Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PACK RIP - 2010-11 UD Series 2 + SOCCER SATURDAY

I had a pretty crazy weekend and Saturday afternoon involved the first game of the Vancouver Whitecaps 2011 inaugural season. The score was 4-2 for my home side. It also marked the first MLS game against two Canadian teams. I'm happy to see the sport of soccer continue to grow in North America. Although, I believe we are going to need a lot of influence from Europe to make the games more exciting and technical.


 My uncle and I weren't able to get any tickets for the game the night before at a decent price off of craigslist, so we went for the always amusing scalpers. We got tickets for 40$ a piece, we got them down off the original price of 60$ (which was ridiculous). We sat in the alcohol permitted section which led to numerous different chants such as:

1. "We're blue, we're white, we're f****** dynamite!"
2. (After every penalty) "She fell down! She fell down!"
3. (My personal favorite) "You can shove the CN tower up your ass. You can shove the CN tower up your ass. You can shove the CN tower, you can shove the CN tower, you can shove the CN tower up your ass."

Nothing like a good chant!

My weekend also included a small trip over the border near Bellingham, Washington. One of my purchases included a couple dual packs of 32 cards. 


The fantastic photography didn't stop at Series 1, because Series 2 continues to deliver! Horizontal cards come better than ever IMO.


Fantastic is all I have to say! My inserts included a few "Ambassadors of the Game" cards.


Love the look of these cards, but love the look of the "Rookie Headliner's" even better!


Nazem Kadri ain't a bad card to pull. I'll also take a Babsy card any day of the week.


I got a couple Victory cards in my Series 2 pick-ups. One of which is a Jonas Holos RC.


Finally I show what might have been my favorite card if it wasn't for one thing - Card Stock! What the hell guys? The original 1990 versions card stock was way thicker! Why? I literally can hold this to a light and see right though it. Doesn't make sense to me.

RUNDOWN
TOTAL - 64 (3 Canucks)
BASE - 57
INSERTS - 4
VICTORY - 2
PARALLELS - 1

GO NUCKS GO!

Friday, March 18, 2011

WRONG TIME TO HIT A GUY

With concussions and headshots being a touchy subject in the NHL right now, was Alex Burrows subject of a wrong hit, wrong time sorta thing?

All I can say is this hit doesn't deserve 5mins and a game. Too bad the reffs had to decide the contest.


Was Burrows skating through the guy to hit him - NO
Was Burrows throwing a cross check directly through Fidler's head - NO
It also didn't help that Vernon was bending down and his head was level with the boards either. This call didn't deserve 5 nor did it earn a misconduct, it was a harmless play. If you want to give the guy a minor penalty, go for it, but don't over do it.

My question is will the referee's get an assist on both goals Phoenix scored on that powerplay? Might as well because that's the only reason why the Canucks got their 7 game winning streak snapped tonight.

I think Alain Vigneault said it best when he said: "This is bull****." Like music to my ears. I'm supremely pissed right now and extremely frustrated. But as always, I view this hit through my tinted blue, green, and white glasses. What do you guys think?

GO NUCKS GO!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CARDBOARD CAPTIONS

Time to take another look at some more great photography from a couple great sets. I did get a request from one of my bloggers to get some close in looks at some goalie masks from the early 90's. Of course, I wouldn't want to disappoint my readers so without further a due...


Well it's not a huge close up but it does show a trend from the early 90's. Notice how almost everyones masks matched their jerseys AND their pads. For Casey it was North Star green all over. Masks were never super out of the box, but they did have the makings of a solid mask. 


Now we are going to skip ahead a year to the 1992-93 UD set where we can take a quick look at Patrick Roy's old bucket. It's a pretty familiar mask to most hockey fans and it continues on with the same sort of principle I've been talking about. There was no monkey business about mixing colors that weren't on your jersey. Maybe Luongo needs to take a page out of this book.


What the heck are you thinking Lui. You are my favorite player on the Canucks right now but you need to improve your style. There is zero brown on any of the Canucks equipment so why would you use it as your base color?

Anyways back to the cards. The Roy card doesn't just have a neat picture on the back, but the front might just be the best picture in the entire set. Look for yourself...


You don't see that happen much! Great athleticism from Roy, that's top notch!


I call this picture the illusion of photography. It looks like the puck is gonna hit Kasatonov right in th beak, but it doesn't - oooooooooo, ahhhhhhhhh!


This one made me laugh when I saw it. This looks exactly like Pat is doing the Soulja Boy's "Crank That" dance. "Now watch my yoaaaaaaaaaaa (crank that soulja)"


"Hey bud! Guess what? I won the Stanley Cup! HIGH FIVE!!!"


As I brought out in my last Cardboard Captions post, the celebration photography is a lost treasure. This is no exception. We see Danton Cole just scored and from the pile of Kings players behind him, it did not look easy. You deserve to celebrate. Here's some more of Danton's ummmm....hard work? On that note, we will end this Cardboard Captions off. 

GO NUCKS GO!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

THE GOALIE PROJECT - Alex Auld (Part 1)

It is seems almost impossible to follow the career of Alex Auld as he has jumped from conference to conference and from team to team. In 10 NHL seasons, Auld has managed to play for 7 different NHL teams. Thankfully over the past few years I've picked up quite a large repertoire of Auld cards and can say I successfully have completed his part in my project. Let's take a look at my only Alex Auld card NOT in a Canucks jersey:


After being drafted by the Florida in 1999, Alex did not play a game in a Panthers uniform UNTIL "the trade". Yes, the trade that has brought the Vancouver Canucks to their present state of success. The Bertuzzi, Auld, and Allen for Luongo, Kraijeck, and a 6th rounder. I have no clue how Nonis pulled that one off!


Like I said before, a big variety of Auld cards. I have more than doubles of most of these cards, specifically 8 times the Hot Prospects card in the bottom left hand corner of the scan above.


I have 4 Auld rookie cards to write about, one of them being a Topps Chrome Draft Picks card. One thing I like about having a variety of past years of goalies is looking at how their pads and masks have changed. I don't mind the black and white pads against the old Canucks jersey, it looks kinda cool.

Here's where I stand after this bunch:



GO NUCKS GO!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

FINALLY ORGANIZED!! + New Collecting Goals

Is it weird that I'm thoroughly happy I finally have all my cards organized? It's odd how something so simple can make me so happy! Not only are all my cards in order and protected properly, but I have FINALLY valued my entire collection. Like I've said before although many people don't find Beckett credible, this is what I used because I wanted some sort of number on my collection.

This post is more so for my own record, so if your not interested in the numbers I don't blame you for looking away. Just this time though, trust me my post won't always be like this.

My hockey card hobby started in elementary school. Trading cards brought in ziploc bags (ouch!). I look back on those days and think: what was I collecting for? It wasn't so much as signatures and low numbered cards or GU cards. It was simple things like getting a Canucks card or my favorite player at the time. As I look back on my cards from those days I notice that not a lot of them had monetary value, but more so sentimental value. I've gotten more serious as I've grown and now I live for any signature or GU card I can get my hands on. After the statistics, I'll explain how my goals of collecting have changed after examining the numbers.

TOTAL CARDS: 9,025
TOTAL VALUE: $ 2,870. 56
CARDS NOT YET VALUED: 835

So this is the grand totals of all cards. You'll notice that of the 9,025 cards I own, 835 of those cards are NYV (Not Yet Rated). That's because those are the cards from this 2010-11 collecting season. Instead of collecting the monthly issues I figure it would be more worth my while to wait until next years annual comes out.

TOTAL CARDS: 9,025
-> AUTOGRAPHS: 19
-> GAME USED: 2

This is where I find the biggest hole in my collection. Only two sweater cards in my entire collection! That's probably going to be my biggest goal moving along.

TOTAL CARDS: 9,025
-> CANUCKS CARDS: 2,336
-----> CANUCKS RC's: 412
-----> CANUCKS AUTOGRAPHS: 5
-----> CANUCKS GAME USED: 1
-----> CANUCKS NYV: 28

I'm very happy that my Canucks cards have jumped over the 2,000 mark. I have a lot of doubles, which is the only down side to that stat. Again, I have 28 Canucks cards from this season that have not yet been rated.

GOALS:
1. Continue to build my Canucks collection
2. Start a serious player collection (Richard Brodeur?)
3. Gain more GU cards!

Simple as that, those are my stats. Small beans compared to a lot of other collections, but there is no way that I'm disappointed with my share of cards. It's not just about signatures on cards, I'm a big fan of signed jersey's, photos etc. so I'll continue to grow my strong collection in that category!

Like I said, this is more for my record to keep track of my favorite cards in my collection. I'll keep a running update on this post as well as keep a hard copy for myself at home.

UPDATES
---------------------------------

TOTAL CARDS: 10, 929
VALUE: $3, 794.86
NYV: 1, 821

CANUCKS CARDS: 2, 694
VALUE: $1, 236.10
NYV: 97

AUTO's: 52 (24 Canucks)
GU: 37 (21 Canucks)
GU/AUTO: 4 (1 Canuck)

GO NUCKS GO!

