February 24 2012 09:38AM
This is a weekly feature that will highlight The Good, The Bad and The *fill in the blank* exciting things that are currently happening in the NHL. Did you know that Patrick Kane has a bobblehead doll that even comes with a mouthguard? Is Alex Ovechkin going through an NHL mid-career crisis? Does Roberto Luongo have a secret twitter account? Hockey: it comes with toys.
The Good: Goalies
I have a thing for goalies. A total and unconditional appreciation for the position they are in. Pressure is something that all athletes face, but goalies, they face just a little bit more pressure. You can have a really great team full of highly skilled offense and defense and it will not matter one bit if your goalie does not believe that he is master of the rink.
In some cities, fans get really hung up on the way a goalie performs, or doesn’t perform... Sometimes they even boo him. I know what you are thinking: “Who would do that?!” I am just shocked by this. I am also really glad that Vancouver is smoothly sailing into the playoffs with their #1 goalie leading the way. Things are looking a little turbulent for some other teams, ones that are known for their offensive prowess.
Take the Chicago Blackhawks for example, the mortal enemies of the Canucks.. Wait didn't Vancouver eliminate them in the first round of the playoffs last year, when they were the defending Stanley Cup Champions? That’s right; they have been downgraded to just another team in the Western Conference that is ”fun” to play against. Anyway, they're having a wee a little bit of a goaltending problem and that makes me happy. I hope they look at Vancouver's goalie tandem and get jealous, after all, the Canucks have 99 problems but goaltending ain't one.
“Who are you favorite goalies Marda? (Other than Luongo, of course)”
Well since you asked:
- Ryan Miller. We have the same last name and we are both awesome, so I am pretty certain that we are related. Also it’s always Miller Time for us. This Vezina Trophy winner was impressive (and terrifying to all Canadians) in the 2010 Winter Olympics back before I think that Milan changed his life … Lucic that is, not the city in Italy. Miller is an interesting character and as I wrote before, he needs his own reality show. I am not dropping this idea. This will happen one day.
- Pekka Rinne. I just love saying his name "Pekka Rinne" as if I'm one of the Mario Brothers. It’s just funnier that way. It also has the perfect balance of syllables. Last spring when the Canucks faced the Predators in the playoffs, this man scared me. But only while wearing his goalie mask because let’s face it, he is pretty darn cute. However, because he robbed Alex Burrows from getting a goal in his 500th game against the Predators on Tuesday night, I am a little mad at him and have nothing more to say at this time.
- Ilya Bryzgalov/Marc-Andre Fleury. You know what hockey needs more of? Entertaining personalities. These guys both have that, as you may have witnessed in the HBO 24/7 series. Yes we all know they are both amazingly skilled Stanley Cup winning goaltenders, but they are also hilarious. On being asked if he was starting in this year’s Winter Classic, Bryzgalov had this to say: "I have great news and even better news. Great news: I'm not playing tomorrow night. Good news: We have a chance to win the game." As for Fleury, he's just delicious. He's so tasty he has his own brand of cereal! Yeah. I want some of those by the way so if anyone has connections that would be great. Thanks.
The Bad: Dull Times
Something occurred to me this morning, which made me panic a little, as I was pondering my summer plans. “There is no hockey in summer!” I live in a perfectly oblivious little hockey bubble from October to April, May and June are just happy bonus months. But July – oh god, July!
So that kind of makes the fact that this last week has been kind of uneventful in the NHL a little bit better because at least lackluster hockey is still hockey. But lets not kid ourselves, this has been a slightly boring week. I know that the trade deadline is approaching and all, but nothing extremely exciting happened. The Canucks won some boring games, then won some exciting games and then lost all while waiting to play their top rival in the Western Conference, the Detroit Red Wings, on Thursday.
Oh yeah that was an exciting game and it showcased my love for Alex Burrows and his moments of glory, perfectly. I live for Canucks games. But other than the two most exciting teams playing a game (totally biased opinion) what else happened? Sidney Crosby hasn’t been a headline. Rick Nash is still in Columbus and there hasn’t been an exposé of him secretly being caught packing or looking at real estate anywhere. This is the calm before the storm right? Come Monday there will be so much to blog about that it will make my head spin and I will pray for the days before the trade deadline.
But right now? Sheesh! Where are the scandals? Where are the controversies? Where are Chris Higgins’ abs?
And the Trade Deadline
I try to imagine what a room full of bloggers on trade deadline day would look like. Would it be like the traders that work at the stock exchange, screaming and yelling about who is being bought and sold in the NHL as they quickly update their twitter with the news and scramble to write new posts for their blogs? Yes. That is exactly what it would look like. But with less pants and more Cheetos.
Who is nervous about waking up on Tuesday and crying? Anyone? I feel like a kid at Christmas. Really, things can only get better for Vancouver. If you want a real assessment then read what Thomas Drance has to say in his trade deadline preview. I really am just going into it with my usual blissfully optimistic self … and will hope and pray we don’t lose anyone. No really, I like our team. Even Dale Weise is growing on me, slowly. Very, very slowly.
Overall the deadline is exciting. Where will Rick Nash go? What will happen to Shea Weber and will he play for a team that will appreciate how amazing his playoff beard can be? That man needs to be on a team that can take his beard all the way to that beautiful Stanley Cup (as long as that team is Vancouver) Will there be a shocking trade that no one expected? I hope so. Hockey needs the excitement. Whatever happens though, I hope it benefits Vancouver. And I hope it makes the Blackhawks cry.