Ed Willes wrote a nice little column in the Province today about how Rogers Arena is a quiet place to play hockey right now. This caused quite the ruckus on Twitter after the Team 1040 piggybacked on the article, as they often do. I think every show on the Team 1040 had a poll question about the atmosphere at Rogers Arena.
The article was given a lot of weight because of this quote from Kevin Bieksa:
But from our perspective, it’s a little sad. At times, we get that on the road when we’re in Phoenix or L.A., it seems we have a louder crowd than the home team, and I know it gets them down. When you’re at home and the road team has a louder crowd, it’s a little embarrassing. I don’t think we want that to happen to us.
The jist of the article was that Rogers Arena has very little atmosphere and how this is somehow a mystery because the Winnipeg Jets have loud fans and that the Canucks have loud fans on the road. The Team 1040 hosts also had a lot to offer up in terms of reasons for why Rogers Arena is so quiet. The problem with the opinions of Ed Willes and all of the Team 1040 hosts is that for the most part they have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to this subject. Sure, the media go to a lot of hockey games, but on rare occasion do they actually sit with the fans.
In case you haven’t noticed, Max Lapierre is having one heck of a season. Lapierre, who was picked up a year ago at the trade deadline, has brought an element needed to the Canucks. Early on this season, Lapierre filled-in nicely centering the third line while Ryan Kesler was injured and Manny Malhotra was struggling to get his game back. After Kesler got back, Hodgson established himself and Malhotra improved, Lapierre settled in to playing on the wing on the fourth line. He has played in a lot of different spots all year, and excelled through all of them.
I feel like Lapierre is a guy that doesn’t get talked about enough in Vancouver. He’s also a guy that is still trying to shed his reputation as a rat and a diver. Aside from a couple of instances in last year’s Stanley Cup final, I feel like he has done everything he can in that regard. Sure, he’ll still get under the skin of the other team, but he’s doing that with big body checks and tough play a lot more than yapping and diving. I’m sure that it’ll take a lot longer for him to change his reputation in the eyes of most in the league, but for me, I see him differently.
This morning, a friend of mine decided to go on a rant about the Cody Hodgson trade. His name is Nathan and he’s currently traveling in Brazil, but he’s a huge Canucks fan and is a season ticket holder. He’s an awesome writer and he knows hockey, so I figured this rant was blog worthy. Enjoy!
Hello from Brazil. No amount of beach can take my brain off hockey at this time of the year. It’s like the relentless beat of the samba down here. Omnipresent. So here are some thoughts on the trade.
I felt as gut wrenched as the next Canuck fan when I heard that Hodgson had been traded. He was having the best rookie season this town has seen since Pavel Bure. And that’s an empirical fact. He came up big in most of our big games this year scoring timely goals against Boston, San Jose, Montreal and Detroit. He was first star in a couple of those games. He also quarterbacked our 2nd power play unit and single-handedly made the 3rd line a scoring threat. As far as skill and scoring go it looks like the Canucks got hosed in this trade. At least in the immediate future.
Lost in the Cody Hodgson hoopla was the fact that the Canucks made another trade on trade deadline day, acquiring Sami Pahlsson for a pair of fourth round draft picks and Taylor Ellington. This was a much more predictable trade than the Hodgson trade (in fact, I named him as a possibility yesterday, Eklund’s got nothin’ on me).
Mike Gillis sent shockwaves through Canuck nation on trade deadline day. In the biggest deal of the day, Gillis sent Cody Hodgson and Alex Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani. I think like a lot of people, I was immediately confused by this trade. So I sat down, weighed the pros and cons, looked at it from all angles and I still don’t like it.
It’s 11:30pm, the night before the trade deadline and I’m doing what you may be doing right now, trying to cook up scenarios in which the Canucks acquire something significant before the noon (Pacific time) deadline. I’m not going to go into any great detail on these guys (I get into a lot more detail in my other trade propositions), but most of them are upcoming unrestricted free agents or on teams that are likely to be unloading talent. The Canucks aren’t likely to trade away roster players, so lets assume that the Canucks are willing to give up draft picks and prospects.
Like a lot of Canucks fans, I’m addicted to the Team 1040. I listen to it all the time because I can’t get enough Canucks talk. But in the last year or two, my addiction has subsided. I still listen to it, but I find myself needing a break from it more often and I think I know why. The Team 1040 is broken. It has some problems and I know just how to fix it. Because I’m feeling charitable, I’m going to offer some free advice to Team 1040 executives, enjoy:
We are now one week away from trade deadline day in the NHL. It’s a day that can be overrated in a lot of respects, but it still has a lot of importance. The Canucks acquired two very important pieces of their team at last year’s trade deadline in Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre. Of course, there are always teams that acquire aging/overrated players at inflated prices, so buyer beware.
This year there are a lot of big name players likely to be available. Rick Nash is the biggest name, but players like Jeff Carter, Ales Hemsky, Tuomo Ruutu, and PA Parenteau are also likely available. But what I think everyone in Canucks nation wants to know, is what is Mike Gillis thinking right now? Is he ready to mortgage the future? Does he want to make a big splash? Is he willing to trade Cory Schneider? What about Mason Raymond? I don’t know what Mike Gillis is thinking but I can make some guesses.
Mats Sundin’s #13 banner was raised to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday night, and it made me think back to his time in Vancouver. Sundin, as you might remember, spent half a season in blue and green during the 2008-09 season. The Mats Sundin that Canucks fans got to see, at age 38, wasn’t of hall of fame caliber but he wasn’t a bust either.
It goes without saying that finishing first in the conference is very important, but it’s likely going to be a lot more advantageous this year than last. Last year, the reward for finishing in first place was a date with the Chicago Blackhawks. I don’t think I need to remind anyone how hard that turned out to be.
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