Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's Wang This Month

I'd meant for an entire week after the Canucks' season was over to write my own take on their season and how they missed the playoffs. I thought this was a pretty self-serving and douchebag thing to do, but then I read a post by Matthew Good about the Canucks which I disagreed with greatly, and I decided that dammit, if Matthew Good can do it, then so can I. Matthew Good has always been an inspiration to me musically, in that listening to him emboldened me in writing songs because I refused -- and still do -- to allow him to be the biggest musician to come out of the Coquitlam area; the same principle holds here.

I never got around to it, of course, but the long and short of it was this: the Canucks were never good enough or deep enough (although this was changing, which we should thank Dave Nonis for), even when healthy, to win the Cup anyway. When healthy, they were definitely good enough to reach the second round, but the injuries they suffered were ridiculous. Besides, it always seemed clear that the plan was to hold on to their assets until this offseason when they finally rid themselves of $9M in salary tied up in Naslund and Morrison. It had to be this way given the absolutely insane prices people are asking for rentals these days at the trade deadline (Kesler, Edler, and Schneider for Brad "$7.8M" Richards1?!) and Dave Nonis was wise to not make any deals.

The Sedins are facing all kinds of questions about whether they have enough grit in their game to succeed in the playoffs, but people tend to forget that the Sedins, despite some dry spells this season and their illness-affected 2007 playoffs, had always been solid playoff performers and are extremely effective when they stick to their cycle game. They finished the season off strong, as well.

People were calling for Vigneault's head because the team was playing boring defensive hockey, but I thought he was a good coach and made do with what he had. Let's not forget -- let's not forget, dude -- that the offensive juggernaut Canuck teams of the early part of this decade tended to evaporate in the playoffs, with the West Coast Express line consistently underperforming in their three playoff rounds. Having said that, you cannot convince me that Trevor Linden should have been sat in favour of Rick Rypien and Byron Ritchie.

Then Nonis was fired. So much for my opinion.

Much has been written about Francesco Aquilini's decision to fire him, and I tend to side with those writers who consider it a really bad move made by a meddling owner who doesn't know as much about hockey as he thinks. Having said that, new GM Mike Gillis' first press conference indicates that he might not be a total clown either, so I'm cautiously optimistic. His interest in improving scouting is something I am 100% behind, and yes, I also think the Canucks could use some more grit, because those are the kinds of players that succeed in the playoffs. Unfortunately, there's no tree where you can pick Jarome Iginlas, so it'll be interesting to see what happens this offseason.

Despite the constant stream of crap coming out of Canuckville for the last month, this was a beautiful moment:

(link for you Facebookers)

I'm really excited about the new Sloan album coming out in June. Surprisingly, I learned about it from their American label first. I've already pre-ordered it in the hopes that I get an autographed copy like I did with their last album. I've also already listened to it a number of times on their Yep Roc website, and I really like it, with the disclaimer that I've only repeatedly listened to Jay's and Chris' songs. I've decided that I like Yep Roc, although according to the interviews on this CBC Radio 3 blog they were previously on the same label as Berkeley's own William Hung.

I've recently been watching clips on YouTube from the original British version of Whose Line is it Anyway? I never realized until now how much it influenced me. It was the first time I really thought "I grew up watching this" about any show. When I was a kid, I didn't always want to be Trevor Linden, or an astronaut, or a rock star: I wanted to be Tony Slattery. If you've only seen the American version, check out the original, because you're in for a real treat.

Some highlights:

  • Stephen Fry's "worst things to say to the Royal Family" -- for those of you keeping score at home, he's a longtime comedic partner of House himself, Hugh Laurie:


  • Tony Slattery's "There's no free lunch":


  • Tony Slattery's "Pecking order for fruit":


  • The American version wasn't without highlights either. Here's Robin Williams guesting:


It's been a big month for video games. Between Smash Brothers and Mario Kart, I think I've got enough game to last me for the next year. I still haven't finished Guitar Hero 3, though. On the plus side, I've been playing more actual guitar, which is nice. Thinking about Matthew Good reminds me that I should be playing that right now instead of blogging, so I'll go do that. After Mario Kart.

Current Music: Sloan - If I Could Change Your Mind

1. Also, Brad "I had sex with Drummond's 17-year-old cousin whom I met in a bar shortly after winning the Conn Smythe" Richards, which is a story for another day.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008