Enough is enough
Johnny is fed up. No more getting pushed around by Jaws.
Game 4 is five hours away, cheer like you’ve never cheered before.
Johnny is fed up. No more getting pushed around by Jaws.
Game 4 is five hours away, cheer like you’ve never cheered before.
Traveling with the Vancouver Canucks took an odd turn today.
I was happy as a clam – hold up, what does that even mean? Why are clams so happy? Last time I checked they were being rounded up to make Clamato juice, no?
Let’s try this again.
I was happy as a youngin’ getting his allowance (better but still not great – step it up Jory) when I was told there was room for little ol’ me on Air Canucks to travel to San Jose for the first round.
When I got on board I found myself in first class seated across from Dave Tomlinson at one of two tables at the front of the plane, meaning I was flying sitting backwards. Tomlinson in front, Jeff Vinnick to my left and John Shorthouse across from him.
(Shorthouse would like me to put – the dashing John Shorthouse.)
“Oh and add in that Vinnick and I have the same birthday, but he was born wayyyy before me.”
This is already the worst blog I’ve ever written and I’m only 171 words in.
Can I restart this?
We can restart this series?
The answer to both questions, unfortunately, is no. Both the Canucks and I have to dig ourselves out of this hole.
It all starts, as Henrik Sedin said this morning, with the first five minutes of Game 3 Sunday night in San Jose.
For me, it’s all about the next five words: INSERT SOMETHING CLEVER BEFORE POSTING.
If I can deliver, so can the Canucks.
(Shorthouse just shared his Welch’s Fruit Snacks with me – he is such BFF material!!!!)
This is by no means the situation Vancouver wanted to be faced with, but it’s by no means insurmountable, it’s totally mountable, he typed awkwardly wondering if that had ever been written before.
Win the first five minutes of Game 3. Then the first period. Then the second. Then the third. Score a few goals along the way, bruise a few bodies and make plenty of saves – it’s actually quite easy when you break it down.
Wait - I just remembered San Jose wants to win the series as well. Okay, it’s maybe not quite as easy as I had outlined earlier.
Either way I’m happy as a clam getting his allowance to tell you the mood around the team is light. Their body language suggests an eagerness to return to the ice, perhaps for revenge, by no means are they hanging their heads.
You, yes you, no hanging your head either, wherever you are, unless you’re getting a haircut and the barber asks you to.
This blog is as off the wall as that Michael Jackson album, I can’t remember what it’s called. Riding backwards on an airplane is clearly producing Bizarro Derek.
No worries, it’s nothing some
lounging by the pool at the hotel hard work at the hotel won’t fix.
May the 4th be with you and May the 4th be with us in San Jose.
P.S. – There will be a Game 5, get ready to cheer your heart out.
We put out the call for #DearCanucks submissions and a few creative Canucks fans out there responded.
We’ve received a handful of pictures and they’re getting better as we go; check out Cole and Bode (above) at the beach in Vancouver.
As I mentioned here, we’ve got three hard copies of the Dear Photograph book up for grabs with my top three favourite photos taking home prizes.
#DearCanucks will end on May 10th, so hurry up and take a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present, then tweet it or post it on Instagram using the hashtag #DearCanucks.
It always amazes me when a wacky idea works out.
As I wrote a few days ago in the Canucks.com feature Dear Photograph, I’m a huge fan of the website Dear Photograph, where people take a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present. It’s simple, yet sophisticated - like me, no one would say.
To make a long blog short, I exchanged a few emails with Taylor Jones, Founder & Chief Memory Curator for DearPhotograph.com, and, despite being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, he loved our Dear Photograph tribute.
He and I are both interested to see what Canucks fans produce in the #DearCanucks contest; for anyone new, we’re asking for you to put the Dear Photograph formula to work on your own pictures. Find a Canucks themed shot from the past and shoot it in the present, then tweet it or post it on Instagram using the hashtag #DearCanucks.
Taylor, along with Dear Photograph book publisher Harper Collins Canada Ltd, have offered up three copies of the hardcover book Dear Photograph as prizes for #DearCanucks entries. Submit yours today and I’ll post them here on Fort Nucks and they’ll be featured in a gallery on Canucks.com.
