Kukla's Korner

Canucks and Beyond

It’s Not a Disaster—It’s a Great Hockey Series.

Having glanced briefly at a few stories this morning, it seems like much of the hockey world has gone insane after last night’s Canucks/Blackhawks performance. In Canucks-land, a staggering amount of whining and wailing as everyone points fingers and screeches “I told you so!” and “Oh, the sky is falling” and “Trade Luongo!” nonsense.  Sweet geezus, gimme a break. 

And then there’s Chicago—or actually, not just Chicago but from the fans and media of every other team that dislikes the Canucks, which seems to be most of the NHL at the moment—from them, we hear this endless noise machine of cartoonish-cackling, as if they all knew this was going to happen from the start.  God, it’s like a giant chorus of chattering monkeys, all hopped up on Jolt Cola and you’d give me a monster headache if I bothered to pay attention to your goofiness. 

But what everyone—Canucks fans included—seems to forget is that this is going down as one helluva classic series. Is there anyone in the hockey-loving world who would dare miss Tuesday’s game??  How often does that happen in the playoffs, much less in the opening weeks?

I’m loving it.  And hell yes, obviously I’d rather the Canucks had gotten their sweep and allowed me to get off this freaking heart medication. But as the saying goes, this is why they play the games—because anything can happen. And everything certainly has.

As Canucks fans we had a blast through those first three games, didn’t we? And Chicago fans have obviously had a supernova-great time since then.  What could be better than that? Isn’t this why we love this game?

This series has had everything, ups and downs for both teams, and a whole lot of drama on the ice—some of it unexpected (i.e. Chicago folding like a cheap tent for some early games; Vancouver melting down like an overcooked grilled cheese for a couple of their own), and some of it fairly predictable:  a hard fought series as two great teams have played some of their best and worst hockey at various times since it began. 

In the early days, we had the Canucks dominating and Jonathan Toews looking like someone had just shot his dog while he mumbled absolutely incomprehensible and desperate nonsense at the leacherous media who were glorying in HIS team’s downfall in the locker room after every game.  Then these last three games where Canucks fans are collectively curled up in the fetal position, and media everywhere seem to be thrilling at the downfall.

But it’s all just noise and I think a lot of people have lost perspective, forgetting that what they’re seeing is a really great hockey series.  Or do you disagree?

Game 6 was a thriller, not just because of the hockey, but because of what was on the line.  But despite the loss—and yes, I’m not a rock: it freaks me out as much as any other Canucks fan—I also got to enjoy a great game where my team no longer looked like they were dazed and confused, but were back to playing their game. And at the other end, a Chicago team which has had a heroic resurrection and has played with all kinds of heart, and pulled off a heart-pounding overtime win.

Playoff hockey at its best.

Bottom line is this:  In the first three games, Chicago faced a 4-game sweep;  In the these last three games, it’s Vancouver facing a 4-game sweep, of a sort.

So it’s a draw.  And now it’s a one game series. Game 7, winner take all. 

And contrary to some others, I like Vancouver’s chances. But more than that, I bet two teams put on one great performance on Tuesday night and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. Even if it damn near kills me.

Bring it on. 

Filed in: vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
 

Comments

bezukov's avatar

Canucks fans have to relax.  I know thats easy to say, and if the Wings were in the same position my heart would be in my stomach, but you gotta think long term.  The Canucks aren’t out of it by any stretch, but even if they lose, how much stronger are they gonna be in subsequent post-seasons?  The Canucks are gonna be hanging around for a while, and I do think a Cup is in the offing at some point.  Nobody likes to say “maybe next year,” but if the Canucks should lose game seven, I won’t be to worried about Vancouver.  A loss in game seven will only make them stronger next year.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/25/11 at 04:15 PM ET

Avatar

Alanah-

I feel for you, I really do. I found the media-hype during the regular season so very dangerous, and it’s hard for the true fans to stay focused and rational when so many not so hardcore fans come out of the woodworks when you have a regular season like that. As a Sharks fan I’ve been through it many times, and I am glad that media-hype has now moved past us and to you guys.

