Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Miss This Place

Never forget your roots.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Waiting For Stanley traded to Sports Blog Nation for a 7th round pick

I wasn't so sure this day was going to come, but it has. I will no longer be updating this site from this point forward. Several weeks ago, Mike, the Yankee Canuck asked me if I wanted to join him in covering the Canucks over at James Mirtle's SportsBlogs Nation. I was intrigued and hesitant about the idea at first. I have put a lot of work into this site since its inception in June 2006. But the chance to gain even more exposure at SBN is something that I want. It's a new challenge.

So Mike and I will be covering the Canucks angrily, happily and faithfully on a site called NUCKS MISCONDUCT. The new site is officially live!

It's going to be a blast. We are 2 insane Canuck fans who don't pull any punches when it comes to covering our team.

SportsBlogs Nation has some great perks to it. Our site is very interactive. Fans can post stories or even pictures in our sidebar under headings called Fanposts and Fanshots.

See you there.

A big thanks to all who have supported and visited Waiting For Stanley over the past 2.5 years. Who knows, maybe one day I'll return here.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Canucks trade Mike Brown to Anaheim for Nathan McIver


Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have acquired defenceman Nathan McIver from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for right wing Mike Brown. McIver will report to Manitoba.

McIver, 24, has spent the 2008-09 season with the Anaheim Ducks. In 18 games played, McIver registered one assist, was +2 and recorded 36 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Ducks, the Summerside, PEI native was a member of the Vancouver Canucks.

In 18 games played with Vancouver, McIver recorded 59 penalty minutes. He also played a key role for the Manitoba Moose over the span of three seasons. Since 2005-06, the 6’3”, 205-pound defenceman has played in 172 games, recording 16 points (5-11-16) and 402 penalty minutes for Vancouver’s AHL affiliate.

McIver was drafted 254th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Brown, 23, dressed for 20 games this season with the Canucks had one assist and 85 penalty minutes. The Northbrook, IL native was also drafted by the Canucks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, in the 5th round, 159th overall.
There is a hell of a lot of grit in McIver, that's for sure.

Here are some McIver fights at YouTube.

Anaheim had originally claimed McIver off waivers from the Canucks just prior to the season starting.

This Hour Has 22 Minutes at the All Star Game

If you have not seen the footage of it, it's worth a look.

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Canucks end losing skid

A 4-3 win over the Hurricanes! Has Vigneault found his meal ticket for a 2nd line in Sundin-Demitra-Kesler? MAYBE!
I'm not going to analyze this game. We damned well won it, and the losing streak is over. Sundin looked great out there. So did the whiner Demitra and of course the excellent Kesler, who finally got his promotion and didn't look out of place.
Jump back on the bandwagon you fools! :)
Nah, I'll leave you with a tune. End of fucking story..

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Canucks - Hurricanes Preview / O'Brien puckers up / Sundin

The Canes are fighting for their playoff lives and barely hold onto 8th spot. We're fighting for a spot too. There are no more excuses for Vancouver. This team is either going to snap its losing streak and turn it around, or they'll lose again and the barbaric fans and media will continue their verbal crucifixions.
I have a good feeling about tonight's game. I think the team is going to come out playing hard this time. If they don't, they're dead.
We'll see which players are quitting on Vigneault. I don't think there are that many.
Demitra will play with Sundin and Kesler. I like the sound of that line.

4-1 Canucks is my guess.


Shane O'Brien has had some time to think about what he ranted about a couple of days ago and today he was the better man for apologizing.

"Mike Gillis never told me I had to fight," O'Brien said after the team's game-day skate at General Motors Place. "He was just talking to me about playing physical. Maybe I took it the wrong way. As a frustrated player, you want to be in the lineup. No one likes losing and it's just a tough situation. I didn't help it by doing what I did and apologize to Mike Gillis and the Vancouver organization and fans. It was just a lot of frustration."

"Mike is a good man, I was never trying to point the finger at him," O'Brien said. "He's got a job to do, AV (coach Alain Vigneault) has a job to do, there are lots of quality, good people in this organization. I am just frustrated at not being in the lineup and my career is not where I want it to be and my team is not where I want it to be. I made it about me and I apologize to my teammates. I was selfish, but like I said, I was frustrated."
Well that's a lot better, Shane. I'm glad he did this. Like I said earlier, a slumping and frustrated team doesn't need players bad-mouthing the GM and coach at times like these, especially when the GM is backing the coach.
His apology hasn't helped his situation though. He is still a healthy scratch for tonight's game. Rob Davison will play again.