You reach a certain point on a lengthy road trip, such as the one the Canucks are on right now, where things stop making sense.
Up is down, left is right, blue is yellow, Ke$ha’s music sounds amazing and The Big Bang Theory tickles your funny bone.
You start to ponder things like why are pizza boxes square, pizzas round and pizza slices triangular? Why do dragonflies have legs, but they can’t walk? Why do I eat chips like a human in public, and like a savage, starved looney toon alone?
Don’t even get me started on the Internet. What is it? Where is it? How does it work? Think about that too much for too long and you’ll go all primal like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Zoolander.
I passed the point of no return early Tuesday morning when I woke up and couldn’t remember what day it was, what city we’re in or what my room number was. It’s a little like being kidnapped, except without the terror and ransom and Liam Neeson and all that. The helplessness and confusion is truly bizarre and it’ll only get worse Wednesday.
We woke up in Nashville Monday, St. Louis Tuesday and Wednesday it’ll be rise and shine in Dallas. Time travel is trippy; I’ve learned to just enjoy the ride. Be at the team bus 15 minutes early, eat when there’s food and smile – life’s too short to let the grind get you down.
There are plenty of people void of smiles today after what went down Monday at the Boston Marathon and my thoughts are with everyone affected by this senseless violence. The more details that surface, the sicker I get, especially being a father myself, knowing that a young boy was taken from us moments after hugging his dad at the finish line.
Sports always take a backseat when tragedy strikes, and for good reason. Sports are here to take our minds off the mundane, fill us with hope, joy and surprise and simply give us an outlet for the passion we are all filled with.
A tragedy like this puts everything in perspective and that’s important, especially come playoff time.
The Canucks and Blues faceoff tonight in St. Louis and it’s a potential post-season matchup; emotions will be running high with both teams in search of two points, but it’s not life or death, we’ll fly to Dallas post-game regardless of result and St. Louis will wait the arrival of Phoenix.
To all those feeling the affects of Monday’s violence, hopefully sports will act as a return to normalcy, as impossible as that will ever be again.
Vancouver’s roster features Massachusetts native Cory Schneider, a product of Marblehead, who has likely taken this to heart more than anyone else on the team. Look for him to play with a little more gusto tonight in memory of the deceased and all those impacted.
P.S. – Hug someone you love. I’ll be giving out some big ones when I get home. I miss you.
It’s time for me to come clean: I love Nashville.
The Music City is among my favourite to visit for many reasons and that was before I actually got the chance to really do some exploring, which I did Sunday.
After practice I was wandering around the main strip downtown looking for a good place to eat when I ran into Kevin Bieksa and Cory Schneider. They were also on a hunt for grub, so the three amigos went on an adventure.
Nashville is a lot like Las Vegas (they actually call it Nash Vegas) in that every restaurant boasts having THE GREATEST ___________________ EVER. We ended up at the Paradise Park Trailer Resort, which was actually a burger joint and not a resort at all, thankfully. And, although I was hungry enough that the tongue of an old shoe might have been tasty, I can honestly say I had one of the best burgers ever. The tater tots on the side we’re pretty scrumptious as well, I even put some in my pocket for later on – GOSH!
We walked back to the hotel afterward and I was in my room cutting Monday’s Behind the Lens all afternoon. Then I looked outside. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining a brilliant shine. I was swift to close my laptop and bolt out the door.
Live music is everywhere along the main strip making for a very lively atmosphere. Most people are here for a good time, not a long time, so there are characters everywhere; I stuck to myself mostly, had some fantastic ice cream and just soaked it all in.
WHAT THE WHAT? YOU WERE WALKING AROUND LIKE A DORK EATING ICE CREAM WHEN THE FINAL ROUND OF THE MASTERS WAS PLAYING OUT?!?
Yes, yes I was.
The Canucks were not.
Nearly every member of the team was hankered down in front of a TV somewhere; Keith Ballard stayed in his room at the hotel and said he didn’t move for roughly six hours, he enjoys watching golf in peace and quiet.
Ryan Kesler, Roberto Luongo, Jason Garrison, Alex Burrows and Bieksa wanted the opposite, so they all gathered at a restaurant downtown, a restaurant that shall go unnamed - you’ll understand why in a second.
