Weekend Sports Wrap: old Canucks and new Lions

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      It was a rollercoaster of a weekend for Canucks fans, to say the least.

      On Friday, it was a massive, exciting win against one of the NHL’s most defensive teams in the San Jose Sharks.

      On Sunday, the Canucks were back at Rogers Arena to play the Calgary Flames. The hockey gods weren’t nearly as kind to the Canucks in that one though, as the Flames routed Vancouver 6-1. Worse than that unsightly result, however, was the injury to star forward Brock Boeser, who’s been one of the best reasons to watch Canucks games this year.

      It’s a shame, really. The Canucks were fun to watch and the team’s ability to roll two decent scoring lines along with a shutdown unit anchored by Brandon Sutter meant that they were almost never completely out of games. 

      Now, without Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Sutter, Tanev and Boeser for the time being, this team will be a tough watch. They won’t be winning many games either.

      A week ago, Alexander Burmistrov was a healthy scratch. On Sunday, he was on the power play.

      Yucking it up with Jannik

      During the first period of Friday’s game, Sharks forward Jannik Hansen was given two minutes for goaltender interference after he knocked Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom. 

      Asked after the game if Markstrom hit the ice rather easily, Hansen took the bait.

      “Well I mean he’s 6’6,” said the former Canuck.

      Marked man

      Mark Giordano was the source of much consternation for the Canucks on Sunday. The Flames defenceman scored two goals and was responsible for the shot that injured Boeser.

      The Canucks are done the season series with Calgary, but look for Vancouver fans to remember this and serenade the blueliner with boos upon his return to Rogers Arena.

      Clean slate 

      The BC Lions unveiled their 2018 schedule, including a new feature - season ticket memberships for kids under 12 years of age at $85 per. That's a great deal, and it's obvious that new Lions GM Ed Hervey is intent on developing a new fanbase for the CFL franchise.

      Hervey was most recently with the Edmonton Eskimos as VP of Football Operations. He has three Grey Cup rings—all with the Esks—two as a player and one for helping to assemble the 2015 champions. 

      It’ll be interesting to see if coach and GM always see eye-to-eye throughout the season, and how Buono solidifies his legacy in his last campaign. The hiring of former QB Jarious Jackson is an intriguing one and it'll be worthwhile to see if the team intends to let Jackson serve a year under Buono before giving him the head coaching job. That'd be a big step, but Jackson was more or less a quarterbacks

      coach for the last several years of his career. 

      Growing the game

      This is simply the best:

      It comes on the heels of a particularly repugnant tweet by an account that coincidentally no longer exists.

      People who don’t think women’s hockey (or sports of any kind) should be celebrated don’t deserve to have a voice in the public arena. 

      The business of sports

      Justin Bedi took a leave of absence from his government job to write a book about sports.

      The Victoria native holds a Master’s in international trade, as well as a Bachelor’s in political science and journalism, all of which culminated in “Sports Are Worth How Much!? And Other Questions in Pro Sports. Answered (Kind Of)”.  

      Bedi tackles topics like fantasy sports, whether college athletes should be paid and why some sports are more popular than others. It’s a good buy for the educated sports fan on your Christmas List (yes, there’s such a thing, believe it or not).

      Giant results

      Don’t look now, but the Vancouver Giants have reeled off six wins in a row. Even more surprising – fans are starting to attend the team’s home games at the Langley Events Centre. The Giants drew a home crowd of 4088 for Sunday’s game against Prince George. It’s truly a Christmas miracle.

      This version of the team is one of the more entertaining entries in recent memory, as Ty Ronning’s 31 goals in 34 games can attest to. The kid is just as much fun to watch as his father, Canucks’ vet Cliff, was. Edmonton Oilers prospect Tyler Benson is no slouch either, as he’s picked up 32 points in 21 games since returning from injury.