Friday, November 23, 2007

Canucks 21 Game Mark Awards

Biggest Positive Surprise: Alex Burrows. Alex Frigging Burrows. The whole "he's a gritty, hard working player" thing gets thrown around a lot in the NHL. A lot of the time players getting this label don't work any harder than anyone else, but have no other discernible qualities so that's the only nice thing the announcers can think of to say about them. Alex Burrows is not one of those players. Alex Burrows genuinely works harder than everyone else, and that's the only reason he has an NHL career right now. I mean seriously, when Dave Nonis spent the off-season signing grinder/energy type players like he was Brian Burke, leaving the Canucks with approximately 23423 options on the fourth line, would you have predicted that Alex Burrows, who went undrafted and had all of 3 goals and 9 points last season, would have played every single game for the team this season and made a meaningful contribution? That's exactly what he's done, matching his goal total from last season (including 2 game winners) and putting up 8 points. So, you know, well done there.

Biggest Negative Surprise: Kevin Bieksa. Even before the injury. Nothing else to say, really.

Least Surprising Moment of the Season Award:Sami Salo's injury. It's just getting silly at this point. You'd think that eventually, just through the sheer force of probabilities, he'd have a season where he doesn't get injured, the same way normal players have seasons where they do get injured once in a while. Salo's had maybe two seasons without a major injury. In fact here's his games played every for every season of his career before this one: 61, 37, 31, 66, 79, 74, 59, 67. This isn't necessarily meant to be an insult, you can't really blame a guy for getting injured, and he doesn't seem like the type of guy who's always trying to sit games for every little thing. Still, it's just strange to see. And by strange I mean horribly frustrating.

The Ryan Shannon Memorial "Help Me I'm Stuck in the Minors Award"-The first iteration of this award goes to...Ryan Shannon. Two goals in three games! I think whatever point about defensive discipline the coaches were trying to make has been made already. Can we let him back up now? Hell, play him as a defenceman if we've got more room there. You can say it's some kind of ironic punishment for his defensive failings. Have I mentioned he scored two goals in three games?

The "Good Stuff's Happerning, Let's Not Screw it up by Talking About it Award". This award goes to Luc Bourdon. Playing not horribly now that no one's actually paying any attention to him. Let's try to keep it that way. You hear that, Tony Gallagher? That's not Luc Bourdon. That's Ryan Shannon in disguise.

Rookie of the Year Award: Alex Edler. I actually think it's gonna be a sad day when all our defencemen are healed up and back at it, because a lot of the guys who've stepped up right now are going to have to get sent down. Is there any team in the league that has more depth on defense than the Canucks right now? Every move right down to Mike Weaver has worked out well. Good times.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NHL Teams and Their Corresponding Teams in Other Sports

Did you ever notice how certain NHL teams seem to have really similar counterparts other sports? Here's some, and their corresponding teams in other leagues.

Ottawa Senators-Indianapolis Colts. Both are extremely good regular season teams defined by their lack of playoff sucess. Both play an offensive, run and gun style that doesn't necessarily translate well in the post season. Both get thoroughly disrespected for their inability to get it done in the playoffs. Yes, I know this comparison stopped applying after the Colts won, but before that the similarities were so strong that I'm still putting it up. Maybe this means good things are coming for the Sens.

NY Rangers-Washington Redskins. Both are teams whose money is their greatest curse. They keep spending more than anyone else in the league attempting to assemble teams entirely out of (usually overpriced) free agents. One of the funniest subplots in the first couple of years after the lockout was that the Rangers weren't able to spend twice as much as anyone else in the league anymore and, ironically enough, that caused them to actually be good for a couple of years. Of course this year they went back to their old ways, overpaying for Gomez and Drury, and look what happerned.

Toronto Maple Leafs-New York Yankees. Well, if the Leafs were actually good.

Detroit Red Wings-San Antonio Spurs. Closest comparison I could think of. Both are venerable teams whose players are older, on average, than almost anyone else in their league and both have been good for as long as anyone can remember. Every year people predict that they can't possibly continue being as good, but every year the drop-off fails to happern. Championships as well as regular season sucess, although neither team won enough in a row to be considered a true dynasty. Both teams remain good even after making large changes to their rosters.

New Jersey Devils-Atlanta Braves. Both teams were among the best in their respective leagues for most of the 90s and the early part of this decade. Both did it by playing a low-scoring, defensive style. Neither team was particularly exciting, and both had a lot less fan support that would be expected for teams that good. Both teams have fallen on hard times recently.

Anyone got more? I'll be adding to this list as I think of more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Well, shit

On October 26, with the Canucks floundering, I claimed on this site that "they don't have it this year" and kind of predicted the season was done. Since then they've gone 6-2-1 and looked solid. With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to make a few aditional predictions.

  • We're not going to win the division
  • Dane Cook will have a long, distinguished movie career
  • The Middle East conflict will remain unsolved for decades to come
  • I will not hook up with Jessica Alba

Here's hoping my predictive powers remain the same.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Brief Moments in the History of the NHL

And now ladies and gentlemen, because theres nothing else to write about, I present to you the first of the soon to be critically acclaimed series: "Brief Moments in the History of the NHL"

SCENE: The summer of 2007. Brian Burke and Todd Bertuzzi's agent discussing an offer for Bertuzzi.

BURKE: We're willing to go as high as 4 mi-

BERTUZZI'S AGENT: We'll take it.

BURKE: You intrerupted me there. I was hoping to tell you more about the great playing conditions we'll have for Bert here in Anah-

BERTUZZI'S AGENT: That's no need, we'll take it.

BURKE: Don't you want to consult the other teams bidding for him?

BERTUZZI'S AGENT(constraining laughter):No, we'll take it.

BURKE: Allright, well come back in a couple of days and we should have the paperwork ready to sign.

BERTUZZI'S AGENT: Is it allright if we speed up the process? We'd like to get this finished by the end of the night if at all possible.

This has been a "Brief Moment in the History of the NHL".