Thursday, 29 September 2011

Canucks vs Ducks - My Take ...

Last night found our Canucks in the Duck pond, facing the Ducks for the second time this pre-season. The difference bewteeen game 1 and game 2.. we actually had a solid line of vets in game 2! Daniel, Henrik and Burrows showed why they are top line, dominating on 99% of their shifts. Burrows had the first shot on net , which did not go unnoticed by my Alex of course ;) Luongo was in net and looked rather spiffy in his new mask & pads. This being their first game since that dreaded and not to be spoken of game, there had to of been some nerves going on amongst the boys, but they came out looking pretty solid.

Ducks opened the scoring with a shot off of Mancari , into our net . Oops . Second goal was the Ducks as well. Alberts was screening Luo so let's not lay the blame on Luo for that one. He couldn't see shit with Albs there.. maybe Albs needs to take jumping lessons from Burrs ? ;) Third goal, was ours ! Henrik deflected a Juicey shot to put the Canucks on the score board. The comeback kids were at it again when Salo scored a slap shot goal to tie it up. Unfortunatley the Ducks scored in the third with a shot that Luo could have and should have stopped and the boys couldn't sink one to tie it up, not from lack of trying tho.

A few things stood out to me in this game.
1. Alberts aka Pickle. What's up with him? Skating down ice with the puck and getting shots on goal ? Stealing the puck and looking very solid he sure the heck impressed me last night. Of course I am an Alberts supporter and I have said he will only get better and if last night was an indication of what's to come , I'd have to say " I'm right !". Alberts looks much improved thus far . WTG Pickle !
2. Cody Hodgson started in center on the 2nd line between Strum and Samuelsson and was kicking butt on face offs. he looks to be much quicker this year , and instead of making a play and stepping back, he is following through, not giving up and sticking with it. Huge payouts for Coho who is fighting for a starting roll.
3. Marco Sturm. That man is in on every play when he is on the ice. He gets shots on net, makes some great passes and seems to have a good head for hockey . Some people think he won't be able to keep up the pace, I feel differently, like I usually do :P
4. #FreeDuco !

The Canucks lost 3-2 but overall it was a pretty good game and from the looks of twitter, many people were happy to see more vets on pre season ice.

Next game is tonight, Thursday September 28, in San Jose. Puck off is at 7:30.

Luongo Quote - 
"All things considered, it was my first game. I think it went all right," Luongo said. "Obviously I'd like to have at least one of those (goals) back but the feeling in general was pretty good."

A Juicey Tweet -
Kevin Bieksa

Great to be back on ice tonight! Missed an epic night of baseball however! Interested to see my boy naked in ESPN mag...really?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Rundown - Pre Season vs Calgary

Finally ! Canuck hockey talk !! Last night was our first Pre-season Canucks hockey, with the split squads playing against the Calgary Flames. Before the games started, I called a win at home and a loss away. I would have preferred two wins, but hey, when the Flames dress 80% of their vets & we dress 10%, it's almost a sure win for them. I found it rather difficult to follow both games and twitter, so this is not an in depth by me.. just a run down for people who missed the game. :D

The Away Game Notes - Final score was Flames 5 Canucks 1. Mark Mancari scored the lone goal for our Canucks. In goal to start was Lagace , with Climie coming in half way through the 2nd period. The Canucks got a total 13 penalties with the Flames only taking 4. ( wtf is up with that ?? !! ) Shots on goal were 32-24 for Calgary.
Not much else to report .. Cody didn't get the minutes many were expecting him to have, Alberts dropped the gloves, Duco dropped the gloves... and we lost .

The Home Game Notes -  Canucks won this game in the 3rd period. The comeback kids strike again ! Final score was 4-3 with Jensen scoring the winning goal. Marco Sturm (1st) Christopher Tanev (2nd), Jordon Schroeder( 3rd & the tying goal) and Niklas Jensen (4th and winner ) were the goal scorers for the Canucks. Aaron Rome got himself an apple off the Strum goal. ( yes i had to get that stat in there, it doesn't happen often :P)  The final shots on goal were 32-22 for the Flames.
A few guys stood out last night in the home game. Sturm being the top in my books. Pinizzotto had a very good showing as did Tanev, Jensen and Schroeder. Eddie Lack, who shared goalie duties with Schneider , played solid in net, at times looking extremely agile and smooth for a guy of his height. Ballard got good ice time and played a solid game, so does that blow the whole 'lack of ice time because AV hates him' theory out of the water ? For those keeping track.. Ballards ice time = 21.04 and Romes = 20.37.  Mark it down ;)

