Oi Vey Game 7 Controversy…!

In the playoffs it is inevitable that there will be a few questionable or missed calls. Wednesday’s game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings featured a few missed calls here and there as the refs attempted to let the two teams play it out. BUT there was one call in particular near the end of the game that will go down as one of the worst calls made in the 2013 playoffs so far. I know I am not the only one who was shaking their head at that no goal call.

There was just under two minutes left as the game seemed destined for overtime in a tight 1-1 game that is until the Blackhawks scored the go ahead goal. Cue the madhouse going bonkers as the fans were up on their feet as only game 7 intensity can when it appears the home side will win. That is until the arena realizes that the refs have in fact waived off the goal and it remains a tied game. Everyone in that arena and watching on TV was stunned at the call….stunned I tell you. I may not be a fan of Chicago BUT I know a bad call when I see one & that was most definitely a bad call and they were forced to think for a moment of the what if possibilities. That call could have cost Chicago the game and the series, that no goal would have haunted them for the summer had Detroit ended up winning that game. We all know what happened, Chicago came out in overtime and made no mistake in getting back the goal they were robbed of to take the series and move on the playoffs. 

 

No this call did not end up costing Chicago the series BUT it could have. There are always controversial calls/non-calls made in the playoffs BUT this one takes the cake. I may not be a fan of Chicago but as a fan of the game when the refs make a gaffe that huge that could and almost does impact the outcome of the game and series…it makes one question: who is pulling the strings in this puppet game?[*cough*Bettman*cough]  

Just 4 teams remain and you can bet those teams and their fans will be hoping that there be no more nonsense calls like that one. Will there be calls missed? Probably but hopefully none that are on this scale where it could impact a series outcome. The kicker is that these were seasoned refs making the calls last night…and you can bet had the game gone the other way the blame would most certainly lie with the ref who made the controversial call.

Best of luck to the final 4 teams [Chicago, LA, Boston, & Pittsburgh]! I cannot cheer for Boston, LA or for Chicago though I respect the talent that those THREE rosters boast. I will cheer for Pittsburgh mostly because of Iginla who deserves to win it all after everything he endured the last few years. No I am not a bandwagon fan BUT I do enjoy the game itself beyond my Canucks. So, if other Canucks fans find themselves drawn to watching hockey during the final four and cheering for any of the teams there will be no judgement. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion as to whoever they want to support whether that is for Pittsburgh, Boston, LA or Chicago.

There will always be controversy and missed calls in one playoff series but you hope that if controversy and missed calls combine that it does not end up determining a series outcome.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Canucks Coach Conundrum

Perhaps the 17th time is the charm?  The 17th coach in Vancouver Canucks history that is, or will be when their 17th coach is eventually named.

There have been 16 coaches to take the podium as the head of the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff:

1. Hal Laycoe 1970-1972

2. Val Stasiuk 1972-1973

3. Bill McCreary 1973-1974

4. Phil Maloney 1974-1977

5. Orland Kurtenbach 1977-1978 [*First former player to ever Captain the team and also later coach the team].

6. Harry Neale 1978-1982, 1984, 1984-1985

7. Roger Nielson 1982-1984

8. Bill LaForge 1984

9. Tom Watt 1985-1987

10. Bob McCammon 1987-1991

11. Pat Quinn 1991-1994, 1996 [*Winner of the Jack Adams in 1992]

12. Rick Ley 1994-1996

13. Tom Renney 1996-1997

14. Mike Keenan 1997-1999

15. Marc Crawford 1999-2006

16. Alain Vigneault 2006-2013 [*Winner of the Jack Adams in 2007]

17. TO BE NAMED at a later date [*hopefully before the NHL draft!]

There are plenty of candidates for the position. There are former head bench bosses such as former Buffalo Sabre head coach Lindy Ruff or former Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan or the more unlikely option of Dave Tippet whose future with Phoenix is still up in the air. There is also the AHL route which includes current Vancouver AHL affiliate coach Scott Arniel [who also coached the Manitoba Moose when some current Canucks were on that roster!] and the current coach of the Toronto Marlies, Dallas Eakins. Eakins may not have experience behind an NHL bench but he has a reputation for being a players coach and helping to develop young players. The question remains will the Canucks go with a veteran bench boss OR take a chance with a more than capable AHL candidate? OR will they play the wild card and least likely option of going with a former player?

