Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/6/12
Love/Hate Like Milk Hot Dogs

Yesterday’s wildly fluctuating game in Colorado between the Vancouver Canucks and the Avalanche showcased Kevin Bieksa at his hard-working best near the end.

His re-enactment of Superman saw him catapult his body across the ice to prevent the Av’s TJ Galiardi from scoring on the empty net with about 51 seconds to go, and then he reunited with his best friend the Stanchion on another fortuitous assist to wire home the tying goal a few seconds later.

The Canucks then managed to stumble through OT and the shootout to post an improbable win over a stunned Colorado team.

Other than these late game heroics for Bieksa, the only Canucks players who emerged from the game in Denver with any credit were Ryan Kesler, and the superlative Roberto Luongo.

The rest of the team has been on a wild ride the past few weeks, and in more of a sickly, spit up your popcorn manner than a hang on and enjoy the fun time.

Bieksa, though he was not necessarily great until the dying moments yesterday, has generally been on an upward trajectory since a dire start to the season.

The surly two way defenseman on the ice, who was an NHL second best plus 32 last season, began this year mired in a negative rating until December, as the team climbed out of their early funk.

As of today, he sits at a mediocre plus 5.

Over his career, Bieksa’s plus/ minus is a +17. That is a reasonable figure, but not yet Hall of Fame stuff to be sure.

However, a healthy Bieksa on a settled team could mount a serious assault on improving those numbers.

Bieksa has gone through a number of trials in life that would test the resilience of most people. He has had two major leg injuries where skate blades cut him, including 47 games missed after Vern Fiddler of the Nashville Predators accidentally caught him across the right calf on November 1, 2007.

Bieksa has gone through a number of trials in life that would test the resilience of most people.

That incident was a prelude to another cut above the left ankle on December 29, 2009 from the skate of Petr Prucha of the Phoenix Coyotes that cost him 27 games.

Loss Of A Teammate

Number Three has also suffered the loss of one of his best friends with the unfortunate passing of ex-teammate Rick Rypien, linked to that player’s battle with depression. Bieksa was so close to Rypien that he was asked to be a pall bearer at the funeral.

Despite these setbacks, Bieksa continues to be one of the more outsize personalities in the Canucks dressing room. He took a well-publicized ‘hometown discount’ to resign with Vancouver and has been instrumental in convincing other key members of the team to consider the same option.

His scoring this year has also rebounded strongly in recent weeks and his dressing room interviews are always ripe for a few zingers as well.

Here are a few of the best Kevin Bieksa Quotes over the years:

“It’s a nightmare.” – Bieksa on having to spend 2 days in Edmonton during a road trip.

“Roberto’s a goalie, Markus is a winger.” – Bieksa on the difference between Luongo and Naslund as Captains.

“Proceeds go to a translator for Alex Burrows.” – Bieksa on Ryan Kesler’s clothing line.

“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.”

“Even my friends call me Be-es-ka.” –  Bieksa on broadcasters pronouncing his Lithuanian name wrongly.

“It’s embarrassing, for sure. We said we should have air-brushed parts of him if he’s going to have his shirt off.” – Bieksa on Hordichuk posing shirtless.

“Maybe one day we’ll be teammates, but Montreal…I’m 6 inches too tall to be signed right now.” – Bieksa to the short Mike Cammalleri on “Off the Record.”

“Don’t get me wrong. There are still a couple of dummies in this room. Not everyone is interesting. A few guys you stay away from on the road.” – Bieksa on having college educated players on the team.

Until the team properly rights the ship, we will not see the best of Bieksa or the Canucks. But the fact that Vancouver is still racking up points, even while playing at a very uneven pace, doesn’t mean the alarm bell needs to be rung just yet.

The team is playing very tightly right now, but with a personality like Bi-es-ka, at least the dressing room provides some relief.

© C-Mac for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: Canucks gossip, Canucks hockey blog, Canucks Quotes, Canucks Rumors, Great Quotes, Kevin Bieksa, Kevin Bieksa gossip, Kevin Bieksa quotes, Kevin Bieksa rumors, milk hot dogs, NHL Gossip, NHL Headlines, NHL rumors, Ryan Kesler, The Stanchion, Vancouver Canucks

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Schilling to return to 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Report: Cardale Jones rushed to hospital with head pain

WATCH: Cubs' Baez swings so hard he falls down

WATCH: Boston host jokes Goodell should be murdered

WATCH: Mets get inside-the-park HR after OF flips over wall

Eli Manning remains unfazed about poor preseason


RG3 thinks 'Concussion' movie will 'make a lot of people mad'

Can Darrius Heyward-Bey replace Martavis Bryant for the first month in Pittsburgh?

Treon Harris to start at QB for Gators’ opening game

Marshawn Lynch campaigning for Seahawks to sign Fred Jackson

Alabama vs. Wisconsin showdown not selling many tickets

Report: Last-minute Deflategate settlement deal very unlikely

Floyd Mayweather receiving ‘major’ movie offers

Report: Growing discontent between Colts coach, GM

Sam Bradford gets trolled by RG3 in Heisman House ad

Keegan Bradley gets engaged to longtime girlfriend

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Reality has set in for Jerry Jones on Cowboys running backs

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

WATCH: MMA fighter puts attempted robbers in leg lock

The Browns are not the laughing stock they’re made out to be

LSU, McNeese State to honor anniversary of hurricanes Katrina, Rita

Wife of Redskins GM apologizes for nasty tweets about reporter

Doc Rivers jokes Paul Pierce will only play garbage-time minutes

Tourists in Boston ask A-Rod to take photo — of them

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker