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Bieksa says he’s rooting for former coach Vigneault

May 20, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT

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It’s plausible that Alain Vigneault burnt some bridges or at least left some hard feelings behind during his times in Vancouver, yet at least one Canucks player seems to be on his side. Kevin Bieksa told the Canadian Press that he’s pulling for the ex-Canucks coach as he sits two wins from a Stanley Cup Final appearance with the New York Rangers.

“For Alain, I’m happy for him that he got back there so quickly,” Bieksa said. “He’s a good coach and he’s obviously been there before and he took us there. We had a lot of really good years together. Absolutely we’re cheering for him and hope they do well.”

“We” could mean any number of Canucks, as Jason Garrison said, “If anything, we’re jealous.”

(Bieksa denied his own feelings of jealousy, if nothing else.)

Whatever the case may be, it does at least imply yet another contrast with Rangers-turned-Canucks coach John Tortorella.* From Brad Richards to Brandon Dubinsky, it seemed as if Torts experienced strained relationships with a notable number of players in New York.

Sometimes that’s just about people going on the record to slam or praise someone while that doesn’t represent the entire locker room, but if nothing else, it sounds like Bieksa still has plenty of respect for his former coach.

* – Whether it makes you cringe or not, the fact that they basically traded jobs last season means they’ll probably be compared for years. Even if Tortorella might not have the same chance to prove his side of the argument.


  1. 1harrypairatesties - May 20, 2014 at 11:38 PM


    You bleed once a month.

  2. r8rbhawk - May 20, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    I’m rooting for Bieksa to stop being a spot picker.

    • r8rbhawk - May 21, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      I know responding to one’s own post is frowned upon by many of the commenters here on PHT but for those who disagree with me through the use of down thumbs, care to refute my argument that Bieksa is a spot picker? My video evidence is below.

      Exhibit A

      Exhibit B

      And most egregious, Exhibit C: Bieksa ducks Westgarth and engages Smid

      • canucks30 - May 21, 2014 at 3:05 AM

        I’m not going to refute that Bieksa is a “spot picker” per se.

        However, few other top 3 defenseman in the NHL drop with gloves with more regularity.

        In addition, the Canucks can’t exactly afford to have Bieksa taken off the ice for 5 minutes by the Shawn Thornton’s, John Scott’s and Zenon Konopka’s of the world.

        Your boy Keith isn’t exactly a willing combatant either. You think he’ll answer a challenge from Backes next year for his “wakey wakey” comments? Probably not.

      • canucks30 - May 21, 2014 at 3:09 AM

        Also, his most egregious example is actually Viktor Stalberg:

        As a Blackhawks fan, I’m surprised you didn’t bring that one up.

      • r8rbhawk - May 21, 2014 at 3:47 AM

        Good memory regarding the attack on Speedy Stonehands Stalberg. I knew if anyone could find another classic example it would be you. I’m not bringing Duncan Keith into this as it is Bieksa who stands accused as a spot picker. That said, I believe the Burrows hair pulling incident turned Keith off from fighting.

      • r8rbhawk - May 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        Thumbs up to that comment Dave. Obviously no one really cares what anyone thinks on the internet, that is why there are so many trolls out there. It is easy to dismiss anyone’s opinion, especially on a hockey blog. However, based off the responses I have received no one is refuting he is a spot picker, which was the whole point of my comment. I say he is a spot picker, you say he is a spot picker, hell, even Canucks30 and his vast encyclopedia of hockey knowledge says Bieksa is a spot picker, end of story. I’m not even going to attempt to defend Duncan Keith’s actions, as that was not part of my argument.

    • davebabychreturns - May 21, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      Virtually everyone in the league is a “spot picker.” Bieksa is below average size (for an NHL player) so it’s hardly surprising he passes up fights with guys like Kevin Westgarth who is a fourth liner, a goon and has 3 inches and 35 lbs on him.

      Still he has fought guys like Eager despite being at an obvious disadvantage in the past.

      Or I guess he could be like Duncan Keith and get justice with flying elbows and swinging sticks..

      • avscup - May 21, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        He does though. Bieksa is dirty but won’t answer.

      • davebabychreturns - May 21, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        Not even close to being on Keith’s level, but yes your generic comment that applies to 75% of the league also applies to Bieksa.

      • r8rbhawk - May 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Don’t move into the faceoff dot against Westgarth knowing there is going to be a line brawl then.

      • davebabychreturns - May 21, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        Yeah Bieksa better be careful next time a line brawl breaks out, otherwise he might lose the respect of such internet luminaries as “r8rbhawk”..

      • r8rbhawk - May 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        Crap, hey Dave, I failed at my response, take a look about 6 lines above this comment if you care to see what I attempted to write back regarding your comment from 1:36 today. Maybe this could be considered me “picking my spots” in my responses.

      • davebabychreturns - May 22, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        It’s okay, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to tangle with me. 😉

        But yeah I agree he is a spot picker. Like I said, most of the league (everyone except the guys who don’t have to fight, and the guys who are paid to fight anyone) are spot pickers.

        Fans of other teams just hate Bieksa because he does it and he’s good enough to tune up most of the guys in his pay grade and weight class..

    • avscup - May 21, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      One of the biggest spot pickers period. He’ll fight anyone who can’t fight and nobody who can. I’ve watched it for years.

  3. canucks30 - May 21, 2014 at 4:19 AM

    My favourite Bieksa quote:

    On John Scott: “If a 6-foot-8 guy who can’t skate asks to fight, you say no, then skate around him and score a goal.”

    Honourable mentions:

    On Ryan Kesler’s clothing line: “Proceeds go to a translator for Alex Burrows.”

    On the difference between Roberto Luongo and Markus Naslund as captains: “Roberto’s a goalie, Markus is a winger.”

    On Ryan Kesler’s crooked pinky: “Some sort of birth defect I think. I think that’s what Americans do when you steal something at a young age, they break your pinky finger.”

    On his postgame ritual: “After the game I do a little bike ride, lift some weights and work on the biceps, go home and trim the chest, then go for a run on the seawall.”

    On Joel Quenneville’s Moustache: “Very intimidating. Our coach is very clean shaven and we have to skate by that duster all the time.”

    On Alex Burrows: “He lightens up the room. Sometimes we laugh when he’s not even trying to tell a joke.”

    On potentially playing in Montreal: “I’m 6 inches too tall to be signed right now.”

    On ex-teammate Matt Cooke: “I was happy for Cookie when he won the cup. He barely got it over his head though. I don’t know if he’s hurt or not hitting the gym as much.”

    On Roberto Luongo going down after taking a high shot in practice: “There’s no referee, I don’t know why he was trying to draw a penalty.”

  4. hawkscup2013 - May 21, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Ha! Canucks are a complete joke and Bieksa is human scum!

    • davebabychreturns - May 21, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Well you certainly aren’t taking this game too seriously.

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