This poster at CDC almost has the right idea. Sundin likes puck possession. I watched him for years in Toronto and one thing he really likes doing is circling around in the defensive zone, gaining speed, and then taking the pass from a D-man and rushing up the ice. With Sundin's size and hands he's awfully hard to contain when he plows into the offensive zone with that much speed.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Gillis denies telling O'Brien to fight

From the Globe and Mail:

"In no uncertain terms was he told he had to fight," Gillis said last night. "How he ever got that message is unbeknownst to me. He clearly misinterpreted the message that we were trying to send, that each player has to be accountable and work hard individually."

Gillis said O'Brien was told he had to play more physically with and without the puck and not take as many minor penalties, but added "we don't ask players to fight."
Yep. That's what I thought. O'Brien isn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

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O'Brien unhappy about benching and coaches' role for him

Just when I thought Demitra was the only doof to vocally rant about Vancouver management Shane O'Brien steps up to the plate. From the Vancouver Sun:

O’Brien said he was told in a one-on-one meeting last week with general manager Mike Gillis that the team needed him to fight more.

“I am a player,” O’Brien said. “I don’t want to be just considered a fighter.”

O’Brien has been replaced on the Vancouver defence by Rob Davison and on Monday he skated as an extra in practice alongside benched forward Mason Raymond.

“I am not happy with it,” O’Brien said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Davie (Davidson), because he can play. But I am at the point in my career where I think I need to play. If they don’t think I’m worth playing to see if I can develop, if they just want me to a fighter or whatever, maybe it’s not the right situation.”

O’Brien said he has not asked for a trade and has not communicated his concerns to Gillis or head coach Alain Vigneault.

“You don’t say much to the GM, he’s the boss,” O’Brien said. “Like I said, it was the first time he has said anything to me all season. It’s like any profession, sometimes you don’t want to hear what the boss has to say, but at least I know what he’s thinking.”

O’Brien said he has never been reluctant to drop the gloves, but repeated that he doesn’t want to be labelled as just a fighter.

“I’m not going to lie to you guys,” O’Brien said. “I am not going to sit here and say all the right things, like I’m just happy to be part of the team. I want to play, I want to improve as a player, I want to stay in the league as long as I can. You can’t do that from the press box.”
And that's not all. There's more.
Alain Vigneault is happy that O'Brien is unhappy. He hopes it will light a fire under the D-man. You can read more about that in the Sun as well.
I thought Rob Davison struggled quite a bit with the puck on Saturday night. It's time for O'Brien to step back in. We'll see if he can draw the line between physical and disciplined.
I don't think management just wants him to be a fighter. I think he's misunderstanding them a bit. However, if you look at O'Brien's career stats, he's been more of a goon than a scorer. I want to see him play super physical in his own zone and be reliable defensively. Guys like Ohlund, Salo, Bieksa, and Edler can do the scoring. If Shane-o-mac doesn't like that, he can hit the road. The team doesn't need whiners right now.

Mats Sundin was practicing on a line with Ryan Kesler and Pavol Demitra today. You know, that line may just work. Good to see Kesler get more of a scoring role.
I don't see any problem with Ryan Johnson moving up to the checking line role in Kesler's place.

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Senators fire coach Craig Hartsburg

It took a lot of failures and second chances before Hartsburg was finally fired. The Senators have only won 17 of 48 games. They are 14 points out of a playoff spot in the East. A big damning stat for Ottawa is their road record, which is 6-16-3. Their home record is a decent 11-8-4. It is almost impossible to believe that the Sens rank last in the NHL in goals for. But their 116 goals for places them at the NHL basement.
More Senators team stats here.
The Binghampton Senators' coach Cory Clouston will take over as head coach of Ottawa. Clouston's profile can be found here.
The Sens could also use a decent starting goaltender as well. Ever since Ray Emery left down under lousy terms the Sens never found a suitable replacement. Alex Auld and newbie Brian Elliot have been stellar at times, great sometimes, and shell-shocked due to poor team play on other nights.
Murray was very patient with Hartsburg in order to let him stay that long and fall that far out of the playoff race. It's going to take a miracle for the Sens to make the post season now.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mike Gillis' patience is running out

Does that picture break your heart or what? Sundin will get it going, mark my words. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to be able to lift the team out it's funk, and is being part of the problem. The references to Mark Messier are alive and well now, but I'm not biting. When the team does get rolling again, Sundin will play a positive role in it. I do believe that.
On to Mike Gillis...
Kudos to a poster at the CDC Forums for finding this Globe and Mail article that was circulating before the loss to the Wild yesterday, where Mike Gillis stated:

