobblehead form. Burrows is a pest, a termite if you will, and he knows how to play the roll to perfection. If there were an award for that, it would be named after him. He's always played that way and it's how he's risen to NHL super stardom. Should he be vilified for it? I'll answer that question with a question, should LT be allowed to make any more music videos? Bad example because the answer is clearly YES PLEASE. But leave Burrows alone. Without him and his 13 goals over the last nine games the Canucks might not be plowing their way through the league like Nic Cage is taking over, well, everything. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/cage.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" />Burrows plays the game with passion unmatched in Vancouver's locker room and until he's long in the teeth, that won't change. If pessimists want to make issues of that, bring it on. Like Jay-Z says, on to the next one. Who is Optimist Prime? He's an eternal Canucks believer whose glass is always half full, even when it's empty. Throughout the 2009-10 season, Optimist will take a lighthearted look at the Canucks while never losing the faith. It's Cup time baby! </td></tr></table>
  2. The Cup certainly has been through a lot. I also read a while back that Derek Meech of the Detroit Red Wings showered with it when he won it. To each their own I guess...
  3. <table border=0 width=1000 align=center><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct0209_optimist_blog.jpg" border=0 style="float: left; margin-right: 8px;">Vancouver, BC – Allegedly inspired by the heroic play of Kyle Wellwood in Vancouver's 4-1 win over Los Angeles Thursday night, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis is planning a return to the NHL. Gillis was spotted working out with the team at Friday's morning skate, his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame powering down the ice like a snowmobile. MG seemed quite comfortable in his role as GM with the Canucks so it was a shock to most that he would try returning to the NHL for the first time since retiring in the summer of 1984. Gillis came into this world when by Jerry Lee Lewis was screaming up the charts and he turns 51 next week, so let's not kid ourselves, he may have lost a step or two. Or three. Or four. Or nineteen. Speculation is that this bullish left winger, once a member of the Colorado Rockies – no, not the baseball team, child please – and the Boston Bruins, believes that if Wellwood can pot an empty net goal and get a cheer equal to what the Canucks got when they forced a seventh and deciding game in 1993-94, anything is possible. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/Gillis.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="Right" />A source close to Gillis, who requested anonymity and may or may not be real, same with this story, said that Mike " " "Once he puts up some shelves and gets that stuff organized, he'll be good to go. Wicked shot, attitude, wild intensity and he's got more drive and focus than Tiger Woods – what, too soon?" Rumors are swirling on the Canucks message boards that Gillis will be penciling himself into the line-up as early as this weekend, either on the third or fourth line, possibly both. Fed up with the bottom lines producing as well as Matt Forte (if you are from Chicago, cheer for the Bears or picked this molasses running back in fantasy football, you know what I'm talking about), Gillis is expected to average roughly 40 minutes a game in an effort to produce, produce, produce. Laugh if you will, but in 246 career NHL games Gillis piled up 76 points and that's more than Darcy Hordichuk, Rick Rypien, Tanner Glass and Jannik Hansen have combined for in more than twice as many games. MG, a points machine? Who'da thunk it! Playing for the team you're heavily involved in can be an issue, just ask Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky, but Gillis seems up for another challenge. He's already got the Canucks back to the post-season, finished a Rubik's Cube, successfully entered a text on an iPhone, said eleven benevolent elephants three times fast, stayed on a bull for eight seconds, landed a quadruple jump, written a country music song and understood something Manny Pacquiao said, so this should be nothing. Next thing you know someone will write a and he'll be throwing up the Olympic gang sign on CTV. Good luck MG, not that you need it! Who is Optimist Prime? He's an eternal Canucks believer whose glass is always half full, even when it's empty. Throughout the 2009-10 season, Optimist will take a lighthearted look at the Canucks while never losing the faith. It's Cup time baby! </td></tr></table>
