Canucks Dismantle Ducks

What a fabulous return to Vancouver that was for Todd Bertuzzi.  Not only did he score five goals in a 9-0 Anaheim victory over the Vancouver Canucks, he was also named first star and given a key to the city by Mayor Sam Sullivan.

Then Bert woke up this morning and reality hit.

Matt Cooke Goal

His return to the city that was arguably the biggest influence on his professional hockey career was overshadowed by a dominating 4-0 Canucks victory over the Ducks.

Of all the Canucks games this year, this one ranks right up there as one of the best all-around team efforts as Alain Vigneault’s crew got contributions from Markus Naslund with his 11th of the season, Cooke on his fourth of the season and emerging star Ryan Kesler, who picked up his sixth and seventh goals of the season.

What was even sweeter about this win was that the Canucks knocked off the defending Stanley Cup Champs on home ice, where Vancouver had not beaten Anaheim since 2002, according to TSN.  Not only did Vancouver, the hottest team in the NHL right now, beat the Ducks on the scoreboard, they beat them to pucks and won a lot of the battles along the wall against much bigger players like Chris Pronger, Sean O’Donnell and Ryan Getzlaf.

Cooke, who scored the third Vancouver goal on a deflection off of a Alex Edler shot from the point, was a thorn in the Ducks’ side all night as the spark plug caused numerous scuffles with his opponents and got the Canucks going in the second period with a relentless fore-check and board-shaking hits.  That’s the way No. 24 has to play every night if he wants to be successful on this team and for the team to be successful.  He isn’t a 30-goal man, it just isn’t going to happen.  However, if he hits, pesters the other team without taking penalties and can chip in on the odd goal then he becomes a valuable asset to this hockey team.

You can’t blame J.S Giguere for the loss tonight.  His team did him no favours by taking penalty after penalty in the later part of the second period and the first few minutes of the third period, which ultimately led to Kesler’s beautiful second goal of the night. 

By the same token, Roberto Luongo simply outplayed his nemesis at the other end.  Luongo, for what it is worth, was named Pierre McGuire’s Monster Performer on the night and rightfully so.  Extending his shut out streak to just over 135 minutes, Luongo kept the Canucks in the game during the first period that saw Anaheim direct 15 shots at the Canucks goalie.  The rest of the game, Luongo faced just 11 shots to preserve his third shut out of the month.

All-in-all, the Canucks’ play tonight was that type of effort needed to win a championship.  That was the effort that most hockey fans witnessed when Anaheim dominated the regular season and the playoffs last year on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.  The trick is to keep it up until the middle of June.

Quick question out of curiosity …  On a night that saw the Canucks pulverize the Ducks, did anyone else even notice Todd Bertuzzi out there?

Todd Who.  Not a question, but a statement.

David Beckham in Van City

Beckham VancouverFor those of who don’t know, David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy are coming to Vancouver to play the Whitecaps at B.C. Place Stadium tomorrow night.

Over 47,000 tickets have been sold and 46, 999 are going to watch Beckham run, kick and … okay you got me. 46, 999 are there to see if his wife will show up. That must be it, because as I see it, no self-respecting individual (other than Scott McKenzie) would pay to go watch this overrated superstar.

I said it. Beckham is overrated. I will admit that yes, soccer is a very athletic game and the goals and saves – as rare as they are sometimes – are a great illustration of just how athletic you have to be to master this sport.

But let’s face facts here folks. Beckham hasn’t done jack for the game of soccer in North America since coming over from across the pond. He has been a constant disappointment with injury after injury and all the while, he’s raking in more dough than majority of Canadians will this year. And we idolize this guy … why?

I hope, that for the people who paid money to go watch one player for the better part of two hours, that Beckham stinks up the joint and all 47, 000 fans walk away from B.C. Place in disappointment, thinking ‘what the hell did I just pay for?

Another thing.

BeckhamListening to the Beckham press conference this afternoon and hearing some of the comments that came out of not only the star attraction himself, but Bob Lenarduzzi, general manager of the Whitecaps, made me sick.

Beckham, playing the ‘good guy, everybody love me, pretty boy role, actually said that he would play soccer for free.

Okay, then why doesn’t he? I’ll call him on it right now. Because he wouldn’t. If the Galaxy came to him and said “David, we want you to play for us, but we’re not going to pay you,” David would’ve told them to go take a long walk off a short bridge.

Lenarduzzi said that he felt Beckham won a lot of the people over with his comments in the press conference. No kidding he did. You tell people what they want to hear and add in an innocent and sincere tone of voice, they will open their hearts to you in the drop of a hat.

