Just a few days ago I had mentioned that this road swing might be just the thing to wake the Canucks out of the funk they had been in for the entire month of February. 2 games in and it seems that I was right. Hardly rocket science (I for one don't feel the need to try and prove to you how smart I am by quoting reams of philosophical fooferah and scientific studies. I write from the heart, it's less douchy) but getting away from Rogers Arena has revitalized the boys. Of course, having thousands of rabid Canucks fans at these games might have had something to do with it. Either way, the Canucks are playing like they have been for the majority of the season. Coming at their opponents in waves, outskating, outchancing and even when outshot, still finding ways to win. Tonight they head into Phoenix to take on a team that is in trouble on and off the ice. Gary Bettman and Bill Daly are en route to Glendale to speak with city officials as this mess continues to fester. With apologies to the fans of the Coyotes, we're gonna kick you when you're down. Nothing personal, it's just hockey.
The fact that the Coyotes are in contention for a playoff spot this season, let alone made it last time with the gawd-awful mess that is the state of the franchise is remarkable. And I don't doubt their fanbase is as passionate as any in the NHL. The fact that the other teams in the league are paying their payroll is wrong. It's no way to run a business. You can take either side and layout all the pros and cons all you want. Winnipeg and Quebec City lost their franchises in a time where Canadian teams were struggling due to the difference between Canadian and American currency. The financial crisis in America has hit a number of teams hard (They're still selling $9 tickets for select games in Detroit I hear). There are wealthy owners salivating at the chance to purchase and relocate teams like the Coyotes to lucrative HOCKEY markets, rather than use league money to offset massive financial losses. I ain't no Harvard grad, but that's no way to run a business.
We'll let the experts try and sort out that mess, but I ain't gonna lie: the thought of the Jets returning excites me. Why? Because of the possibility of the Canucks turning around and moving the Moose to Victoria. We have a fantastic facility here, the fan support would definitely be there, and it makes a ton of sense from a business standpoint. Whether it's the Coyotes or the Atlanta Thrashers, a team in Winnipeg benefits the Canucks.
Hooray for Waffles!!!
Phoenix isn't the only team that has distractions moving forward, however. The Canucks organization will have their own issues to deal with as the Todd Bertuzzi/ Steve Moore trial begins. And with that comes waves on trolling on the internet and amongst non-Canucks fans, all looking to get their licks in. Here's some things you need to know: First off, the entire makeup of the team has changed, from management to ownership. Second, not every Canuck fan blindly supported what Bertuzzi did. It was a heinous act for sure, but beware the oncoming hyperbole folks, because a look back through the NHL's history reveals stick attacks far worse than what he did. I will never forgive him for that selfish, stupid act. The Canucks had a talented team that season, and were driving towards what they hoped would be a fantastic playoff run. This incident completely derailed that. And for that reason, I feel the same revulsion towards Todd that most Canucks fans do with Mark Messier. You blew it, dude. And you disgraced the team, the city and it's fans.
That being said, this is in the past. Let the trial find it's fault where it may, but to those who would lash out at the current Canucks, keep those points in mind. The Canucks washed their hands of Bertuzzi, May and Brian Burke, Dave Nonis and Marc Crawford as well. We've moved on, you should as well. Deal with the individuals. The team you see on the ice has nothing to do with it but the name. They all have their share of blame, along with league, the Avalanche and their coach Tony Granato. Let the justice system sort it out. And then move forward. We'll be waiting for you when you do... the worst teams in the league get to play spoilers tonight. Ottawa has an opportunity to throw a wrench into this whole nonsense about the New Jersey Devils making the playoffs, the Islanders will look to keep the Leafs as they continue their own improbable march to the post-season. The Oilers meanwhile look to be giant-killers against the slumping Philadelphia Flyers tonight in Philly. Throw in the Florida Panthers taking on the Chicago Blackhawks and the Avs facing the Minnesota Wild, and you could have some impact on playoff spots tonight...
WAACH 'Cast's Band Of The Day- CELTIC FROST
Some might say this Swiss band was one of the inventors of Black Metal along with bands like Bathory and Venom, the early bands that inspired bands like Mayhem (more on those guys another time). To call Celtic Frost avant garde was a bit of an understatement. They brought art to their brutality, and while not everything worked (see 'Cold Lake'), the impact of this band on the metal scene was massive. I had the chance to see them in Victoria on their final tour, and it was amazing. A sampling of their work, from the early Hellhammer days up to their most recent stuff, and one from Thomas Gabriel Fischer's new band Tryptykon. And yes, that's me with them in Victoria