"Your patience level is obviously determined by how you're playing," Gillis said. "My patience is at an end with the way this group has performed."
The article leaves the possibilities open as to what Gillis may do to shake things up. Most fans want Alain Vigneault's head on a stick outside of GM Place on Pacific Drive, but I am not one of them. I think Gillis is standing by his coach, and I think the players are too, minus Demitra.
I believe a trade is in order, and it could happen sooner rather than later.
I've heard many people say that the Sedins should be traded, as they become free agents in the summer and a deal has not yet been reached with them. I say it is going to be difficult to move both of them at the same time. Hell it's going to be difficult to sign them both at the same time. But the brothers really aren't that bad. Sure they can make you want to stab your eyes out with a pencil sometimes the way they cycle and get no results. But then you look at their stats and they are the most consistent Canucks on the team. I would not trade them at all at this point. No way.
Alex Burrows' name has been brought up in the article as he too becomes a free agent this summer. But I wouldn't part with a guy like that. I think he should remain as part of the core of the team for so many obvious reasons.
Guys like Pyatt, Bernier and even Demitra should be the ones on the block, in my opinion. Demitra is a cancer I think. Pyatt and Bernier have not turned out like we had hoped as far as offensive production goes. Maybe Raymond and O'Brien are expendible too. You know that Vigneault and Gillis are in close conversation with who is or isn't working out on the ice and in the locker room. They have been preaching 'character' all year.
We'll see what happens. We know there are some sellers out there already (Leafs, for example). That's why I was almost joking around earlier in the week that maybe Gillis and Burke were talking, as Burke said he was finally getting some serious offers recently. Hey, you never know.
Trade talk is trade talk. I just hope this current squad pulls out of the funk, more importantly.


Detroit has lost 5 straight.
Montreal has lost 5 of their last 6 games.

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Canucks Super Skills Competition is streaming the competition live right now (1:00 PST).

-Mats Sundin is participating. But he's dressed up as Ronald McDonald. Suddenly I feel hungry.

-A mini game between team blue and white saw Kyle Wellwood score the only goal for team blue. It was a roofer on Luongo. Team white had to do 20 pushups in the loss, according to Dan Murphy. Bieksa handled the pushups all on his own. His teammates just watched him.

Team white: Pyatt, Davison, Kesler
Team blue: Burrows, Edler, Wellwood

Winner: Team Blue


Dank (White) vs Hank (Blue)
Winner: Hank, Team Blue


Mike Brown (T Blue): 13.95 seconds
Hordichuk (T White): 14.171
Hansen (Blue): 14.008 (DQ-went inside the cone)
Raymond (White): 13.558
Johnson (Blue): (no shot-blocking event, Ryan): 14.132
Kesler (White): 14.175
Hansen (Blue) gets another chance after his DQ: 14.423

Overall Team White had the best scores with the kids, the Canucks, and the best average score to pick up 3 points.
Overall score now is 3-3.

HARDEST SHOT (Puck has to go into net to count)

A kid for the White team shot a 66.7 mph shot

O'Brien (Blue): 92.0 and 96.8 mph
Pyatt (White): 96.4 and 95.4 mph
Salo (Blue): 101.4 and 102.6 mph! Yikes!
Davison (White): 97.9 and 97.1 mph
Edler (Blue): 103.0 and 101.8 mph. Wow. Reigning champ.
Ohlund (White): 102.3 and 99.4 mph


Bernier (Blue): 4 for 8
Raymond (White): 4 for 7
Salo (Blue): 2 for 8
Pyatt (White): 1 for 8
Burrows (Blue): 3 for 8
Dank Sedin (White): 2 for 8


Team Blue: 1 goal vs Ohlund and Luongo
Team White: 0 goals vs O'Brien and Labarbera

Team Blue: 1 goal vs Davison and Luongo
Team White (Sundin participates): 2 goals vs Edler and Labarbera

Team Blue vs Luongo:
O'Brien: scores 1
Bernier: scores 2
Hansen: stopped by Luongo

Team White vs Labarbera:
Hordichuk: scored none
Kesler: stoned by Barbie
Ohlund: no goals

Team Blue Round 2
Johnson: notta
Edler: scores 1
Hank: nope

Team White Round 2
Bieksa: scores 1
Raymond scores 2
Pyatt scores 2

Team Blue Round 3
Salo: scores 1
Burrows: scores 1
Wellwood: puts on a show and scores 1. First attempt was a through the legs attempt

Team White Round 3
Davison: scores 1
Sundin: scores 1
Dank: stopped twice

Team White 17
Team Blue 16

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Demitra whining continues

This time it's about the ice GM Place causing his groin injury. A fan at CDC typed out an article in the Province at the forum:

"In every building, year after year, the ice keeps getting worse and worse," Demitra said before the Canucks took on the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

"There are so many things happening in the buildings now. You're not finding good ice any more. In 10 or 15 minutes there are so many holes out there. If you slip a skate, you pull it [groin] right away."

