Dallas Stars vs. Vancouver Canucks: Q&A with the Legion of Blog
Jordan Bowman of the Legion of Blog talks to us about that one time he hung out with Eddie Lack, the continuing twists of John Tortorella's coaching career, and how to interpret the many looks of Kevin Bieksa....
Last week there was some disappointment expressed in the lack of snark in the Q&A with the Devils. Well you know what, ictavsfans? Obscene Alex and I do our darndest to get under the skin of these opposing bloggers. Sometimes they just don't bite back. I guess that's what happens when a serious blogger is writing about a crappy team. See, if you're writing about a crappy team, it's really best to have as much of a sense of humor as possible. (it helps to balance out the sleepless nights spent weeping into that pillow with the Stars logo that you've had since you were a kid)
Well anyway... fear not! This post has it all! The following will have you laughing along with the fun-loving Kevin Bieksa, breaking down locker room doors at the shopping mall ice rink with John Tortorella, hanging out with that nice boy Eddie Lack, praying over the Sedins' soul(s), and humming the latest rock hits to come out of Vancouver.
Pretty much a day in the life of a Canucks fan.
Obscene Alex and I really dug deep on the analysis this time in order to bring you today's question and answer with Jordan Bowman. Jordan is famous for his previous work here on DBD, and also possibly for his work with another, less important blog, the Province's Legion of Blog.
Our questions, his answers:
Obscene Alex: Firstly, what's it like to be a fan of a team with twin soulless ginger superstars?
It's awesome! Just in case their gingerness didn't drive home the fact that they have no souls, their dance moves in the "Swedish Twins" commercial years ago confirmed it.
Seriously though, it's strange being a fan of the team in the era of the Sedins, which is a time I know will be fondly looked back on forever. Knowing you are watching the best and most exciting duo that will ever play for you makes you instantly nostalgic. Don't get me wrong, they still have some solid years left, but we are definitely past the "Monorail Episode of The Simpsons" period with the Sedins. Hopefully we don't see them go to 25 seasons in the NHL where we just politely watch them play out of obligations to our early fandom.
Defending Big D: Last summer I, and I don't think I was alone on this one, thought that Vancouver would be on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in (largely due to the aftermath of the Tortorella implosion), while the Stars would be securely ensconced in a top three divisional placing. One could say the tables have turned a bit on this one. What are your thoughts thus far on the season for the Canucks? Better? Worse? Exactly as you expected?
It would be crazy to say this is exactly what I expected, but equally crazy to say this is worse than I expected. [Ed. note: I'm not entirely certain this makes sense.] Even with their recent struggles, this Canucks season has been awesome. I don't care if they were on top of the NHL standings for half a period, just the fact that they were AT ALL is more than any Canucks fan could have hoped for this year. The team feels very different, in a good way. No longer do you feel when watching that a 3-1 deficit is too much to come back from (although we still knew when the Stars hung 6 on Vancouver back in Oct. that the team was probably finished). Role players are being used properly, Radim Vrbata has looked like the missing piece on the Sedin line and recent struggles aside, Ryan Miller has turned in some great performances.
Every single win this season after last year seemed like a bonus, and fan expectations were low. Unfortunately, ever since the whole "top of the NHL standings" thing, the fanbase seems to have forgotten last season and are expecting the current Canucks to go out and be world beaters every night. The talk around town after the disastrous road trip (and brutal homecoming against the Rangers) is people wondering if this is just a slump, or if the Canucks have been *gasp* exposed?
I don't care what the answer is. After last season, I'm just glad they've won some games and are playing watchable hockey.
OA: Seriously, why do you keep doing that to Eddie Lack?
Eddie is the friendliest, nicest, most genuine dude I've ever met [Ed. note: Name dropper...], and man, my heart goes out to him. The whole "goalie controversy" thing looked put to rest when Miller was playing strong, but now that he's struggling and the team is in a slump, there are legitimate rumblings from the fans that people want the Lackster in net.
