As you may know, this series is all about shining a bit of light on the whole "Canuck Hate" phenomenon.
Sometimes though, its important to explore the way we are presented with the various stories in our puck media. Top amongst it, for better or worse, is one Tony Gallagher. Let me preface everything to follow with the proviso that Tony used to be the first page I turned to in his heyday. He does know the game, just on the strength of a past with this team. The Province has been around this city since 1898. The guy has been around about a quarter of that time. That is certainly something to be noted.
No one else generates as much positive and negative opinion amongst the "opinion makers" about the Vancouver Canucks team than Tony. Hell, I think he has had a feud at one time or the other with every GM he has ever covered. Yet, maybe because of or in spite of that, he sometimes gets a little too much snark going. Or, at least that is the perception.
As a long time consumer of puck opinion, it is natural to learn a little something about those you are reading. Today's cross platforms ( where he is one of the "sages" of the TEAM 1040 coverage ), like radio and Twitter, give us insights into how these things happen. After the break, a little illumination on how a veteran establishes a "narrative" in the market of today.
Like I said, Tony G was one I used to admire more than I do now. Perhaps that occurs with anyone over such a long time, but bear with me here. I am trying not to make this just a hatchet job, but rather an exploration. Its just my opinion, in the end. The deeper question of how a long time writer like Mr Gallagher goes about it, is just some fun while we wait for the NFL to finish its orgy of promotion and we can get to the second half of the NHL season.
Who knows, we both might learn something!
Anyhow, Here is what Tony tweeted out today. It contains all the hallmarks of that snark I was mentioning, one of the primary ones being a challenge to the coach( and the management, by extension, I guess )
tg_gman Tony GallagherPost Chi, AV claimed Sedins created 9 scoring chances. Obvious bull. Now he's splitting them up, but it was the media who had it wrong?
Now, in this day and age, I think Tony forgets that we get much the same unvarnished raw material that he does at Canucks.com. Perhaps that is why there is this sly piece of obfuscation. The actual quote was from a presser on the Sedin later than he intimates. It was not after the Chicago game that he referred to the "nine chances that are obviously bull" Here's the actual presser
AV talked about how they had 3 good chances in the third, had chances in the first, and did not really pump their tires for the GWG.
So, maybe that is taking it too literally. Here is the actual presser I am 95% sure he is referring to the day afterwards.
Its in response to a question about the "Sedins struggling in the past five games..." that is not recorded on the video. I thought at first Tony was referring to the Oilers game previous to the break that AV talks about, and compiled some stats for that one when I replied to Tony on the wonderful Twitter, that allows us that luxury.
More on that in a second, but in the game that AV referred to in his pressers as having nine "chances" ( and I do trust the team to be pretty on the line with judging their chances, as they would for the whole team. I imagine its a pretty strong category in their sabermetrics ) Here's what they did. Burrows had 2 shots on goal, and missed 1. Daniel Sedin, in addition to, you know, scoring the GWG on some classic Sedinery, had 5 shots, and missed none, while brother Henrik has 3 shots on net and missed 1. Thats all five on five, by the way, as the coach rightly notes, there was no power plays in that game. ( I might add that a longer perusal of Edler and Salo's shot totals is always a clue. Juicy Hammer gets out with the Twins too, occasionally, as does the third pairing. The Twins do like setting up the trailer!)
You know, I can see them having "nine chances" in that game.
Now, AV also says in that clip above about the Edmonton game, and them having seven chances. That sometimes they just don't go in. I explored that, because I got confused responding to Tony via Twitter with these two tweets
@tg_gman Oh, and Edler / Salo had a total of 4 shots ( PP 0 for 2 ). That sounds like a game where they had a lot of chances generated, no?
I can see them having seven chances there too. In addition to, you know, two of the three guys on the line having points. When you watch the highlights, Daniel also hit one of three posts that night, so AV might have been kind!
This is not to excuse or mitigate anything with the Twins and their "slump". I personally think they have set such a high standard, that when this happens ( as happens to all players at one time or another in a season ), I am going to cut our identical superstars some slack. The fact that Tony seems to take that and move the words. pressers, and actual things said around "just enough" is interesting though. The Twins are not, over a couple games, producing, and the coach responded to that ( from his entire team, to me ) relative lack of superlative play by changing up the lines and breaking up the Twins. Yet, he throws in the "post Hawks" line. Am I missing something here? Maybe its nine chances since the Hawks game? That might actually be a little high!
I get that such a thing is going to be news, and I am betting dollars to more than doughnuts that we will see a column from the one time head of the Professional Hockey Writers Association exploring that story in his own singular style. I am not willing to eat those doughnuts ( you know, cholesterol ) when I see how they are made is all.
Because, to me at least, that is all that Tweet from Tony above is all about. Laying the groundwork for the narrative for a story, or perhaps an in depth exploration on TEAM, where they will spin that "slump" through all the various shows of the day on Monday. When they talk puck and not Super Bowl of course.
Honestly, do we really expect the Twins to be broken up at practice on Monday? Now, THAT would be the story lede if it was. I fully expect them to be with Burrows to start the Nashville game. But, in the meantime, I hope I helped illuminate the machinations of how this shit sometimes goes down.
And, honestly, here is a reason why I will always have some admiration for Tony Gallagher, even if the judges gave this bout to Thornton...
It does not mean I won't read the coverage, or listen to the TEAM. We are all addicts, and the Province, Sun, and 1040 are three of our biggest pushers. Sometimes, you just have to notice that the quality is getting "stepped on", you know?