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Spitballin' on Daniel Sedin's teeth, the All-Star Game, and tanking

Spitballin’ (or S uper P ass I t T o B ulis: All In , if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour.

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

Daniel Sedin is Jaws

We've spent a lot of time talking about the Sedins this season, primarily because they've seemed like Vancouver's only players for much of the year. But there's still more to talk about. First, Daniel Sedin's mouth. Let's all just marvel for a moment at the disgusting mess he was earlier this week:

Daniel teeth

He's got a bit of a Jaws thing going on, doesn't he?


Oh, you think Daniel Sedin is soft? False. He's Bond villain tough. And with his new bionic teeth, I've heard he can bite through a gondola cable.

Daniel Sedin isn't particularly flattered by his All-Star nod

Daniel's a diplomat, so you can hardly expect him to sound off about the NHL All-Star Game, to which he was so graciously invited (and alone, so take that, Henrik). But let's not kid ourselves. He's on a team with John flippin' Scott. He knows this isn't quite the honour it used to be, and Wednesday on TSN 1040, he accidentally said an honest thing: 

For me, I liked it better back in the day when they picked the best players. It didn't matter if one team had ten players or zero players. It should be the best.

This is where the NHL has blown it the most: the notion that you need to have representation from every team. By valuing that over skill and the seasons of its stars, the NHL tacitly removed the main motivation for getting its best players excited in the event: prestige. An All-Star nod used to mean something. It meant you were an All-Star calibre player, a standout, or, as Daniel said, "the best". It's like being an SNL five-timer, or a Stonecutter. Why wouldn't you accept an invitation to that elite club? 

But that was "back in the day". Nowadays, you go to the All-Star Game because if you don't, you'll get in trouble. And yet, year after year, star players bow out of this event, either before or after they're selected. That wouldn't happen nearly as often if attending the event meant anything to any of them. 

Daniel Sedin is a top 100 NHLer

Fortunately for Daniel, there are other, slightly more prestigious ways to prove your superstardom. For example: quietly, this week, the Canucks' winger joined his brother among the top 100 NHL scorers. Daniel's 919 career points tie him with Shane Doan for the last spot on the list.

100th all-time. That oughta help his bid to get into the Hall of Fame, which remains a uniquely prestigious accomplishment. Daniel will be delighted to know that he probably won't have to share the honour with John Scott.


That last tidbit was pointed out by the good folks over at the Canucks subreddit. You can find a lot of fun stuff there, such as this Sportsnet graphic that ran during Monday night's game.


I might have gone with "Youth in Reserve", or something less, uh, suggestive.

Should the Canucks try?

GM Jim Benning appeared on TSN Radio earlier this week and, unsurprisingly, he was asked about his organization's goals for this season. Should they be accepting this as a losing season and jostling for position in the draft lottery? Should they tank? 

Mercifully, Benning addressed the stupidity in this idea:

“Yeah, well, I understand the thinking in that, but we have too much pride in this organization. I know how bad our fans want to win, but that’s just not an option for us. We’re going to go out and compete hard every night and try to win games. I’m confident in the job we’re going to do scouting, wherever we pick, we’re going to get a good player in the first round.”

Someone get me that GIF of Orson Welles applauding with complete conviction.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Canucks had better try to win every game. Like Benning, I see the logic in tanking. But I don't see the dignity. And neither do I see the fun. Have you see where the Canucks are in the standings? They're third in the Pacific Division. They're in a playoff spot. Yes, I know this is because the Division is butts. Who cares, though? The Canucks might luck into a playoff spot. Heck, they might even get home-ice advantage in the first round. Imagine a scenario where this Canucks team -- likely healthier than they are now -- only needs to manage one upset to get out of the Pacific Division.

Now, that's pie-in-the-sky thinking, but honestly, what Vancouver season, apart from 2011, didn't call for a little blind hope? To me, that's half the fun of this game. And to look at this Canucks team and say screw it, let's call it, when anything could happen, and the Red Sea is practically parting for the Canucks right now, is pure cynicism and foolishness. There's a chance, and until there isn't, I think the Canucks owe it to everyone -- their veteran players, who don't have much career left, their young players, who need to learn what's expected of them, and their fans, who aren't paying big money to watch the team fart around sabotaging their own efforts -- to go for it.

I don't expect the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup this season. Heck, I don't expect them to win a playoff round, or even make the playoffs. But I do expect them to chase these accomplishments, and I'm happy to hear Benning say the same.