However, this is a total and utter disaster. Only the fanbases of three teams in the league can feel this exact feeling, the Canucks, Sharks, and Caps. President’s Trophies, Art Ross Trophies, Hart Trophies… and many second round upsets and possibly a first round exit (three years in a row the Prez team might go out in the first round? That is nuts). To us, winning two rounds is the bare minimum to have a successful season. That is an extremely high bar to meet, and yet the media will not back off writing that winning only one round would be a tremendous let down, and they are not wrong.

A great series that you lose isn’t going to cut it with teams like ours anymore. A Finals appearance is the only thing that will cure this disease. In fact, having won so many games and rounds, a Cup win would put any of the three above mentioned team into historically mentionable teams of the post-lockout era. It would boost us past the Canes and Ducks with their one tremendous run followed by mediocre and non-playoff years. It would take us higher than the Hawks with their lucking out for one miraculous roster before the cap took it’s toll. We would join the ranks of the Wings and Pens with their one Cup win post-lockout and stability in roster that gives hope for another one in the near future.

Unfortunately for us, that is the reality of where we are at. Fortunately for us, we have amazing teams to root for that really only those few teams that have won in the post-lockout era have any claims for saying that our teams choke. We have to accept both sides and hope for the best.

Good luck in Game 7.

Posted by RockTheTank8 on 04/25/11 at 04:33 PM ET

Gabriel's avatar

And then there’s Chicago—or actually, not just Chicago but from the fans and media of every other team that dislikes the Canucks, which seems to be most of the NHL at the moment—from them, we hear this endless noise machine of cartoonish-cackling, as if they all knew this was going to happen from the start.  God, it’s like a giant chorus of chattering monkeys, all hopped up on Jolt Cola and you’d give me a monster headache if I bothered to pay attention to your goofiness.

Welcome to the top, Alanah.

Posted by Gabriel from San Diego, CA on 04/25/11 at 04:35 PM ET

awould's avatar

If I were a Canuck fan, I would not be overly thrilled that this will be seen as a historic playoff series, one for the ages! If the Canucks lose, they’re worse than losers because they had it right there for the taking and laid two huge goose eggs. To win the Cup, you gotta know how to put a team down and the Canucks aren’t there yet. The Canucks look weak and nobody in the league is intimidated by Luongo anymore. Or ever again.

Posted by awould on 04/25/11 at 04:52 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

bezukov—I appreciate your words of wisdom, though a loss tomorrow probably doesn’t have much of any upside, I don’t think.  It’ll be like a bomb went off in that locker room, I fear.  But you’re absolutely right, fans need to relax. There’s nothing we can do about it but have faith that the team we saw all year will be the team that pulls this off in Game 7. Knock on wood.

RocktheTank8— Oh, I wouldn’t say that the result of losing this series wouldn’t be disastrous… it would be a major disappointment on every level.  I guess I just wanted to emphasize that the way the series has unfolded so far isn’t inherently a disaster…to this point. If the Canucks lose, it’s definitely a big deal on a lot of levels. But till then, I’m going to enjoy the ride… if it doesn’t kill me. smile

Gabriel— Well, that’s a nice way of looking at it. Thanks!

awould - Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 04/25/11 at 04:55 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

But what everyone—Canucks fans included—seems to forget is that this is going down as one helluva classic series. Is there anyone in the hockey-loving world who would dare miss Tuesday’s game??

I think you just made the best pitcher of lemonade out of lemons I’ve ever seen, Alanah. I hope it tastes as sweet two days from now. smile

The Canucks look weak and nobody in the league is intimidated by Luongo anymore. Or ever again.

Well, the rest of the league hasn’t fared very well against Luongo in playoff games. It’s only the Hawks who seem to be able to rattle him. The bad news for Canucks fans is it’s the Hawks he’ll be facing on Tuesday.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/25/11 at 04:59 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

OlderThanChelios—

I think you just made the best pitcher of lemonade out of lemons I’ve ever seen, Alanah. I hope it tastes as sweet two days from now.

Ha!  I’m a lifelong Canucks fan: If I wasn’t willing to make lemonade on a regular basis, I’d never have anything to drink! smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 04/25/11 at 05:02 PM ET

Avatar

As a long time fan, I have not decided one way or the other if the Nucks win game 7. What I have decided on is that this is not our year. The MIA games 4 and 5 indicate that something is missing in team character. The next 3 rounds are not going to result in 3-0 leads for us to squander, either.

At least one more win will prevent us being branded as the worst chokers in NHL history. Please get that win lads!

Posted by Rumpy on 04/25/11 at 05:15 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Sucks to be a nucks fan right now. Wings have had plenty of early exits when they’ve won the PT.

Speaking of nucks fans, should I make a milk carton for puckhound61? Either he’s missing or he’s the bandwaggoner we’ve always thought he was.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/25/11 at 05:25 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

“Puckhound” has officially changed his member name to ‘pukehound”.

Posted by wolverine on 04/25/11 at 05:26 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

The reason other NHL fans are snickering at the Canucks right now is the same reason other fans hate Red Wings fans, cockiness.  A lot of Canuck fans have had the attitude this year that winning the Cup was a foregone conclusion based on their regular season play.  So yeah, a lot of other fans find it funny that this team of destiny is struggling to make it out of the first round.  Just like other fans love it when the Wings struggle since we Wings fans expect to win the Cup every year.  Vocalization of high expectations makes for easy targets.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 04/25/11 at 05:27 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Rumpy—I feel more optimistic if the Canucks get through this. As noted above, Lou has a much better record against teams-not-named-hawks.  I’m holding on to that. smile

CaptainDennisPolonich—No need for milk cartons. I can’t comment on Puckhound61 specifically, but I hear there are situations that apparently will get someone banned. That’s all I know. Nothing to do with me.

John W— I hear what you’re saying, and I see a lot of that cocky behavior around too,  but I don’t think that’s fair, either.  Of course there are plenty of obnoxious Canucks fans (believe me, do I ever know!) but if other fans use that to generalize about ALL of us, that seems a bit weak.  After 40 years of futility, isn’t it fair to assume that most of us (well, those of us over the age of 12!) are pretty humble?  We’d have to be or we wouldn’t survive. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 04/25/11 at 05:36 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Lu’s playoff number are getting worse the more he plays in the playoffs:
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................gp…....w…....l….....min…......ga….....so…......gaa…......sav….......sav%
2007…..12…......5…....7…....847…......25….......0…......1.77…......427…...... .941
2009…..10…......6…....4…....618…......26….......1…......2.52…......278…...... .914
2010…..12…......6…....6…....707…......38….......0…......3.22…......362…...... .895
2011…....6…......3…....3…....278….......16…......1…......3.45…......127…...... .888

If I were you, I’d be hoping that Schneider makes a quick recovery. Any more work like this in the post season and Lu will start to rival Cujo as the greatest regular season goalie ever.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/25/11 at 05:38 PM ET

Avatar

@John W.

I think that’s part of why there are a lot of people out there that hate the Canucks. But, I also think that its the fact that they haven’t actually won anything yet that pisses off most people. They act like this team is a dynasty, but they haven’t done anything. I mean, for the love of GOD they bronzed Roger Neilson, He coached less than 3 seasons for the Canucks and won them NOTHING! THEY FIRED HIM!

I am surprised they haven’t bronzed the twins yet!

Lets not forget about planning the parade route and having a press conference to announce it as well as “canucks day” before getting out of the second round of the playoffs.

I think what you said has to do with it, but I also think that being vocal without the background(ie the wings many many cups) makes most people angry.

Posted by pstumba on 04/25/11 at 05:39 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

No need for milk cartons. I can’t comment on Puckhound61 specifically, but I hear there are situations that apparently will get someone banned. That’s all I know. Nothing to do with me.

