31 Oct 2011 – Seven Costumes I Wish I’d Read About Today

If you use twitter, you may have heard about the massive shit storm that Raffi Torres caused when he and his wife dressed up as Jay-Z and Beyonce. They probably shouldn’t have done that. On the other hand, Twitter as a whole probably should have taken a giant chill pill.

For my part, middle-class white boys from Richmond should probably keep their opinions on racism to themselves. Anyway, in the spirit of Hallowe’en, here are seven costumes I would much rather have read about. Continue reading 31 Oct 2011 – Seven Costumes I Wish I’d Read About Today

26 Oct 2011 – Oilers Grease Canucks 3-2

The Canucks flew into Edmonton on Tuesday to take on the blazingly fast Edmonton Oilers. Man, can these kids SKATE or what? The game followed a familiar pattern if you’ve been watching Vancouver this year. The Canucks stumbled out of the gate. They outshot and outchanced the Oilers but fired most of those shots right at the crest on Nikolai Khabibulin’s jersey. Eventually, Vancouver’s defense allowed a cross-ice pass to Jordan Eberle in the high slot. Eberle snapped the puck past Luongo, and his tally was quickly followed by two more Oiler goals. The Canucks rallied, but would only manage to score two. Edmonton would skate out of Rexall Place with a 3-2 victory. Continue reading 26 Oct 2011 – Oilers Grease Canucks 3-2

25 Oct 2011 – The Intentional Walk Rule is Ridonculous

Albert Pujols is what major league baseball is all about. He’s a pure power hitter, the kind of player who can change a game with a single swing of the bat. Or, in the case of Game Three, with three single swings of the bat – he became just the third player in history to hit a trio of longballs in the same World Series game. The final score of that game? A ridiculous 16-7 for the St Louis Cardinals, who went up 2-1 in the series and were unlucky to not be up three-bagel.

Continue reading 25 Oct 2011 – The Intentional Walk Rule is Ridonculous

21 Oct 2011 – Nashville Prey: Canucks 5, Predators 1

On Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks showed up to play the Nashville Predators for the first time since Vancouver knocked them out of the playoffs last year; the Preds, on the other hand, didn’t bother. Here’s our review.

Vancouver had more two on ones and three on ones than a gang bang flick, en route to a 5-1 drubbing of the Predators. The Tennessee squad was barely recognizable from the plodding, hard-working, disciplined bunch that gave the Canucks so much trouble last May. While it was refreshing to see a wide open affair when everyone had been predicting a tight game, it was a tad disappointing that the Predators played so poorly. The difference in team speed was so noticeable that I think John Garrett might even have been aware of it. Continue reading 21 Oct 2011 – Nashville Prey: Canucks 5, Predators 1

Episode 39 – Let’s look at the Northeast Division

The Northeast Division is one hell of a dogfight just about every single year. This season should be no exception, as the Sabres and Bruins duke it out for the division title while the Habs and Leafs fight for the final playoff spot. Ottawa? Well, someone’s gotta be a fifth wheel I guess.

  • Introduction
  • Sofa Surfer Girl by the Orchid Highway
  • The Northeast Division
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs
  • The dirty rotten stinkin’ (Cup-winnin’) Boston Bruins
  • The Montreal Canadiens
  • The Buffalo Sabres
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about Lindy Ruff
  • Oh yeah, the Ottawa Senators
  • Wrap it up
  • Time for a Change by the Orchid Highway
  • Thanks for listening.

 

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Episode 38 – On Thuggery

With fighting very much in the NHL fan’s collective consciousness right now, Jason and Chris weigh in on whether the dinosaurs who say the Canucks are pussies are right. Spoiler: they aren’t.

  • The Canucks are “soft”, apparently.
  • Sofa Surfer Girl by the Orchid Highway
  • The void in Chris’ skull.
  • B-Mac angry!
  • The role of fighting in hockey.
  • Chris with the rare valid point.
  • More about fighting in hockey.
  • Time for a Change by the Orchid Highway.
  • Thanks for listening.

 

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Episode 37 – Pacific Division Preview

Warm, sunny destinations! California! Phoenix! (For one more year, anyway.) Dallas! (They’re on the Atlantic, not the Pacific, but the NHL does hockey, not geography.)

It’s Pucked in the Head’s 2011-12 Pacific Division preview, in which we utterly fail to convey the magnitude of the Dallas Stars’ 2012 suckage!

  • The Pacific Division
  • Sofa Surfer Girl by the Orchid Highway
  • Hockey in California
  • The Anaheim Ducks
  • The Dallas Stars
  • The Phoenix Coyotes
  • The San Jose Sharks
  • The Los Angeles Kings
  • Time to wrap it up.
  • Time for a Change by the Orchid Highway.
  • Thanks for listening.

 

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10 Oct 2011 – Seven Things the NHL Should Have Changed

The NHL entered a new era this season, when someone at NHL head office realized that Colin Campbell’s ineptitude is exceeded only by his hobbit-ude. Gone is the infamous Wheel of Justice which was so ineffable that Miss Cleo did a special infomercial promising accurate predictions on suspension lengths. Brendan Shanahan – ShanaBan, to his new head-office friends – has been promoted to Vice President of Player Safety and Something Else I Can’t Remember So It Probably Isn’t Important. Accompanying the personnel change was a stricter definition of what constitutes an illegal hit to the head, and a newfound transparency in the assessment of individual incidents. While the concept of a video explanation of every suspension – and some non-suspensions – is a cosmic leap forward from the NHL’s policy under the previous disciplinarian, the NHL made few other changes to its game. Here are seven things they could have done to make the NHL a more attractive brand. Continue reading 10 Oct 2011 – Seven Things the NHL Should Have Changed

