Trimming the fat
You’re all by now aware that our Canucks are eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs. At this moment every arm chair Power Play Specialist from Vancouver to Toronto and beyond are “thinking what needs to be done?” This is my entry to the most major debate of the Vancouver blogosphere, “Rebuild or upgrade?”
This offseason will be significant for many reasons.
1 What to do about coaching
2 What to do about goaltending
3 What to do about management
4 What to do about forwards
5 What to do about defence
1 What to do about coaching
Exiting this playoff series has many skeptics believing Alain Vigneault will be fired. Many people are morons. Alain Vigneault is a wizard, a master. Its not his fault his team has brain farts. But it was up to him to smack around some dead weight, which he didn’t do.
If Gillis does fire him, which he would be stupid to, Craig Mactavish, current head of the Canucks AHL affiliate, The Chicago Wolves will more than likely replace him on the bench. The last man to not wear a helmet in the NHL, Craig Mactavish comes with clout. He has four Stanley Cup rings to his credit, hes a checking center who scored some clutch goals and was pretty decent on the draws. His skills could improve the likes of Manny Malhotra and Samme Pahlsson , who both had a rough year.
2 What to do about goaltending
Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo
The Meat and Potatoes of it all is all about the goalies. Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo are both damn good, the problem is, like Alain, the Canucks have brain farts around both of them too. And even more around my precious Bobby Lu, he looks to be the man out. The media and fans will soon drive Schneider to his limit and want to leave to as well.
Both of them have trade potential, Luongo less due to contract and reputation. Schneider is younger cheaper and could get bounties of offers as “the best backup” in the NHL. Schneidz is an RFA and depending on the offer, we could be rich like oil drillers in texas.
3 What to do about management
4 What to do about forwards
All of them are on the hook. Couldn’t help out their goaltenders. Henrik Sedin scored the most goals. Nuff Said. Cut Raymond. Goodbye. Keep Booth. Ditch Kassian in the AHL,. My wish list to stay include Booth, Higgins, Lapierre, Burrows, Hansen. Palhsson didn’t work like I wanted him to. Call up Reinprecht from the Wolves and give him the shot he deserves. Our Wolves are good in the AHL for call ups.
5 What to do about defence
As much as I harp on Edler, the kids got skill. Don’t be surprised if he goes the way of the Ehrhoff and jumps ship. He has way less will power than Hamhuis and isn’t as strong as Juice.
The defense is fine. Leave them as is. Ballard and Tanev are keeping the ship afloat. Find someone for Edler to play with, because the poor man terminator Sami Salo should rest after this hard stretch. Probably his last.
Season Saving Solution or as I’m calling it, operation #SSS.
The Vancouver Canucks are in a desperate state. They are down three games to nil. This is done at everyone’s disbelief. There is but one choice now. They must fight to take their life back.
The Los Angeles Kings are playing their best hockey due to their captain and their whole back end. Their captain has as many goals as the entire Canucks roster in the series.
I get it you know that. Time to go head hunting.
Activated from the Press Box:
Andrew Alberts (shudder)
Aaron Rome (face palm)
Andrew Ebbett (zombie)
Zack Kassian (baby trex)
Gino Odjick (Iron fists)
Tiger Williams (He wants to maul)
Sergio Momesso (Glass breaker)
Geoff Courtnall (Alex Burrows 1.0)
Stan Smyl (the Steamer)
Craig Mactavish (won’t wear a helmet)
Orland Kurtenbach (OG head hunter)
Pat Quinn (nuff said)
Greg Adams (hells yes)
And of Course………..
Trevor Linden (the composer)
Frodo and Samwise Gamgee
Ok fine I’m just upset. But everyone is. And has a right to be. I’m willing to do anything to win. Apparently like Gillis with his Daniel Sedin call to come to SoCal.
The future is clouded……..
Thanks to an assist to Chris Higgins’ abs, I am still alive and ready to take on my next assignment. My manager tasked me with tracking down the notoriously hard to interview, but super awesome person, Manny Malhotra.