Which, the way the team has played in front of both goalies, wouldn't make a difference. The defence is so awful right now they'd be just as good if they had one of those wooden stand up goalie boards that kids use to practice shooting start in net. As a Canucks fan who has seen the situation beaten to death in the Luongo/Schneider era, the last thing I want is another "goalie controversy". Seriously, it's our greatest hit and we keep...on...playing it. If the Canucks were a rock band, "Goalie Controversy" would close out every concert. The preceding encore songs would be "Twin Soulless Gingers" and "Talkin' 'Bout The '94 Cup Run".
DBD: Your thoughts on Willie Desjardins. And once again, you're welcome.
I'll send another fruit basket. I love that guy. Not the most charismatic coach in the world, but his no-nonsense approach has been well received after our last coach and his polarizing "all nonsense, all the time" style. Although, to be fair, at this point last season John Tortorella was very popular with Canucks fans and the team was crushing everyone they played. We'll see if Willie Desjardins tries to fight an opposing coach between periods in the next couple weeks, but I certainly hope not.
The only other person who would hope that doesn't happen more than me would be the opposing coach. Willie, like most people with a mustache (aside from movie director John Waters) looks like he could kick some ass.
OA: Does Kevin Bieksa have other facial expressions?
See, this is the perfect question for fans outside of Vancouver to ask, because on the surface it may seem like he just has that one look: Smug Smirk with a hint of Scowl.
Actually, Canucks fans know that there are different variations of that one look that make the guy seem more emotional and facially expressive than a Jim Carrey Oscar speech (which is as likely to happen as a Kevin Bieksa Oscar speech). As a public service, I will help you decode Bieksa's nuances.
In this one he is clearly hungry.
[Image courtesy of Vancouver Sun Sports Blogs]
In this one he is mad that he pinched and gave up a 2 on 1 opportunity
[Image courtesy of Vancouver Sun Sports Blogs]
In this one he is disappointed that he missed on a penalty shot in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals
[Image courtesy of CBS Sports]
In this one he's hungry, but not starving. Like, he'll eat some fries if everyone else has some too.
[Image courtesy of Vancouver Sun Sports Blogs]
The guy is Vancouver's resident Zoolander. Don't you dare tell me it's the same look! (Although I wish any of Bieksa's looks had the sheer stopping power of "Magnum").
DBD: Last time Dallas and Vancouver met, the Canucks got absolutely shellacked. To be honest, it was one of the highlights of a regrettable season. Minus of course the 3rd period where half of the Dallas fanbase assumed the Stars were going to give up a 5-goal lead. Can we look forward to a repeat of that game? Or if not, what should we expect?
You're gonna see a desperate, frustrated Canucks team this time around. Sadly, I have no idea what that entails or whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. BUT I do know several things you can count on happening during the game:
- The Sedins will pass to each other (maybe a little too much)
- Glen Gulutzan will be secretly jealous and embarrassed that Willie is his boss now.
- If the Canucks goalie (whoever it is) gives up a goal, every fan except that goalie's mum will demand the other goalie be put in net.
- Kevin Bieksa will bust out a scowling smug smirk.
- "Scowling smug smirk" will be hard to say.
- Canucks fans everywhere will be jealous we don't have Valeri Nichushkin, hip surgery or not.
DBD: And lastly, has your insider access allowed you to pick up some pre-game quotes? Got any sound bites for us?
Willie Desjardins: This time, I'm going to coach my game. That means that unlike back in October, this time when Gulutzan suggests the game plan and says he knows how to beat the Dallas Stars, I'm just going to ignore him. He knows how to make the Stars lose, but only from within.
John Tortorella: I'm just glad there is much less media attention paid to pee wee hockey coaches. It would have made my firing this week even worse if anyone knew about it. If those little punks won't play for a Stanley Cup winning coach, that's their problem.
Danrik and Heniel Sedin: We are not soulless gingers! We share a soul.
Eddie Lack: Part of me hopes I don't make it into the game. I'm creating a great portfolio this year on the bench as a "ball cap model".
That other goaltender in Vancouver: Jeez, am I already being called "that other goalie in Vancouver"? You'd think I make enough money that calling me by my name would be expected. I'm Ryan Filler-- I mean Miller!