Canucks SixPack: Tank Nation continues rolling

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I have honestly run out of ways to start the Six Pack now. There is only so many times I can come up with a preamble for a game that looks just like the previous games. It’s eerie how each game is starting resemble the last game played.

Tonight, the Canucks couldn’t even get a single goal we could make a gif of and gather around the fire to warm ourselves to. No, instead they ended up getting shutout 2-0 to the Oilers. The score sheet states the Canucks got 40 shots on Talbot, but Edmonton is full of liars, so how can we believe them? None of the shots were that threatening, or stood out.

That was kind of the feel for the whole game, really. Nothing stood out aside from a few scrums here and there. It was just another nail in the coffin of the 2016 season. A turd of a game. Good for Tank Nation. Bad for anyone who enjoys watching hockey.

I honestly feel like if you’re reading this, you accidentally clicked on it thinking it was an article on Cherry Blossoms blooming in Vancouver, or you need something to read while you drink the night away.

Anyways, here’s a Cherry Blossom picture in case that’s what you were looking for:

For the rest of you, take a sip of your whiskey and let’s get this autopsy started.

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1. Dog Days of the Season

This is pretty much the kind of talk that was going on during the game.

And that is not me disparaging these people. This is just what reality is right now.

The Canucks are currently tied with the Blue Jackets for the longest losing streak in the NHL at three games a piece, and the schedule coming up should give them a good chance to continue that.

Games left in March against the Blues, Preds, Hawks, and Sharks will not be easy to win (nor watch).

They do have a game against Winnipeg they could win.

The point is, the hockey is pretty dull. There is no spark, no creativity. It’s the kind of hockey game you’d play in beer league, one you’d feel bad about dragging your girlfriend to come watch.

“Did you see me honey? I hit the post! The post! Almost got it! I’ll get it next time.”

“Yes honey, you’ll get it next time.”

Even the announcers seemed tired. John and John had little bursts of disagreement during the game, which isn’t that unusual. But it was missing the mirth they once held. Instead, they sounded tired. Sad they couldn’t watch Daredevil season 2 for another couple of days.

I honestly don’t think Garrett even mentioned any cheesy food tonight. That’s how bleak it got.

2. Stuff that happened

There were no new emerging storylines from this game, so here’s some stuff that happened.

drop

Yup, that happened.

In the old days it would be a 5-1 Canucks game and we would all laugh about the Sedins being silly and passing at weird times.

Now we make a gif of it and stare silently out our window.

Some people were wondering why Daniel didn’t feed it over to Grenier. In Daniel’s defence, who cares, and also, if Hank gets that puck, he’s pretty open, and you know he’s threading it back to Grenier for a tap in.

Such is the way of the Sedins. They are making passes five passes ahead of time.

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That’s pretty much what it looked like. Tryamkin stumbled to the bench, looked a bit grumpy, then shook it off in true Salo fashion.

McCann ended up going 2 for 5 in the circle, but some advanced stats guys get really angry when you suggest face offs have any meaning, so if you want, you can just hope they’re right.

To be fair, Tryamkin has no idea what is being said, and is probably still coming to grips with the cost of living in Vancouver. “You want HOW many rubles for 1 bedroom apartment? This is worse than Russian mafia.”

3. The Big Short

The big “controversy” in the game came when pretty much the only exciting play the Canucks pulled off in the game ended up with a goal being waived off.

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There was a big break as the goal was reviewed, was called off, then we were told it wasn’t reviewable anyways (ref was just charging his iPhone presumably), then they later updated us to inform us it was incidental goalie contact, so no goal, which then sparked a debate of how that’s different from regular goalie interference, which IS reviewable…

I didn’t have the heart to partake in the debate. I appreciate the sentiment, because maybe next year this comes up in an important game, so you kind of WANT to know the rules. But this is the NHL. Vague rules consisting of nods, winks and secret handshakes are often used to explain away anything that doesn’t make a ton of sense.