The boys had been there most of the afternoon taking in the action and when it came down to Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera in a playoff hole, tensions were high, according to Bieksa.
Then, with Cabrera lining up to putt, the TVs went black. All of them. Throughout the entire restaurant.
Not panicking, the guys turned to their phones for updates and knew within minutes Scott had won to become the first-ever Australian Masters winner.
Bieksa said they laughed off the timing of the blackout, but they were the only ones that did.
“The older gentlemen watching were pretty angry,” laughed Bieksa. “So we told them who won and they kept questioning how we knew that. I told them you can get updates on your phones these days. Still, there was one guy who did not believe us. ‘Scott won? Scott won? How did that happen??’ It was hilarious.”
After that it was a quiet night across the board in preparation for the Nashville Predators this evening. Expect to see a different Canucks team out there tonight.
P.S. - Our bucket list is getting long, but add Nashville!
Well that happened.
The Canucks, who held a 3-2 lead in the third period during Saturday afternoon’s game in Denver, ended up losing to the Avalanche 4-3. Bonkers, blarg and bummer.
We’re halfway to Nashville as I write this and the plane is noticeably quieter than normal. That was an uncharacteristic loss for the guys, so I think they’re all taking a little time to reflect. Or I can’t hear them because I have noise-cancelling headphones on. Either way, I’m sure the ride will get livelier as we get closer to the Music City.
Post-game a lot of reporters were quizzing the Canucks on if they took the Avalanche lightly and from what I observed, they most certainly did not. I’ve never seen a team so focus on a common goal than this squad; I even think it trumps the preparation I saw during the incredible run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. (Ugh – sorry to bring that up out of nowhere. Makes me punchy.)
Anyways, all I’m saying is that when it’s time to focus, these guys lock into the zone and become robots – think Terminator, not Johnny Five. BUT when it’s time to play, they play.
Friday was a great example of that. Soccer is normally the team’s warm-up game of choice, yet for whatever reason, when we arrived to the rink for practice, the Sedins, Edler and Hamhuis (who had all taken a cab to the Pepsi Center ahead of the team bus), had created ‘volleysoccer’ and were in the middle of a heated game.
Two players to a side, kick to serve, ball can hit the ground upon service, then three dribbles or less and it had to be over the net, constructed of three long pieces of blue foam padding. The Sedins beat Hamhuis and Edler and it looked like the game was over when Kevin Bieksa came in and kicked the net over in a hilarious half-kidding fit of rage that more players couldn’t play. Henrik told him he could play, Kesler too.
Kesler joined the Sedins, while Juice partnered with Eager and Hammer and the World Championship of Volleysoccer played out, much to the amusement of everyone.
Teammates, pretending to stretch and prepare for practice, stood around and watched the back and forth battle; Derek Roy, riding an exercise bike behind the makeshift halfway court, laughed and laughed and laughed. He admitted being a bit caught off guard with the level of competitiveness in pre-practice warm-up – apparently they play nice in Dallas?
The game came down to a thrilling final point and after Hamhuis blazed a serve over the net, he got a toe under Daniel Sedin’s header of a return, allowing Edler to wallop the ball onto the ground past Kesler for the point and the win and a little celebratory hoorah.
Moral of the story: the Canucks compete hard at everything and I mean everything. They don’t even take warm-up lightly.
Sunday is a practice day in Nashville, then this trip gets real, like really really real, with three games in four nights beginning Monday.
Vancouver’s final game of the regular season plays out two weeks from now, and then it’s playoff time. The Canucks will be ready, what about you?
Time to get honk tonk!
P.S. – Say whip. Whip. Now say Cool Whip. Cool WHip. Whip. Whip. Cool whip. Cool WHip. Bahahahahha.
Greetings from Denver!
It’s Friday morning and the sun is shining, the Canucks are on a four-game winning streak and there’s an Urban Outfitters at the mall across the street. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Thursday was a travel day for the team; we took off at noon and got to the hotel around 3 p.m. Poof, just like that, everyone went their separate ways and I didn’t see any of the team, other than coach Vigneault in the gym, for the rest of the night.
That being said, I had plenty of interaction with the guys prior to our free evening in Denver. Here are some tidbits, just for you.