Demitra said he injured the groin in the middle of the Canucks' 6-5 shootout loss to Columbus on Jan. 18 at the Garage.

"I tried to feed Mats [Sundin] and I cut in the middle and my skate hit something," said Demitra. Asked how the ice at GM Place - which has rated among the better surfaces in recent years - stacks up, Demitra said: "It's OK, but when you've got a lot of guys on the ice, you feel every single hole."
Yeah, he pulls HIS groin. It's softer than a handful of Kleenex.
He did say that he is looking forward to returning and playing with Mats Sundin though. But he'll play wherever the hell Alain Vigneault decides to play him. By default, he may end up with Sundin anyway because they seemed to have the best chemistry.
I have nothing more to say about Demitra. I'll just let him continue to run his mouth and you all can form your own opinions.

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Sundin's brief tenure

This clip kind of describes Sundin's brief tenure with the Canucks so far....
Or maybe it describes the Canucks when they went into overtime last night...

Kitten Attempts Epic Jump - Watch more Animal Videos

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wild 4 Canucks 3: This ain't good, but it's getting better


Team tentativeness.
Aggressive play but being penalized for it.
Boo'd all over the ice.
That was period 1, as the Wild lead 2-0.
Kyle Clutterbuck got under the Canucks' skin. What a pain in the ass he is.

You can see the difference between the 2 teams. The Wild lost to the Oilers last night, yet they waltz into GM Place and play a really confident and loose first period. The Canucks are forcing every play.
I'd have to give the Sedin-Pyatt line some props in period 1. They were pretty solid.

Well, then Clutterbuck (I call him Clusterfuck) gets too aggressive and takes a boarding major on Alex Burrows. Game misconduct. The Canucks took over the momentum from that point. The Canucks had over 7 shots on the 5 minute PP but scored not.
Ryan Kesler had to crash through Niklas Backstrom to cut the Wild lead to 2-1.
When the Wild started putting on pressure, Luongo made a massive blocker save on Bouchard. That looked like Kiprussoff's save from yesterday. Wow.
Canucks outshot the Wild 13-7 in that period. They looked a lot better.
It's going to be tough to beat the Wild's trap. But it's not impossible.

The Canucks just kept coming. They wouldn't let up on the Wild at all. Yet Minnesota played their trapping style and prevailed. But not by much. Kesler tied the game with 15 seconds left after roofing a shot over Backstrom. But a Dank Sedin received a marginal hooking call in OT and MA Bergeron made the Canucks pay. When I say marginal, I mean that Sedin was trying to poke the puck to his brother who was still in the Wild zone. The Wild player did a 180 while falling. Alain Vigneault called it a dive in his post game presser.
Mike Milbury made a good point post game about the Canucks shooting low on Backstrom for most of the night. Backstrom will eat those up on most occasions. Gotta roof that puck more, boys!


Alain Vigneault sat Mats Sundin on the bench on the 6 on 4 for the Canucks near the end of the game. He stated post game that Sundin has to be better, and he is right. Sundin showed a few flashes tonight but was outplayed by nearly everybody. Eventually he is going to be better. Eventually.

Yeah, the Canucks find ways to lose. I thought they lost this mostly in the first period. They were too tentative and the Wild made them pay, being up 2-0 after 1 period. The Canucks fought back but never had a lead. You can't go down 2-0 like that to the Wild.

As much as Canuck life is stinky right now, I'll take the 1 point in the OT loss.

The penalty kill needs a bit of work. It wasn't terrible, but just not quite there. The Wild scored 2 PP goals tonight. So did Ryan Kesler, actually.

To all of you who bash the trap...I disagree with you. I saw Minny play it tonight and it's excellent. Just get a lead and trap, trap trap. The Wild forced turnovers while trapping and capitalized. Reminds me of how Vancouver played at one time....