  4. <table border=0 width=1000 align=center><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct0209_optimist_blog.jpg" border=0 style="float: left; margin-right: 8px;">According to the Optimist Code, "an optimist shall try their best to find the positive in every situation, regardless of how daunting the task." In the spirit of this code, I've been challenged by a fellow optimist to take on the curious case of Kyle Wellwood. Oh boy. This is akin to playing minesweeper on expert. There are red flags everywhere. From Trailer Park Boys Randy to a fan favourite, Wellwood had quite the first season in Vancouver in 2008-09. He showed up for camp out of shape and was called out for it, he then dropped Big City Cupcakes from number two on his speed dial and got his act together. The result was a butterfly-eske transformation, one that even surprised Welly himself as he finished the season with 27 points. Some fans were even mistaking Wellwood for one of the most dynamic Canadian players of all time. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/Welly.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="Right" />Now, not so much. Even after dropping more weight this off-season and getting ample opportunity to produce with all of Vancouver's injuries earlier this year, Wellwood has been as useful as a flashlight in a horror movie. He's like a drunken text the Canucks wish they could take back. The numbers are Shakira's hips: Wellwood has one assist for one point in 17 games ranking him 568th in the NHL for points. He's gone nine whole games, or 540 minutes, without finding the scoresheet with no end in sight. The pride of Windsor, Ontario no more, Wellwood has fallen behind former WWF wrestler Killer Kowalski on the city's list of people who have done stuff. Burn. His bio at town hall has even been changed to read: "Even a broken clock gets it right once and a while. C'mon Kyle." Double burn. Apparently Apple has been lying all these years because getting Wellwood out his mother-of-all-how-are-you-in-the-NHL-pudding-has-more-consistency slump, . But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And yes, it's daylight, not a train coming at you head-on. Throughout Wellwood's career, he's collected the most points on Thursdays (28) and Saturdays (44) than any other days and of Vancouver's remaining 61 games, 25 fall on those days. That's a start. Most people love December because it means the holiday season is among us, Wellwood is a fan of the twelfth month because he has 29 points in December, the most of any month during his career. Now we're talking. Goals aren't going to score themselves, even if it's a Thursday or Saturday in December, and the first step to Wellwood overcoming his slump is acknowledging his chronic Triggeritis – not to be confused with Pufferotis Triggeritis, a compulsion to build large aquariums to house every kind of pufferfish and triggerfish. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/09/aug0309_wellwddoface3_rr.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="left" />In 17 games Wellwood has only 17 shots on goal, Bruno Gervais of the New York Islanders is the only other NHLer to have as many shots in as many games without scoring. Wellwood is at his best when he puts stick to rubber, as his early career numbers indicate: in 2005-06 he had 45 points and 117 shots and in 2006-07 he had 42 points and 99 shots. If Wellwood starts pulling the trigger and shooting, I'm optimistic he'll wake up from this nightmare and be back on everyone's holiday shopping list before long, including Alain Vigneault's. I'm doubly optimistic that for some odd reason, Wellwood will score his first goal of the season on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks, a team he's never recorded a point against. Who is Optimist Prime? He's an eternal Canucks believer whose glass is always half full, even when it's empty. Throughout the 2009-10 season, Optimist will take a lighthearted look at the Canucks while never losing the faith. It's Cup time baby! </td></tr></table>
  5. <table border=0 width=1000 align=center><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct0209_optimist_blog.jpg" border=0 style="float: left; margin-right: 8px;">Every Rose Has Its Thorn is more than Poison's first and only number-one single, more than #34 on the list of 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's, more than the power ballad Otto used to propose to his main squeeze Becky on The Simpsons many moons ago. Every Rose Has Its Thorn is a song title that perfectly encompasses what it means to do battle in the NHL and come out on top. The rose, being the Stanley Cup champion, is a thing of beauty that is associated with greatness. The thorn, being trials and tribulations, signifies the bumps in the road in which that team endures. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP7_6.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" />Whoa, that was deep. A little too deep. Forgive me, but it was either a reference reminding everyone that a perfect season doesn't exist, or going Elizabeth Lambert on all those leaping off the bandwagon to sip some Haterade. Sure, the Canucks are in a funk. Everything they touch turns to Skittles, I'm with you. We're just lucky they aren't playing today, Friday the 13th, or things could get real gruesome. Vancouver has lost three consecutive games for the second time this season and being 20 games deep, that puts the Canucks on pace to have eight such losing streaks this year. But that's according to the numbers and we all know they lie, like every time I step on the scale or check my bank account balance, for example. Numbers do turn in Vancouver's favour when looking at the past five Stanley Cup champions, however. Starting with the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning and ending with the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins, the last five teams to hoist the Cup have lost at least three games in a row three times during their championship seasons. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP7_11.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="Left" />The 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks persevered through an 11 game stretch in which the team won only twice and had two four-game losing streaks. Ditto for the Detroit Red Wings circa 2007-08, they ended February 2008 losing 10 of 11 games, including six in a row. Same story for last year's Pens as over one 10 game period between December and January they lost five straight and eight of 10. Welcome back perspective, we missed you. You were away helping Larry Johnson put his life back together, you say. Well that's a noble cause and we understand your absence. Every rose has its thorn and the Canucks are currently being pricked, better now than in March. I'm optimistic we'll make it through this and come out on top with our heads held high in Captain Morgan stances when things are in full bloom and everyone is lining up to smell the roses. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP7_10.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" />Then and only then will we look back on the widespread panic the fans and media went through mid-November and enjoy a . I recommend something from the library, but is really hot this season. Who is Optimist Prime? He's an eternal Canucks believer whose glass is always half full, even when it's empty. Throughout the 2009-10 season, Optimist will take a lighthearted look at the Canucks while never losing the faith. It's Cup time baby! </td></tr></table>
  6. <table border=0 width=1000 align=center><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct0209_optimist_blog.jpg" border=0 style="float: left; margin-right: 8px;">Of late there have been a lot of people ragging on the Vancouver Canucks for the way they've been winning games. Think about that for a second. People are ragging on the Canucks for how they are chalking up wins. Does that make sense to anyone else? That's the same as telling your grandma the sweater she got you looks like rainbow puke, what you really wanted was an Atari (or whatever the hip new gaming console is). It just shouldn't happen. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP6_1.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" /> As John Garrett elegantly pointed out last week, it doesn't matter how the Canucks win, as long as they win. If I agreed with Garrett more, he and I would be as chummy as Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod. Having said that, I've realized something is lacking in Vancouver's victories this season and I'm optimistic that with a little practice and imagination, the team will be able to restore it. Where has the creativity gone in goal celebrations? Take Vancouver's first three wins in November, for example. The Canucks upended the overrated Avalanche 3-0, beat the overloved Rangers 4-1 and smashed the overwhelmed Wild 5-2; 12 goals for, 11 bad celebrations against. Of the nine players who scored (Samuelsson x 2, Burrows, Rypien, Hank x 2, Raymond x2, Kesler, Pettinger, Hordichuk & Glass), only Darcy Hordichuk showed some real emotion as he bent down and touched the ice with his right glove before rocketing it up in the air like it was covered in peanut butter and he's allergic. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP6_2.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="Left" />It was really the first time this season the Canucks have gone for it with a celebration, and while I'm not encouraging to every goal, inflating the tires a little more and pumping the breaks a little less would add to the excitement of goals and therefore make them mega memorable, which would add to the game experience as a whole. Or something like that. This isn't the old west and this isn't a stick up. Get your hands down. If you score a goal do more than just rush to your teammates and to the bench like the ice is melting, show some genuine passion and share it with the crowd. This is the NHL after all and not the NFL (No Fun League), celebrating isn't penalized. No more boring life. No more boring goals. Let's not forget our heritage, it was Tiger Williams who got this party started with arguably and before you come at me with an argument that the best celebrations should be saved for the biggest goals, remember that Williams' was a dumpy goal in a regular season game. It only meant something because it was against his former team. Fixing this problem isn't hard; here are three suggested celebrations that Canucks could customize to make their own. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP6_7.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="left" />-The Double Pits to Chesty. It's a bike trick, sure, but after scoring why not spray on a little invisible Axe and then hit the glass in front of a few cuties and let them bask in the glory. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP6_9.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="left" />-The Cadbury Eyebrow. This Glass and a Half Full Production is a masterful facial dance off between brother and sister, how classic would it be for the guys who score and pick up the assist to engage in a quick celebratory brow battle. Whoever nets the second assist can brings the balloon. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/OP6_8.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="left" />- . Forget about the name, it's all about dropping it like it's hot like this pimpin' toddler. Extra points for the flailing right leg kicks, minus if you're wearing a diaper. My only seed of caution is that sometimes celebrating just isn't worth it (check out #1). Who is Optimist Prime? He's an eternal Canucks believer whose glass is always half full, even when it's empty. Throughout the 2009-10 season, Optimist will take a lighthearted look at the Canucks while never losing the faith. It's Cup time baby! </td></tr></table>
  7. <table border=0 width=1000 align=center><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct0209_optimist_blog.jpg" border=0 style="float: left; margin-right: 8px;">If you're a nerd like I am, you love Mythbusters. If you're a nerd like I am, you love Mythbusters and you know that it's possible to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJ9fy1qSFI. With all the injuries the Vancouver Canucks are being forced to play through right now, finding the silver lining in the team's outlook for the next few weeks is exactly like polishing a turd. Hand me some gloves, this is about to get messy. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/Equis.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" /> The outlook is bleak, I can't deny that. As of Friday morning Vancouver's injury report was home to Roberto Luongo, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Johnson, Kyle Wellwood, Alex Bolduc, Jannik Hansen and Pavol Demitra. (Rick Rypien and Sami Salo were removed on Thursday) Losing Luongo is the movie equivalent of when Wilson fell of the raft and floated away; proof is in how Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault reacted to the news. According to his Facebook status, Mike Gillis is Yo hockizzle gods, WTF-izzle? Ditto for AV. Alain Vigneault is sacré bleu! Qu'est-ce que c'est? Déjà vu! Zut alors…À la mode. Meanwhile, a quick check of Andrew Raycroft's page and it's clear he's excited for the opportunity to tend twine for the Canucks with Luongo on the shelf. Andrew R is living vicariously through himself. Those last four words alone convinced me that Raycroft belongs alongside Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World and not because they can both speak French, in Russian. Raycroft was a little like Hulk Hogan's real name at the outset of the season (doesn't get used much but is there if you need it), a rib injury later and he's front and centre for the Canucks. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/Raycroft.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="Left" />Are we to blindly throw our puck-stopping faith in a former Toronto Maple Leafs backup we know nothing about? But after doing some digging, which includes discovering that Raycroft leads the ENTIRE NHL with a 1.03 GAA and .958 save percentage, I'm ready to jump on board the RayRay train (woo woo!) – this guy is a potential diamond in the rough. Raycroft needs some remodeling though. First off, no more Rayzor as a nickname, the story behind it is about as lame as him being name a http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOgIpsGbZKQ, even if he's won a Calder Trophy under that moniker. Let's brand him Everyday. It's punchy like Adrian Peterson's All Day, but with Luongo out for the time being, we need something that provides lasting confidence to both him and us. Andrew "Everyday" Raycroft it is, or just "Everydaycroft." Everyday needs some personality revamping as well. Luongo has his death stare and Christian Bale intensity, whereas Raycroft is like the neighbor that mows your lawn and organizes your mail alphabetically while you're on vacation. Although it pains me to say it, nice guys finish last. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/Drama.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" />Everyday needs to lose the Mr. Rogers and channel his inner Johnny Drama, what with his eccentric personality and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIeWjLC_SB0. I'm optimistic that like the girl on the bus the other day that had mitts on so she used her nose to control her iPod touch, with these changes Everydaycroft will soon be the talk of the town. He's off to a solid start already, he didn't even have to take a Sharpie to his face and he robbed the LA Kings blind. Oh, and it's Terry Gene Bollea. The Hulkster's real name is Terry Gene Bollea. Go figure. Who is Optimist Prime? He's an eternal Canucks believer whose glass is always half full, even when it's empty. Throughout the 2009-10 season, Optimist will take a lighthearted look at the Canucks while never losing the faith. It's Cup time baby! </td></tr></table>