06 Oct 2011 – Seven Things about Opening Night

Opening night for the NHL saw both Stanley Cup finalists lose, and two of its biggest stars – Sidney Crosby and Ryan Kesler – sitting on the sidelines recovering from injury. Want to know how much we can tell from one game? Well, going by this night’s results, the Toronto Maple Leafs are tied for first overall in the NHL and Matt Cooke is on pace for 164 goals this season. One game doesn’t mean much, but hey, it wouldn’t be any fun if we just waved it off. So here goes… the first Pucked in the Head column of the year: Seven Things about Opening Night.1. The Vancouver Canucks took the unusual step of resting their core players for all but two pre-season games, which resulted in several players having trouble with timing and accuracy. Alexandre Burrows alone had more than a half dozen brilliant scoring chances, including two in his first full game as a part of the first power play unit. Once he gets his sea legs, he’ll put a few of those pucks home and make the Canucks top line that much more dangerous. Still, it was Burrows buzzing around the net that set up Daniel Sedin’s game-tying marker late in the third period.


2. Speaking of sea legs, Evgeni Malkin could have used water wings for most of the night, as he spent as much time on his keyster as he did on his skates. To be fair, the man is recovering from surgery on both his MCL and ACL – most mortal humans would have trouble walking at this point, let alone playing competitive hockey at the highest level. Even still, Gino nearly put home a glorious chance midway through the third period when he was left all alone in the slot on a give and go. Luongo came out to challenge, and number 71 put the biscuit just wide of the left post. Of course, that didn’t stop him from leaving Bobby Lou doing snow angels as he potted the winning goal during the shootout.

3. I’ll give Malkin another break: the ice was nothing short of awful in the first meaningful game of the season. Pucks were bouncing. Players on both sides were losing edges throughout the game. Perhaps worst of all, Ken Dryden’s predictions in The Game look to be coming true: the new paint job on the Rogers Arena ice left very little white ice between the half walls. The Canucks logo at centre ice looks bigger than ever, with a bold set of advertisements taking up the rest of the neutral zone. Massive FACE-OFF logos clogged up three metres of ice inside each blue line. Does anyone happen to have the NHL rulebook handy? Has there been a corporate-minded relaxation of the ads-in-the-ice rules?

4. Henrik Sedin opened the season with two assists, and brother Daniel offered up a goal and a helper of his own. Unfortunately, they sit behind former teammate Matt Cooke, who leads the league in scoring for the first time in his career. The cheapshot artist collected two goals in the Penguin victory, a bang-bang power play goal and a shorthanded wrister using Kevin Bieksa as a screen. When was the last time Cook had more goals than penalty minutes in any league?

5. While the entire Canuck organization wants to make amends for a disappointing game seven of the Stanley Cup final, Keith Ballard has the unfortunate distinction of being the only guy on the roster whose performance underwhelmed from wire to wire during the 2010-11 season. Game one provided a few glimpses of a Ballard that could spend more time on the ice than in Alain Vigneault’s doghouse. The most obvious case in point: with the score 3-1 late in the second period, he gave an outlet pass from behind his own net and got on his horse to join the rush. He swept in behind the Penguin defense, took a Henrik Sedin pass in full flight and buried the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 3-2 going into the dressing room.

6. Roberto Luongo continues to have problems with shootouts and pucks from sharp angles. The Blackhawks, Predators and Sharks all scored big goals from behind the red line by putting the puck into Luongo’s skates during last year’s playoffs – the trend continued on opening night early in the first period, when new Penguin James Neal banked a power play shot off the goalie’s inside leg from the corner of the rink. Matt Cooke’s second of the night, a shorty from the top of the faceoff circle, looked weak but can be given a pass due to Cooke’s using Kevin Bieksa as a screen. Luongo looked horrible on both shootout goals against, however, as both Chris Letang and Evgeni Malkin had him fishing before dumping pucks unceremoniously over him. Thanks to HBO’s 24/7 series last year, the Penguins are famous for practicing the shootout – Fleury now looks forward to it in game situations. It’s long past time when Luongo and the Canucks adopt this sort of ploy.

7. The Boston Bruins raised their first Stanley Cup banner in 39 years, and (sorry Canucks fans) bad boy Brad Marchand picked up where he left off by scoring the first goal of the 2011-12 NHL season. The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t feel like helping Boston out, however, as they came back to win game one 2-1. Ilya Bryzgalov outplayed Tim Thomas, making 16 saves in the third period alone to get his first win as a Flyer. Pouring buckets past Luongo in their four Cup wins last year aside, it shouldn’t be surprising that the B’s didn’t fill the net this night. Milan Lucic and David Krejci tied for the team lead in scoring last year with 62 points. It was the lowest total for a Cup winning team leader since the lockout-shortened 1995 season ended with a championship for the New Jersey Devils.

Episode 36 – Central Division Preview

Original Six powerhouses! Nouveau expansion also-rans! And the St Louis Blues!

It’s Pucked in the Head’s 2011-12 Central Division preview – complete with a pre-season chat with Nashville Predators expert Buddy Oakes from Preds on the Glass!.

  • Introduction
  • Sofa Surfer Girl by the Orchid Highway
  • Welcome back, Chris.
  • Momentary gear geek-out.
  • The Central Division.
  • The dirty rotten stinkin’ Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Ditto, Detroit Red Wings.
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • The St Louis Blues.
  • The Nashville Predators (featuring Buddy Oakes).
  • Closing comments.
  • Time for a Change by the Orchid Highway.
  • Thanks for listening.
  • Bonus: the full interview with Buddy Oakes.

 

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