The Provies: As The Flow flies, the Moment we were all waiting for and a farewell to Fast Ebby

 

 
 
 
 
Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, centre, celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday with teammates Sven Baertschi, left, and Ben Hutton. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray looks on.
 
 

Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, centre, celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday with teammates Sven Baertschi, left, and Ben Hutton. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray looks on.

Photograph by: Gene J. Puskar, The Province

More on This Story

 

BEST NEWS

It was the night Boeser took command of the Calder race.

He may not win it. We aren’t even at mile 10 in this marathon.

He has goals in four straight. It won’t always be like this.

But for a breath, on the eve of US Thanksgiving, Boeser was definitively the Calder frontrunner.

It doesn’t matter what was said on the broadcast.

Even Friedman will come around.

The Calder is almost always a points race. Boeser has more and he’s done it in fewer games.

Maybe that changes after Keller plays. But there is so much more here.

Keller has been consistently excellent and productive. He’s also been helpless.

Not a thing he’s done has made a lick of difference.

Boeser, however, has brought to life one of the worst teams in hockey. He is saving a power play that wasn’t just bad last year, it was the second worst in hockey for five collective NHL seasons.

He is giving a beaten, bruised, wilted hockey market hope. It’s still only a whisper of better days ahead. But it’s a whisper which wasn’t there even two months ago.

The Sedins are on pace for 30 points. Thirty points, and no one in Vancouver cares.

That’s Boeser’s impact.

And that’s remarkable.

BEST SIGN OF THE TIMES

There were two goals scored by The Flow who carried the Canucks offence yet again.

They were both, in a word, gorgeous.

The first came on a play I could watch for days. And I just may do it.

Boeser was knocked off balance, and he collected himself as he settled a rolling puck before stinging the net with it and doing it all on the fly, at speed.

If you recall, the night of Boeser’s hat trick Matt Murray went through each of his goals and suggested they were all stained with luck.

There was nothing lucky about this one.

That’s saying something because it was the type of goal maybe ten players in the league can score regularly without incredibly good fortune tucked under their shoulder pads.

It was overlooked, but Baerstchi made this play happen. In football, we’d call it throwing a receiver open.

Antonio Brown is blanketed. Who cares? Throw it to him anyway. It’s Antonio Freakin’ Brown. He’ll catch it.

On the move, Baertschi made that decision. He has acres of open space on the other side and he has offensive gifts of his own to make good use of that space.

Boeser was blanketed. Who cares? Pass it to him anyway. It’s Brock Freakin’ Boeser. Baertschi did, and just like that The Flow was Antonio Brown.

Somehow he turned that into a goal.

It shows you, the players see what we see. How can they not?

Get Boeser the puck. No matter what.

Wonderful things will happen.

BEST PLAY

The pass was some nicely feathered sauce from Baertschi who looped the puck over a stick to get it to Boeser and he did it in stride.

But it was what The Flow did with that puck which mattered most.

He fends off a defender, he corrects his balance and he snaps a roller off the crossbar and in.

Sweet Geezus, when is the last time we had someone in Van who could do that?

Think it may be my favourite goal of the season, given the way he Bobby Orr’s the finish.

Bruh can fly.

BEST YOU CANT MAKE THIS STUFF UP

This guy is the Mike Weir of goaltending. Bet he’s never hit a putter wrong either.

Does he ever get beat clean by a great goal?

Boeser has scored five on Pittsburgh in two games.

For the love of all that’s holy, someone please tell Boeser this week that Murray thinks all his goals are lucky.

Lemme know how it goes.

BEST POP QUIZ

Alex Edler is facing a dilemma.

He can shoot a puck through six skaters or he can pass to a wide open Boeser.

What does he do?

On seventh day, god rested and Edler passed.

Did someone read Twitter?

I’m not sure. But someone got to this man, finally.

The results were beautiful.

This city had not wanted much this month.

More minutes for JV18.

Some Monkey Fingerlings (you try finding them?)

Boeser in the The Spot.

And Edler to pass it to him when he got there.