Thanks for the heads up. Good luck tomorrow night.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/25/11 at 05:39 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Alanah - It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.  And the 40 years of futility is part of it, it’s what pstumbia is driving at.  Fans of a team that have never won anything all of a sudden with a cocky attitude of entitlement leads people to view Canuck fans as a whole as bandwagoners.  Is that fair?  Of course not, but unfortunately those fans that are bandwagoners are usually the most vocal, and they bring a lot of heat on the entire fanbase.

Series’ like this that come with high expectations are exactly why us Wings fans always say that the playoffs suck.  It’s the best time of year, but it sucks purely because expectations usually lead to disappointment.  Ain’t it amazing how something we hockey fans love so much makes us stressed to the point of nausea?

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 04/25/11 at 06:01 PM ET

PuckRules's avatar

John W— I hear what you’re saying, and I see a lot of that cocky behavior around too,  but I don’t think that’s fair, either.  Of course there are plenty of obnoxious Canucks fans (believe me, do I ever know!) but if other fans use that to generalize about ALL of us, that seems a bit weak.  After 40 years of futility, isn’t it fair to assume that most of us (well, those of us over the age of 12!) are pretty humble?  We’d have to be or we wouldn’t survive. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 04/25/11 at 03:36 PM ET

Its not just the fans its the players. Look at their players. Bieksa, Burrows, and Kesler are some of the cockiest players in the league. After Bieksa scored last night he did some stupid wave.

Posted by PuckRules on 04/25/11 at 06:01 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

It’s Not a Disaster—It’s a Great Hockey Series.

I didn’t know you were a protege of Dr. Peale.

Maybe you can schedule a session with your team before the game, they are certain to need all the positive encouragement they can get - - especially Bobby Lou.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 04/25/11 at 06:13 PM ET

awould's avatar

I forgot to add one thing to my comment… this game tonight will be hard to watch for fans of both teams, a lot riding on it and the route to Game 7 is indeed historic, if not unprecedented.

However, as a Wings fan, I have no dog in this fight but I cannot wait to watch it. I haven’t been this excited for a non-Red Wings game ever.

Games 4/5 were a trainwreck for Vancouver. Game 6 they outplayed the Hawks, if only by a bit. But at least they played like winners. Sets up for a great Game 7.

Posted by awould on 04/25/11 at 06:18 PM ET

Avatar

I feel for you, Alanah.  When the Avs won the Cup in 2001, we fans had to go through two Game 7s.  It is excruciating - and absolutely exhilarating.  I believe in the Canucks.  I don’t know why, but I do.  Best of luck!

Posted by Amy from Colorado on 04/25/11 at 06:18 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Alanah, you have some ‘splaining to do. After one loss you were “a little sick” and “sick of Chicago in general”. Now, after three straight losses and on the verge of possibly making the Boston choke last year seem like kid’s play, you now find this a “great series”??

Let’s review:

After Game Three: “Bottom line, I think Vancouver has shook off its demons when it comes to the Blackhawks”


After Game Four: “am I worried? No. A little sick, but not worried”… “I’m also just sick of Chicago in general. The players, the pundits, the wailing and crying.  I swear, the only good things to ever come out of Chicago might be hot dogs and blues music”


After Game Five: “Hockey Playoffs” vs “Sticking Hand in Meat Grinder”:  What might be most fun on a weekday night?

I’m torn.

“Hockey Playoffs” seems like a no-brainer… till you suddenly remember you’re a $%#@&! Vancouver Canucks fan, and unexpectedly the hand-in-meat-grinder thing sounds like it might have an upside.

God bless the Canucks—all that sheer talent, all of it unilaterally focused on some mission to terrorize their own fanbase.

The whole thing would almost be funny if it didn’t make me so homicidal”


On the eve of Game seven: “Having glanced briefly at a few stories this morning, it seems like much of the hockey world has gone insane after last night’s Canucks/Blackhawks performance. In Canucks-land, a staggering amount of whining and wailing as everyone points fingers and screeches “I told you so!” and “Oh, the sky is falling” and “Trade Luongo!” nonsense.  Sweet geezus, gimme a break.”

