Tag Archives: NHL

Playoff bracket

Playoff predictions – Western Conference

Fans in Vancouver are predictably blasé about the NHL playoffs; the Canucks have missed the post-season for the first time since 2008, and YVR hockey fans aren’t exactly renowned for loving the game so much as their team. (Case in point: the Abbotsford Heat are shutting up shop at the conclusion of their playoff run after years of decreasing returns in the Valley. People out thisaway are so scared of Calgary Flames cooties they’ve refused to see professional puck for $20.)

We at Pucked in the Head believe in celebrating the game, even when our local team comes up lame. Here are Jason’s picks for this year’s post-season. He’s so concussed by the ascension of Zack Kassian and the retirements of Teemu Selanne and Ryan Smythe — not to mention the bizarre first-round matchups determined by the NHL’s new wild card system — that he’s thumbing for Stanley Cup supremacy…  the San Jose Sharks (!?!?!?!)

Playoff bracket

 

Eastern Conferece – click here.

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jokercard

Wild Card Hunting

jokercardWhen the Vancouver Canucks won their fourth straight game Sunday night, they did more than just beat the Colorado Avalanche. They moved into sole possession of the second and final Western Conference wild card spot.

Gone are the days these Canucks could bank on a post-season berth for steamrolling their sadsack Northwest Division brothers. Sure, the Oilers and Flames still stink like day-old skunk sandwiches, but in the realigned NHL, the Canucks have to catch one of Anaheim, LA or San Jose for a legitimate Pacific Division playoff spot.

The win was no easy feat. Sure, Vancouver has spanked the Avs over the past few years — losing just once in ten tries, and that was in extra time. But this year’s Avalanche look very different under head coach Patrick Roy. Ignoring that 8–2 loss to Edmonton the other night, Colorado has been one of the league’s eye openers this year. They’ve got ten road wins already, more than twice what they picked up last year and three more Ws than the Canucks have earned at home so far this year.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Canucks managed to hold the fort. When they took a 1–0 lead into the third period, those who had managed to stay awake through forty were pleasantly surprised. First Ryan Kesler donned the cape to double the lead, setting up a scoring chance from behind the net before shovelling in a rebound from the blue paint. Then Mike Santorelli sniped his second of the night, a gorgeous shot top cheese on a 2-on-1. (This shouldn’t shock anyone, as ‘Santorelli’ is of course Italian for ‘roof daddy’.)

More after the jump.

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Goals Goals Goals!

Vancouver forward Dalton Sward collected an assist as  the Giants doubled up on the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-3 on Saturday night. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Vancouver forward Dalton Sward collected an assist as the Giants doubled up on the Seattle Thunderbirds 6-3 on Saturday night. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

We at Pucked in the Head encourage you to play the Mötley Crüe’s Girls Girls Girls at full volume during this post. We would have recorded a hockey version, but Harrison Mooney was busy mixing his Christmas album.

Vancouver was awash in red lights Saturday as the Giants and Canucks collectively exploded for a dozen goals in a single night. These are teams that have moved in opposite directions in the standings of late. The Canucks had lost five straight, scoring just six goals in that span. The Giants, on the other hand, had picked up points in six consecutive games. (In fact, since a disastrous 1-9 start to the season, the Giants have gone 10–4–3.) Their 6–3 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, coming on the strength of a four-goal second period, was their fourth home win in a row, and brought them to a .500 record for the first time in recent memory.

Jared Rathjen earned his third win of the season, stopping 24 of 27 shots; at the other end, Danny Mumaugh allowed five goals on 31 shots and was chased after forty minutes. Trace Elson scored his first career WHL goal, and completed the Gordie Howe hat trick with a first period fight and an assist in the third.

More after the break. 

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Abbotsford Heat goaltender Reto Berra looks at his options as he plays the puck during AHL action. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Congrats to Reto Berra

Props to rookie goaltender Reto Berra, who picked up a win in his very first NHL start, in overtime over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks no less. He made 42 saves on 44 shots — that’s a .955 save percentage, earned against the likes of Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews.

Not too shabby, Mr Berra. Keep that up, and something tells me this Abbotsford Heat paint job might need a flaming C or two thereupon.

Abbotsford Heat goaltender Reto Berra looks at his options as he plays the puck during AHL action. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Abbotsford Heat goaltender Reto Berra looks at his options as he plays the puck during AHL action. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Highlights of his win after the jump.

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Oh my good lord make it stop.

Somebody Approved This: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Retro Jersey

The hideous runs so wide and so deep in this maroon disaster, not even Teemu Selanne can cleanse my eye sockets. Photo stolen from ducks.nhl.com

The hideous runs so wide and so deep in this maroon disaster, not even Teemu Selanne can cleanse my eye sockets. Photo stolen from ducks.nhl.com

In an age of hyper marketing, intense competition and tightly controlled PR, it’s amazing that truly horrible ideas can still make it past the brainstorming stage. Whether it’s the nightmare of design by committee or just a conflagration of mediocre talents pulling the wool over the eyes of out of touch rich CEOs, we occasionally see awful designs rolled out in an underwhelming explosion of anticlimax. Today, we analyze the most recent NHL obscenity with the resurrection of Somebody Approved This.

One month ago today, the Anaheim Ducks warned the world that they hated us all. Instead of disconnecting our cable, building shelters and indiscriminately hooking up with old flames, it seems that hundreds of people instead lined up to purchase a retro maroon Mighty Ducks of Anaheim jersey. You say you don’t remember, but you do: it’s the one replete with angled grey stripes and Disney’s duck-faced Jason mask.

During tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators, the Ducks will wear these abomaroonations, play early 90s music, and charge just 93 cents for popcorn, candy and soft drinks. That’s right, folks, today you can look bad, sound worse and develop type two diabetes — all for a single greenback!

More, including the always-entertaining Withers Haiku, after the break. Continue reading

Miley the Cat

Just saying

Three things:

1) The Vancouver Canucks have started their season with a loss. Please refer to the last three years’ opening week articles about how this team will be just fine, and that we shouldn’t judge them based on the first ten games of the season.

2) Inside info from someone in the Abbotsford Heat organization (someone who doesn’t blow smoke unnecessarily): “This team has more talent, more passion and more speed than last year’s team. It’s going to be an exciting year in Abbotsford.” Listen to Heat games live on CIVL Radio or at 101.7 when you’re out in the valley. Schedule here.

3) Just saying:

Miley the Cat

Bo Horvat, 9th overall selection of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has his work cut out for him to convince YVR audiences that he was worth giving up Cory Schneider. Photo lifted from the CBC.

Samira Noor, Prospect Hunter

Samira Noor, seen here at Five Hole for Food, offers up her thoughts on the Canucks Prospects Scrimmage that took place a couple of Thursdays back. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Samira Noor, seen here at Five Hole for Food’s Vancouver finale, offers up her thoughts on the Canucks Prospects Scrimmage that took place a couple of Thursdays back. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

This month has been a remarkable one round these parts — after a couple of years of poor-to-middling weather, we’ve quite literally basked in a glorious summer so far this year. YVR didn’t have a single drop of rain in the month of July, which made the trek to Rogers Arena for the 2013 Canucks Prospects Scrimmage a particularly odd way to spend a Thursday afternoon. Still, thousands upon thousands of people did it, including Samira Noor (@ChaoticAppeal on the mighty Twitter), who filed this piece with Pucked in the Head. Be kind, folks. Jordan Subban broke her heart, dammit.

Prospector Samira Noor, reporting for duty

Without hesitation I willingly gave up the sunshine to sit in that cold, familiar arena for a small dose of summer hockey. Prospects — young players drafted and/or signed by the Vancouver Canucks — hit the ice to a hesitant cheer from a crowd, and immediately the whispers began.

“Who is [insert player number]?”

“His name is what? Why have I never heard of him before?”

“Where is Bo Horvat? I’m only here to see him.”

The state of confusion was shortlived, as everyone (including myself) trundled out their phones to pull up a roster list. Even then, a sense of familiarity sunk in with only a handful of players. Nicklas Jensen, 2011 Canucks draft pick and mini Great Dane, was the easiest to spot. His competitive glare made the scrimmage feel like a regular season game, and his ability to shuffle the puck through defensemen woke up the overly polite crowd.

Frankie Corrado quickly became another favourite, spending every free moment he had near the boards interacting with folks looking his way. A wink or two, a few cheeky grins, a couple of pucks flipped over the glass. Soon enough, he had people making signs for him on their iPads and pressing them against the glass competing for even a second of his attention. It wasn’t difficult. This guy was drinking it up.

More after the jump.

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Table Hockey Extravaganza

Podcast 053: A Day Late & a Dollar Short

Table Hockey Extravaganza

This is not Ilya Kovalchuk playing table hockey, but we know if the VTHE were happening in Russia, he would gladly do it . You can register here to partake of the table hockey — the tournament starts at 1pm on September 21 and it’ll be a ton of fun! Until then, listen to our podcast, won’t you?

Here’s episode 53 of the Pucked in the Head podcast, in which Chris admits to having “pale delicate skin that blisters easily” but makes up for it by calling Jason out on several vocabulary errors. Oh, and we also talk hockey.

As many of you have observed, Chris and I don’t have much of a track record when it comes to laying down podcast tracks. Thus, when we do manage to throw one together it’s a bloody miracle of the first order. We hope you enjoy!

• Intro
• Sofa Surfer Girl by the Orchid Highway
• WTF is a ‘Metropolitan Division’?
• Do you know Conn Smythe’s full name?
• Wherefore art thou Ilya?
• Time to wrap it up
• Time for a Change by the Orchid Highway
• Thanks for Listening

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Sweet! The centrepiece of Will's collection is this autographed Alex Burrows jersey. Image courtesy of Will DeConto.

Memorabilia Memories #1

The hot mess that is Pucked in the Head continues to spread its messy, hottie wings this week. Not only will we build on Ross Arbo’s awesome coverage of BC Superweek and introduce our first single-A Vancouver Canadians baseball coverage, we’re proud to bring into the fold a wee bit we like to call

Will DeConto shares with us the story behind his Alex Burrows signed jersey. Image courtesy of Will DeConto. Autograph courtesy of Alex Burrows.

Will DeConto shares with us the story behind his Alex Burrows signed jersey. Image courtesy of Will DeConto. Autograph courtesy of Alex Burrows.

Memorabilia Memories #1 — Alex Burrows Canucks Jersey

My name is Will DeConto and I am hockey memorabilia collector. I collect just about anything to do with hockey, but my main focus is gathering signed memorabilia, which I have been doing for five years now. Pucked in the Head has graciously offered me a place where I can talk about pieces in my collection and how you can get into the hobby and build one of your own.

In a previous job in Vancouver, I had the opportunity to meet many Canucks through dealings at work (as luck would have it, that’s also how I met Jason, the fellow who runs this very website). One of the most prized items in my collection is my signed Alex Burrows jersey. The reason: the story of how it got signed, which took more than four months.

More after the jump.

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