Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lighthouse Park - Point Atkinson

Situated at Point Atkinson in West Vancouver, Lighthouse Park is 75 hectares of virgin rain forest and popular with local residents.

There are a two significant firsts for Lighthouse Park.

Point Atkinson, named by Captain George Vancouver, is the site of Canada’s first manned light stations in 1874. The beacon light was first lit on 17-Mar-1875. The current lighthouse was built in 1912 on the granite foreshore. The light is a dramatic landmark and can been seen from three viewpoints in the park. The image above shows the 60 foot light tower from West Beach.

Point Atkinson was also the site of one of the first European colonies on the Pacific west coast of what is now Canada. The first Caucasian child born in West Vancouver was on 25-Apr-1876. His name was James Atkinson Woodward, son of the first lighthouse keeper, Edwin Woodward.


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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Blackhawks Series Status

Game 1
Game 2
Game 3
Game 4
Game 5
Game 6

Blackhawks 4 Canucks 2 - 2010 Season Over! 12-May-10 Cancuks fans utter the words, for the first time in 2010, "Maybe next year." A fine tradition of Spring since 1915.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

No it is not time to believe.

3-May-2010 Blackhawks 4 Canucks 2

Canucks go into the Third Period up 2-1 and promptly give up three goals including a shorthander. Only one thing to say: "No it is not time to believe."


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Sunday, May 02, 2010

It is time to believe?

1-May-2010 Blackhawks 1 Canucks 5

I have not written about the Vancouver Canucks in a very long time. The definition of a long time is the time elapsed since Dave Nonis was the GM and that does seem like a very long time ago. I was finding the emotional investment in West Vancouver’s NHL team a losing venture. It seemed the resources expended did not match with the dividends paid. The ownership change / dispute and the installation of an ex player agent as the GM, at the time, did not seem to be sound hockey moves. I think I was justified in being skeptical.

Last year’s exit in the Stanley Cup tournament second round to Chicago was after a 5-3 Game 1 win. That series the Nucks held home ice advantage. The final result was Hawks in six with the Chicago crew outscoring Vancouver in the final three games 13 to 8. Thus the hatred of The Fratellis’ Chelsea Dagger – and if I hear it three or four times over the next four or five games, I’ll think it is nice catchy tune. But an average of 4.33 times per game over three games as in ’09 and I’m not responsible for the brick though the HD TV. Opps there is that emotional investment again.

What is different this year?

Goal – Nucks’ Luongo then, now and forever. Since stopping a Game 4 Frolov break away, when the game and series was still in question, Bobby Luo has looked solid. Hawks’ then Khabibulin now Antti Niemi or Cristobal Huet. Either of the Hawk goalies could get hot but edge here is in Vancouver’s favour.

Defense - Nuck’s are banged up with Mitchell, Rome and even call up Nolan Baumgartner out of the line up. New comer Andrew Alberts proved he can be a penalty liability in the LA series. And Shane O’Brien proved he can be wing nut at most every opportunity. With top-top D-men like Campbell, Keith and Seabrook give the edge to Chicago.

Top Line – Nucks Sedin times two and Mikael Samuelsson vs. Toews, Kane and Bickell? If I were a GM, I’d take Toews and Kane over the wonder twins, but Samuelsson is on a mission to prove something. Henrick is a legit contender for the Hart Trophy and already has the Art Ross. That said if the going gets ruff you know Toews and Kane will be up for it and you suspect the twins will disappear. Which will prompt Burrows return to the top line? Let’s call this one a draw.

Forwards – Vancouver has four fast and solid lines. Kessler, Burrows, Raymond, Wellwood, Bernier (sometimes) all make up a sold core of second liners. Rypien, Grabner and Hansen provide a creditable fourth energy line. Pavol Demitra seems to be the only Canuck forward still searching for his role. Glass and Hordichuk are healthy scratches that can be called in if the series gets ruff. Chicago has Hossa, Madden, Sharpe and Ladd as their second tier core. Marian Hossa is a real wildcard as he can win games on his own or not be heard from (much like Wellwood). I’d wager that Vancouver’s core forwards are the ones that will, or will not, win this series. In Game 1 all four lines scored. If that pattern continues Vancouver will win.

Grit – Burrows has a real claim on top irritant in the league. Rypien is a good middle weight. Kevin Bieksa and Shane O’Brien can hold their own with the best. For Chicago, Ben Eager has the top penalty minutes followed closely by Byfuglen. I believe this area is also one where the Canucks are stronger than they were in the 2009 match up. Byfuglen is going to take trips to Luongo’s kitchen. I recommend the follow up be for one of Vancouver’s fourth lines to dance him to the sin bin for five on every incident. I suspect this is a trade off Vigneault / Bowness, and Luongo for that matter, would all accept.

Bench / Box – No changes on the bench or up in the management box. Vigneault vs. Quenneville. A pair of veteran bench bosses. Neither has won a cup. Vigneault likely has a better support cast with Bowness running the defense and Ryan Walter running special teams. Stan Bowman under the guiding hand of hockey management guru, and his Dad, Scotty Bowman is impressive. Just look at the results for Chicago since the days of “Dollar” Bill, son “Rocky” Wirtz and Dale “I forgot to sign the paperwork” Tallon at the helm. From the outside looking in it appears Rocky has decided to sign the cheques and leave hockey operations to the Bowmans. Vancouver was a good team for Brian Burke and struggled with Dave Nonis. At this point, even more so if Vancouver were to advance to the conference finals, it is safe to argue that Mike Gillis and his crew of Law Gilman, Lorne Henning and Dave Gagner have lifted the team to a slightly higher success level than Burkie did. And let us never forget, it was Nonis who got us Luongo. No edge either way.

In my opinion the Nucks have the tools to win this series over the Chicago Blackhawks. Will they? No idea. But I intend to be glued to the HD TV every second night until we find out.


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Saturday, May 01, 2010

2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Referees

The second round 2010 referees are, in descending order of experience, Bill McCreary (26 years), Paul Devorski (21), Stephan Walkom (20), Dan O’Halloran (15), Brad Watson (14), Dan O’Rourke (11), Tim Peel (11), Kelly Sutherland (10), Kevin Pollock (10), Marc Joannette (10), Eric Furlatt (9) and Chris Lee (9).

Active referees with over 700 games of experience not invited by the NHL to participate in the second round of the playoff are Don VanMassenhoven (1003 games), Dave Jackson (1002) and Dennis LaRue (862). One might wonder why these senior officials are not participating in the 2010 Stanley Cup tournament.

Comparing number of games officiated with the number of playoff game assignments we find three officials who are unique in their capabilities. McCreary, Watson and Pollock are the only officials with a ratio of playoff games to regular season games greater the 0.15 and over their careers have officiated more than 10 playoff games per year. The NHL seems to place a lot of trust in these officials.

Dan O’Rourke (434 games), Chris Lee (444) and Eric Furlatt (460) are the least experienced officials, each with less than 500 games, to steward this year’s tournament. Furlatt seems to be an exception here as with only 9 years in the league he has already amassed 38 playoff assignments.

All data was extracted from the NHL Officials Home


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