The Good The Bad and The Heart of Hockey

The boys of Team Canada are certainly disappointed.
But hold your heads high, guys. We’re proud of you.
(Photo by Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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. Have the Boston Bruins started losing games yet? Has anyone figured out where exactly “The Nuge” is from? Will Patrick Kane ever stop chewing his mouth guard? It’s hockey, a sport full of more mysteries than a Sherlock Holmes marathon.

The Good: What Injuries?

David Booth is coming back! Well, soon. Has anyone even noticed that he’s been gone? How about Aaron Rome? Chris Higgins? (Ok, I actually did notice and miss Higgins). I find it fantastically uplifting that despite the various injuries that have plagued them this season, the Canucks have still managed to climb their way to the top of the Northwest Division. And they haven’t stopped there.

After playing 41 games, the halfway mark in the season, the Canucks have won the most games in the league and currently sit in the NHL’s top spot with 53 points. Ahhh, the air is so fresh and crisp up here, isn’t it? The good news is that they still have a healthy Sami Salo. I swear if the hockey gods do anything to hurt him because I wrote this … well, just don’t blame me.

Now the question is who will get shuffled around and off the second line once David Booth does return? That is not too terrible of a problem for the Canucks to have.

The Bad:  The Bruins

Ok Vancouver. Brace yourself. The Boston Bruins are the next team that the Canucks will face. Can someone please point me in the direction of who scheduled the time for this game. 10:00 am on a Saturday? Really? I don’t even have my first cup of coffee by 10:00am on a Saturday. Are there even any pubs open at this time? Does the NHL feel that Vancouver needs to watch this game while still mildly half asleep?

This highly anticipated matchup is going to be a nail biter indeed. It is more than just a game for two points. It’s about standing up to the kid that bullied you and took your lunch money. It’s about finding your own inner strength and showing that a debilitating heartbreak only makes you stronger. It’s about having something to prove: that the Canucks are better than the Bruins.

I believe that they are. I believe that the Sedins are nothing but classy and do not need to hurt their opponents with their fists but by scoring goals. I believe that Luongo actually has the confidence of Keyser Söze and will finally reveal himself as a punishing and ruthless goalie. I believe that the Canucks are absolutely capable of winning this game.

Bring it on Boston. We’re ready for you.

And The Heart of Hockey

To the Canadian boys in the World Junior Championship, I salute you. The effort that you displayed in the game against Russia, getting yourselves out of a 4 goal deficit and coming just one goal away from tying the game, is truly inspirational. You have the hearts of champions.

It is an innate part of our human nature to want to triumph. When it comes to hockey, it doesn’t matter what stage the performance takes place on, we want our country to win. Team Canada, you rallied, pulled yourselves together and made such a valiant attempt to come back and keep yourselves in the game. That is the part of a competitor and athlete that should be lauded and praised.

The heartbreak was evident and everyone in Vancouver can relate to that devastation. But you still have one more game to play so go get that Bronze medal for yourselves! This country is behind you and we will all be cheering for you.