...clears throat, wipes sweat from bald head...
Good to see you all again. You might not remember me, but I used to show up around these parts remarkably often until real life reared it's filthy ugly head, forcing me into immensely long hours of staring at an evil program called Sharepoint (anyone who's worked with this platform is gently nodding their head in tacit agreement) instead of hanging out here finding animated gifs of ginger children drinking tomato juice with a caption "look at how many fucks I give?" when Cory Schneider makes a save. For this you have my deepest apologies and a zillion thanks to the NM crew who had to pick up my slack.
Now that the time has come where I don't have to watch recaps in airports and strange hotels anymore, it's time to get back to business, starting with my fellow cohorts and dusting off a brand new Get Off My Lawn in which we rant and rave about this week's world of Vancouver Canucks hockey.
Grip it and rip it!
...wait that sounds too young. What do old people say when they get excited?
"Well that's neater than a pocket on a shirt."
OUR LOVE IS RIGHT...
Ol' Man Zandberg Muted Matlock to Say: Who are you callin' old, peckerhead? Last time I checked I have excellent eyesight, no limp (heheh) a full set of teeth and pants that are not pulled up to my nipples. Matlock never gets muted. But commercials are on so let me quickly say that I am going to sing the praises of a few Canucks that have shown super effort CONSISTENTLY: Roberto Luongo, Chris Higgins, Maxim Lapierre, Jannik Hansen and I may have forgotten a couple but those guys are my standouts. It's hard to judge the D in that sense because I am not super impressed with any of them, except maybe Bieksa's current 4 game points streak and you know, Hamhuis because he's from Smithers. Of course, a big kudos to the team for being in the President's Trophy race even though it appears they only give a shit about 50% of the time.
Grandpa Kent Cracked A Toothless Smile: I don't know much, but I do know this: pop tasted better in glass bottles. When I was a kid,we could run around outside all damn day and get tanned, not burnt. And the Canucks aren't as bad as some of you mamby-pamby professional chicken littles like to think, thus taking up airtime on the Team 1040 to explain to them why the Canucks are gonna fail. The fact of the matter is, this team is nearly a carbon copy, record-wise as they were last season. "But Grandpa Kent!" you snivel, "They keep going to overtime and shootout! They're not as good!" Shut yer yaps for a moment and listen! This team isn't outright dominating like they were last season, this is true. Yet there they are, rolling along, and unlike the early portion of the season, they're picking up points constantly. They're battling back. They're seeing players reach deep down and pick this team up when they're struggling. And that to me is the mark of a team that has learned lessons the hard way, knows what it takes to win and come playoff time, will not be phased by any form of adversity they face.
"Grandpa Kent! Even if that's true, what about the Sedins? They're SLUMPING!!! Everyone's figured them out! It will be just like last year!" Oh, go wipe your damn noses! You bitch and moan when someone calls them the sisters (and rightfully so) but the moment they're not going all Harlem Globetrotters on people, you're at the front of the line to cut them down. I swear I don't know how they've stayed in this town full of bi-polar, fairweather lunatics! If you think for a moment other fan bases would pay any credence to a portion of their base who spouts this kind of nonsense about their own superstars, you're dead wrong. Stop disrespecting them. Every player slumps. They've been among the absolute best in the league since the lockout. So they've cooled off for a few games. This team is built to withstand such things. This is no time to start up this garbage. Believe in the system. Believe in Blue.
Yankee Canuck Drops His Applause When: Come gather around children. I'd like to tell you a story about Ryan James. Born on a sweltering August morning in the 1984th year of our lord somewhere in shitty Michigan, this little scamp decided it was his destiny to be an American professional ice hockey player. Honestly he skated out of the womb, trash talked the doc, smacked the nurse on the ass and high fived the orderly.
Despite the demands imposed on him by father Mike, mean bigger brother Todd and bigger sister Jennifer (btw, total lies), James persevered at the sport of vulcanized rubber on a slicked surface. Though every AAA team cut him, he kept at it and made his name playing for the Livonia Hockey Association. He dreamt big, thinking one day he too could be like Joe Sakic
minus the snowplow. He moved on to the titalating Midwest Elite Hockey League playing for such teams as Compuware, Honeybaked, and Little Caesars (btw, seriously). From there he moved on to the USNTDP and then Ohio State University where he finished fourth in scoring behind junior and Hobey Baker Award finalist R. J. Umberger (btw, total douche). After Ohio he jumped into the NHL entry draft of 2003 and watched Steve Bernier
be drafted seven slots before the Vancouver Canucks jumped on his precious soul, patted him on the head and said quietly "now go apeshit you incorrigible scamp."
James is now the team's alternate captain at home games. He wears #17, following the rich history of previous #17s like Mike Ridley, Vadim Sharifijanov and Jan Hlavac. James sits 16th in highest point totals in franchise history. He's the only Selke winner in franchise history. He's scored 20+ goals for the fifth straight season and the only player who's bothering to score this week.