 Next Canucks game is Thursday , Sept.22 in Edmonton @ 6pm

Monday, 19 September 2011

Fan Etiquette and Respect

As an avid Canucks fan , I tend to get out to many events and I read, discuss & debate  much Canucks hockey on social media. After seeing some rather disturbing and disrespecting behavior by some fans, I want to take a moment to express my opinion on this subject and maybe put out a simple reminder :)

1. Respect - respect goes a very long way. Respect to the players and other fans. If you see a player on the street, say hi or thank you or even you're my hero.. but whatever you do, do not mob him ! Do not go in for a hug thinking he is your bestie. Unless of course, he is your bestie ;)
When at Canuck events, don't shove fans out of your way to get a better position. Let the little ones up front .. if you have 500 pics and siggys from a player, why not let others in so they can get a single pic or a single siggy.
Why be so greedy ? Why not share and be happy that other fans get the opportunity that you get ? Why not share in others happiness ? I've seen some fans tell others to F-off when they ask a simple Canucks question, I've seen some fans literally block the players from other fans.. This behavior just says one thing...disrespect.  Do we seriously want Canucks fans to be known that way? Don't we get enough crap thrown at us, that we need these disrespectful fans feeding the fodder ? I think not :P

2. More Respect - so you run into some fans that you do not care for.. it's a big world, a HUGE Canucks fan base, so why not just ignore them. Never try to make other fans uncomfortable, or make them feel like they do not have the right to be at the same event as yourself.  We are not all alike, we come from many different lifestyles and we all have our reasons for being a fan.. let's try to remember this and show respect for each other.

3. Social Media & the Players - do you want Canucks players on twitter ? How bout ya chill out on the begging for retweets & follows and just appreciate the fact that we are lucky enough to get the twitter interaction from them. I'm not saying don''t tweet to them, or don't try for a retweet/follow, but to spam their timeline begging them is probably not the best way to keep them on Twitter ;) Give the guys the respect and space they deserve.
The new NHL rule, players can not tweet on game days makes sense, especially when they get hatespam and lovespam all over their walls. Many jobs do not allow twitter while at work.. game days are the Canucks work, so let's try to respect that fact.

4. Don't Beg - please try to refrain from begging the players for their equipment ! This just reeks of desperation and lack of class. The players choose when and who they give their sticks,pucks etc away to.. maybe one day you will be that lucky person but until then, don't put the guys on the spot and beg them for it.  It's so wrong on so many levels should I even have to say it ? lol

5. Remember.. the players are not obligated to share their free time with us fans, they choose to and they can very well choose to stop sharing that time with us. Let's not give them reason to revoke fan interaction.. because damn that would suck !

6. Appreciate the Players.. as humans, with families and feelings. Don't be out there disrespecting the family members because you are jealous you are not them ;) haha.. I know 'fanism' is part of what comes with being an NHLer and the wives know what they are in for when marrying an NHLer, but that doesn't make it right to disrespect them.

Let's make this a year that the Canucks and Vancouver can be proud of their fans ! After what some 'fake' fans did to our city in June, I think we owe ourselves & the players at least this much.

A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference 
~Winnie the Pooh~

I should add that I see more happy, sharing, decent fans than not, but I think i've seen enough disrespect to voice my opinion on it, and because I blog, that is exactly what i did. So here ya have it. :)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Canucks in September

Welcome back to Canucks hockey ! This is it folks.. the long wait is over and Canucks hockey is pretty much here. Starting the weekend of September 17th, we fans can once again enjoy our Vancouver Canucks.  
On Saturday September 17th and Sunday Sept. 18th, you can head down to Rogers Arena to see the Canucks open practice. More info Here. Head out and show the boys some early fan support ! 

Pre-season games start on September 20th with 2 games. Half the team will play against Calgary in Vancouver and half will play against Calgary in Calgary.
September 22, the Canucks play in Edmonton.
September 24th the Canucks come home to host the Mighty Ducks in Rogers arena .
September 25th the Canucks kick the Ducks out and invite the Sharks in.
September 28th the Canucks visit the Ducks in Anaheim.
September 29th the Canucks head on over to San Jose to play the Sharks.

