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The Best Team In Canada

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

...The Canucks are the only team from this side of the border with an actual opportunity to capture the NHL championship.

That’s an upgrade in national reality, if not necessarily roster strength.

The Canucks, you may recall, fell 60 minutes short of hoisting the Cup in June, a setback that is still being explained and analyzed out on the West Coast.

What most of the hockey world saw as a team that self-destructed through an inability to play decent hockey away from British Columbia in the Cup final, through wildly erratic netminding from Roberto Luongo and through a fatal flaw of having too many divers and not enough referees willing to buy that nonsense was, sadly, attributed solely in many parts of Vancouver to the league allowing those mean old Boston Bruins to illegally manhandle the saintly Canucks.

It was an excuse, nothing more, but some bought it and some still do. What’s less clear is whether the Canucks themselves believe that fairy tale, or whether they’ve been able to come to grips with what actually happened while losing four of the final five games in the Cup final.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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*Awaits all the whining from people who think for some reason that Canadian sportswriters shouldn’t write about the chances a Canadian team will win.*

Posted by dzuunmod on 10/03/11 at 09:52 PM ET

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I.m awaiting the Wings fans Going Ballistic LOL

Posted by Evilpens on 10/03/11 at 10:47 PM ET

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Um… Is anyone really questioned whether the Finals was called like a regular season game? Marchand punched Sedin in the head how many times?

That being said, the Canucks PP was terrible, so it might not have made much of a difference. But the flow that a PP brings to a game, and the spark it can give a team, is often significant.

Posted by Mike from Toronto on 10/03/11 at 10:56 PM ET

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Mike, it was an after the whistle scrum.  Too bad none of the Canucks jumped in to help him since Sedin just stood there taking it.  I think the embellishments and diving cost Van the respect of the refs in this series definitely.  That and Luongo and Hyde playing home and away games.  Bring on the new season!

Posted by BladesOfSteel on 10/03/11 at 11:16 PM ET

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BladesofSteel fact is, no one should have to jump in. What other sport would allow their top point getter to get punched multiple times by a rookie?

Answer: None.

Part of the reason why hockey isn’t taken so seriously in the USA.

The ref calling offsetting penalties? A joke. Much like the revving in the final series.

Yes the Canucks should have capitalized. But if that series was called like every series in the last 6 years, there is zero chance a less talented team like Boston wins. Despite the freak injuries the Canucks were dealing with.

Go Sens!

Posted by Sens-sational! from Vancouver on 10/03/11 at 11:55 PM ET

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And yeah, I am the only Sens fan in Van but I’m moving back to the nation’s capital soon!

Posted by Sens-sational! from Vancouver on 10/03/11 at 11:57 PM ET

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And Damien Cox is the biggest whiner known to professional sports writing. His whining just covers up his envy of any team better than the Leafs.

Posted by Sens-sational! from Vancouver on 10/03/11 at 11:59 PM ET

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Cox sucks! :0

Posted by squirrely from Dirty Jersey on 10/04/11 at 12:10 AM ET

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I rarely agree with Damien Cox but he nailed that one. I always liked the Canucks until they started the diving and whining.  By the end of the final I couldn’t stand the Canucks. Dont think I will ever like that team again… For those that don’t understand playoff hockey, you are suppose to stand up for yourself and your mates if you get manhandled not cry to the refs, it is not soccer. Somebody should tell Luongo it is up to himself to pump him up not the opposing goalie. What an idiot comment.

Posted by Puckbubba from FL. on 10/04/11 at 12:28 AM ET

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*Awaits all the whining from people who think for some reason that Canadian sportswriters shouldn’t write about the chances a Canadian team will win.*

Good point, who has the best team in the US?  Who will bring the Cup home again to where it belongs every year? It is no coincidence that the US has taken the Cup home 18 straight seasons. We have superior franchises and owners who understand the game better than those teams in Canada. We prefer to pick players based on skill and talent rather than sentimentality or place of birth. That being said it is most likely to be a team with an American captain, they have the heart and soul to win. So I am expecting that it will be NYR, STL or LA, the only team north of the border that has a chance is Montreal with Gionta as the true leader.

