7Cheers and Jeers!
Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Cheers and Jeers: Boxing Day

I hope everyone reading this who celebrates Christmas got all the gifts they wanted this holiday season and had a merry ol’ time with friends, family and those closest to them!

Speaking personally, I couldn’t have had a better holiday season if I tried. From the Christmas parties and family dinners, all the way to the turducken sandwich at Meat & Bread (a must-have, trust me), it was just a great December. It was a great December for yours truly, anyway.

This month wasn’t as kind to the Canucks. They didn’t get any coal under the tree that I know of but make no mistake; they took their lumps. They’ve lost eight of their last nine games, since losing Bo Horvat to injury in a December 5th win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Maybe there was a win under their tree, and they can cash in on their first game back from the break against the Chicago Blackhawks this Thursday? Wouldn’t that be swell?

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Until then, you’ve got the World Junior Hockey Championships, and that’s always great hockey. And if you’re reading this blog, odds are you’re a Canadian, which means you get a rare chance to cheer for a winning team. So there’s that, for whatever that is worth.

Cheers to Elias Pettersson scoring the first goal of the World Juniors for Canucks prospects. Seriously, I didn’t even have time to write this post, and he’s already potted his first goal. This guy is just unreal. Did we expect anything less than utter dominance from puck drop, though?

Jeers to TSN for not offering coverage of the Team Sweden vs Team Belarus game on any of their five channels. It sounds like this is the only game that TSN won’t cover for the World Juniors, but still, it’s a sizable omission. Let’s put the Pettersson hype aside for a second and look at this from a national perspective. Rasmus Dahlin, who is the likely first overall pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, is playing in that game. It’s ironic because TSN has played a massive role in driving draft interest in the hockey market, so you figure they’d keep it going full-throttle. Oh well.

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Cheers to Brock Boeser for scoring his 20th goal before Christmas, activating a Schedule A bonus for $212,500. There’s just no stopping this guy, it seems.

Jeers to everyone involved in the Alexander Burmistrov situation. In case you missed it, Burmistrov retired from the NHL on Christmas Eve. It was clear from the moment that Burmistrov complained publicly about messaging and confusion about his role that his time with the Canucks was nearing its end. That’s never a smart thing to do when you’re near the bottom of the lineup. By that same token, I kind of see Burmistrov’s point. It’s not like he was playing poorly when he had the opportunity to play. Burmistrov has one fewer even strength point than Sam Gagner and as many all situation points as Brandon Sutter. I wouldn’t argue he’s more important to the Canucks success than either of those two, but what about players like Nic Dowd or Michael Chaput, who Burmistrov sat for on several occasions? In much the same way I empathized with Nikita Tryamkin’s frustration at not playing at the beginning of last season, I get where Burmistrov is coming from in this one. He retires ranked 11th among Canucks forwards in five-on-five points per hour and has defensive utility. I’d argue that Burmistrov should have been in the lineup when everyone was healthy. Considering the injuries and his ice-time since, it’s easy to see why he gave up on making it work with the Canucks.

Cheers to the Hockey Night in Canada crew for showing off their “The Flow” hoodie during an intermission broadcast in the Canucks loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. All the credit for that goes to CanucksArmy OG Managing Editor Cam Davie and CanucksArmy contributor Grainne Downey, who teamed up to create the design and get the shirts and hoodies off the ground and into Canucks fans wardrobes. It’s always great to see charity initiatives like that get the attention they deserve.

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Jeers to anyone who was giving the Canucks a hard time for playing Boeser a game after he suffered a bone contusion on his foot. I get where you’re coming from, and it’s well-intentioned. By that same token, that might be a little overboard. Athletes (and hockey players, almost to a fault) will always play through injuries if they can. Especially in an instance like this, where it seems unlikely that further harm on that bone contusion would harm his long-term trajectory. If this were something like a knee sprain (aren’t those familiar…) or a concussion, I would get it. Those have severe long-term ramifications on player’s careers and quality of life. I just don’t see that being the case with this particular injury. And it looks like it isn’t even slowing Boeser down, as he’s scored in each of the three games since suffering that injury. I know the Canucks training staff hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt over these last few seasons, but just this once, it seems like they knew what they were talking about.