Book Review: 'A Great Game' - Prime Minister Harper's hockey history book

Cam Charron
November 20 2013 11:02PM

In his initial description of John Ross Robertson, the de facto "father of the Ontario Hockey Association" after Robertson wrestled control of the fledging amateur hockey organization from its original founding board, Stephen J. Harper calls him "nothing if not complex".

A more succinct description Harper could have used for Robertson? "Huge asshole" comes to mind. Robertson acts as the primary antagonist in Harper's new book A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey. He's shown, through numerous primary sources (mainly newspapers of the day) as a figure attempting to keep popular sports in the domain of the elite and railing against everything from play-for-pay athletes to the French. He used his newspaper, the popular Toronto Telegram, to cackle with glee at the struggles of businessmen and players attempting to create a stable professional hockey team within Toronto and be able to compete for the Stanley Cup with teams in cities like Ottawa and Montreal, whose colder climates made hockey a more viable sport in the days before indoor artificial surfaces were common.

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Canucks Army Postgame: Thanks, OBAMA

Rhys Jessop
November 20 2013 01:15AM

Tim Thomas stops Alex Burrows' shootout attempt en route to a 3-2 win.

There was a story making the rounds on Twitter this morning about Florida Panthers' interim coach Peter Horachek. To motivate the team, he told his players that the Panthers had never won at GM Place/Rogers Arena. Tim Thomas was having none of his crap, piping up and telling his team, "I have."

Well, now Thomas has won at Rogers Arena with two different organizations, leading the Florida Panthers to their first win in Vancouver since March 7th, 1994. Not to pump his tires too much though, the Canucks made it easy. John Tortorella called it the "worst game of the year." I'm inclined to agree with Tortorella, because I Watched This Ga-- oh we don't do that here? Okay, then read past the jump for more.

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Canucks Army GDT #23 - Panthers @ Canucks

Dimitri Filipovic
November 19 2013 01:09PM

Oh, Timmy. What have you gotten yourself into?

On paper you'd think that the Florida Panthers, a team with a 5-12-4 record and a -24 goal differential, are just what the doctor ordered for a reeling Canucks squad that can't buy a goal these days. After all, only two teams have allowed more goals (the Oilers and the Flames, which automatically makes this a fun stat) than the Panthers. That must be music to the ears of the Canucks players, coaching staff, and the fans; their team has managed to score exactly once in each of the past 4 games despite quite handily dominating 3 of them.

But let me caution you from assuming that it's far from a sure thing, because it's not. The Panthers most certainly aren't a good hockey club, but their underlying data is actually significantly better than you'd think a team that holds the type of Win-Loss record that they do would have, and they've got a goaltender in net that could very conceivably put together a brilliant performance to stifle the Canucks for what seems like the millionth time in a row.

Read on past the jump for a preview of Tuesday night's contest.

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Evening Headshots: November 18th

November 18 2013 09:24PM

The only thing uglier than Hunter Shinkaruk's ability to fight is this wispy teenage mustache. 

Good evening, and welcome to your daily dose of Headshots. There was a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, including the fact that I heard a 53 year old man scream "boom shaka-laka, boom-shaka-laka" at the top of his old as hell lungs today. Anyways, there's some more after the jump, so lets get at it!

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Canucks Army Contest: Our winning entry, the 'Bieska' rating

Cam Charron
November 18 2013 01:46PM

Grit personified.

We ran a contest at Canucks Army over the past 2 weeks, collecting entries for a "new stat" (particularly looking for one to quantify grit, because it's great when analysts try to do that) with the winner receiving tickets to this Saturday's Vancouver Canucks-Chicago Blackhawks game.

One entry stood above the rest. Our winning entry is @Sir_Earl's Bieska rating. We've re-printed his submission in full below:

The new statistic, called the Bieska (although many incorrectly assume that it is an acronym and write "BIESKA"), measures Don Cherry’s preference for players. Obviously the metric is based on toughness, but also takes into account other preferences of Don Cherry - place of birth (rewards good Canadian kids), visor use, his Leaf and Bruin homerism, and, of course, how easy or hard it is to pronounce the player's name.

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