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In defence of the Canucks and other juicy tidbits...

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Mini-rant O’ the Day:

Excuse me if I fell asleep and, while under the influence of my nightly Doritos and lager snack, missed the part where the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Derby.

Oh, they weren’t? That’s what I thought.

So what’s with all the fussing over their play through the first couple of rounds of the tournament?

The Sedins are struggling... Luongo has been so-so... Raffi Torres is evil...

Just to recap: the Canucks knocked off the Stanley-Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and dispatched the Nashville Predators in round two.

No, it wasn’t always a work of art. But they are halfway to a championship. And while I’m no coroner, I can tell you a post-mortem isn’t usually penned until a season is dead.

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1. Playoff beards are a goofy phenomenon. But there ought to be a law: facial hair should still be properly attended to and groomed and not allowed to run amok like some sort of ZZ Top starter thing. And yes, we were talking to you, Shea Weber.

2. The more I tune in, the more I think CBC’s Scott Oake is the best game host on the air. Not only that, his between-periods or post-game interviews perfectly showcase his knowledge and the players’ respect for him.

3. Watching Darren Helm rocket up the ice is magical. Is there a better skater in the NHL?

4. Should a coach be eligible for the Conn Smythe? As evidence, we give you Tampa Bay boss Guy Boucher, who has the Lightning in the conference final.

5. We’re barely halfway to declaring a new champ? Yikes.

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Random thoughts and three dots...

-This take while watching from afar — NHL owners should be tripping over themselves to welcome True North Sports and Entertainment, and specifically Moose owner Mark Chipman and billionaire partner David Thompson, into their fraternity. Stability and professionalism must count for something and it oozes from the organization’s every pore...

-I know this is a bit dated, but fingers crossed for Winnipegger and former Bison coach Wayne Fleming — now with the Lightning and recovering from surgery to remove part of a brain tumour. Here is The Globe and Mail’s Al Maki telling the story so perfectly.

-And here’s another piece on a fellow former Bison, Stu "The Grim Reaper" Grimson who talks in this splendid piece by Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star about the brain damage he may have suffered over the years as an NHL enforcer. Grimson, like Bob Probert, plans to donate his brain to science, although not today — "I’m still using it.

-Tweet of the week, from old friend Ed Willes of The Vancouver Province (@willesonsports) while watching Carrie Underwood’s reaction to seeing the Predators eliminated: "Carrie Undersood looked a little teary. Don’t know if it’s for her husband or watching Kostitsyn."

-A cool stat that speaks of longevity: knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield’s appearance in a Boston game this week officially made him the oldest person to pitch for the Red Sox at 44 years, 282-days old. He passed Deacon McGuire, who last pitched 1908...

-Saw this gem this week and it needs to be repeated — Arnold Palmer’s approach to golf: "Hit it hard, find it, then hit it hard again." Asked how he made 12 on a hole, he said, "I missed a 20 footer for 11."

-True story: Dennis Rodman, one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history, had his No. 10 jersey retired Wednesday night at Headquarters Gentlemen’s Club, a strip club in New York in honour of his 50th birthday.

-Headline this week from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s website: "Brett Favre says he’s ‘done with football’, has no intention of coming out of retirement." How many times have we seen that before?...

-For real: video evidence of an 80-yard goal in lacrosse.

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We make no apologies for the fact we are trick-shot addicts here at Out of Bounds. Check out Norm MacDonald’s attempt to go viral with one of his own.

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Members of Slicers Anonymous — those golfers who would kill for straight drives off the tee — should take note of the following (and if this really works, I’ll take a dozen boxes).

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Got a cool link or video you’d like to share? Send it to Ed at

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