The Canucks are "on the cusp of turning it around" as Kelly Hrudey mentioned. It's just too bad that the next 2 games against Carolina and then Chicago are at home. It would be great for them to get out on the road. I'd like to point out that the GM Place crowd sounded a lot better tonight. They picked up the noise level as the Canucks picked up their intensity level. But still, that is a pressure cooker of a place to play in when the team struggles.

We wanted the Canucks to shoot more and they did. 40 shots to the Wild's 27. Damn you, Backstrom!


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Demitra unhappy with Vigneault's line juggling

Uh-oh. The coach-killing ensues. From the Province:

Demitra, who is expected to miss his third straight game with a groin injury tonight, expressed his displeasure with the rotating lines.

"Noboby likes that," Demitra said. "When you play with different guys all the time, it's tough.

"This game, it's not easy to score goals anymore and everyone can play hockey so it's hard. When you play with the same guys all the time, it's a much easier game. When I had my best years, I played with the same two guys for like four or five years. I played with (Scott) Mellanby and (Keith) Tkachuk for like five years straight.
"It's an easy game when you play with the same guys all the time."

Demitra is hoping he will play with Mats Sundin again when he's healthy.

Opinion #1
I think most fans would agree with Pavol's displeasure. I think it's a double-edged sword. Vigneault gives playing minutes to those who EARN IT. That involves shuffling lines to bump players up and down. But hypocritically, he won't separate the Sedins, even if they stink it up for a few games. You can't have that double-standard.

Opinion #2
It's almost as if Vigneault is a knee-jerk kind of coach, and maybe needs a little more patience with his lines at times. He looks for instant chemistry. If he finds it he sticks with it. If he finds it and loses it he switches up, most of the time.

Opinion #3
Besides his defence, AV has obviously been the most content with the Sedins and Kesler and Burrows, and I suppose Hordichuk and Johnson. I think it's fair to say that those guys put out more consistently than the rest. But it gets pretty easy to question the work ethic and productivity of the rest. Let's start with the whistle-blower named Demitra. He is streaky at best. He can be a floater. He can be a defensive hazard. Then he can be brilliant. That isn't going to cut it with Vigneault. Pyatt, Bernier, Hansen, Wellwood and Raymond (Sundin gets a pass for now, but not for much longer), have all been great at times yet eventually turn into duds when given the chance with more minutes on a scoring line. Can we fairly blame Vigneault for that? How patient are we expecting AV to be? At what point can we say that those players currently lack the skill at the NHL level and are not top 6 forwards?
Beyond the imbalance of favoritism shown towards the Twins, Kesler and Burrows, which is both fair and unfair at times, I support Vigneault's style. Work hard, get results and you get promoted.

Opinion #4
Now, look at who is doing the coach bashing...Demitra. The guy who isn't even playing right now because **big fucking surprise** he's injured AGAIN. The guy who kissed the ass of his former agent and now Canucks GM Mike Gillis to play here and play here under his own ideals on how the team should be coached. The guy who I should have punched in the mouth when I ran into him in Vancouver 2 months back, rather than slap him on the shoulder. Where is this media leak going to get Demitra? Is he truly speaking for the rest of the team or out of selfish intent? Is this going to make him a revolutionary? The players have already stated week that it isn't AV, it's them who are to step it up.
This isn't what the team needed right now. Or, maybe I'm blind. Maybe this idiot is going to get Vigneault fired. Maybe he's going to talk his sorry ass out of town. Does Pavol have a no-trade clause?
I don't know anymore.
I work in management. If an employee pulled something like this on me there would be repercussions. I would flog this fucker right now. What is he contributing to this team in it's darkest hour? Lip service. And he's getting paid $4 million for it.
It will be interesting to hear Vigneault's response. It will be even more interesting (or possibly heartbreaking) to see what happens if this team doesn't start winning soon.

Keep in mind though, that upper management has went on record this week saying that Alain Vigneault is not going to be fired. Alain Vigneault then threw out an open challenge to his players yesterday, including saying
“Players have been treated real well by this organization,” Vigneault said. “Since Mike (general manager Mike Gillis) has come in here, he’s gone out of his way to make sure they have everything they need. It’s payback time. It’s time to play here. That’s what we expect from them and that’s what we’re going to get tomorrow.”
Looks like all of management is tight in Vancouver doesn't it?
That would leave Demitra with his ass exposed to the world. That would mean that maybe it is he who needs to be dismissed. You can't start a shit storm without having any backup.

Interestingly enough, these comments from Demitra come on heels of meetings held between Gillis/management and each player individually.

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.