I like the possibility of Eakins as head coach. From all the things I have read about him, he reminds A LOT of Dan Bylmsa a few years ago before he became the head coach of Pittsburgh. I am not saying that he will have the same instant success, just simply that his coaching style reminds me of Bylsma and that I think could potentially be a good thing.

Whoever the Canucks do indeed hire as their next head coach who do you think will be named as his assistants? Now while I do not think the organization will name a former player as head coach, I do think it is definitely a possibility that they could name a former player as an assistant coach. I think Trevor Linden would excel in this category as he is familiar with players, the organization and is an impeccable leader not too mention the FANS would love to see Linden back with the Canucks. I’m not saying the Canucks will ask Linden or any other former player to come back in this capacity but it certainly presents an interesting possibility.

Mike Gillis has said that this decision will not be made on a whim but rather that they will take their time in finding and naming who they think will be the right coach for this team. It’s going to be quite a ride, are you ready for this roller coaster change coming Canuck fans? Changes in sports are inevitable. More changes will be coming before all is said and done.

First stop along this crazy roller coaster ride is finding the franchise’s 17th coach. Who do you think it will be or who do you hope will be in the running? Leave your comments below!

As always, until next time nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Thank-you & Good Luck!

And so it begins. Today marks the FIRST big change by the Vancouver Canucks. Head Coach Alain Vigneault, and assisants Rick Bowness & Newell Brown have been let go. I may be one of the few that like Vigneault but you have acknowledge that he helped make this team competitive in his time here. I for one, will miss our French-speaking winning-est coach in franchise history!

Alain Vigneault - the WINNINGEST Canucks coach in franchise history. Coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2006-2013.

Alain Vigneault – the WINNINGEST Canucks coach in franchise history. Coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2006-2013.

In his 7 seasons as Vancouver’s head coach the team missed the playoffs just ONCE[2007-2008]. In his other 6 seasons the team finished in the top 3 and amassed 6 North West Division titles. Among his other accomplishments he coached this team to TWO consecutive Presidents Trohpies as the league’s best regular season team [2010-2011, 2011-2012].

Alain Vigneault came in after Marc Crawford and helped this team amass 105 points in the 2006-2007 season [a new club record until 2011 in which the team amassed a 117 points!]. In his first season as head coach he WON the Jack Adams[coach of the year award] and was nominated again in 2011. He pushed this team into pure dominance during the 2010-2011 season and coached them to within one game of winning it all. He set a franchise record as the winning-est coach in Canucks history with his 313 wins! His overall record in 540 games with Vancouver was 313-170-57[wins-losses-ot/so losses]. FYI he has a total of 422 NHL wins….313 of those in Vancouver].

Yes, I understand that following their most incredible season[2010-2011] when they were ousted two straight years in the first round it means CHANGE is imminent. The coach is usually one of the first big pieces changed. This news did not come as a shock but I do hope people appreciate the service that Coach AV did for this team in his time here!

I want to be one of the many[I hope!] that will wish Alain Vigneault luck in his next endeavor and THANK him for all he did for the team in his time here. I hope that at the end of the day he will be remembered for the many good things he did rather than the way his time here ended.

THANK-YOU ALAIN VIGNEAULT for helping turn this team into a playoff contender! #GOODLUCKCOACHAV wherever you end up next season! [the funny thing about being a coach in the NHL, you are never unemployed for long!]

As the Vigneault chapter closes for the Canucks, a new chapter begins. It will be very interesting to see where or who Mike Gillis looks at for the next coach. I am excited to see who will be the next coach. I ask you, the fans: who would you like to see as the next head coach of our Vancouver Canucks? A former player like the Avs went with or perhaps another veteran Coach[Lindy Ruff? Dave Tippett]? I

Things are beginning to look a lot different around here, it will be very interesting to see how the rest of this saga turns out! As I said before this will be a very interesting summer for the team…and this is only the beginning of the changes to come.

As always, until next time, nuck said!

Sarah E.L.

Winds of Change are Brewing…

The winds of change are blowing into the Vancouver Canucks line-up and personnel this summer. These changes could and probably will involve not one but multiple trades and a possible coaching change to name a few. The rumors grow louder every day.

The media storm has already begun to spin its web of rumors. I would like to ask, WHY are we driving ourselves and each crazy trying to create headlines? Why not wait until the rumors and fiction become fact.

