I have no idea what happened but this week we’ve had no problem finding awesome player tweets. In fact, we found so many that we couldn’t decide which to use and therefore made the executive decision to use all of them. You’ll understand why soon enough.
Last week I refused to mention the “L” word. Not really going to be able to avoid it this week due to the tweets we found.
First, some of you may have heard the comments made by Detroit Red Wings Jim Devellano. If not, here’s the important one:
“The owners can basically be viewed as the ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way it’s always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.”
We head to the Western Conference for this week’s Hawt Trophy. The Vancouver Canucks get a lot of press for Ryan Kesler and his charms, but one of his teammates may be even more handsome.
Meet Kevin Bieksa, Canucks defenseman.
For the last week of the regular hockey season, the Aerys NHL writers have been revealing their picks for the NHL award categories. You can find the previous prognostics over on the side bar.
When I was given the chance to cover an NHL award this season, I won’t lie, my brain immediately screamed ‘Nugent-Hopkins for Calder!’, but upon finding out that was already covered, I thought maybe the Selke would be an interesting choice. For an official definition:
“The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season.”
The Selke Trophy has been around since 1978, when Bob Gainey of the Montréal Canadiens was the first winner; he won it the first four years it was around. Nobody has won it as many times as he has, but Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings comes pretty close with his three wins.
Last year, Ryan Kesler was Aerys’ predicted winner. Also last year: Ryan Kesler won the Selke Trophy.
No pressure for me, or anything.
In the game that is ice hockey, it’s necessary to be able to excel in all aspects of the game if you want to be rewarded for it. Sure, some NHL’ers are better than others, and while they’re all important on and off the ice (I really don’t want to offend anyone, here), some are more… noticeable than others.
When you’re a forward, you have to play a 200-foot-by-85-foot game. Also, if you’re a defenseman and you never leave your end you probably won’t be around for very long at all. In other words, unless you’re a goaltender (then please, stay in your crease. More often than not, that’s the best idea) or in the KHL (in which case, pick it up and use the rest of your ice, boys) or a goaltender in the KHL (then watch out for those 114-mph shots, bro) there’s no way you’re never needed in all aspects of the game. For example: Friday, March 30th, when the Edmonton Oilers played the Los Angeles Kings and lost two defensemen in two periods. Enter: call-up Chris VandeVelde, who may be a centre, but was willing to step in and help out on the blue line when the Oilers were running low on d-men due to injury. Whether or not that’s even a common occurrence in the NHL is beside the point; the actual reason I’m writing this is to talk about forwards who are good defensively as well.
Selke winners are an elite group of penalty killers, faceoff winners, goal scorers, shot blockers and all-around badasses. Or something. Each year, three nominees are chosen before the start of the playoffs. My job was to beat the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association to the punch and guess who would win this year’s Selke Trophy.
First things first, I picked three of my own nominees.
There are now 7 games left in the regular season. The Canucks have clinched the Northwest Division Championship and are now hoping that this last stretch of games will bring us wins and the President’s Trophy. And standing in their way are the St. Louis Blues, the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But let’s take a step backwards. Here are the Fun Facts of Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.
Lining Up: Fun Facts
- The lineup for Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche would undergo very few changes. Sami Salo and Aaron Rome would play as a pairing tonight, in place of Marc Andre Gragnani and Andrew Alberts.
- No further changes were made.
- The First Period consisted of 1 goal, a ‘GREAT SAVE LUONGO’, a shot that went high, 25 shots on net and 8 penalties.
- Dale Weise’s penalty 36 seconds in would eventually lead to a goal made by Colorado Avalanche rookie: Gabriel Landeskog.
- GREAT SAVE LUONGO.
- Also, Ryan Kesler had a REALLY nice shot on net. Unfortunately, it went high.
- The Second Period saw 3 goals, 3 penalties and 25 shots on net.
- Aaron Rome did not return to the game due to a lower body injury late in the first period.
- Colorado would get one past Canucks net minder Roberto Luongo thanks to Jamie McGinn.
- However, the Canucks would answer with 2 goals of their own, thus tying up the game. Mason Raymond and Chris Higgins would be credited with the goals.
- The Third Period saw 3 lovely saves, 0 goals, 21 shots on net and 1 penalty.
- I think I over did the Luuu’s.
- Yes, yes I over did the Luuu’s.
- But you get the point. Roberto Luongo made some key saves during the third and not without help either. The goal post was also willing to give us a hand.
- Word is also going around that Kevin Bieksa’s theme song (SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS, SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS) was heard sometime during the third period.
- With no goals scored during the Third Period, the game was to go to overtime.
- But it would end and end quickly and with a win for the Vancouver Canucks, thanks to Chris Higgins.
Next Up: The Vancouver Canucks take on the LA Kings tonight at Rogers Arena at 7 pm. See you all then!
Dear Hockey Gods.
May there come a point in my life where I don’t start every game recap with ‘Dear Hockey Gods.’
But it seems to have stuck with me and now I can’t get rid of it.
But never mind that; Dear Hockey Gods.
You still have not given us our game back but we shall take these two points and we shall keep them, thank you very much.
Now on to tonight’s game:
Dear Hockey Gods….
Whatever our Captain decides to do; whether or not he decides to play in what would be his 553rd in his iron man streak, please give our team back the game I know they can play.
Dear Hockey Gods. Our Captain is very brave. Thank you for that. I would also like to thank you for giving us our first win in regulation time in 5 games.
Yes, that was our first win in regulation time in 5 games.
If you take a look here, you would’ve noticed that for the last 5 games that we’ve played, the Vancouver Canucks have won in either overtime or in a shootout.
For 5 games, the Vancouver Canucks lost a little of their touch.
For 5 games, the Vancouver Canucks did not play the way we knew them to, but somehow managed to scrape through 60 minutes of regulation time, 5 (or less) over time minutes and several rounds of a shootout and come out with a win.
Dear Hockey Gods: Thank you for this win in regulation, we shall take it and we shall take it.
But enough about that, let’s talk about the game tonight!