Friday, March 11, 2011

THE GOALIE PROJECT - Curtis Sanford (Part 1)

I've been able to collect random Sanford's from different sets and packages. So, lucky for me I don't have to search for any single's anywhere to collect more. Let's start with Curtis' cards NOT in a Canucks jersey...


One from the 2006-07 Victory set, and another from 2007-08 OPC set. I have doubles of both cards. 


The lone card I have of Sanford sporting 'Nucks gear is the one above.


This is the nicest card I have of Sanford as it is from 2002-03 Private Stock. Check out the back:


I always liked the simple design of Private Stock. This rookie card is numbered to /1550, as you can see on the bottom left hand corner. This card was included in a package that a fellow blogger sent my way awhile back.

Curtis Sanford was a two year back-up for Luongo in the 2007-08/2008-09 seasons. He isn't a household name by any means, but he did get the fans of Vancouver excited on what is usually a pretty "personal" decision for goalies. He held a design my mask contest. I've heard of a few goalies that had done this in the past and I thought: why not give it a try? My dad and I both came up with masks for Curtis, we both based a lot of our masks on his nickname - Sandman. Here's my dad's:


Here's mine:


Mine's a little more blurry because it's a scan of a scan, but I still think mine's better. My dad obviously think's otherwise. I have Canucks color stripes leading to his number at the chin. I kinda have a BC theme from the right hand side leading up to the forehead. The left side is a picture of the Sandman from the marvel comics. All around, I spent a lot of time on it and was happy with my final product. Wanna see the mask that won? I think it's pretty amazing, and I'm not ashamed I lost at all!

 

 

Pretty sweet huh? Anywhoo, this is where I stand with my Goalie Project:


Edit: Also my buddy from school caught the blogging fever and has started a new blog about soccer. If you're into soccer (like me) you'll love this blog. Has very in depth analysis from my friend.
CLICK HERE

GO NUCKS GO!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Take on the Chara Incident

Today we received the very sad news that Max Pacioretty has suffered a severe concussion and a non-displaced fracture of the fourth cervical vertebrae. This is a terrible injury for anyone to go through nonetheless a young 22 year-old man.

As Canucks blogger Peter Tessier puts it "If you don't have an opinion on that hit you must be void of emotion and common sense." The thing is I don't have a clear cut 100% opinion on this hit. Here is where I'm at 80% Montreal, 20% Boston. That may seem a little heartless, but please let me explain. THE RESULT of the injury alone is worth a suspension for the rest of the regular season and a fine. Without a single doubt in my mind, if the NHL is "cracking" down on head shots this is a suspension.


Think of this (I can't remember the players involved but...) if a player can get a play under review by the NHL for accidentally hitting a player with his stick in the face from a crosscheck that bounced of his shoulder, how can Chara not get suspended? Chara's arms extended through Pacioretty's upper body as to throw Max' head into the boards. There is no doubt about that. If you need proof, the video is below.




If this hit happened anywhere else along the boards the hit would not have been called. The upper body push Zdeno delivered would have thrown Max up in the boards and back onto the ice. Hell, it might even have been played on the night's biggest hits on TSN. But because the hit was along the bench and Chara threw Max into the stantion, this is a whole different ballgame. Is this simply just a wrong place, wrong time hit for Chara? Or was there INTENT? "Nobody knows but Zdeno Chara" is basically what Mike Cammalleri said in an interview this morning. He is correct.


This is what we know:
1. Chara drove the head of Max Pacioretty into the stantion.
2. The puck was nowhere near.


What we don't know:
1. Did Chara want to hurt Pacioretty?


If the intent is there, he's gone for the rest of the season AND the play-offs. That's it - there is no discussion. The NHL wants to get strict? Well why don't you grow a pair and lay down the law! Because I speak for all hockey fans when I say that I don't want to see players getting injured because of dumb ass head shots like this anymore! If there is a way to prove intent, the case is closed.


Unfortunately, we don't know if Chara wanted to hurt Max at that time. So what should the NHL have done?


I think of it this way - accidents happen (of course). For example, in today's society if a 4 year old kid steals a candy from a corner store, the child isn't going to jail. The kid had no idea what he was doing. This is similar to what happened when that player cross checked another by accident. He didn't know any better! He meant to crosscheck him in the shoulder not the face, and he get's in trouble? (If anyone knows what I`m talking about let me know who was involved...I believe it was Dallas). Notice though, that both incidents were fairly small. The kid was not malicious when stealing the candy, and nobody is getting seriously injured from a crosscheck to the chin.