It may just be pre-season but it is Canucks hockey ;).. and a great chance to see the guys and what they are bringing this season.
Buckle up folks... it's going to be another amazing ride ! :D

Ready for more Rome goals ? ;)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Back to the Basics - 3 - Hockey Terms, Lingo & Phrases

In this Back to the Basics post I will cover some of the terms, lingo and phrases you may hear while watching a Canucks game.   There are terms one needs to know to follow the game of hockey and there are phrases and hockey lingo that one should know if they enjoy talking hockey with those who do know ;) ( Say that 5 times fast :P ha )
Some of you may know most or all terms I will list , but let's help those who don't know them get ready for the season ! Remember... A helpful Canucks fan is a good Canucks fan ! :D haha  If i have left any off the list that you feel should be known, please feel free to add them in the comment section .

Between the Pipes - in the net  - Example : Kesler sinks one between the pipes to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead !
Coast to Coast - this is when a player carries the puck from his own net, down ice to the opposing teams net and he scores.
Chirp - trash talk
Cherry Picking - when a player hangs out behind the play, waiting for an outlet pass to send him on a breakaway. 
Five Hole - the area between the goalie's legs... when he is in net. 
Hat Trick - this is when a single player scores 3 goals in one game. Fans throw hats onto the ice in celebration of it .
Gordie Howe Hat Trick - a goal, an assist and a fight by a single player in one game. Not too sure what we throw on the ice for this celebration ;)
Drop Pass - when a player passes the puck behind for his teammate to pick up. I personally love watching this play.
Puck Bunny - a person who is more interested in the players than the game.. *editors note - if you are a puck bunny, you may not enjoy my blog.. I don't much cater to puck bunnies .. I love the hot sexiness that comes with hockey but I also love the game itself. :P
Sieve - a goalie who lets in a lot of goals  (backoff with the Luo jokes ya haters!)
Sin Bin - the penalty box.
Slapper - a slap shot
Slot - the middle area in front of the net .
Top Shelf -  where gramma keeps the cookies ;) - this is when a player scores the goal in the upper part of the net.
Zebra/Stripes - referee.
Bread Basket - the goalies chest area. A player is not very likely to score if he is shooting at the bread basket .
Spin-o-Rama - a term i can not stand ! I believe it is when a player gets turned around, spins around, puts 1 foot in and shakes it all about. :D In my opinion, this term has no spot in the NHL world. Tough guys do not do 'spin o ramas'.. *sigh*
Breakaway - Kesler steals the puck from Marchand and skates it down ice all alone .. he shoots, he scores !!!! << thats a breakaway ;)
Dive - when a player embellishes a hit on him and takes a dive hoping to draw a penalty to the opposing player. An obvious dive will get a penalty tho so a player really shouldn't do this .
Forechecking - when a player is checking in the offensive zone trying to gain control of the puck so he can set up a scoring chance.
Saucer Pass - when a player makes a pass and the puck sails over the ice , not on the ice.
Split the D - when a player skates between the 2 defending defensive players, usually using skill and fancy foot work.
Wrap Around - when a player skates comes behind the net and tries to wrap the puck around the goal post to put it in the net.
Butterfly - a style of goaltending.. when the goalie tends to cover the bottom of the net by 'butterflying' his legs.
Chicken Wing - when a player holds the opposing players stick under his arm, making it so the opposing player cannot skate away.. without leaving his stick behind.
PK aka Penalty Kill - this is when we are down a man  or two ) due to a penalty.
PP aka Power Play - this is when we are up a man ( or two ) due to a penalty.
Poke Check - when a player uses the blade of his stick to jab/poke the puck off the opposing players stick.
Get it Out - no that is not what she said.. haha that's what I say when the opposing team has the puck down in our end of the ice. 
Swagger - watch Kesler out there on ice.. THAT is swagger ;)

This list may get added to as time goes.. Laurie, if it does, I'll be sure to update you ;)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Training Camp

Training camp is just around the corner and that means we get to see how injuries are doing, how the short summer effected the guys and we get to check out the newest signings and the invitees. I was going to pick one thing I am most excited about seeing, but that is impossible. I want it all !
So many questions come with the new season, new faces to see, new names to learn and new anxiety .. waiting to see how it all plays out. Don't ya just love it ? !! 

The New Guys :

Marco Sturm - 32 yrs old, left winger, played his last game for Washington in May 2010/11.  Possibly a new beginning for Marco, if his knees hold up. Can he be a 20+ goal scorer with those knees ? I'm rooting for him ;) Hmm , I wonder if he can talk Ovi into coming to Van ! (justkidding.. kinda )
Mark Mancari - 26 yrs old, right winger, played his last game with Buffalo in April 2011. Mark will have to get gritty and play hard if he wants a spot on the Canucks roster. Is he possibly just some more padding for the Wolves ?
Byron Bitz -   27 yrs old, right winger, played his last NHL season in 2009/10 with the Panthers. We want this guy just for the 'bitz' jokes ;)  Biggest problem I see with Byron is the fact he played for the Bruins once upon a time. Hope he got the Bruin cooties out of his system ;)
Andrew Ebbett - 28 yr old, Center, played his last NHL game with Phoenix in April 2011.  Not the biggest guy, we'll see where he fits come Oct but my guess is he will be with the Wolves.
Steven Pinizzotto - 27 yrs old, right winger, played for the AHL Hershey Bears in 2010/2011. Steve hasn't played in an NHL game yet , looking forward to seeing what this guy is bringing... other than a name that will be fun to nicname. Is Steve going from a bear to a wolf ? 
Alexander Sulzer - 27 yrs old, defenceman, played with Florida in the 2010/2011 season. Alexander is the only dman on this list .. what's up with that ? That means we have an awesome defensive core unit and Alex has his work cut out for him.
Mike Duco - 24 yrs old, Right winger, played his last NHL game with Florida in March 2011.  Already a fan non-favorite due to his twitters about our twins and the Canucks, this guy has a tough road ahead of him.  I forgive him but do you and thousands of other Canucks fans ? #freeduco

Invitees :

Owen Nolan - 39 yrs old, right winger, spent his 2010/11 season in the Swiss league. I know many may feel due to his age, this isn't someone we need right now. I beg to differ.  Either way, this is Owens chance to get his butt back into the NHL and I am very excited to see him in training camp. Kudos to the Canucks for this invite. 
Manny Legace - 39 yrs old, Goalie, spent 2011 playing in Germany for a team called the.. Roosters ( haha ) . When Canucks invited Legace to training camp, the talk started. Why another goalie ? Is MG planning a goalie move ? My take - let's have a vet backup goalie for Lack and when trade deadline comes, MG has the option of using Schneids as trade fodder and we will have a vet backup for Luo in the playoffs. All we can do for now is speculate and see how close we come to being right.
Todd Fedoruk - 32 yrs old, left winger, played his last game in the NHL in Tampa Bay 2009/10.  This tough guy has been involved in some legendary fights, including one with Boogaard in 2006 which shattered his face. Todd has admitted to having a drug and alcohol issue in the past but says he is now clean and sober and ready to roll. With the support from the Canucks organization , could this be Todds chance to make a comeback into the NHL ?
Steve Begin33 yr old  agitating winger , spent his 2010/11 season in the AHL.   Will having Steve there, fighting for what he feels may be his last chance to play in the NHL as a winger, make Vichy ( Oreskovich ) step up. Vichy sits unsigned at the moment and Max Lappy needs a 4th line winger at his side. Can Steve begin again ? ;)

* I've not covered every new guy or invitee.. so for a complete list click Here ;)

Training camp also gives us the chance to see how our boys & their injuries have progressed/healed. Mason Raymond, Mikael Samuelsson, Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins, Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Mannys eye.... Wow we did get beat up last season didn't we ?! :( Get well quick guys !

Prospects Young Stars Tournament - Penticton B.C - Sept. 11- Sept 15
Training Camp -  Sept. 16 - Sept. 19
First Pre season Game - Sept. 20th !!!!! :)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Canucks are in the House !

Finally ! The boys are back . Well, some of them are anyways and that is a damn good start because any Canucks hockey is good for me.  It's been a long summer with no hockey & seriously, very little Canucks news but finally, this past week I got myself a little fix.
Wednesday found myself & my girls at UBC to watch the Canucks practice. I wasn't expecting many vets to be there yet but was excited to watch the prospects.

Daniel .. smiling of course
Day 1- Alex Edler, Daniel Sedin & Marco Sturm were the vets of the bunch . Some of the prospects we watched were Jordan Schroeder, Darren Archibald, Kevin  Connauton, and Anton Rodin.The boys hit the ice shorly after 11 and from then on, its all a blurr. I do remember feeling like I was in heaven... me, my girls and my Canucks.. yes, all was right in my world again :)  After the boys were done on the ice, they were ever so kind enough to stop and share their time with us. We had Daniel Sedin sign our Canucks cap and told him to say 'Hi' to Henrik for us. Henrik was due to land today ( friday ).  I also remember thinking Sturm looked pretty darn good out there for a guy with 2 bad knees. There was no notice of soreness , he kept pace with the rest of the guys and uhoh he won a place in my Canucks heart. *sigh*
As we were heading out after practice & saying our goodbyes, our friendly equipment manager told us he would see us tomorrow.. and that led to day 2.

Day 2 - We make our way to UBC, same rink as the day before, not knowing who we will see on ice and honestly, not really caring because any Canuck is a good Canuck ;)  We got lucky .. Samuelsson, Edler, Daniel and Sturm along with the prospects. I was excited to see Samuelsson skate , anxious to see how his hip held up. It seemed to hold up just fine :). He was stretching it a lot but that isn't a shocker I would think. Watching #26 out there, confirmed in my mind what a great loss it was for us when he went down and out early in the playoffs.
Edler , who is still dealing with issues stemming from his playoff war wounds, was at times favouring his hand but looked pretty sharp to me. I don't claim to be an expert but I'd tell you's if i thought it looked bad, and it didn't. :P 
Sturm looked good still. Keeping pace with the rest , showing no signs of knee issues.
Daniel didn't stop smiling. I swear he smiled through the whole practice and I will admit, it made me giggle like a teenager. My 6 year old loves the twins and can tell who's who quicker than I can most times,  so when Daniel shot a puck over the glass, my lil one raced to snag it. Of course, the boys are amazing and Daniel signed it for her after practice. We also got signatures from some of the prospects, and the girls got pictures with them.
Kevin Connauton .. amazing kid & I am sure he will be a great addition to any NHL team one day, preferably ours ;)
Darren Archibald ( the kids call him Archie ) .. friendly guy, hard shot & fast on his feet. I was impressed. Actually, I was impressed with many of the young guys but this post will be long enough as is so I best not get into all of that . lol
Alex and Jordan
One thing I do want to mention tho, from day 2.. Dave Babych ! He was co-coaching the guys during practice and that alone was exciting to me. After practice was over and the girls were getting autographs, I stopped Dave and asked for his autograph. He was so friendly and didn't hesistate. My mom would have loved to meet Dave.. sure hope she wasn't too busy up there and was watching down at that moment ;)
When we were getting pictures with the prospects, we asked if they were practicing again the following day.. which leads us to today and Day 3.

Day 3 - I was sooo tired when I woke up this morning but I couldnt not go. There was no way I was disappointing the kids like that and skipping out on the last practice before school starts, so off we went.  We got to the rink and parked our butts in a good spot to see the boys come out onto the ice. We heard the door open, looked up and I swear every single person there, dropped their jaw. Manny Malhotra was there !! And he was not in full cage. He was wearing a visor, just like the good ol days :) Like Daniel, Manny smiles a lot when on the ice and is a joy to watch . When Manny shot a puck over the glass, not 5 feet from us, the teen and I went for it .. I threw a wicked bodycheck and beat her to it ! I Am The Champion ! or maybe not. We share any memorabilia we get so we both win either way :P
My 6 year old spent the last 30 minutes of practice, figuring out what she was going to say when she asked Manny to sign her Canucks cap. " Mr Manny Sir, can you sign my hat please" was what she came up with and she repeated it at least 50 times.. then her chance came. Manny was heading to the locker room after signing autographs and taking pictures with other fans at the practice, he had his  hand on the door when lil one popped up and said her thing. Manny didn't just sign her cap, he also signed my teens jersey and took a minute to get a picture with the kids. We also got pictures with Samuelsson and Sturm, and again bugged the prospects for pictures and a bit of chit chat. They may think we are crazy but they , like the vets, take the time and it is much appreciated.
Marco Sturm
Sturm looked good on day 3, but at times looked to be rubbing his knees. The guy has not missed a practice, and we need to remember, these practices are optional, so it speaks volumes to see him on the ice every day, giving us his all. Got to admire a guy like that :)

The smile says it all ... Thank You Manny
I can not emphasize enough how great these guys are. Tired and sweaty after a solid 90 minute skate and they still stop to take the time for us.  I always let them know how much we appreciate what they do and once or twice I even apologized for holding them up. The minute or two they take for us fans means more than they could imagine. These are some of the best family outings we have. Me, my girls & our Canucks :)
Taking it all in

Welcome back Canucks.. Oh how we have missed you !