On this beautiful sunny day, I was downtown looking at buying a new suit for the playoff interviews I’m bound to have. I was trying on something when I heard a familiar voice.
Manny Malhotra: Listen up cash register girl, don’t you know who I am? The Manny never pays full price!
MattTheMascot: Hey Manny, everything ok?
MM: This girl here doesn’t know who I am. The Manny never pays full price for a suit. (He looks at the cashier) I am your bosses brother. Give me my discount!
MTM: When your done, can I bother you for a few minutes? Ill buy you a coffee.
MM: Sure. Once this moron gives me my suit AT A DISCOUNT ill meet you outside.
(I leave and wait for him. Less than five minutes later he emerges with a suit slung behind his back)
MM: Sorry you had to see that brother. Sometimes people need to be put in their place.
MTM: Hey I totally understand. What coffee do you want? I’m buying.
MM: Tim hortons brother.
(I sigh under my breath, despising timmy ho’s but I remain respectful. After getting our coffees, his bodyguards block off a section of the cafe and we resume.)
MTM: Ok first things first, I have never seen you act the way you did in the suit place. Is it normal for you to have such outbursts?
MM: No not really. (He takes a sip of his coffee and spits it out) What the hell? I asked for three creme and five sugars. (He throws his coffee at one his bodyguards) GET ME ANOTHER ONE!
MTM: I’m sorry I must have misheard you. Don’t take it out on someone else.
MM: No brother its the people behind the counter. They ARE MORONS!
(The coffee house goes quiet)
MM: That’s better. THREE CREME FIVE SUGARS BITCH!
MTM: Hey man chill. Its just a coffee.
MM: Brother I’m not arguing with you. Next question.
MTM: Ok, you played on San Jose with Joe Thornton. How was he as a teammate?
MM: Oh you mean old fat head? Some leader. He used to make rookies clean his shoes. He thinks he is some form of god. I tell you brother, he was a terrible person.
MTM: That doesn’t come as much of a shock. Do you have any playoff traditions?
MM: My family comes from pakistan. There when you wish for good luck from the gods, you sacrifice a goat. Here that is illegal. So now I encourage my family to grow beards instead of spread violence.
MTM: That’s a great way to help spread cheer. And besides goats are hard to come by around here.
MM: That is inconsequential. Anything is possible if you have enough money.
MTM: You played with Wayne Gretzky. What was your favorite moment that you spent with him?
MM: One day, when we were on the streets, someone came up to the two of us and tried to rob us with a large knife. Wayne used his mind trick power to convince the guy that his life would be better served at the bottom of the hudson river. So he ran to the bridge and jumped off.
MTM: You know that mind trick jedi stuff isn’t real right?
MM: That’s what the world would like you to believe. We jedi are going to rebuild the world.
MTM: Your a jedi?
MM: I was Wayne’s padawan. He taught me to control my anger. David Booth and Maxim Lapierre are also jedi knights.
MTM: Judging by today’s sequences of events, I’d say you need to brush up on your skills.
MM: What did you say to me?
(He steps back out of his chair, pulls something out of his pocket and turns on what happens to be a very realistic looking lightsaber)
MM: Now you will die impudent worm!
MTM: Well this has turned out lovely.
(He swings an overhead chop designed to cut me in half. I side step to the left. He then slashes across my mid section, of which I barely avoid getting my entrails spilled onto the floor. I grab a chair and throw it at him, and then I run out the back emergency exit. I hear him say something behind me)
What the hell? Why can’t I just have an honest interview with these people? Why do they always end badly?
The playoffs are just around the corner. wonder what’s next.
12 Questions – The Real Interviews is a series in which I ask real people real questions. One word answers.
My first guest is The Stanchion. A Chance meeting at Rogers Arena during the Canucks VS the Ducks provided me time to sit down with one of Vancouver’s newest twitter celebrities.
#1 Coke or Pepsi “Pepsi”
I’m a coke person, diet coke to be exact. Not judging.
