Posts Tagged ‘ Vancouver ’

Big Buff Needs A New Home

Yup, I said it.  But it’s not what you’re thinking.

"Suck it, Vancouver!"

I love Dustin ‘Big Buff’ Byfuglien.  I think, like probably most ‘Peggers, he’s the player that I’m the most up and down with.  I haven’t loved any player on the Jets as much as I’ve loved Buff when he’s on, and he’s probably been my most hated player at times too. Whether it’s not hustling hard enough on the back-check, or a lazy turnover.  But nothing brings the crowd to their feet like a Big Buff clapper from the point that snaps the twine, or when he sends a guy literally flying, like only he can.

I’ve got a friendly rivalry with a pal who lives in Richmond, BC, so, naturally, we’re both gearing up for the only showdown of the season between the Jets and Canucks on March 8.

Back in 2010, before there were any serious whispers about an NHL team coming back to Winnipeg, I was just a regular Canadian hockey fan.  And here’s the honest-to-God truth: The only thing I vividly remember about the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup run is Dustin Byfuglien.

Specifically, the series between the ‘Hawks and ‘Nucks.  As a Canadian with no team to call my own, I was pulling hard for Vancouver to go all the way.  And let me tell you, when that final whistle blew, sealing the demise of the Canucks in the 2010 Playoffs, I knew one thing only: I hated Dustin Byfuglien.

That guy was parked in front of Luongo from the start of the series, to its finish.  He was smug, arrogant, big, strong, talented, and loved rubbing it his opponents’ faces.  My face.  But the real reason people hate(d) him, is because he’s damn good at what he does, and is effective.

Naturally, now that he represents Winnipeg, I love the guy.  But with every passing game, I feel more and more strongly that he needs to go back where he belongs; forward.

I am really having a tough time understanding why he was moved to defence, unless it was by his own request.  He’s easily one of the biggest, strongest players in the NHL, and has proven that he is far and away most effective when he’s parked in front of the net.

Sure, he’s got a hell of a slap shot, but he seems to struggle to hit the net a lot of the time.  He’s not the fastest skater, and everyone has seen how much he loves coming down off the point and going deep into the offensive zone.  So why are we surprised when he can’t make it back in time to even up a 2-on-1?  He’s an offensive-minded player, with the size and strength to wreak havoc in front of the net, and doesn’t stay in position on defence.  How many more reasons do we need to put him up on forward?

We’re at a little too critical of a point in time right now to be doing any experimenting, but I hope that Claude Noel will consider trying him out on forward maybe for some exhibition games in the next season.  Or hell, experiment with it on March 8 against the Canucks, and then ask Bobby Lu what he thinks of the decision after the game.


No-Touch Icing: Do It.

Last night was one of the very few times I’ve actually cringed, and been afraid for someone’s well-being while watching an NHL game. And ironically, that was the worst-looking hit of the night, and the guy sprang back up, while one of the more innocent looking hits caused a rather severe injury. But I digress.

I am talking, of course, about Vancouver’s Alex Edler running Boston’s Rich Peverley into the boards, as the two raced down the ice on an icing call. On a close icing call like this, the men involved in the sprint down the ice are going at incredibly fast speeds, and even a non-hockey fan watching the two kamikaze players race towards the end-boards could tell you that it is not going to end well.

It looks like Peverley’s left arm being up was what saved him, because I have to believe that, were it not, he would have suffered multiple serious facial and injuries and a concussion to boot.

The real story here, though, is not Edler, or even Peverley; but the Canucks goaltender, Roberto Luongo. As Edler raced down the ice, with Peverley in front of him, Luongo’s arm was up almost as soon as the two came over the blue line. Edler knew that it was going to be an icing call, but still chose to run Peverley hard into the boards.

Sometimes I wonder what goes through these morons’ heads when they decide to do something as disgusting as that. You can bet your ass that if Peverley suffered a brain injury, was paralyzed, or killed, Edler would be in front of a media scrum the next day, crying about how he never meant to hurt the guy, a-la Todd Bertuzzi. So then why the hell would you do it in the first place?

The only solution to this problem is to institute no-touch icing. Hitting is a big part of ice hockey, and it makes the game thrilling and exciting to watch, but not the type of hits that you see on icing calls. The ones that are just uncomfortable to watch.

No one is a bigger advocate of no-touch icing than Don Cherry; to see the hit, and what ‘Grapes’ had to say about it, click here.

Tim Thomas Flattens Daniel Sedin

"S'cuse me, just gonna get this here, THANK you..."

"Where the next Sedin at!?"

Penalty. Plain and simple.

Kerry Fraser’s article on describes the basics of Rule #69, which is all about goaltender interference. Basically what he says is that people are up in arms because Tim Thomas basically said “You can’t hit me, but I can sure as hell hit you!” and that does seem slightly unfair and one-sided, but unfortunately that is the reality of Rule #69. It absolutely is one-sided protection of goaltenders, and is meant to be that way.

In that case; change the rule, because what Thomas did was ridiculous. A two-minute minor for Unsportsmanlike would have sufficed, and in all honesty he was probably expecting to be penalized. When you’re up 8-1 near the end of the third, you can take a few liberties, especially if it allows you to get inside the heads of your opponents. But Thomas was just spanking Daniel Sedin, and anybody could tell you that what he did was completely unnecessary, not to mention a bit of a cheap shot.

If there is a rule stating players can’t touch the goaltenders, it only makes sense to have it go both ways. There is never a situation where the goalie should play the body and not the puck, and if you watch the replay of the incident (below), Thomas actually did almost get scored on, because his eyes were on Sedin and not the puck, which just barely managed to stay out of the net after clipping Thomas’ skate.

But the series is far from over, and I think tonight Thomas is going to find out that if he wants to dish it out, he’d better be prepared to take it.


Welcome to my new and improved blog, Journo JT!

I have officially severed ties with my old hub, Wrestle-Writing in Winnipeg, and have decided to evolve into much broader spectrum of topics and interests.  The reason for this switch is simple: Wrestling doesn’t define me.  My passion defines me.  And so this blog will serve as a much more enjoyable (and readable, in my opinion) medium on which I will shout to the world.

I am currently employed as an intern editor at a magazine publisher, where I will work for the remainder of the summer, before heading back to Red River College for my second year in the Creative Communications program.  As this is my first real step into the world of Journalism as a living, I plan on documenting my experiences as I dive head first into my field of choice; the good and the bad.

While I will still be frequently blogging about Pro Wrestling, I will now be able to focus on a much wider variety of things; my interests, my life, my goals, my dreams, the people who try to crush them, and their inevitable failures.  Newcomers are welcome and invited to subscribe to the blog, and can also feel free to check me out on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

My Red Wings were snuffed out of the NHL Playoffs last night, after suffering a crushing Game 7 defeat in the Western Conference semi-final.  Now we’re down to four, as Tampa Bay/Boston will take play tomorow evening, and Vancouver/San Jose will face off on Sunday.  With the Wings gone, I think I must now align with Tampa Bay, as this year they’re headed up by a new GM in my favourite player of all time, Steve Yzerman.  Would be nice to see him win the big one once again.

Any hockey fans out there?  Who are you betting on this weekend?