Here at Critically Canuck, we are officially one year old. And after nearly 200 posts, our legion of followers continues to grow. Thank you for your support and keep checking this space for riveting playoff commentary unsurpassed by the drivel you will find in the mainstream media.
On a related and not-so-newsworthy note, the Canucks are number one. We say that now one final time because once the puck drops tonight, we’ll have to wait until mid June before we can say it again. Yes, we are as cocksure as we are modest.
We present some tidbits to mull over before the real season begins tonight:
- Let’s take one more opporutnity to celebrate the brotherly brilliance of the Sedins. Yes, they have become the first sibling combination to each lead the league in scoring. But more remarkably, they join the likes of Lemieux/Jagr, Orr/Esposito, Geoffrion/Beliveau, Hull/Mikita and Howe/Lindsay as the only teammates to lead the league in scoring in back-to-back seasons. All of those names are hall-of-famers (though technically Jagr is not yet in) and Stanley Cup winners. Despite their dominance, in this market, they still wallow in the shadow of so many others.
- Ryan Johnson, reknowned shot blocker with the hands of granite, has joined ex-Canuck Kyle Wellwood in proclaiming that the Canucks are not yet ready for post season success. Only time will tell if they are right, but at this point it sounds more like the words of bitter exiles who are lucky to still have NHL jobs.
- The decision to dress Cody Hodgson as the third line centre is a real head scratcher. We say it is about time that Hodgson got some prime time play. But after only 8 games under his NHL belt (and all on the 4th line), we have to question the timing, particularly with all the opportunity there was to test his worth in the final meaningless weeks of the season.
- Sports Illustrated released their playoff predictions last week (under the headline of “Vancouver Has the Best Damn Pests in the West”) and have predicted the Canucks will reach the Stanley Cup Final only to lose to the Flyers. Arguably the biggest reason for the Canucks dominance this year was their commitment to clean and determined play backed by the best special teams in the league - it had nothing to do with their “pests”. And really, the Flyers will prevail in a 7 game series against Vancouver? With their plodding defense and untested goaltending? Last we recall, they got beat down 7-1 by the Canucks who were not the least bit intimidated by the Flyers’ typical antics. Just goes to show you that the esteemed SI will allow any hack to write their hockey pieces. Where do we apply?
- In related news, noted hockey prognosticator Christy Clark has predicted a Stanley Cup for the local team. Is there anything the perpetually perky Chrispy does not know? At least she had the good sense to defer on proclaiming a province-wide “Canuck Day” unlike the civic politicians (we’re looking at you, Gregor Robertson) who have rolled out two such days in less than the last year.
And that is the end of today’s levity, check back tomorrow for the serious business.