Saturday, May 8, 2010

Will History be Made or Repeated?

Thank you Canucks. I think I finally understand how my parents felt when I was failing Grade 6 and they tested me and found out I had an above average IQ.

The Vancouver Canucks are my grade 6 year - over and over again.

We have the highest scorer in the league. We have a Team USA rockstar. We have the Gold Medal winning goalie. We have a Detroit veteran powerhouse. We have a stellar home record, a solid away record. I could go on and on about the assests of the Vancouver Canucks. It's probably just easier to cut to what we don't have - a hope in hell.

We're headed into Chicago tomorrow fighting for our lives, down 3 games to 1. We most likely - or most definitely if you tallk to the "expert" broadcasters and anaylists - will be out of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs in 5 games. Because of the Hawks. Again. Only this time it's worse because if we're out in 5 then the Blackhawks got rid of us one game quicker than last year.

Now I know the predictions, odds and favorites mean diddly. The Montreal Canadiens proved without a doubt that the season, the odds, none of it matters. If it did, I'd still have to be looking at Ovechkin's ugly face. But can Vancouver do it? Oh Hockey Gods I hope so.

Last night's game 4 was some of the worst hockey I have ever seen. The Vancouver Canucks couldn't spell powerplay let alone do anything on one. I thought their PK started off good - I honestly did - but all other hockey fans I know say I'm wrong. I agree that by the 2nd it had completely fallen apart, save for a great block by Ryan Johnson in the 3rd. Luongo struggled from the get-go. In fact, struggle is a polite term. He let in that first goal before fans seats were warm and he - once again - could not cover up a puck to save his life. Would someone check his goddamn glove for holes please!

The Canucks biggest problem is their inability to control their emotions - or more importantly DIRECT their emotions. They let the dirty cheap bullshit that is Chicago's style of play get under their skin. They let it make them angry and they can't chanel that anger into stronger play. They just let it unravel them on every level. Exhibit A: Daniel Sedin taking penalties instead of shots.

The worst offenders of course are Shane O'Brien and Alexandre Burrows. Both have taken more stupid penalties than anyone else. Although I have to admit that I gave Burrows a standing O at the game when he crosschecked Byfuglien in the back of head. Because even I can be a stupid hockey fan led by irrational emotions. The problem is when the Canucks themselves are stupid players led by irrational emotions, they lose.

Now, as they head back to Chi Town to fight off elimination, they're clearly dispondant. Luongo no longer has a playoff beard. O'Brien said in an interview that he proved people right by being "Dumb" on the ice and that the odds were stacked against them. Alex Burrows, well again, he acts like nothing is wrong because he's a dumbass. That said, Burrows and O'Brien are 2 Canucks I have a soft spot for, probably because what makes them turn into dumbass is the passion and heart in their game. When they control it, both are dominating forces on the ice. But they haven't controlled it in the playoffs. Unless they can, they'll never be a real asset to their team.

In my humble hockey opinion, it's the coaches JOB to harness this winning elixir of passion and talent and Alain Vingeault has proven in the last two years that he is NOT the man for that job. When he should have been motivating the team and trying to get their confidence back up, Vingeault instead threw his goalie under the bus. After Game 4 he said of his captain that Luongo was "the second best goalie on the ice." Way to turn their frowns upside down, AV.

I've made it clear for a few years that I don't think Vingeault has what it takes to get Vancouver to the Stanley Cup. He's never brought a team closer than he's brought us and clearly - if we're out again in Round 2 - then that's as good as he can give. We need more as fans. They deserve more as players.

I'm hoping I'm wrong - about Vingeault, that it's not as insurmountable as it feels, that history will not repeat itself.

I'm hoping Luongo can rally the troops (since Vingeault doesn't get that aspect of hockey yet). Afterall, Lu's the Captain and he's been here before - in February. He played 3 Game 7s - faced elimination over and over and held it together and fought through it and won Gold.

He can win a Stanley Cup. They all can. I believe it. They just have to.


I believe.

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