I think Dr. Phil would say you’re in denial…not that what he says means much at all smile

Good luck tomorrow.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 04/25/11 at 06:24 PM ET

awould's avatar

Maybe Crawford will get cocky like this guy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG4hGcHF7rE

Posted by awould on 04/25/11 at 06:27 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

CaptainDennisPolonich— It looks bad in a chart like that, but if you consider all the non-Chicago stats, I think he’s like 8-2 in the playoffs (just going by memory here, a stat I saw on CBC).  But against Chicago… yeah, it’s dire.

pstumba— I understand. I just think people get too uptight. If I got pissed off every time I thought about obnoxious Wings/Blackhawks/Avs (etc) fans, I’d miss knowing a lot of cool people.  You can’t take things too seriously in that respect, I think. I do it too, sometimes, but I try not to. smile

John W— So true. Nausea is practically a state of being for as long as the playoffs lasts each year.  Though in my case, the playoffs have seldom been all that long. Sigh.

Jeff OKWingnut—Peale. Done. Hell, I own a bookstore… let me find some copies and get them in the mail…!

awould— I like to hear that. I think it’s cool that non-fans of these two teams are excited about the game.  That can’t be bad.  (Hellish stressful for ME, but overall, not bad!)

Amy from Colorado— Thanks!

Red Winger— Now that’s just CRUEL!  Using my own words against me… bah!  wink But hell, it’s true. As a Vancouver fan, I’ll admit it’s a brutal roller coaster ride.  But as I acknowledged to OlderThanChelios up near the top of these comments… “I’m a lifelong Canucks fan: If I wasn’t willing to make lemonade on a regular basis, I’d never have anything to drink!” smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 04/25/11 at 06:55 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

So excited for tomorrow night’s game because my team isn’t playing.  Game 7s give me a heart attack when the Wings are playing so it is much nicer to sit back and relax and enjoy the heck out of it instead of panicking any time someone skates near my goal.

Canucks looked much better last night.  Game 7 ought to be a heck of a battle.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 04/25/11 at 07:18 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Heya Hockeychic… You also just reminded me of something else I meant to mention… as much as I hate being in this situation as a Canucks fan, in a game 7 after leading 3-0, I guess it’s a whole lot better than being eliminated before this point. (Hello, Toronto pundits… how’re YOU doin’??). 

At least we’re still in the fight. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 04/25/11 at 07:27 PM ET

Avatar

” ...actually, not just Chicago but from the fans and media of every other team that dislikes the Canucks, which seems to be most of the NHL at the moment ... “

Seriously, how could anyone dislike the best team in all of sports after their stellar display of skill throughout this series?

Posted by Yimmy from MN on 04/25/11 at 07:33 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Seriously, how could anyone dislike the best team in all of sports after their stellar display of skill throughout this series?

Exactly!! 

(Note: this canucks’ fan’s sarcasm meter has been disengaged…)

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 04/25/11 at 07:37 PM ET

Avatar

This is truly an interesting time to be a Canucks fan.  I’ve beat my head against the wall for all 40 years of their existence…and I’ve never had this unique combination of being despised for being the best (on paper) team in the league, being expected to choke (because their jerseys say Canucks) and yet also being expected to win (see previous paper comment)...
I’m not yet convinced this is better than in the past, back then all I need do was hope that we played well, showed up and maybe surprised some teams.

I wonder if a study has ever been done to compare the longevity of a Canucks fan to that of, say, a butterfly collector…

Posted by Dev from The waiting room of emerg, when I stroke out, I wa on 04/25/11 at 07:55 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

Seriously, how could anyone dislike the best team in all of sports after their stellar display of skill throughout this series?

Posted by Yimmy from MN on 04/25/11 at 05:33 PM ET

Bwahahaaha….

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from the Big House,January1,2013. on 04/25/11 at 11:41 PM ET

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About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]