Simply put, let’s just wait and see what happens this summer before helping the media spin their rumor web.The winds of change are blowing around the league, just ask Dallas and Buffalo! Ch-ch-changes are are brewing just around the corner. The new CBA goes into affect and our current two conference system will be replaced with a 4 conference/division system. Every team will play each other TWICE[once in each other’s arena!]. Let’s not forget that in edition to the Winter Classic there will be a few extra outdoor games as part of the “Stadium Series” [one that may feature our Canucks…pending an official announcement from the league of course].

No matter what this summer holds for our Canucks, I will still be cheering for the blue & green when they hit the ice again in October. It will be both a little nerve-wracking and exciting to see what this off-season has in store for our Canucks and other teams. In the very least it will be a much more interesting than the last off-season where the only big news was Minnesota investing nearly $200 million in 2 players.

Back to the current playoffs, have you been watching any of the other teams in the playoffs? It seems impossible to not catch a glimpse as playoff hockey is on most nights and occupying many channels. As much as I cannot cheer for Leafs, I was hoping to see them knock out the Bruins…well you know how that ended [game 7 heartbreak!]. Let’s be honest, I cannot under any circumstance cheer for Chicago or Boston…EVER. LA is putting the lights out in San Jose, Detroit has to step it up if they want to make it an interesting series with Chicago and PLEASE New York can you challenge those pesky Bruins?! The only team that I am rooting for is Pittsburgh because it would be really nice to see Jarome Iginla win it all after everything he has been through in his career. #teamIGGY #winitfor12 #GoPenguins

Here’s to enjoying the game as a fan even our Canucks are no longer in it and here’s to looking forward to whatever lies ahead for the team moving into next year. Playoff hockey will be ending in June but there will still be plenty of hockey headlines as the drama tends to unfold when the craze of free agency begins. Are you ready for the madness to ensue?

With the winds of change come new opportunities and possibilities for the team. It’s going to get very interesting around here pretty soon. So while those you who enjoy being part of the growing media rumor web, this kid will wait until rumors and fiction become fact. I accept the fact that changes ARE coming, but until those changes get made official there is no sense in discussing what could be. Whatever happens will happen and I will be happy to discuss any OFFICIAL changes that do in fact get made. I look forward to the many debates that will be fun to be a part of even if they can drive me crazy[mostly because people don’t realize that girls can know more than just the box scores about this game called hockey!].

As always until next time, nuck said. #isitOctoberYET?!

Sarah E.L.

Season’s End

If you are wondering where I have been the last few days the answer is simple: I took a break from all of my social media outlets. I was tired of all the negativity regarding the Canucks and needed a few days away from the negative commentary that I knew would follow the sweep. I am by no means in denial of the their first round ousting by San Jose, I fully accept that the Canucks season has come to an end. You will hear no complaints or excuses here. Are there things I could complain about or make an excuse about, YES but it would not change the result so it would be fruitless. It is what it is and that is all there is. We may not have got the ending we wanted BUT we are lucky that we got to watch our team play any hockey in May [14 teams were not so lucky!].

Today’s post looks that the season that was and it was full of plenty of excitement beyond the playoff disappointment. Let’s begin at the beginning shall we? You remember back in September when everyone’s favourite NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman threw down the lockout hammer? As soon as the deadline passed and the lockout was enacted, EVERYONE assumed that there would NO NHL season. The NHL and NHLPA had countless meetings and every time progress seemed to occur it was followed by stalling and growing animosity between the two sides. It seemed as though there would be no end to the lockout as both sides seemingly could not come to any sort agreement. The League did not cancel the season out right rather every two weeks saw Bettman announcing the cancellation of blocks of the season including the cancellation of the ever popular Winter Classic. Each new cancellation only added to the anger of the fans. It quickly became a case of Gary vs. Donald Fehr in a war of words and there seemed to be no end in sight. Cue the call for a negotiator to come in! With the aid of the negotiator the two sides were forced into putting some serious time and reflection into their cases and eventually forced to meet together. The lockout came into affect September 15th 2012 and did not come to an end until January 6th 2013. 510 games were lost from the season. It was initially thought that they could put together a 50 game schedule but later was reduced to 48 games.