As Botch points out (trigger warning for any Canucks fans)

I’ll let you clean up your desk you just flung over before I continue.

OK, anyways, I’m not going to get into a big conspiracy angle. I will just say the Canucks have had plenty of times Luongo was interfered with during his time in Vancouver, and so stuff like this is indeed a sore spot for Canucks fans.

Remember when Byfuglien would push Luongo into his own net, and they would still call it a goal?

Anyways, as I said, at this point in the season I can’t find myself getting too outraged over the goal being disallowed. But I understand why it might cause a bit of a heated discussion.

4. Oily Goals

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The first goal was Dan Hamhuis still being super supportive to kids.

Fresh off of making dinner for Tryamkin, maybe Dan didn’t want Connor McDavid to feel left out, so he served up a nice turnover for young McJesus for the first goal.

The second goal had Hendricks running over Markstrom after the puck had already gone in the net, but it did allow us all to scream about goalie interference for a few seconds. Which was kind of fun.

How many games left in the season?

5. Radim the Ghost

Well, now the “Is Vrbata even playing tonight??” game just got a whole lot murkier, as we’ll need to check the actual box score to tell if he plays next game.

Not that the Canucks will miss the thrilling 12 minutes or so of fourth line Vrbata they’ve reduced him to, but every once in a while we like to pretend that last years Vrbata is still hanging out with the team.

Trading swedish berry recipes with Daniel Sedin.

Showing Horvat how to fix his truck.

Explaining world economics to Jim Benning.

We just want to know he’s all right, you know?

As for this years Vrbata, if that’s the last game he plays with the team, it’s such a wet fart of an end of his time here. He really was one of the teams best regular season players last year. If you traveled back in time and informed Canucks fans they would get nothing for Vrbata the deadline, they would have actually killed you.

“ARE YOU AN IDIOT LOOK AT HOW MANY GOALS HE’S GOT. SO STUPID. I’M GOING TO GET MY GUN.”

Alas, this season has been a big disappointment for a man who looked so lethal last year. It will honestly be one of the more interesting storylines next year to see if he bounces back with another team.

Maybe he can give the ol’ Mikael Samuelsson “they can go **** themselves” exit interview this year.

6. Alex Burrows the Dragon Slayer

It’s easy to get cynical in Vancouver, especially when it comes to the hockey team.

In pro sports, it’s made clear, now more than ever, that it’s a business. Everything from the coverage of the team, to the team itself, it’s all about money.

So sometimes it’s hard to find moments where you can ignore the big business implications and just enjoy a player for their time in this city.

And with all the uncertainty surrounding Burrows future with the team, I hope people sit back and enjoy Alex Burrows’ career here.

I hope people pop on that goal against Chicago and just smile as he slays the dragon. Double pump, boom. Dragon dead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnebsuhivHY

Or watch that Burraparound in game two, back when we thought we were about to conquer the hockey world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP4TBRPTpR4

Ah, the pain. Oh the pain. DON’T REMEMBER PAST GAME FIVE.

And yeah, Burrows did some jerk stuff on the ice. It’s how he got into the league, fighting for every inch, every angle, anything he could to keep his stock rising. It was hard for him to turn that aspect off. Even when he started playing with the Twins, and didn’t need to rely on it as much.

But this is a guy who really did work his way from the bottom (undrafted, ECHL) to carve out a pretty significant career in Vancouver. A career filled with highlights, a couple of them huge ones. I’m pretty sure any lady over the age of 50 has to by law love Alex Burrows (I seriously have not met an older lady who doesn’t love him). Even now, he toils away on the fourth line, never complaining. Just doing what the team asks of him.

And you can tell he loves it in Vancouver. Sure, he might have gotten a bit lost in the Bieksa shadow, but Alex Burrows bled green and blue for this team, and has had a wonderful career with the Canucks.

I hope if it is Alex’s last season with the Canucks, they play him with the Twins for a couple of games to end the season. Let him ride into the sunset with glory.

Let him “win da turd” one last time.

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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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