All of it came together in one play.

Never before in Canucks history had that many fans been proven right in one moment.

The sounds of back patting echoed throughout the Lower Mainland.

We now call for all those who fought against us to step up and apologize.

We would like Newell to issue an official statement and give his official regrets.

And those of us who stood together through the dark days when Boeser was net front, we will never forget our sacrifice.

In the meantime, we celebrate by drinking in snark and back-patting because, dammit, that’s who we are.

BEST LOL

BEST DECISIONS, DECISIONS

I did tell Lee I would sacrifice The Flow to the nickname gods here at The Provies and give up on using it if The Flow ever went mainstream.

Eeek.

Uhhh.

These tees are pure fire though.

Do I want to keep my promise to Lee or do I want to rock one of these sick tees?

Decisions decisions.

BEST PHOTO SHAP

Green buying his tee?

BEST CELEBRITY PHOTO SHAP

Do stars get in The Provies?

You’re god damn right they do.

Especially when they Go. To. Work.

Awesome.

We may need a few here in Van.

Make that a few thousand.

BEST SCREEN GRAB

BEST MEME

BEST WHAT ABOUT-ISM

I’m not sure Green’s talks had much to do with it.

The most meaningful and telling takeaway from the narrative should be the Canucks in the summer didn’t think Boeser was good enough.

The Canucks, to start the season, didn’t think Boeser was good enough.

The Canucks, on this, were wrong.

They weren’t unforgivably wrong. It just took them a while to come around.

But Boeser was pretty close to the player he is now back in July.

I mean, if you’re really to buy the storyline Boeser changed so dramatically from mid-July to September, you’d probably believe Dejan’s latest tale from a Starbucks near you.

All this said, it’s possible Green helped him. It’s possible he inspired him to make percentage point differences in his speed and power during the final month of his offseason.

And wouldn’t you know, Green had some communications with Eriksson which may have had a role in the nice run he’s been on since coming back.

It seems Green believed Eriksson may have been playing too passively to start the season.

“Loui and I have had a few conversations since the start of the year to try and bring a more aggressive style of hockey to the table,” Green said, answering a JPat question this morning.

“If you want to score in this league you have to go get the puck sometimes.

“The fact he’s carrying the puck more and being inside of the action is a positive sign and it’s nice he’s getting some points to go along with it.”

Eriksson has been quite nice lately.

Give Green this, he is out there coaching his ass off.

There are people who will disagree with some things, but man we have seen a coach here put in this kind of effort in a long, long time.

BIGGEST HIT

What a tough start for Huddy-Guddy.

Im fine to never see that pairing again.

But Hutton didn’t just have to survive that, he had to survive this:

Let’s see that again:

 

BEST THIS SEEMS

This seems relevant.

SMARTEST PLAYER

Is anyone seeing the ice better these days than Vanek?

He’s doing so many little things well and he’s doing those little things well multiple times a game, and sometimes multiple times a period.

Here he draws in the defender along the boards into a hot box and then backhands a pass to an open point man.

Right after the pass, Tommy Gun drives the net, ties up Dummoulin and it’s Dumoulin who re-directs Pouliot’s shot into the net off his shin.

This next backhand pass through sticks is everything. Love the hot sauce he’s been putting on these lately.

I wasn’t there tonight, but if I was, I’d be out to hear Tommy Gun breakdown plays for 5-to-10 minutes.

He’s been that good lately.

Ol’ Wily Tommy Gun was at his veteran best leading to the Canucks second goal. First he saw Crosby break his stick.

I am betting big money that what he did next is because he knew Murray would be yelling at Kessel through his mask as Kessel backed his way onto the broken stick.

Why else is he beaver tailing there?

Vanek is a jedi.

Let the Star Wars nerds go at it:

And then Vanek tells Loui all about it on the bench.

BEST DID YOU NOTICE

In the possession leading up to the Canucks first goal, the Pens iced the puck and for unknown reasons it was waive off.

The Canucks were incensed and screaming at the linesman.

It led directly to two great Pens scoring chances.