Know why he is coming to Vancouver? Money. Do not buy into his ‘play soccer for free’ crap.

People that are going to this game (other than Scott McKenzie) fell for an overrated, grossly over-paid, pretty boy like he was dishing out millions of dollars to each ticket holder.

Sorry soccer fans, the only thing Beckham will be dishing out tomorrow night is disappointment.

Greatest Sports Moments of All Time

Brought to you by ESPN, this is one of my favourite clips as it compiles some of sport’s greatest moments.

There are sections with greatest calls from broadcastors, to flashes of greatest coaches, to greatest sports pictures, it’s a complete collection. It also plays to the tune of Dream On by Aerosmith.

It’s a must watch for sports fans. See how many plays and incidents you recognize.

Enjoy. 

Bust It Like Beckham

David BeckhamIn one of the most hyped signings in sports history, David Beckham joined the L.A. Galaxy on July 13

This came just six months after agreeing to a $52-million contract to play in the MLS. Big money for a big superstar.

So what has this European superstar accomplished over in America?

Well, besides showcasing his proper – yet not so much – stunning wife to the other half of the world, and selling tons of merchandise, Beckham hasn’t really done much.

It’s almost safe to say that his soccer accomplishments this year was about as glamorous as Posh’s T.V. show, which got cancelled after the first episode. Now that’s “major”.

His MLS team, coached by former Team Canada bench boss Frank Yallop, is on the verge of missing the playoffs, as they are four points behind Chicago and Kansas City, who are in the battle for the eighth and final post-regular season position. And just like most of the season, Beckham probably won’t be able to help.

Injuries after injuries have sidelined this soccer golden-boy, who has yet to ‘wow’ America. Since joining the team, Beckham has started in two out of three games played in MLS action, while he also started two in another three games played in SuperLiga action for the L.A. Galaxy. In total, he’s played 308 minutes, and has scored one goal while recording two assists. That’s not good numbers for a player earning $1-million a week.

David BeckhamOr if you want to really calculate it, he’s making around $8.5-million per game in which he’s played so far.

Beckham, who is world-wide known for his majestic free kicks, has been out of action since August 29 when he sprained his right knee in the SuperLiga tournament final. Not to mention that he’s been in-and-out of play since June due to a sprained left ankle.

That brings us to Thursday night. Beckham will be available to play against New York, whom L.A. must beat or tie to stay in contention, as coach Yallop might bring him in as a sub. Whether this is a form of morale boost or resistance of messing with the starting lineup, the Galaxy’s decision to put Beckham as a sub means more hype around their team.

They have used Beckham to sell out games, sell out merchandise, and make a name for the league. And it seems as if that’s all this Brit has done.

It’s time for this fragile soccer hero to start earning his pay, and to start playing like he was the best, not a bust.

CSA Needs to Step Up For Canada Soccer

Even PellerudTSC’s first soccer article hits close to home; our home and native land that is.

Canada’s national women soccer team coach Even Pellerud went on a major rant this week, as he criticized the Canadian Soccer Association.

“The sad fact of the matter is we are not professionally running the national teams,” he said. And the sad fact of the matter is that he couldn’t be more right.

Canada’s soccer team is not getting the financial support of this organization and it’s honestly a shame. This country has a great opportunity to grow the sport, but the lack of funding and outside help is hindering the process.

Here are a few downfalls of the CSA:

  • CSA declined a chance to host the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria, stating that a lack of money was the reason. Pellerud responded by saying, “I have almost stopped to hope. Deep inside me there is hope but there is no indication of any changes at this time. They have other agendas right now.”
  • These other agendas include finding a new president as association president Colin Linford resigned just before the World Cu.
  • According to TSN, Fred Nykamp, Linford’s choice for chief executive officer, is suing the association after it opted not to go ahead with his hire.
  • Basically, the CSA is currently without a president, CEO and technical director. “The unfortunate thing with the president leaving, it leaves the position open and you leave the people behind to fight for that position. It becomes more political than technical,” said Pellerud.
  • When it comes to the women’s program, the CSA contributes $155,000 to a budget of $700,000. Obviously, that is not enough.

Most of the women team’s funding comes from the Canadian Olympic Committee, Sport Canada, and Greg Kerfoot, a Vancouver millionaire who helped finance a residency program. This means there is added pressure for Canada to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, and to advance far in the tournament.

After a early exit in the ’07 Women World Cup, Canada hopes to rebound as they will begin their olympic training in November. They need support, not only from fans, but also from the CSA.

Hey, here’s an idea. Pellerud for CSA president.

At least he knows what he’s talking about.