Canucks SixPack: The Russian Bear and the Maiden Fair

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Another day, another loss, this time 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche.

The rest of the season will continue to play out like this. I could probably just Mad Lib up the rest of the recaps and not many people would notice.

“Today the Canucks lost to the Avalanche after a [BANANA] was thrown in their [ORIFICE]. Despite a strong [CRY] from the Sedins, and a valiant [WETTING OF THE BED] from the Canucks goalie, they just couldn’t [MASTICATE] enough goals in the end. The best player on the [SUN DRIED TOMATO] was Baertschi, who once again is starting to show he might be the real [PICKLE].”

The interest in breaking down the games is at an all-time low for Canucks fans, because honestly, most people are just thinking about next season already. It’s also hard to judge this team too harshly right now, mostly because you feel bad doing it. Everyone involved knows the team isn’t very good right now, so what’s the point of being mean about it.

Members of Team Tank, while appreciating each loss, would openly admit it doesn’t make watching the games that exciting. It’s like hoping your parents finally get a divorce so the fighting will stop. Sure, it’s better in the long term, but it still doesn’t make it any less sad while you watch it go down.

Knowing your team losing the game might ultimately be better for your team’s future speaks more about a broken system than anything else.

With that being said, let’s talk about that Russian Bear, and then try and scrap together five other points from this one. You ready? LET’S DO THIS!

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1. It’s time…it’s time….it’s Tryamkin time time time!

Trymakin was drafted by the Canucks in 2014, and since nobody knew anything about him, everyone immediately started Google Scouting him.

As all Google Scouts will tell you, the easiest way to judge a player is either through a really snazzy highlight on YouTube, or by some sort of stat, and that’s where Tryamkin’s Google Scouting stock really took off.

Listed as being as tall as anywhere from 6″7 to 6″9, his size was the biggest stamp on his Google Scouting resume. And it’s hard not to get caught up in seeing a giant on the ice, because your mind will invariably wander to Zdeno Chara. Much like anytime a guy from Eastern Ontario who weighs 245 pounds scores a goal brings to mind the next Bertuzzi, anytime a giant steps on the ice you will innocently wonder “Hey this guy could be the next Chara!”

Of course, the odds of that are very low. It would be a delight if he even turned out to be the next Marek Malik. But in the infancy of a player’s career, it is only natural to hope for the best and be excited about what lies in the future of your team’s youth.

That is, until they turn 25 and you can start calling them a bum.

Tonight, with youth still on his side, Tryamkin played his first game as a Canuck, and even got a rousing cheer from the people that bothered to show up to the game for his first shift. It wasn’t a very long shift.

Obviously a communication error took place as Tryamkin left the ice as quickly as he entered it, but as the game continued, Tryamkin certainly had moments where he showed off his promise. His laser beam of a shot from the point eventually lead to the Canucks only goal of the night.

He struggled at times clearing the puck out of his zone (he rushed it on a few occasions, or banked the puck out at the wrong angle, keeping the puck in the zone) and he lost a footrace or two, but it was his first game in the NHL. Nerves, language barrier, Chris Tanev’s greasy hair possibly getting into his mouth at the bench, all of these would have made his first game a stressful one.

The hype over bringing in a giant was first done in a non-serious way, but then somehow got a bit serious, then not so serious, then kind of serious again, until it go to the point where nobody knew what was going on.

All in all, it was pretty much what I think people realistically hoped would happen; he’d come in and play a relatively uneventful game, neither amazing nor terrible.

2. General Bae

I try and mix things up in the SixPack, but honestly, the games really do keep playing out the same way. And one of the things that keeps happening is Baertschi starting to play like the Canucks best offensive player.

Tonight it was Vey-Bae-Etem looking great. Other nights it was Horvat and Bae looking great. Other nights it was Bae-Virtanen looking amazing. The one common ingredient? Bae-Bae Powder.

Baertschi is simply turning into a good player. As has been discussed many times, the way he’s playing is a huge boon to his game. It’s not just the fancy plays like this sneaky drop pass:

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It’s the plays where there’s a loose puck and Baertschi, despite being further away from the puck, battles his way and recovers the puck first. There were shifts tonight where he honestly looked like a little general out there, surveying the field of battle.

If his troops needed him, he would dart in and recover the puck, or pass it off, or drive the puck to the net. He was by far the most exciting player to watch on the ice tonight.