But Van, in transition, turned it around and into the Baer-Flow goal.

After Boeser scored, you could hear someone on the Canucks bench yell:

“Great call. Great call on the non-ice.”

BEST SAY IT AINT SO

BEST SHAP

BEST NAME DROP

Did JPat drop some D-Keeper knowledge on Travis Green today?

He sure did.

JPat: “There’s a guy who tracks your defensive zone exits and Pouliot ranks remarkably high almost every game.

“I won’t get you to comment on social media.” (uh, next time we need him to comment on social media I think)

“But does this match up with what you’re seeing.”

Green:

“That has to be a strength of his game, he’s a good enough skater and a smart enough player and his puck skills are to a point where he can make plays under duress

“A lot of that is confidence, when a player is confident he can make plays when the heat is on and when a player isn’t confident sometimes they panic a bit more

“To be a puck-moving d, it starts right there in your own zone.”

And then the kicker from Green:

“That’s so important in today’s game. Can you get out clean or are you fighting for your life just to get pucks out?”

I know who gets pucks out clean.

Who doesn’t?

Who is fighting for their life to get pucks out?

Asking for a friend.

BEST STATS NERDING OUT

 

JPat going to need to get clarification from Green now.

BEST THINGS WE CANT IGNORE

BEST NAME GAME

Man, it’s been nickname wars here in Van.

I saw imac even wrote a poem about.

It’s been something to see.

Thought I’d seen it all after the poem. Then these two guys chimed in with these nicknames:

Good lord, you think Friedman is ever changing his mind about a guy named Bazooka?

Brock the Bester?

Caman now boys.

Let us take care of the nicknames on Canucks twitter.

BEST STRENGTH

Look at this giant hold his ground.

BEST CALLBACK

 

BEST USE OF FLAT JPAT

BEST UPDATE

Last edition of The Provies, I related fears that a long-standing tradition has come to an end.

The weekly media visit by the sitting GM is over.

Yes, Benning will make his return Friday on the 1040 morning show.

I will bravely predict he will be asked many tough questions along with some Boeser tongue bathing.

I look forward to it at 8 am.

But the weekly hits are over as we know it, not negotiated into the new deal, I was told.

The way I heard it:

“The Canucks this past offseason did a tour of other clubs and realized they were doing way more media than others so they pulled back everything.

“Even 650 doesn’t get the weekly hits which were part of the old deal.”

Those started when Burke wanted to control the message. He wanted to be on the radio and he wanted to do it regularly. And he was great at it.

It’s interesting the team is now shying away from what should be a big PR advantage.

Maybe Benning isn’t cut out for it every week, but Linden sure should be able to go on the radio and handle the questions while exerting some control over the narratives.

Plus, who cares about other markets?

It was a thing in Vancouver. Sometimes, it made managers accessible. Maybe sometimes it was detrimental but I think the Canucks way more advantages from being out in front of things, controlling messages than they would have remaining quieter.

It was custom, too.

I also mentioned the $40,000 a year stipend the GMs recieved

Was told some kept it, but Gilly gave it to charity.

Because he felt it was inappropriate to accept money from a media partner, is the way it was explained to me.

BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT

It’s with a heavy heart, I’m announcing we have lost Fast Ebby.

The Globe has clipped Vancouver’s Viceroy of Vocabulary — David Ebner to them — from local sports and to paste him in local business coverage where, I’m sure, his language skills are better positioned to enlighten us all on topics that actually matter.

For local sports coverage, however, it sucks.

If you’ve been paying attention at all, this has been a long-time coming.

Fast Ebby’s days at Rogers Arena covering the Canucks have slowly vanished, like a Willie Desjardins team in the second half of a season.

OK, maybe not that bad. I have seen him once or twice in the past few months.

In the heyday of Canucks coverage, when it all seemed of great import, Fast Ebby was our Vanek.

It never looked like he was doing all that much, but boy he piled up the points.

On some random Saturday, he’d unveil this winding feature on Gilly or the Sleep Doctor or the Aquilinis, and you’d think:

“God damn, that’s … clever.”