Chara`s hit was more than a small incident, it led to serious injury. If we look back at when Richard Zednick got his throat cut open, we know there was no intent. Therefore no suspension. We don`t know whether Zdeno Chara intended to injure Max Pacorietty, therefore we must asses the situation from the injury. Again an example from today`s society, if you have a gun and you accidentally kill someone, you are going to jail. It does't matter if you didn't do it on purpose, there is no way of telling. You MUST get punished. Chara seriously injured a peer. That alone deserves a suspension until the end of the season.


That is why I am 80% on Montreal`s side.


All that being said, I have to give Zdeno the benefit of the doubt. Chara has always been a player that popped out in my mind. He has a huge shot, is the biggest guy in the NHL, and he seems pretty chill. So maybe Zdeno didn`t mean to throw Max' head into the stantion, instead he was actually trying to angle him off.


Even the commentator in the video of the hit above said "I can`t believe that Zdeno would do such a thing...I have played with Chara and I really hope this wasn't on purpose or else I would be disgusted." The RDS Montreal Canadians commentator was giving him the benefit of the doubt, so why not myself?


That is the only reason why I'm 20% on Boston's side.


There is only one other incident I can compare this to from my recent memory - Todd Bertuzzi on Steve Moore sucker punch. As a side note, that game was the first game my little sister ever went to. Good thing she didn't leave after the first period like she wanted to! Let's compare these two incidents...take a look at the Bertuzzi sucker punch first:




HISTORY BETWEEN TEAMS:


Montreal / Boston: Very bad blood between these two teams. They've hated each other for years, and the past meetings this season were no different.


Vancouver/Colorado: The incident happened at the peak of the hate between these two division rivals.


HISTORY BETWEEN PLAYERS:


Chara/Pacioretty: Chara and Pacioretty do have a history. Small things like even when Max scored a goal against them a while before Chara pushed him while he was getting the pat on the head from his team mates.




Moore/Bertuzzi: A week before the horrendous sucker punch of Bertuzzi, Moore elbowed Naslund in the head (at the time Naslund was the leagues scoring leader). The sucker punch happened as revenge of that hit.


THE INTENTION:


Chara: Who knows?


Bertuzzi: He wanted to send a message and there is no doubt that he did it in the wrong way.


I hope for the moral standards of human beings in general that neither of these players intended to seriously injure or end hockey careers. I find these two incidents uncannily similar.


Sorry for kind of going everywhere with my thoughts in this post, but to summarize it in one sentence I would say:
Since it is unclear whether or not Chara was "going" for Max Pacioretty, he deserves a suspension for the result of the injury, and the follow through of the head/collar bone area for at least 10 games.


Those are my 2 cents. I know everybody has there opinion, and I just want to make it clear that I'm not attacking Montreal nor Bruins fans, nor am I attacking Zdeno Chara. Like I said, this is the opinion I'm entitled to have.


If you have anything else to add or disagree with me I would love some feedback. I hope a speedy recovery for Mr. Pacioretty and his family (which were unfortunately there to witness the incident).


GO NUCKS GO!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

THE GOALIE PROJECT - Dunc Wilson/Drew MacIntyre (Part 1)

I thought I might as well knock out a few singles for my Goalie Project. We are going to look at an old school goalie from the 70's and a youngster from today. Let's start with Dunc Wilson.


This is from 2009-10 ITG and must be some sort of throwback set. First thing I thought when I saw this card was, Dunc needs to learn how to smile. I have his rookie card pretty much locked up in a trade, so soon enough I'll have 2 out of 3 of his cards complete.

As for Drew MacIntyre, his card is quite the dilemma. 


Okay, so this card is a three in one. It is a rookie card, Drew is wearing a Canucks jersey, and it has a Nashville Predators logo. So which category does this fall under? In my opinion, this will count as the rookie card only. That means I need another MacIntyre card in a Canucks jersey, and another in another teams jersey. As of right now I have 1/3 MaIntyre cards.

Here's where I stand...

Alex Auld
Murray Bannerman
Martin Brochu
Richard Brodeur - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Gary Bromley
Bruce Bullock
Sean Burke
Frank Caprice
Jacques Caron
Dan Cloutier
Ed Dyck
Ken Ellacott
Bob Essensa
Mike Fountain
Troy Gamble
George Gardner
John Garrett
Glen Hanlon
Johan Hedberg
Rick Heinz
Corey Hirsch
Charlie Hodge
Arturs Irbe
Jason LaBarbera
Ken Lockett
Roberto Luongo - 3/3 COMPLETE! 35 TOTAL
Drew MacIntyre - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Cesare Maniago
Bob Mason
Dave McClelland
Steve McKichan
Kirk McLean
Rob McVicar - 1/1 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Alfie Michaud
Tyler Moss
Mika Noronen
Maxime Ouellet
Félix Potvin
Andrew Raycroft - 1/3 COMPLETE! 6 TOTAL
Curt Ridley
Dany Sabourin
Curtis Sanford
Cory Schneider - 1/2 COMPLETE! 5 TOTAL!
Corey Schwab
Petr Skudra
Gary Smith
Garth Snow
Kevin Weekes
Steve Weeks
Kay Whitmore
Dunc Wilson - 1/3 COMPLETE! 1 TOTAL
Wendell Young

GO NUCKS GO!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

BLASTER BOX BREAK - 2010-11 Donruss

I've only bought one pack of Donruss so far this year and was pleasantly surprised by the product when I had it in my hand. Card stock was fairly thick for base cards and all cards had a nice gloss to it. I enjoy Panini's Score product for design better than Donruss, but I thought why not try a blaster. It was on sale for 16 bucks at London Drugs. Panini is really growing on me, and with the Luxury Suite set coming out in June I'm completely stoked! 50 buck for 3 cards, but all cards will be either autographs, jersey cards, or rookie cards. No base to mess around with! Without further a due...


The biggest superstar I pulled was Alex Ovechkin. Let's hope he can play dynamite down the stretch for the Caps. Even though I'm a Canadian boy, I'm a bigger Ovie fan than Crosby. I know, it's a sin!



I pulled four key rookies from last season. The two Buffalo rookies are Ennis and Myers, and the others are Couture and Hedman. My favorite of the bunch has to number 57 - 6 foot 8 inches - Tyler Myers.


I got two rated rookies, none of them huge names. Justin Faulk and Philip Larsen. 


Three Canucks in the entire Blaster. As I'm watching the Canucks and Kings game on TV all I can say is Kesler and Burrows are going back to their 3rd line grinder days; it's quite the chippy match. This is also my first Hamhuis card where he is wearing the blue, green and white.


My inserts include one "Ultimate Draft" card of Coburn. I actually don't mind the look of these cards. It looks a little futuristic and dare I say it a bit McDonalds-ish. The cards look organized and proportioned. 


A tough times insert rounds out the last of my two inserts. Tough times is a beauty insert and that's all that needs to be said.

Like I mentioned earlier, this has been a nice relaxing Saturday and now I'm watching my Canucks battling it out against the Kings. We better get our stuff together or else come play-offs we won't have momentum. Our powerplay has slipped and although we had 4 powerplays in the first we haven't capitalized on any of them. Hopefully the "slumping" Sedin's can shake their 3 game no point streak. 

As for my future posts, I had planned on throwing out a few Goalie Project posts today but decided to get the blaster box out of the way. I have many different Canucks goalie cards to post so it will take time to get ALL my cards recorded. 

Here's my 2010-11 Donruss totals after the blaster and the single pack I bought a while back:

BASE: 87 (2 rated rookies) (3 Canucks)
INSERTS: 3 
TOTAL: 90 (3 Canucks)

GO NUCKS GO!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

CARDBOARD CAPTIONS

What is one thing that will make you put a 5 cent card in a top loader? Photography. I've taken a few photography courses in school (kinda a waste of time) but I did learn about what makes a photo "great". In my eyes these cards have great photography. The photo on the card can make or break a card, here are some of my picks for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 1991-92 Upper Deck Hockey.


Talk about business behind the play. Looks like Hogue-ster can handle himself though. Wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley.


This guy is obviously relieved he scored this goal. He must be happy he scored because he only got 6 goals in 1990-91. Celebration photography should be used more than it is now. 


These horizontal cards were done perfectly. There are tons of cool goalie shots in this set. This one shows the old style way of goal tending. Wamsley caught a bit of air on this glove save. Very impressive photography.


Another horizontal card and another goalie card. This time of the Barrasso variety, great depth of field in this photo. Shows parts of the goalie equipment you don't normally see. Notice how most of the goalies don't have crazy busy design's on there masks. They're simple and classy. Most masks today have random things everywhere, don't get me wrong, some are really well done...BUT...simple is always nice too.


The back of this card makes me cringe. Really nice save by Barrasso here. Glove save and the splits! Top Notch!


Definitely my favorite card of them all. How this happened...I have no clue. How could the play have gone, so that a Philly player is throwing Tanner over his shoulder. Crazy shot by the photographer. The man behind in the stands is disgusted by this though...lol


On that note, we will finish off today's blog. Some pretty great photos for my readers to mull over. Let me know if you'd like to see some more card photo's in the future. If you think their is a way to make this segment better let me know! Look for a few consecutive Goalie Project posts in the near future! 

GO NUCKS GO!