He is Ryan James Kesler. He is your KesLORD. Bow your heads and pray he unleashes beastmode if the rest of the team sleepwalks to the finish line.
...BUT OUR HATE IS PURE
Yankee Canuck Bemoans: I hate daylight savings time. Stupid farmers.
I also hate old men who put images in their posts. You can't just use words? Fascists.
I definitely hate this time of year. Not only do you have to deal with people getting excited for spring (winter is classic as fuck) but you also have to deal with final four people and their brackets. OHHH la de da, I took the Southern Ohio Burpies over the North Dakota Pink Socks. Next person who shoves their bracket near me is getting a Depends load full of bingo-losing fury in their lap.
Then there's the final four weeks of hockey, a time traditionally for the Oilers
to look towards the draft and for Dallas to crotch-punch themselves at the finish line. Last year anyone could whip out the standings, see Vancouver running away with the league and anoint them the team to beat. A fool's game really but the team and its fans took it all in stride with their characteristic smug and preening style. This year? Well St. Louis isn't scared of us
but I guess that goes with the territory of being a one-hit wonder: you don't know shit from shit which would be a problem if we weren't all convinced you'll join the CBJ back in the basement soon enough food babies. Then there's this this ditty opining
who Vancouver's first round opponent may be which declares "There are two opponents that the Canucks would clearly prefer not to play: San Jose and Chicago." Yes, it's crystal
clear those are the two to be petrified of as long as you ignore Vancouver's winning record this season against both teams, Chicago's injuries and their simply sublime netminding, San Jose's noted PK success and the fact they have to catch the vaunted AVALANCHE to even make the dance...
Bah! Last year was one thing: the orcas had a friggin target on them. This season they're lost in the shuffle and people are more than willing to remember Luongo getting chased or finger biting over what brought Vancouver to compete at this level for the second straight season. Cheesypetes. Ask any long suffering Canucks fan one simple truth about the franchise and it'll most certainly be: "they do things the hard way" (or, perhaps, "nice uniform asshat"). The hard way was being 60 minutes away from the Cup and roaring back now to make up for their mistakes. Don't take 'em seriously now; it'll just make the ending all the more sweet. Like prune-frappe sweet.
Grandpa Kent Decries: The power play. Could there be a more misappropriate and misleading moniker for the Canucks and their man-'advantage' situations right now? They've gone from a near historic level earlier in the season, a power play so efficient it caused teams that we consider mortal enemies to change their style of play drastically, all in hopes they would not draw a penalty and suffer the fate of those before them. And while we could discuss for hours how it seems not only have the officials gone back to letting all kinds of clutching and grabbing rule the ice, and that power plays are indeed down, the fact of the matter is, the Canucks are doing this when they've got the PP:
Sure it ties in to the Sedins and Ryan Kesler's recent struggles, but something's changed and the Canucks coaching staff better get it fixed. As we saw in the Finals last year, and
then in the one game this year, a team like Boston loses some of it's bite if every time they
go on the PK they're fishing it out of the back of their net. The Canucks PP was non-existent
in June, and it was what helped them win that big game in January.
Ol' Man Zandberg Hates
Let me tell you something, and I know you rugrats are getting sick of hearing it: I am sick of the Sedins' slumping. Oh yeah, I was all over them early on too and you all jump all over me. Well who's the damned smart guy now? At least these guys look to be on the up and up, especially against Winnipeg. But then again..f*** that! Let's ride these two. Hey, the moronic fans like to jump all over Roberto Luongo when he has a bad game or two. The Sedins have had SEVEN!!! BLOODY SEVEN!!! IN A MUTHAF***ING ROW! Split them up!!! TRADE THEM! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.....These two reds are each a $6.1 million cap hit. Luongo is about $5.3. HELLO!! Jump on the Sedin hate wagon for god's sakes. Burn your Hank and Dank jerseys in effigy and curse you for having them in the first place! But no, you won't, because you'd rather pick on the easy target...the poor damned goalie.The poor damned goalie who has been the Canucks' player of the year so far. Punks. I think you have fallen off your damned skateboard one too many times and all that pot is making you stupid.
Seriously though, then I get angry because now talk emerges of them being past their primes now, yadda f***ing yadda. I swear, these guys are slumping, but I wonder if they are just chilling out a bit too. Maybe they are saying to themselves and each other telepathically in their dreams and shit: "screw the Art Ross, let's go for the Big Guy!" And if that is the case in any form then I am ok with that. Just watch though: they will get rolling again down the stretch, and all this jibber will cease, including from me. Until then, LET'S LYNCH A SEDIN! Woo! Let's see if their legs twitch in unison when we tighten the noose and drop the floor from beneath their feet!