#2 Tim Hortons or Starbucks “Tim Hortons”
Personally, I dig starbucks. But whatevs.
#3 XBOX or Playstation “XBOX”
I don’t have either, so either are cool to me.
#4 Favorite Beer “Kokanee”
No answer could have been any happier to my ears.
#5 Sid the Kid or Ovechkin “Ovi”
Both superstars. Toss up.
#6 Schneider or Luongo “Schneider”
Well it was after Luongo was pulled in the game. Poor timing.
#7 Dank or Hank “Daniel”
Trigger man takes it.
#8 The Beatles or The Rolling Stones ” Ze Beetles”
Well he didn’t say it like a french man, but regardless, good choice.
#9 Family Guy or South Park “South Park”
Stewie can’t cut it in this battle.
The two fold questions
#10 Autobot or Decepticon “Decepticon”
Megatron or Starscream “SOUNDWAVE”
Before I could even ask he screamed out Soundwave. No worries, its a good choice.
#11 Star Wars or Star Trek “Star Trek”
Federation or Borg “Federation”
This one hurt. Cut me real deep. I wasn’t sure people like that existed. I appreciate his honesty, even if I do not agree.
#12 80’s Heavy Metal or 90’s Hip Hop / Rap “90’s Hip hop / Rap”
2pac or Biggie “2pac”
Either would have been perfectly acceptable as they both were significantly awesome and inspiring.
That’s all for now. Oh and a bonus “HD” video of the new Canucks home ice intro at Rogers arena. Filmed via my superior inferior Blackberry Bold 9700 which will be blown up soon.
What happened? I am missing the last 2 weeks of my memory! The last thing I remember was being at a bar in minnesota. I was getting wasted with the AMEX line. I awoke this day, still wearing my new suit on with a migraine, dirty and smelly in my own bedroom. After I clean up. I decide to look for some answers.
I walk into the Canucks home of
GM Place Rogers Arena and am greeted by security. A large suited man grabs my shoulder and says “Hold one moment please”. I look at his name tag, it says Laser. Holy shit could it be Laser from American Gladiators? Before I could ask he took his finger off his ear piece and shoves me in an elevator. The elevator doors close, and drops faster than I have ever felt. I stop almost as soon as I start, the doors open, and standing before me, the very people I was looking for.
David Booth: THERE YOU ARE!
Ryan Kesler: Where have you been?
Chris Higgins: Look at my abs.
MattTheMascot: What the hell happened? I can’t remember jack since minnesota!
DB: Dude you don’t remember?
RK: You drank more tequila than anyone I’ve ever seen. And I’ve met mexican people.
CH: Look at my abs.
MTM: I remember having a few shots with you guys, but after that I can’t remember anything until this morning.
(Booth looks at Kesler and Higgins)
DB: Can you guys leave us for a few minutes?
RK: Sure shoot me a text when your ready to go back upstairs.
CH: Did he see my abs?
(Kesler and higgins leave the room via the elevator)
DB: Sorry man, some bad shit happened that night. What do you last remember?
MTM: Like I said, we were doing shots. And then nothing till this morning.
DB: Well after the first four rounds of shots, you said you could drown a whole bottle of jager. Little did we know, you had grabbed a special “package” from the neighborhood drug dealer. You popped four pills in your mouth and drank the whole bottle. It was pretty impressive.
MTM: What were the pills?
DB: I have no idea. Anyways after that, you stumbled into the bathroom, came back with a green plant, looked like a cactus. You kept giggling about cactus’s and Rooney Mara.
MTM: Holy shit. I did peyote?
DB: If that’s what it was, you sure did. You ate that cactus like you were in a watermelon eating competition. You looked at Kes and said “You look good naked” and to Higgy “Can I touch your abs?”
MTM: I’m almost scared to ask what happened next.
DB: Then you ran out of the bar. Kes and I ran after you. Higgins paid the bill, by the way you owe him $700. You broke into a toy store and started playing with Star Wars toys. Claiming you were “the last living descendant of Anakin Skywalker”. By then we knew you were super f’ed up.
