Last week we took a look at our northern cousins’ offseason, and though their summer was longer than many other teams, they look to improve. How, I don’t really know, but hey, if they say it enough maybe it'll happen. You know like the 'Bloody Mary' curse. Its not like they have much going for them at this point. They couldn’t even beat the Canucks farm team with most of their opening night roster in the pre-season…
This week brings things to a darker level, something that comes closer to the heart. We’re going to go over the Rocky Mountains, (bring cash, because it’s expensive to even breathe) to Vancouver and analyze their past 4 months. Yes, the Canucks went to the Stanley Cup Final. It soon became a nightmare for all 29 teams in the league. Of course, they didn’t know half of what us Northwest rival fans went through. Or rather, do go through, every year.
Yes, we've arrived to the city where players who once placed within the city can't show off their achievements because of bitter fans. Blame whoever you want for whichever outcome, whether its the games, or the riots. It wasn't outside hooligans, police, the league, geriatrics off their medication, or the moon… God forbid that the blame lies exactly where the evidence shows a) your heartless, whiny, diving team, and b) your fickle, temper-tantrum induced fanbase.
Sure, hang another banner in your rafters, though it obviously doesn’t take much reasoning to do so. Good job on having a pre-game ceremony trying to spin the post-game riots into a positive note. "Yeah, we destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in property, but we cleaned it up, and wrote on plywood and sticky notes, so we're even." For a city trying to portray itself as friendly and one of the best places to live on the earth, they sure have a Harvey Dent-esque ugly side.
There's been enough spinning on the riot story out west, even Marc Savard can give Vancouver city officials better direction. There's been enough finger pointing going around, Burrows thought he was living in a Wellwood-ian buffet mirage. You'd think with all of the calculations that Mike Gillis shows he can do, that he could show some kind of leadership and target some people to punish. He can't even fix the black hole in his goaltending position...
When on a playoff push, you need your goalie to be your best player. Sure you can get by on mediocre goaltending, which they did, and we all know Roberto. Its not like Luongo has ever choked in games of importance before. Or maybe he was just choking on his tears. But hey, that’s okay, maybe at some point over the next 10 years, he can finally man up and be clutch. It’s not like he has 64 million reasons to try and find some kind of talent… He’s been in the league well over a decade (12 years), and has managed to drift by on mediocrity. We’ll be okay I think.
His trusty calculator in hand, he went out and made a massive splash in getting *dramatic pause* Mike Duco, Marco Sturm, Andrew Ebbett, Byron Bitz, Mark Mancari, and Ryan Parent. Now lets look at these moves a little deeper...
Their defense looks like this: Bieksa, Ballard, Edler, Hamhuis, Alberts, Rome, Salo. Losing Ehrhoff will drastically change their defense, as he has 28 points out of his 50 on the powerplay. It’s okay Canuckleheads, I’m sure the Geico spokesman will shoot another flutterpuck to win every game they need to. Either that or target players half of his size to show off how badass he is. It's not like when he actually fights someone tough, he gets knocked out... If not, then maybe Rome can turn the tides of a game, like he's done before, working out so well last time. Not to mention that he's actually paying royalties to Macho Man, thanks to the borrowed flying elbow. Moving along, Salo hasn’t played more than 68 games since the lockout. I’m sure he’ll break out of it this ye-
*BREAKING* Sami Salo has injured his groin after picking up a spoon for his morning cereal.
Hamhuis and Edler are solid defenseman, and Hamhuis is even a respectable player (when he played with Nashville), and will probably be the top defenseman for them this year. Their play will obviously balance out the scales for the atrocity that Gillis paid for Keith Ballard (1st round pick, Grabner (Calder finalist) and Steve Bernier). Now, Darryl was given flack for not having a single pick in the first 3 rounds 2 drafts ago, but somehow Gillis managed to dodge criticism of having a $4M defenseman sit as a healthy scratch in the pressbox for the Stanley Cup playoffs. For everyone that gives Gillis a pat on the back, (or lower, *ahem*HUGHSON*ahem*), they seem to have forgot this fact.
The Swedish wundertwins will no doubt rack up point totals going into the corners and playing pattycake until the opposition gets bored of their cycle game. They’re great players, but it’s too bad that between them and Sami Salo, Salo has more balls to stand up for himself. But hey it’s okay, because they have some bite on their line in the little chihuahua Burrows. A shame that every opponent of the Canucks will have to have a rabies shot pre-game. And us Flames fans thought there was a huge rage over the flu shot fiasco... The only part that I’m looking forward to is the possibility of the Leafs and Canucks meeting up with Jeff Finger being called up. (The universe WILL explode, if such a thing happened) I’m hopeful either way.
Cody Hodgson is going to get his chance with the big club this year, and will win the scoring race by a mile, after all of the hype he has been given by EVERY single Canuck fan. Maybe the coaching staff was just preparing his injured back for when he fails, it won't break with a whole fanbase jumping on it. Mikael Samuelsson has recovered, and will play with the Canucks as he's been receiving shipments of vitamins from Amway as a thank you for his years in Detroit. As an added bonus to his shipments, the whole team and fanbase has been given more cockiness. NOT INCLUDED: Any championship trophy. Ever. Max Lapierre has taken his off-season training to the next level. In order to be more douchey and unlikeable, he's watched seasons 1-3 of Jersey Shore. As an added bonus to ordering all 3 seasons from Amazon, free hair grease was added to his order. It arrived before the DVD's did, as Luongo just bottled it up and gave it to him in the pre-season.
Kesler will be out to start the season, and no word on whether it had anything on whether having seconds too many times has anything to do with it.