-Had a good chat with Cory Schneider in line at a coffee house before getting on the bus in Calgary. He said he’s feeling a lot better and he looked it. Said he slept and slept and slept before he woke up to watch the Canucks play the Flames and, as luck wouldn’t have it, the game wasn’t televised. He listened to the call on the Team 1040.
-There was a lively card game on board Air Canucks and although I didn’t see who won, I’m assuming it was Roberto Luongo. When I turned to see what all the commotion was about, he was pumping both arms in the air while swivling his head side-to-side. Happy dance?
-Apparently yesterday was my first time flying. We went through customs in Calgary and, being a full-on genius, I had a bottle of water in my laptop bag and had my toiletry bag with me, filled with liquids and gels over 100 ml. Move over Alicia Silverstone, I’m the clueless one.
-It was Alex Burrows’ birthday yesterday and he got a nice gift from Seattle Seahawks all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman, who was in town last Monday on a scouting mission, sent shirts for Burrows, Schneider and Pinizzotto, the three who took part in the shtick. Those three are going to look killer at the beach this summer, amiright? Wicked shirts, thanks Sherman.
-Häagen-Dazs ice cream tastes better 35,000 feet in the air. Don’t ask me why.
-Jeff Vinnick and I went to Jurassic Park 3D last night, do yourself a favour and go as well. After waiting in a huge line, we finally got into the theatre and found two seats – wait, I forget you can’t see me winking – we were the only two people in the theatre. It was an impromptu man date, whatever. Anyways, I was 10 when that flick first came out and 10-year-old Derek was in awe once again. That movie gets me every time. Then I had trouble sleeping after eating popcorn, Milk Duds and drinking a slurpee, I don’t remember that happening back in 1993. Getting old rules.
Practice day today, we’re headed to the rink shortly. I’ll check back in this afternoon if there’s anything noteworthy of note for your notes. Until then, happy Friday!
P.S. – While I agree with the masses the T-Rex making the water shake in the cup on the dash scene is the best in Jurassic Park, it’s pretty sick when Robert Muldoon, Jurassic Park’s game warden, thinks he has a raptor in his sights and is then attacked from the side. “Clever girl” is one of my favourite lines ever. Oh and every time I eat Jello I shake it on my spoon like Lex Murphy when she sees the raptor come into the main complex. I guess the truth is out now: I’m a massive Jurassic Park/dinosaur nerd. We can still be best friends, right?
I think we’re leaving Calgary just in the nick of time – there’s an odd white substance falling from the sky.
The only snow I like came up with the genius lyrics A licky boom-boom down, good thing we’re now headed to Colorado where there’s
no snow tons more snow. Dang it. I didn’t think this opening through at all.
Thinking things through, it would seem, isn’t the way to go about anything these days. Take Dustin Butler, for example. The University of Calgary goalie got the call of a lifetime yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks required his services.
Had the 25-year-old taken even a second to fully digest what was about to come, he’d have gone mad from nervousness. The butterflies in his stomach would have turned on each other; it would have been a rainbow of carnage.
Butler didn’t over analyze anything, he just rolled with it and what a day the kid had. When we talked to him post-game he was still a little shaky and rightfully so, he is the talk of the town, a real feel-good story in an NHL city that won’t have playoff hockey again this year.
His parents and sisters and fiancé and friends all attended the game and before getting on the bus to head back to the team hotel, Butler got a rousing send off from a group of amazing Canucks fans gathered outside.
The support the Canucks get in Calgary is second to only Vancouver; this is a home away from home. Thank you for that.
Now we’re off to Denver. I’ll touch base when we land with any in-flight news you may need to know. Like what movie Keith Ballard watched. Or who cheated at the card game Alex Burrows or Roberto Luongo. Or what snacks I wolfed down while getting the stink eye from Dale Weise.
My favourite part about going to Denver is when I call home and talk to my almost three-year-old son Denver. He asks where I am, I say Denver, he says ‘no, daddy, I’m Denver,’ I laugh and we do it all over again until I crack roughly two minutes later.
P.S. - I was in room 1111 at the hotel in Calgary and, not reading too much into that whatsoever, I believe that counted for a wish. I’m glad you agree because I made a gooder!