MTM: How am I not in jail?
DB: We called Schneider, he came and got us in his rental car. You then called him a “Ginger Ninja”. He was less than impressed to say the least, and punched you in the balls.
MTM: How did I get home? You guys were in the middle of a road trip.
DB: The Canucks have a private jet for emergencies, so we dumped you on the plane and hoped for the best. Once you got back, according to the pilot, you ran off the plane into the field of the Vancouver Airport landing area. The airport security chased after you into the night and no one has seen you since.
MTM: Well, now that’s what I call a screwed up night. Do you want to get some lunch? I feel like I’ve lost 30 pounds.
DB: Sure ill get the boys.
After we get together I profusely apologize to the three of them. We walk away from the arena, hop in a cab and go to the Gotham Steakhouse. As soon as I step out of the cab, someone busts out of the shop across the street, yelling and screaming at me.
Tattoo Artist: Hey you, Assfuck give me my money!
MTM: You talking to me?
TA: Yeah you drunk asshole. You came few days ago, got tattoo and didn’t pay. Now I cut you if you don’t give me da money!
CH: Did you see my abs?
(Punches the Tattoo artist in the jaw. Leaving him knocked out on the pavement)
MTM: Wow looks like I owe you even more now.
DB: Good right cross Higgy!
RK: You threw down cuz!
CH: (points to his stomach and says) Abs!
Who knows what craziness will happen next week.
“What was that? The playoffs are near? Did I hear you correctly?”
Yes you did my friends. The NHL playoffs are just around the corner. Its time for multiple things to happen. People cry, scream, break televisions multiple times a night. Also on the flipside, many cheer, raise toasts and destroy other teams fans with unabashed criticism. Many of we, the crazy fans men and women alike, are going through a checklist of what we feel will help our teams win that tall silver holy grail.
That checklist may include but not limited to:
-Not shaving faces, legs, under arm areas and the nethers.
-Shaving designs into particular parts of the body to have a specific “magic” feel to them.
-Face and/or body painting every game day, with true team colors.
-Wearing a specific item such as a hat, jersey, underwear, sweater or even the occasional lucky sock that at one point brought your team luck.
-Saving up sick days at work.
-Extended vacations at work.
-Carefully planning when and where to maybe possibly meet that player or celebrity coming to the game.
I am not a stalker at all. Child please
-Plan how you are going to upstage your friends in celebration when that one day comes. You know what day that is…….
-Stock up on necessities like beer, munchie mix (pick out the pretzels of course), paper towels and things you can flail around when your team scores.
Once your version of said checklist is complete, proceed onto stage two of the playoffs. The fun part. The part where your friend who hates your team and you hate his/her team can build up (friendly) animosity and start the traditional name calling. The part where you can say whatever you want for nothing has happened yet. Its an even slate. The die have not been cast. You can sing the praises of your highlights and mourn with requiems of tragic events that will only amplify your ecstatic energy for the magical time that is upon us.
Be prepared for the enemies of thy who lay and wait for a weak link in your armor to be exposed. Make sure your verbal arguments are flawless. Any mistake can prove disastrous. (Believe me, my foot has been in my mouth far too much this year.) Remember enemies of your enemies are your best ally. The team that is facing your enemies group of soldiers can benefit you. Plan tactical assaults and celebrate when they are laid low. Your thirst for vengeance will fuel your quest for the ultimate glory. Remember hubris is only evil to those who have it cast upon.
Coming from experience, winning one really good series can make you delusional and have fits of joy that make you want to scream from a mountain top. Do not let this stop you from the shiny memorial that will be yours once you destroy the final barrier. It will take your team a minimum of sixteen hard fought gladiator-esque matches that can make you scream in rage or jump off your couch and break an ankle. Maybe add to your list some ice packs and band aids.
I cannot tell you how the feeling will be if your team lands that amazing spectacle know as the Stanley Cup. “Lord Stanley of Preston” once paid the equivalent of 50$ for the initial pieces. Ask anyone now and they will tell you, its priceless.