Hopefully this turns into one of those “Can you believe the Flames traded away this guy??” video highlight reels that gets played on a top-10 list every year on SportsCentre five years down the road.

3. Making Amends

A lot was made of not giving Grenier a proper shot to succeed with the Canucks, due to playing four games in four nights, the fourth game of course coming last Monday with the Canucks. Not shockingly, Grenier did not play well in that game (though not many Canucks did).

Some people then questioned why Grenier would be given a spot with the Sedins tonight.

To me, it’s obvious as to why. It’s an apology.

The team dicked you around a bit? Here, son, take a game with the Twins. In a season that doesn’t matter anymore, why not throw Grenier a bone and let him ride shotgun with the Twins? Season ticket holder mad about prices next season? You get a game with the Twins too.

Sure, despite one goal, the line played pretty poorly on the night. But if the Sedins can rejuvenate Trent Klatt’s career, the least they can do is give Grenier an “I’m sorry” game here and there.

4. All Around the Virt

Proving once again that hockey journalism is usually only one celebrity sighting away from turning into TMZ, Jake Virtanen hanging out with Justin Bieber was talked about at the game tonight.

Also, why is Bieber’s neck so long, sweet geezus, that is one giraffe looking Canadian.

Anyhow, local TMZ correspondent Iain Macintyre, the man who broke the story of “Eddie Lack has friends, but are they “help him move” kind of friends?” earlier this season (a 6 Blu Ray set on the entire situation will be available next Christmas) also discussed Virtanen and Bieber hanging out. This was a follow up to the article IMac wrote about Virtanen and Bieber hanging out. Blu Ray also forthcoming.

Thankfully IMac was ok with the two being friends (you lucked out Jake!), but there is a lot of connecting the dots with the idea of Virtanen lacking “focus” and stuff like this:

Could it be related? Of course it could be.

It’s not crazy to suggest a young player finally making the NHL might need a little reigning in now and then. It could also be Coach Willie being Coach Willie. He’s always been a little tougher on the younger players, especially those that never played for Medicine Hat. Both McCann and Virtanen ended up with around 10 minutes of ice time only.

Still, we can all look forward to the day Jake Virtanen starts getting into a serious relationship and TMZ-IMac breaks down how that is both not a big deal, but wink wink, kind of a big deal.

5. Kudos to Miller

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Ryan Miller pretty much joined the team at the worst possible time. You honestly could not have scripted a worse entrance.

Not only is the team on a downward spiral when he enters, he’s also coming in hot on the heels of the 100 Year War betwixt Family Schneider and Family Luongo, two goalies this city really liked. Out of that nuclear war of a situation, Eddie Lack emerges, and becomes the Taco Crusader, the hero this city deserved, but didn’t need at the time. So Eddie gets sent off in a chopper with a bomb and ends up in Carolina with Cat Woman.

Ryan Miller, whose first year here was essentially him getting injured and watching the origin story of Eddie Lack Begins take place in front of him, had already seen Luongo come back to town and get cheered harder than him. He has also witnessed a town chant “EDDIE” more times than anything they’ve directed at him. He’s essentially the city’s new stepfather and most of us are screaming at him that he’s not our real Dad. (I realize that’s two divorce analogies I’ve used tonight, please don’t read into that).

Now, this isn’t trying to make Ryan Miller seem like a hero for surviving this. He was, after all, paid quite a lot of money to play in net here. But credit should be given to the guy for coming to this city and not letting any of this stuff get to him, and just going out and playing solid hockey.

No, he’s not the 2010 Ryan Miller anymore. But the goaltending has been the least of the Canucks’ worries this year, and even in a game in which there was nothing really on the line, there was Ryan Miller once again battling like a badass to make sure another goal wasn’t scored.

6. The Clapper

The Clapper, who if we’re being honest was better at getting the crowd going than Fin, was brought back for one night in honour of the Canucks Fan-atics night.

He dipped into his old bag of tricks and stripped once again for the GM faithful, reminding us all of a time when the West Coast Express was just starting to rise and the Sedins were right around the corner.

Back when the future was both so very bright, and so very dark.

Clap us home Clapper. Clap us home.

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Wyatt Arndt Wyatt Arndt is a freelance writer who currently writes for The Province, Canucks Army, Canucks.com and Vancity Buzz. He's probably written in bathroom stalls near you as well. You can find him on Twitter where he is most likely making fun of Eddie Lack's goalie mask.
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