Keith Ballard sat out his fourth consecutive game this evening and it has Canucks nation puzzled. Fans and media alike have questioned this move by Vigneault which at first appeared to be a case of a coach sending a message to a player. That theory was largely thrown out after it became evident that this was more than just a couple of games in the press box. The theory also didn’t make sense to me because this was a player that got into a spirited fight in his last game and hasn’t hesitated to block shots in his first eight games.
So the NHL is changing their All-Star Game format to let captains pick out their teams. I like it. It’s novel, it’s unique, and as far as I know no other league has tried it before.
But what I’d really like to see is for the NHL to go back to the day when it used to be the Stanley Cup Champions taking on a group of All-Stars.
Hockey fans, the unthinkable has happened. That’s right, George Parros has shaved his mustache! Parros, who had the best porn stache in professional sports is doing it for a good cause. In honour of Movember, Parros has shaved the stache and will regrow it to raise funds for prostate cancer.
The Movember movement has inspired Canuckz.com to give a tribute to the hockey mustache, something that is becoming increasingly rare in the NHL.
Some of the greatest players in the history of the league sported some beauties:
Lanny McDonald scored 500 NHL goals and won a Stanley Cup, but perhaps his greatest achievement was his amazing bushy mustache that he still sports to this day.
Glenn Anderson may not have scored as many goals as his Oiler teammates like Gretzky, Messier and Kurri, but in the 1980s Glenn Anderson had them beat in mustached moxie.
Without a doubt the greatest mustached hockey player to ever become employed by the Team 1040.
Wendel Clark was a great leader and tough as nails. He also had a handlebar mustache that would make biker gangs jealous.
Was it a coincidence that this future hall of famer’s career tailed off after he shaved his mustache in the 90s? I don’t think so.
One of the greatest goal scoring Nordiques of all-time, one of the greatest mustache wearing Nordiques of all-time.
He perfected the spin-o-rama goal and may have scored the greatest goal ever, amazing that his mustache didn’t hurt his aerodynamics.
Six Stanley Cups and a Hart Trophy, greatest mustached player ever. Can’t say which is the greatest achievement.
In honour of the Canucks 40th anniversary season, it would be a shame to forget about the greatest mustaches to play in this city:
His play was rough and tumble and so was his mustache. It was never more wild than the spring of 1994 in the Stanley Cup final.
A fan favourite for years. Why? The stache. It went well with the flying V’s.
The mustache almost went extinct in the early 2000s, but in recent years some NHLers are bringing it back:
Ian White has been rocking the perv stache from Toronto to Calgary.
You may not respect his game but you have to respect the handle bar mustache. It’s a beauty.
Well that’s it, I hope you’ve enjoyed our tribute to Movember! Now go out and donate money to help fight prostate cancer.
We are just under one month into the 2010-11 edition of the Vancouver Canucks. Despite pre-season Stanley Cup predictions, this season began with a bit of a whimper. The Canucks started off the season 2-3-2, beating only bottom feeders Florida and Carolina. It also featured a fan fueled goaltending freakout of Dan Cloutier proportions.
Two reasons why we love Manny Malhotra:
1) Malhotra has been an absolute BEAST in the face-off circle
2) He is married to Steve F’n Nash’s sister
Last night’s shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks brings the Canucks record to 0-2 in shootouts this year, which begs the question: do the Canucks miss Kyle Wellwood? Now, I’m not suggesting that replacing Wellwood with Malhotra this year on the third line was a poor decision, but they sure do miss his shootout prowess. Remarkably, Canucks shooters haven’t been the main problem, that distinction goes to Roberto Luongo and his .000 SV% in shootouts this year. Luongo has a decent save percentage all-time, so he should get over his early season shootout troubles.
Let me first start off by saying this is not a blog entry bash Kevin Bieksa. I’ve done plenty of Bieksa bashing in my day, and I was not in favour of bringing him back to the team this year (until Sami Salo had his “floorball” incident). That being said, he has all the tools to be an excellent defenseman.
Lets start with the positives. This season begun with new captain Henrik Sedin appointing Bieksa as one of his four alternate captains. That raised a few eyebrows, but if Henrik thought that highly of him perhaps there is more to Bieksa than what many Canucks fans see. From there, Bieksa has been put with Dan Hamhuis in the Canucks top shutdown pair. Let me also say that Bieksa has been more consistently aggressive to start the season and we’re seeing a lot less “casual” play out of him, at least through three games.
Bieksa has played reasonably well through three games, but I just can’t see him as the top choice to shutdown the other team’s top line. If and when Sami Salo returns from injury, I would say he would be the best option to play alongside Dan Hamhuis in the shutdown pair. Until then, I see Alex Edler or Keith Ballard (once he’s fully recovered from off-season surgery) as a far better option.
Kevin Bieksa is simply too slow and not intelligent enough to play against the best players in the league on a regular basis. If he continues to play as he has thus far, he’ll be a perfect guy to have in their second or third pairing.
We’re two games into the 2010-11 regular season and already a mini media firestorm has begun with the decision to start Roberto Luongo in goal for tonight’s game versus the Anaheim Ducks. The argument goes that if the Canucks are to play Cory Schneider in 20-25 games this season (as Mike Gillis has suggested), they ought to play Schneider against what looks like a poor team in Anaheim.
What an eventful first game of the season. In the first game of their 40th anniversary season, the Canucks brought back all living members of their inaugural team. Pat Quinn received the biggest ovation, a classy gesture by the fans at Rogers Arena. From there, Henrik Sedin was officially named captain by receiving the C from the first captain in Canucks history, Orland Kurtenbach. I thought it was a nice ceremony that was done with a lot of class.
Never before has the NHL’s marketing campaign “is this the year?” ever spoke to me like it does now. Isn’t that really the question on every fan of the Vancouver Canucks mind today? Is this the year they can finally bring the cup home to Vancouver? Well, as a fan of the Canucks for all of my life, I can safely say that their chance to win the cup has never been this good to begin a season. Now, let me qualify that statement with the fact that this in no way makes them a sure thing, and if you’ve followed the Canucks long enough, you know that high expectations are usually something to be worried about in these parts. But alas, the Canucks are entering the 2010-11 season as one of the Stanley Cup favourites, and given the alternative, that’s something to get excited about. So get excited Canucks fans, but know that the competition will be stiff.