Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: stanley cup playoffs
So far, Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas are the featured players in this Stanley Cup Finals goalie duel, one that Justin Goldman of NHL.com describes as a “rare opportunity to watch two world collide.”
Thomas took a lot of criticism for his gaffe in game 2’s OT, but I personally don’t believe it was much warranted. We expect our goalies to take chances. If Thomas thwarts Alex Burrows in a shot coming in on his right, he’d have been hailed as a genius for taking away a very good shooting spot from Burrows. As it happened, Burrows faked him out, his defense had a breakdown, and the rest is history.
That doesn’t make Thomas a goat for game 2… he simply played the odds and he lost.
It’s no secret that the Canucks are reeling from injuries—and at a bad time as the playoffs loom closer—which leads one to consider this, from The Province:
Given the nine-point lead over the Flyers, it shouldn’t take the remainder of the schedule for Vancouver to clinch first overall, leaving three or four meaningless games before the playoffs start. At which point you might be tempted to ask, can’t the Canucks just forfeit and get some rest?
On the plus side, no more stretchers and surgeries for any more Canucks (*prayers for Manny Malhotra and Dan Hamhuis would be appropriate here). But on the other hand, the scoring race is probably pretty important to you if your name is Sedin. Further, there’s always the argument that gliding into the playoffs after virtually laying around for two weeks isn’t the best way to get your team’s motor in high gear heading into the first round.
I’ll admit to being one of those misguided sad sacks who had dreams of reliving all the bright moments of 1994 in this 2009 playoffs. In my fantasies, the Vancouver Canucks would leave a trail of road kill in their wake, littered most brightly with Calgary Flames sweaters and tragically-suicidal oil country executives. But alas, Chicago has taken care of that fun stuff already, and with San Jose’s (fully expected, planned and scheduled) implosion, we now move on to bigger and better things: the ruination of the Chicago Blackhawks.
However, after pondering this state of affairs for a bit, I’ve decided I’m pleased with this new direction. For one thing, 1994 obviously lacked a fully happy ending, so perhaps it’s time to let that sleeping dog die. And for another, there are many points of optimism in this new direction—in both the fallout of the first round and in the upcoming series against Chicago’s team of grade schoolers—which I’ve listed below. Trivial and petty things really, but this is playoff hockey… complex and rational commentary is overrated.
Here are some of the positive outcomes of round #1, and Vancouver’s future assault in round #2, that come to mind:
Canucks vs Blues—Game One
The Battle of the Cinderellas is ready to commence, so here’s the first installment of the Princess Diaries—random game day notes for this series (*or at least for as long as I can get away with calling Keith Tkachuk & Co. “princesses”).
- A group of Canucks fans have decided to add charity (and off-the-charts lunacy) to their playoff hopes: They “plan to donate a live goat to a needy African family for each game the Canucks win during their run for the Stanley Cup.” Seriously. Who else but Vancouverites would think of that?
- Alternately, Nucks Misconduct will be putting the cash to the Canucks for Kids fund in honor of Luc Bourdon. Readers are encouraged to throw in. (Please do. It’s easier than shipping a freakin’ goat to Africa, for godsakes.)
- A new Canucks Special Edition Playoff Card: Pavol Demitra has been added to the collection:
Tonight, CBC‘s Hockey Night in Canada playoff preview special featured a segment with three gentlemen many of you are very familiar with: Tom Benjamin of Canucks Corner; Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy; and our own Paul Kukla. I’ve taken the liberty of popping the video onto YouTube so more people might have a chance to see it.
Great job by all… although there is a disturbing lack of trash-talk for a bunch of bloggers during playoff time.
*The complete show is worth watching, but I couldn’t find the video on the CBC website. Perhaps it’ll be available later.