Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Do Time, Not Die Time

Dear Vancouver Canucks,

I'm a mix of emotions right now. Good, bad and ugly. I have a feeling you boys feel the same way. So let's vent about the bad and the ugly and have a pity party right here and now so we can move on shall we?

Yes what happened to Raymond was horrible and uncalled for. Yes the referees not calling an interference penalty was complete crap. They totally ripped you off. And yeah, the NHL once again smacked you, Canucks, in the face when they didn't follow up with discipline on Boychuk after what they handed down to Rome. And without a doubt Marchand essentially bitch-slapping Daniel over and over and over because he "felt like it" and the ref only calling a penalty when it was obvious the mentally unbalanced Bruin wasn't going to stop until next tuesday was completely unfair. Humiliating and unfair.

But you know what? Life isn't fair. You know how they say living well is the best revenge? Well in your case, WINNING is your only revenge. So suck up all the crap the league and the Bruins have throw your way and win the Stanley Cup anyway!

Realize this simple fact Vancouver Canucks - you are not any farther away from the Cup than you were Friday night after the final whistle. It's still only one win away. ONE. WIN. That's all.

You did it Friday. I was there. I was the one with the red lettered I Believe In Luongo Sign. Your skill outplayed their brute force. You were faster, smarter and just plain better. I know it feels like climbing a mountain and you're even more battered and beleaguered than you were Friday - but you can do it again. Just once more. Just once more and it's all over. One. More. Win.

Canucks, in Games 1,2 and 5 you took Tim Thomas' sometimes chaotic, mostly lucky (lack-of) style and capitalized on its weaknesses. The fact is he's not confident, he's cocky. There's a difference. The same can be said for the entire Bruins squad - cocky not confident. They're bullies. They're goons. Their fans are cheap and the players are dirty. You can't change that and the NHL certainly won't condemn them for it so just forget about it.

You have to get past their cheap classless moves. Ignore it. Focus on the only thing that matters - that you've reached the end. There is no do-over after Wednesday night. No chance to regroup. No room for error.

You have to be sharp - something that comes easily to you but not the Bruins. They aren't about sharpness or talent. They're about chaos and cheap chances. Don't give them any. Play smart and tight and hard. It's do or die time. And you must DO, not die.

Useless referees and a biased league - so what? You haven't let it stop you all season so don't start now. YOU CONTROL YOUR OWN DESTINY. Never forget that. Wednesday is YOURS to win.

You are back in YOUR house. You are playing YOUR hockey. In front of YOUR fans. It's been YOUR season - from start to finish YOU have OWNED this league. One more win and YOU OWN the Stanley Cup.

I will be screaming just as hard from my couch Wednesday as I was Friday in the stands. And I won't be the only one. You have more people behind you than the media would have you believe, trust me on that. (Yes even you Roberto Luongo. Especially you.)

Do it for Luc. Do it for Hamhuis. Do it for Samuelsson. Do it for Rome. Do it for Raymond. Do it for us, your diehard fans who never give up on you. But most of all do it for yourselves. You've earned it. Now go out there and take it.

Bottom line: you, the Vancouver Canucks, can do this. I believe. YOU believe. Now make it happen!

With all my love, faith and support


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dear Vancouver Canucks

Dear Vancouver Canucks,

It's me again. Your longtime, opinionated and passionate fan. You may remember me from my
Open Letter to Ryan Kesler last year or my ferverent plea during your Chicago Blackhawks series this year. Then again, you may not remember me at all - and that's okay too. You're kinda busy right now and I get that. But I'm writing you once again to chat. I think we need to touch base and regroup after Game 3 and Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

First off I would like to set the record straight - I do NOT hate you. not a single solitary one of you. I know the media in this city love to make it seem like we're all a bunch of incensed, judgemental fans a la Montreal Habs variety but we aren't. Not all Canucks fans cheered when Luongo was pulled last night. I would even dare to venture that not all the fans in Rogers Arena cheered his departure from last night's game. Just because a bunch of towels were raised at the moment he left the ice and Cory Schneider skated onto it doesn't mean squat. I personally was cheering the fact that Cory was going to play in his home state in the Stanley Cup Finals. What a great thing that was for him! I love Lu. And I love Schneids too. I was happy to see him play but it was NOT at Luongo's expense. When Luongo starts Game 5 I will cheer just as loudly for him.

Secondly I want to say this - The 2011 Boston Bruins are not the 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks. I think for some reason you, Canucks, might be feeling like they are. Because well frankly you are starting to play like you did against that hideous team that beat the life out of you way back when. And you are so NOT that team anymore. You're past that! Sure the Bruins resemble the Hawks in the fact that they're cheap and dirty, but the Bruins lack the actual skill that the Blackhawks have. They don't have a Kane or a Toews who can score regardless of cheap back-up help. Peverley and Marchand get lucky off their dirty antics and the dirty antics of their teammates - not a lot of base skill there. OWN that information and USE it.

Yes, they're essentially trying to maim the twins on every play. Let them (no offense Hanky and Danky, I wish you no harm and I know you can handle it). But while the Bruins concentrate on harrassing the twins the rest of you should be concentrating on putting pucks to the net like you did in other series. You've proven that the wonder twins are the icing on the Vancouver cake not the cake itself - Hansen, Torres, Kesler, Burrows, Bieksa, Raymond, Malholtra - you can all score and set up plays too. So do it. Don't worry about retaliation. Take the anger at the inaccurate reffing calls and constant bullying by the Dirty Bears, swallow it down and SHOOT.

Thirdly, Thomas is a wall. But it's a wall built of toothpicks, popsicle sticks and junkyard bricks. He's chaotic. He's spastic. He's not impenetrable - he's just unpredictable. I know you know that if you get him out of his crease (which can happen easily any time he goes for a puck) you can get a rebound past him. Just GET ON THOSE REBOUNDS!

You are the CANUCKS. You know how to do this. You've done it all year! Your Power Plays are to be FEARED. Show them why. Crash the net, pepper Thomas with rubber. You did it the first two games - that wasn't that long ago - ignore the petty, cheap dirty style known as "Bruins Hockey" and concentrate on the skilled, intense, unrelenting style known as "Canucks Hockey"

One last thing - are you tired? Because you look tired. And yeah you've earned the right to be tired. But think about it this way, if you're the kid in the backseat whining "are we there yet?" during a long journey - the answer is finally YES you are ALMOST there. Two more games. That's all it'll take - TWO MORE WINS. So buck up! Dig deep. Give it everything you have and then take a deep breath and give it more. You have the skill and the style it takes to win this - the Bruins can only win this if you continue to forget that you, the Vancouver Canucks, are the true talent. You are the ones with the grit, heart and determination. Not the Boston Bruins. Don't let them make you forget that.

I'll be at Game 5 screaming my head off for all of you. I KNOW you've got this. You can and will bring Lord Stanley home.

Much love, support and faith,