Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sami Salo...100th Career Playoff Game!

                                              Sami Canucks Superskills, late 2000's

By Lisa Ovens

Since smart Canuck fans are going ONE GAME AT A TIME right now,  tomorrow's Game Five, being only one game, is actually a special occasion for defender, Sami Salo: it's his 100th career playoff game! 

It seems like yesterday I saw a news feature on Global TV welcoming Sami Salo to the Canucks roster after a pre-season trade involving the Ottawa Senators back in 2002 (Canucks sent forward Peter Shaefer to the Senators).

Now, almost ten years later, the tall, lanky number 6 has the opportunity to celebrate a milestone game by launching cannon after cannon from the point. At least that's what I am hoping for. During the most recent Canucks Superskills Competition, Salo won the hardest shot with a 102.7 MPH ripper (that's 163.5 k/ph). I know he is concerned about hurting other players with his high powered shots from the point, and I can totally appreciate that, but dang, those are certainly highlight reel goals to me each and every time.

I met Salo once, at a Canuck STH event while he autographed a frame for me. He's very laid back. Yet, some how, in my mind's eye, I could see him cranking up the speed metal during his down time. During his early days in Vancouver, I spotted Salo, his wife and a baby shopping for jewelry at The Hudson's Bay Co. I didn't bother them, but I did smile and nod as I passed them by. Those have been my only "brushes with Salo".

Aside from those typical Sami Salo goals, my other favourite Salo Moment was a 1st intermission interview he did after the Canucks played a particularly crappy period against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sportsnet's Dan Murphy asked him what was up with the Canucks play, and Salo responded, very matter of fact like, but in his soft spoken Finnish accent,  "Their kicking our asses out there." How often do we hear a player say that during an interview? That moment always sticks out in my mind. More so than the multiple times I've seen Salo on the ice, writhing in pain from the many injuries he has sustained as a Vancouver Canuck. Those I prefer to forget, because, well, those moments are so painful to watch. He is famous for all the injuries (one time he had to miss a game due to an off-ice snake bite), so I have to wonder if someone out there has collected the screen shots or footage of his on ice mishaps, and then editing them into a 30 second spot of OUCH.

It's only one game, and I am dedicating my experience watching this one particular Stanley Cup Playoff Game Five in 2012 to one of my favorite defensemen to ever don a Canuck uniform, Sami Salo.

 GO SALO GO!!...launch those rockets and make the Los Angeles Kings' heads spin just enough that Doughty and friends wet their shorts a tiny bit  ;o)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We’re Waiting…

By Lisa Ovens
I saw the above poster on a power pole near my home yesterday. I am guessing these “This is Our Home: Celebrate Responsibly” PSA posters are displayed around the city as a reminder of last year’s Stanley Cup Final Riots.

Well, Canucks…we’re waiting to celebrate. How can we show off our ability to celebrate responsibly without a win at home? Now that the Canucks are trailing 0-2 in their Quarter Final Playoff Series with the Los Angeles Kings, we fans must look elsewhere for celebration. Personally, I have discovered half price hockey themed Easter chocolate…

Like this hollow chocolate, goalie helmet….YAY!

Or this classic foiled, hollow chocolate, hockey playing Easter BunnyWOOT!

Okay, so we are unaccustomed to losing two home games in a row at the start of the playoffs. Perhaps this anomaly should be accepted, even welcomed as a sign that this year is going to be a different run. That maybe, just maybe the boys need this adversity at this very moment in time in order to establish their winning formula that will take them deep into the playoffs again.

The Canucks finished tops in the league. They have home ice advantage throughout their entire run. That’s about the only perks they have here in the West. After being in the East for the whole season, the glimpses I did get of the Western Conference told me that there isn’t that much of a difference between 1st seed and 8th.  Any WC team has the ability to go all the way. Well, maybe not the Sharks (tee hee – I can’t help it!).

Game Three is tonight. And I am all out of chocolate. Come on Canucks, please don’t force me to celebrate the great deal I got on a new doormat yesterday!

In case you are wondering…the doormat was only $2.77…YOWSA!