I remember the time in 1959 when I took the downtown trolley to the west side of Ocean Beach. I had to take back the facsimile that we gotten for the farm, but it was too icky and my mother told me that it was not appropriate. Well, after the trolley ride I thought I about having an effervescent soda pop at old Doc Chandan's pharmacy, but he lost his thumbs in the war so I grabbed some from Captain Solan's general store instead. I'm on my eight glass already. If I was not the son of a warlock then I would know better than to gulp them like a wombat in capable heat...
(as you can tell, senility is bitchin'!)
Pull your pants up and take a walk with us as we review our loves and hates from the past week.
AS GOOD AS MATLOCK AND APPLESAUCE
Basky: When Johnny Boychuk broke Raymond's back in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it wasn't wrong to think it could have been the last time we saw him on the ice. I know we all hoped that he would make a complete recovery, but I don't think anyone foresaw him coming back the way he has. Some are saying he's changed his style in his return, and while I am not 100% convinced of this it certainly does seem as though he's going to the dirty areas a lot more. His speed certainly hasn't been affected, and his chemistry with Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins was instantaneous, and the loss of David Booth was made a little less painful by Raymond's startling return to form. It's been great to see him as though he were in mid-season shape, rather than the condition Ryan Kesler was in when he started his year after his hip surgery following the finals. As the Canucks head into the last half of their December schedule, they have some tough games ahead. Mason Raymond's play since his return just gives the Canucks one more reason to feel confident this team is heading in the right direction.
Zandberg: The game against the Leafs on Saturday. Was that entertaining or what? The show starts off with Ron McLean trying to explain himself and an #EmbraceTheHate post by vancitydan put up on the screen for the masses to see. That was amazing. Honestly though, I don't care much about the hate anymore. I think it goes with the turf of being a top team in the NHL, and of course, have a few sh*t disturbers on board. But those sh*t disturbers (Burrows, Kesler, Lapierre) are such crucial parts to this team's success. They showed that in last year's playoffs.
So back to the game...I thought Dion Phaneuf was gonna murder somebody. Instead he gets turned into a pylon by Jannik Hansen, who easily blows by him and scores the dagger 5th goal for the Canucks.
Roberto Luongo. How are the Lou haters doing? A little quiet lately I see. Luongo is playing superb. You can see that he is dialed in. It's in his movement. What a performance by him on the huge CBC stage. The same with
I liked what Kevin Bieksa said post game: "That game could have come at the
end of a 10-game, 20-day road trip and we would have been up for it." No kidding. And it showed.
YC: My epic man crush on Chris Higgins continues unabated. The dude has eight points in December and is on pace for a 25 goal and 57 point season, both of which would be his best career numbers. Better still is how he became a Canuck which makes me want to give GMMG a big ol' bear hug.
FRIGGIN KIDS WITH THEIR RAP MUSIC, CELL PHONES AND PROMISING FUTURES
Basky: It's been a hallmark of this team for the last few seasons, a move towards defence by committee and a sense off responsibility from all hands to focus on defence and thus make things easier on the goaltenders. The last week has been so frustrating watching a team that normally is so solid in their own end make embarrassing fundamental mistakes. They made Columbus and Carolina especially look like Cup contenders the way they allowed them free reign. Roberto Luongo gave the Canucks a chance to win against Columbus, the team pissed that away by allowing it to get to a shootout, spending so much time chasing the puck against a team they should have handled easily. And what the hell they were doing against Carolina, well your guess is as good as mine, but Cory Schneider certainly deserved better. Even against the Leafs Saturday night (and not to take anything away from the Leafs, who played a strong game) the Canucks offered passive resistance at best for the first half of the game, allowing Leaf forwards to set up camp in front of the net and get quality chances on Luongo. Again, Luongo was more than up to the task, and like his counterpart at the other end of the ice, kept things going for his team until the Canucks decided to crank it up a notch. Not going to single out any one player here, this is on all of them. They're complicating things, all they need to do is get back to the simple, basic things that have seen them so successful the last few years. I know I am supposed to sound more crotchety, but it's Christmas so I am a little more mellow. There's not much to complain about this month.
Zandberg: The games against Columbus and Carolina. Sure, Steve Mason and Cam Ward played very well against the Canucks but that's no excuse. These were two teams the Canucks should have beaten. But I think, and this is a stab in the dark, that the Canucks know how good they are and they know how bad those teams are. And they fail to mentally prepare for the game. Or, they go in and purposely don't work hard enough because they think it will be good enough to work hard for 50% of the game and still win. I've given up getting mad about those efforts. For now anyway. But maybe they should issue out a notice that they plan on dicking around for games like that so I can just skip the game period.
By the way, I still tip my hat to Chris Higgins for his efforts this week. He doesn't have a quit button that I can tell. The same goes for Mason Raymond.
What is going on with Ryan Kesler? I see him getting high sticked and dumped and no calls are coming. Is this a reputation thing? You have to wonder because it happens so much. I think the refs as a whole have it in for him.
YC: Sure, hating on the pluggers is basically a fool's game, but did you know Dale Weise played a season low eight shifts against Columbus? I would rant on that but then decided it's better to focus on that then remind everyone our resident resident enforcer hasn't won a fight yet.