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THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast – Episode 237 – Canucks Christmas Miracle

Brad Burud/Blake Friars December 27, 2023

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THE DEBATE Hockey Podcast


Canucks Christmas Miracle

Listen to “THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast – Episode 237 – Canucks Christmas Miracle” on Spreaker.<

In this episode of The Debate Hockey podcast, Brad and Blake discuss the recent performance of the Vancouver Canucks, who have surprised many by being the number one team in the NHL. They also talk about the Capitals and Wizards moving their home arena, recent trades in the NHL, the struggles of the Carolina Hurricanes, and the impressive Michigan goals scored by Zegras and Bedard. They end the episode by discussing the most hated teams in hockey and their biggest rivals.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Vancouver Canucks have been a surprise this season, currently sitting at the top of the NHL standings.
  • Goaltending has been a key factor in the Canucks’ success, with Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith performing well.
  • The Carolina Hurricanes have been struggling due to goaltending issues, with Frederik Andersen dealing with blood clots.
  • The trade market for goaltenders is expected to be active, with teams like the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins in need of an upgrade.
  • The most hated teams in hockey vary depending on the fan base, but traditional rivalries like the Canadiens-Bruins and Flames-Oilers are often mentioned.


  • “The Canucks are the number one team in the National Hockey League as we went to Christmas break, pretty impressive.” – Brad Burud
  • “The biggest thing is accountability is finally an issue, right? They’ve got that country club vibe out of there.” – Blake Friars
  • “The Canucks need to go all in at the deadline. They are going to capitalize on this group right now.” – Blake Friars


The State of Hockey: A Christmas Miracle in Vancouver

By Brad Burud


Christmas has come and gone, and as we return to the world of hockey, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. In this episode of The Debate Hockey podcast, we discuss the surprising success of the Vancouver Canucks, the trade market for goalies, and the most hated teams in hockey. We also delve into the disappointing performances of certain players and the potential impact of these trends on the future of the game. Join us as we explore the state of hockey and the exciting developments that lie ahead.

The Vancouver Canucks: A Christmas Miracle

The Vancouver Canucks have defied expectations this season, emerging as the number one team in the National Hockey League. With 49 points in 35 games, they have surpassed all predictions and established themselves as a formidable force in the Pacific Division. This success can be attributed to a number of factors, including improved goaltending, a solid defensive core, and a deep and talented forward group.

One of the most significant changes for the Canucks has been the improvement in their defensive play. Under the guidance of coach Patrick Alvin and general manager Jim Rutherford, the team has focused on accountability and structure, leading to a more disciplined and effective defensive game. This has resulted in a significant decrease in blown leads and a greater ability to protect leads when they have them.

The goaltending duo of Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith has also been instrumental in the team’s success. Demko, in particular, has been outstanding, leading the league in shutouts and posting impressive numbers in both save percentage and goals against average. His ability to stay healthy and perform at a high level has been a game-changer for the Canucks.

Offensively, the Canucks have been firing on all cylinders. The top line of J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, and Quinn Hughes has been dominant, with all three players ranking in the top ten in points this season. Additionally, Brock Boeser has had a bounce-back year, currently sitting second in goals scored. The team’s depth scoring has also been impressive, with the third line providing a significant offensive boost.

While it is still early in the season, the Canucks have shown consistency and resilience, holding their position at the top of the standings. However, it remains to be seen how they will fare in the second half of the season, especially considering the strength of their schedule and the potential for injuries. Nonetheless, the Canucks have proven that they are a team to be reckoned with and have the potential to make a deep playoff run.

The Trade Market for Goalies

One of the most intriguing storylines this season has been the trade market for goaltenders. Several teams, including the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs, are in desperate need of an upgrade in net. With the playoffs looming, these teams are looking to solidify their goaltending situation and increase their chances of success.

One player who has been mentioned in trade rumors is Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames. Lindholm is a highly skilled forward who could provide a significant offensive boost to any team. The Colorado Avalanche and the Boston Bruins are among the teams rumored to be interested in acquiring his services.

Another player who could be on the move is Timo Meier of the New Jersey Devils. Meier has been a disappointment this season, and the Devils may be looking to shake things up by trading him for a fresh start. Several teams could benefit from Meier’s offensive abilities, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

The trade market for goalies is always active, and this season is no exception. Teams are looking for stability and consistency in net, and there are several options available. Players like Jacob Markstrom, and Mackenzie Blackwood could all be on the move, providing a significant upgrade for teams in need.

The Most Hated Teams in Hockey

A recent graph circulating on social media has sparked a debate about the most hated teams in hockey. While the graph provides a list of each team and their respective fan base’s most hated team, it is important to take these rankings with a grain of salt. The intensity of rivalries can vary greatly depending on factors such as geography, historical matchups, and recent playoff battles.

For example, the Boston Bruins are often considered to have a fierce rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens. The long-standing history between these two Original Six teams has led to intense matchups and memorable playoff battles. Similarly, the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs have a strong rivalry due to their close proximity and the passionate fan bases of both teams.

Other notable rivalries include the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, and the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames. These rivalries are fueled by geographical proximity, historical matchups, and the intensity of the games played between these teams.

While the graph provides an interesting snapshot of fan sentiment, it is important to remember that rivalries can evolve and change over time. New rivalries can emerge, and old rivalries can fade away. Ultimately, the most hated teams in hockey are subjective and can vary depending on individual fan experiences and allegiances.

Conclusion and Future Outlook

As we enter the second half of the season, the state of hockey is filled with excitement and anticipation. The Vancouver Canucks have emerged as a surprise contender, defying expectations and establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. The trade market for goalies is heating up, with several teams in need of an upgrade in net. The most hated teams in hockey continue to fuel intense rivalries and passionate fan bases.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see how the Canucks fare in the second half of the season and whether they can maintain their position at the top of the standings. The trade market for goalies will continue to evolve, with teams looking to solidify their goaltending situation before the playoffs. Rivalries will continue to fuel intense matchups and provide fans with exciting and memorable moments.

In conclusion, the state of hockey is strong, and the future looks bright. As we continue to witness the highs and lows of the game, one thing is certain: hockey will always captivate and inspire us, bringing us together as fans and reminding us of the power of the sport we love.

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Brad Burud/Blake Friars

Brad Burud brings the rock-solid old-school approach to the show. The Minot, North Dakota native grew up playing hockey, and spends his summers on the links. The diehard hockey fan watches tons of hockey and is full of comments and opinions. The Calgary Flames are his favorite team, and he is often accused of having a Western Conference bias. He is also the host of Flames Unfiltered. Brad brings the conservative, old school approach to the show. He is opinionated and hates losing a debate. Blake Friars brings the Canadian approach to the show. The Bienfait, Saskatchewan native grew up playing hockey for 16 years. The goalie is also a long time Roberto Luongo fan and claims the Vancouver Canucks as his favorite team. Rumors and a few photos have him in Oilers jerseys and cheering for the Habs. He denies it but tends to jump on bandwagons quickly. Blake brings the millennial approach to the show. He is candid in his approach and creates numerous laughs and bad predictions.

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