After a delay of 3 1/2 months, the season finally began January 19th 2013. Teams around the league created initiatives to encourage their loyal fans to return to the rink. The season had many incredible moments league wide:

The Chicago Blackhawks set a new NHL record with their 21-0-3 undefeated in regulation streak which was eventually broken by the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks solidifed themselves as the best team of the regular season winning the President’s trophy for the 2013 season.

Sidney Crosby came back healthy for the first time in almost two years and played like he never lost a beat. Crosby would have won the Art Ross Trophy had it not been for an unfortunate incident in which he suffered a broken jaw and missed the remaining 12 games of the season. It should be noted that Crosby returned for the playoffs and picked up right where he left off before his injury! The Pittsburgh Penguins proved themselves to be the best team in the Eastern Conference when the went on a tear winning 15 games straight!

The Minnesota Wild overcame some early struggles as big name signings Zach Parise and Ryan Suter helped the teams clinch a playoff berth for the first time in a few years. The feel good story of the year perhaps was the incredible journey of goalie Josh Harding who overcame an early diagnosis of MS to play games in both the regular season and the playoffs.

The New York Islanders made the post-season for the first time in 6 years thanks to some incredible young talent and lots of heart from players like John Tavares, Michael Grabner, Frans Neilsen and veteran goalie Evgeni Nabakov. Tavares lead his team by scoring and setting the example that you never give up on a play or your team.

The Washington Capital overcame many growing pains [new coach and early season struggles] to dominate their second half of the season being led by an awakened Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin led his team scoring more than 30 goals to nab yet another Rocket Richard trophy. The Capitals despite early season woes won their division and earned home ice advantage in the first round.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had their share of drama this year, from the firing of Brian Burke to the ever constant goal-tending rumors. Despite the rumors the tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens helped this team earn their first playoff berth in 9 years! Welcome back to the post-season Toronto, enjoy your journey however long it lasts [I’m rooting for you!!].

The Columbus Blue Jackets earn the award for most improved team overall. This is a team that everyone expects to take advantage of and this year they proved to the league that they are competitive. They made every team they played earn every inch of the ice. They beat Detroit 4/5 times! They acquired Marian Gaborik at the trade deadline and he helped them make a Cinderella run in the final stretch. They only missed the post-season by a SINGLE point [had Minnesota lost their final game, it would have been Columbus that played Chicago!].

The Detroit Red Wings entered their first season without the veteran presence of former Captain Niklas Lidstrom. The void he left was a large one and at times you could see Detroit missing his presence on the ice. For the first time in many years their participation in the playoffs was put in question as they had many ups and downs through the year. Their playoff streak in jeopardy and their fate in their hands sent Detroit on a determination mission where they insured that they would be playoff bound. 22 straight years and still going strong!

The Boston Bruins continued to play their Bruin style of hockey despite the loss of Tim Thomas. Tuukka Rask proved that he was up to the task of being number one and helped to lead the team.

The Montreal Canadiens adjusted very nicely to the coaching change and proved that they can be a top contender. They finished their season as division leaders and 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference. Despite missing the early part of the season due to a contract dispute, P.K. Subban lead the Montreal defence and proved to the league that he is an offensive defenseman.

The Edmonton Oilers may not have had the success in the win column that they hoped for BUT they showed that they have a lot of young talent up front that is capable of making a lot of noise in the next few years. With the talents of Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov, & Schultz, don’t be surprised if we see Edmonton return to the post-season next year!

The Ottawa Senators Erik Karlsson picked up where he left off last year as the league’s top defenseman before having his season put on hold when he suffered a severed achilles tendon. Despite losing their best defensive asset, the Senators still found ways to win games and were able to put numerous rookies in their line up. Captain Afredsson lead his team on the way to the post-season. Erik Karlsson did return for the final game of the season despite reports that he would not be back until next year and did so in style scoring a goal! Karlsson’s return helped to spark the Senators in their first round victory, best of luck in the second round Ottawa!

The Vancouver Canucks may have had their post-season ended prematurely but they had some great moments. Captain Henrik Sedin became sole possessor of 1st on the all-points leader surpassing Markus Naslund’s 757 points in his 905th career game February 15th. Daniel Sedin became sole possessor of 2nd on the all-time points list behind his brother also passing Naslund’s previous record in his 905th career game April 22nd. Roberto Luongo proved what many fans already knew that he is more than qualified at helping a team WIN. Jannik Hansen scored some timely goals and played an unlikely hero in some games. The team finished third in the conference and won their 5th straight North West Division title. My favourite 2013 Canuck moment was probably on my birthday when Henrik scored that penalty shot goal against Nashville and the entire arena went absolutely nuts!

See? There were A LOT of good moments this season in a year when everyone told me that there would be no hockey. A LOT of people told me that it was pointless to keep suggesting that we would get a shortened season BUT we did get a shortened season! It may have been short but it was full of incredible moments all around the league.

I took a self-induced break from social media the last few days and it was necessary. The Canucks season is over and despite all the negativity that social media has been full of about them, this a team that I am now and always will be fan of my Canucks.  #heartofacanuck. Better luck next year boys!

The playoffs are still underway and many memories are yet to be made.16 teams qualify and by next week only 8 will remain. Prediction: Stanley Cup Final: The Chicago Blackhawks vs. The Pittsburgh Penguins

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Social Negativity, I’ve had it with you!

Wow, it really is incredible how quickly social media can determine the opinion of millions. It is really disheartening to see all of the negativity that is out there right surrounding the Canucks. Is it a little disappointing to see the way things have played out against the Sharks in the first 3 games? Yes, but the worst part of the first round so far has been the reaction of the local media and the fans across the many avenues of social media.

I know that it seems impossible and improbable to most fans that the Canucks can win tomorrow’s game let alone this series. Teams have come back from being down 3-0 although only a few teams have come back to win [Philadelphia in 2010 against the Bruins!], many have clawed their way back to make series that seemed predictable and unlikely very intriguing [Blackhawks against the Canucks 2011, Detroit against the Sharks 2011]. I’m not saying the Canucks will or will not come back from being down 3-0, I know that it is a highly unlikely path BUT I am saying that however slim a chance it may be, there is always a chance. You can call my delusional if it makes you feel better, but I have always believed that there is nothing wrong with having a little positivity once in a while.

There is nothing wrong with cheering for your team especially when things are not going well. You should feel free to cheer for your team no matter what. Social media outlets should NOT determine or help shape your opinion of the team. I am sick to death of the negativity that has taken over social media the last few days. It would be nice to hear about the local media and fans actually rooting for the team instead of tearing it down on a daily basis. Perhaps instead of jumping constantly to the negative you should try being positive.

Sometimes, I really hate social media! It is incredible that no matter the size of a mistake that social media spins it completely out of control until all one can see in their timeline is the negative. Well, I have had my fill, thank-you very much. No more negativity for me today!

I may be one of the few positive fans out there, but that’s okay! I will be positive for all the doubters!

Will you be joining me in cheering for our team in game 4? I hope so, the team needs YOUR support. No matter what the outcome in tomorrow’s game or this series I will still be cheering for my Canucks.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Dear Concerned Canuck Fans

Dear Concerned Canuck Fans,

May I ask that you stop yourself from pressing that panic button so quickly when things are going your way? Yes the Canucks have gotten themselves into 0-2 comeback trail BUT it is not a completely impossible situation. Yes this happened last season but the end result does not have to be the same. Teams have comeback from the 2-0 deficit before: Detroit against the Canucks in the 2002 quarterfinals, Pittsburgh in the 2009 Stanley Cup finals, and of course the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals to name a few of the comeback kids. Does this mean the Canucks will win the series, no BUT it doesn’t mean they cannot win the series either. Would it hurt everyone to try to believe that it is possible?

Have you heard of this small thing called positivity and the fact that it can go a LONG way? Why not believe that they CAN win and build upon the positive things they did in game two [the beast known as KESLER, strong goal-tending, and most importantly they NEED to score GOALS!]

I have but ONE request for all you Canuck fans, DO NOT hit the panic button yet. When the boys hit the ice tonight instead of listening to ALL the negativity that has picked up speed with the help of social media, TRY cheering for our TEAM, you might be surprised by what you see. Do not give up on this team just yet, real fans do not walk away from their team when the going gets tough.

When the going gets tough, you do NOT give up on your team, you cheer LOUDER! #GOCANUCKGO

When the going gets tough, you do NOT give up on your team, you cheer LOUDER! #GOCANUCKGO

I hope that when the team hits the ice tonight, you will join ME in cheering for the Canucks! Game 3 starts just after 7:00 PM[pacific time!] and I hope you will be showing our team your support!

No matter what happens throughout the remainder of this series, I will now and always be through and through a #Canucklehead!

#GoCANUCKSGo

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.