I have never seen anyone in the media give less of an F about the questions they ask.

To not care is a remarkably underrated skill for sports journalists and if I had a regret it’s the new collection of young-ish media talent on the beat didn’t see Fast Ebby up close and at his best.

Kind of like Gradin regretting Petterson won’t play with the twins.

As someone said to me:

“We all take it way too seriously so often. He just rolled in, did Ebby things and walked away.”

It was so often gloriously fun.

He was among the early-ish champions of analytics among mainstreamers, and could see how ridiculously unfair the general media treated bloggers, mostly because Tyler Dellow was mean to them.

(aww, was TD mean? Get over it).

I will re-visit some of the Fast one’s greatest hits, and they were great.

He first appeared in The Provies because he was crumbling on social media for an hour one evening. He couldn’t find the damn Canucks game on TV.

He was trashing all networks. All cable companies. All satellite providers.

Someone finally said, check channel 54.

To which Fast Ebby replied:

“I take it all back. TV outwits me.”

To which Martignago responded: “TV, it’ll get you every time.”

Ebby once used the phrase “atavistic hierarchy” three times in three days and leaned on it to take out Cam Cole in a twitter feud over mayoral candidates.

He nicknamed Cole Mr. Block Quotes in that exchange just before he vanquished him.

Withered and lost, Cole conceded:

“Too many big words. Going to have to pass.”

Glorious, indeed.

And then was this hard to forget post-game moment after the Canucks were celebrating a close win over the Coyotes.

win‘s a win,” Fast Ebby explained to Brandon Sutter.

The team got a lot of shots on the board as well.

Sutter said “Ya,” agreeing with all of it.

But is it worrisome,” Ebby continued “that it was a struggle to beat Phoenix, in theory, the worst team in the league?

What a question.

I wasn’t sure what Sutter was going to do . He awkwardly chuckled, looked like he wanted to throw stuff and said:

“Uh, No.”

Ebby wondrously shamed mainstream media types when they showered Dater with support after Dater was fired for inexcusable social media interactions, which included calling a player a pussy.

And of course, he extracted what I call the greatest quote in Canucks history in this fantastic Gilly tale. 

“I think the insidious creep of negativity is working its way on you,” Gillis said to him.

Glorious. So Glorious.

Gilly gave him the cold shoulder for months after he was entrapped by that insidious creep.

But his most memorable moment remains a text he got from Francesco Aquilini.

It was birthed from a story in which Fast Ebby pointed out Tortorella was hired after a collaboration between Canucks managers and owners.

It led to this boom goes the dynamite moment:

“I read your article today. You are a prick.”

And then:

“Two hours later, a legal letter from the family’s counsel arrived by e-mail. It alleged defamation, sought a retraction and an apology, and threatened further action.”

That all blew over, and the next time he saw FA, he smiled and shook hands.

How could you not?

Because if he’s a prick, he’s one of the sharpest ones I’ve ever met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, centre, celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday with teammates Sven Baertschi, left, and Ben Hutton. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray looks on.
 

Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, centre, celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday with teammates Sven Baertschi, left, and Ben Hutton. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray looks on.

Photograph by: Gene J. Puskar, The Province

 
Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, centre, celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday with teammates Sven Baertschi, left, and Ben Hutton. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray looks on.
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 4.47.15 PM
baertschi
boeser rolling
3we
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.24.21 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 6.13.26 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 8.54.30 PM
he passed
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.38.06 PM
edler to boeser
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.39.04 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.42.44 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.43.25 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.41.54 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.50.28 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 5.13.26 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 8.14.54 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 6.22.49 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 6.26.23 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 6.24.00 PM
hutton hit
hutton hit close up
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 6.43.15 PM
vanek space
vanny
vanek backhand pass
cros
Nov-22-2017 20-09-11
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 8.27.21 PM
eriksson smile
icing
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 9.27.22 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 9.04.35 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 9.30.32 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 8.40.43 PM
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 8.36.29 PM
brick wall
Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 9.05.18 PM
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice