Afternoon Headshots: January 31st

Thomas Drance
January 31 2013 03:13PM

 
Photo of the Vancouver Sports Media reacting to the Canucks' decision to start Luongo on Friday.

Well here is your must hear soundbite of the day, as Harrison Mooney tracked down the audio from Roberto Luongo slyly mocking Twitter anti-hero Damien Cox for being a puppet following Wednesday night's Canucks victory over the Colorado Avalanche. This is all sorts of amazing. [Pass it to Bulis]

For what it's worth Damien Cox mentioned the incident specifically in his write up of Wednesday night's game, while also comparing Roberto Luongo to an evicted tennant who turns to squatting rather than vacating the premeses. Yep that's perfectly analogous to the situation in Vancouver's crease. [Toronto Star]

Staying on the topic of the Strombonian one, here's some fun footage of the knob save heard around the globe! Well really it was just an equipment quirk, and that puck didn't look like it was going in anyway, but still! [NHL.com]

Because goaltending is all anybody wants to talk about in the Vancouver sports media market (and here too), let's stay on the theme. Here's Tony Gallagher on whether or not Roberto Luongo has reasserted himself as the Canucks "number one goaltender" with a series of sparkling performances to begin the season. It's a good enough take just for that, but I swear to god I nearly fell out of my seat when I read Tony praise Alain Vigneault's handling of his goaltenders. Seriously though: that happened. Also I just saw a pig fly by my window. Fuck. [The Province]

Mike Gillis addressed Dale Weise's injury status (he called it a "neck injury" which sounds to cynical old me like it's a concussion), and said a few choice things regarding the Canucks' goaltending situation in an interview with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price on the Team 1040 this afternoon. You can hear the full interview here. [TeamRadio]

The Canucks continue to do excellent work promoting mental health awareness, and are leading a charge (with the other Canadian NHL clubs on board) with a new "Hockey Talks" initaitve. Extremely proud of the organization for their leadership on this issues, it's one that is very personal to me. Ed Willes has the story. [The Province]

More links, photos and observations on the other side of the jump.

Canucks Hockey Blog, the only people in the smylosphere who aren't obsessing about Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider apparently, point out the obvious: that tomorrow's Canucks v. Blackhawks game has the making of a bloodbath. I tend to think that while the likes of Bieksa, Volpatti, Burrows and Kassian will make sure to finish every hit on Duncan Keith every opportunity they get on Friday, if the game is close it should at least somewhat resemble an actual hockey game. I hope. [Canucks Hockey Blog]

Daniel Wagner writes that Zack Kassian isn't really benefitting from playing with the Sedin twins yet, which, frankly I don't really agree with. Sure, Kassian hasn't been the recipient of all that much Sedinery in the early going, but playing with the twins full-time entails you to: lots of space (since the opposition's defense focuses in on two of the world's most creative offensive talents), loads of power-play time, and all of the offensive zone starts. [Pass it to Bulis]

Jason Botchford describes Zack Kassian as an immovable force in the slot, and laments that the twenty-two year old forward isn't getting his due from Canucks fans (many of whom still get emotional at the mere invocation of Cody Hodgson's name). The immovable force in the slot thing is so, so critical. When Vancouver has lost playoff series in the recent past (Blackhawks x2, Bruins, Kings) they lost to teams that weren't necessarily tougher - regardless of what the hockey media tells you - but were certainly bigger, and controlled the space inbetween the circles at both ends of the rink. Kassian's presence could well go a long way towards ameliorating that parituclar deficiency, at least in the offensive end. [White Towel]

Finally, it's official Canucks photographer Jeff Vinnick's birthday today. As a blog-runner, I'm truly not sure what I would do without his endless stream of priceless Canucks photos, and I've even built entire posts around his stellar work. So let's finish the posts with one of my favorite silly photos of the Sedin twins that he snapped way back when.

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 John Andress
January 31 2013, 09:41PM
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Great caption on the photo. My enjoyment of your wit, already substantial, grows by leaps and bounds. Cox is a know-it-all pain in the ass and it is no surprise that he ineffectively tries to deflect Roberto's barb and point the attention elsewhere. Nice work Thomas Drance. Great work Roberto Luongo.

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#2 Jeremy
February 01 2013, 11:12AM
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Gallagher takes a lot of heat in the Smylosphere, and some of that is fair (I think he writes to get reactions a lot of the time, and the Thornton ambush incident didn't make him look good) but he's also a good writer with a long history with this team, and loads of connections. (If I'm not mistaken, he's VP of the PHWA, which isn't nothing). He's been praising V's goaltending management for a few weeks on 1040... I think in the end, he's generally pretty fair with his opinions, even if the more negative ones tend to be his loudest, and probably deserves a bit more respect than most of us give him.

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#3 John Andress
February 01 2013, 03:31PM
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@Jeremy

I agree that Tony Gallagher is knowledgeable and well-connected in the world of hockey journalism and the Vancouver Canucks, past and present. What I object to is the perpetual Eeyore-ishness of his attitude. "Oh dear. Here we go again. Everything is wrong. Everything is awful Everything is going to hell in a hand-basket. Nobody except me really knows what they are doing. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear." I think that everybody who reads his work should be given a razor blade and a quarter to phone 911 when his depression overcomes them. Life is too short to read Eony Gallagher columns or watch Ingmar Bergman movies.

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#4 JCDavies
February 01 2013, 07:14PM
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@John Andress

I agree. Nice word "Eeyore-ishness" btw.

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#5 JCDavies
February 01 2013, 07:35PM
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@Jeremy

My issue with Gallagher is that he not trying to write interesting journalistic hockey pieces; he is trying to sell page views and newspapers and embellishes to do so. Instead of relying only on quality writing to generate interest in his articles he uses "scare words" to exaggerate the urgency or importance of an event and get emotional responses from his readers and, therefore, sell more page views and newspapers.

I think Gallagher is good enough to not do this and still sell newspapers but even if he wasn't I don't really have a problem with him, or anybody else, using this tactic to generate readership (it's his job). I do think it hurts the credibility of his opinions, however.

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