Posted by timbits on 10/04/11 at 12:57 AM ET

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That is actually pretty far from a fact, thats not the reason hockey isnt taken as seriously in the usa, but lets stay on topic. 

Luongo sucked balls in boston, fact.  Boston found a way to win,thats how you win the cup, you dont win it with a presidents trophy and naming a civic holiday after a round one playoff victory, you find a way. 

I used to be able to tolerate watching the Canucks but the conspiracy theorists, the fans un-earned cockiness, the fans sense of entitlement (that goes for the city actually), and the dives and headsnaps had me hating the team and with zero respect for them. 

I’d love to have seen Sedin just push him back.  He stood there because he was hoping for a few more penalties to be called but the refs were done with the Couvs game by that point.

Posted by BladesOfSteel on 10/04/11 at 01:10 AM ET

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That is actually pretty far from a fact, thats not the reason hockey isnt taken as seriously in the usa, but lets stay on topic.

I couldn’t agree more, now if you could convince some of our friends north of the 49th, we would have a much better league!

Posted by timbits on 10/04/11 at 01:20 AM ET

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@timbits - Fair enough, just explain to me why it is that Americans are so interested by what’s in Canadian newspapers? Seems like pretty small-minded, provincial concerns from the US, whenever a Canadian dares to write in a Canadian newspaper about what’s going on with Canadian hockey teams.

(Which you’d think would be a normal enough thing, but, no, for some reason Americans have a really hard time with it.)

Posted by dzuunmod on 10/04/11 at 01:28 AM ET

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just explain to me why it is that Americans are so interested by what’s in Canadian newspapers?

It matters because what Canada thinks about hockey matters. It influences league decisions, it influences what is covered in the media and it perpetuates myths about the ability for the US to develop as a hockey nation.  If Canada kept its opinions to what is happening in Winnipeg or Yellowknife and stop commenting about American cities, the interest or desire of Americans to love and play the sport and the decisions of the NHL to promote hockey in the US, you would be right. But since some up north have decided that hockey is a birthright that should be limited to a select few, some of us will challenge that thinking until it stops.

Posted by timbits on 10/04/11 at 01:38 AM ET

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Timbits, did you smuggle some BC Bud down there?  Dont go all GW on us like that.  Theres some great American players in the game today, but you’re on crack if you think that ‘american gms’ (most from canada) are drafting from the states because its near the hockey team.  Who drafts a kid because his hometown is nearby?..  I wont bother digging up the drafting results and nationalities,.

Posted by BladesOfSteel on 10/04/11 at 01:39 AM ET

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Dont go all GW on us like that.  Theres some great American players in the game today, but you’re on crack if you think that ‘american gms’ (most from canada) are drafting from the states because its near the hockey team.  Who drafts a kid because his hometown is nearby?..

I would hope that my excessive statements would be seen for the sarcasm that I intended. It is to make a point about some media types from up north. If you find my comments offensive or off base, you might understand how some feel when we see the same comments coming from Canada but in reverse.

Posted by timbits on 10/04/11 at 01:45 AM ET

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Sorry Timbits, missed out on the sarcasm while I was reading columns on how damn great we are up here.  wink

Im all for spreading the game, and I think many in Canada were/are pissed how the NHL gave up pretty quickly on some franchises yet will fork out 100’s of millions to keep a team in the desert.

Posted by BladesofSteel on 10/04/11 at 02:18 AM ET

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I don’t care which side you support, if you think the series was well-called you do not understand the rules.  Go back and look at previous finals; they actually called penalties and the teams responded by keeping it clean, so it did not degenerate into disgraceful river hockey.
(Boohoo Bergeron breaking Kesler’s stick in the slot in Game 7 was tasty though).
Yeah there’s no easier way to discredit someone than calling them a conspiracy theorist, but sorry, the fact that a Bruin’s dad is the ref’s boss is a bit of a red flag.  In the same year that he had a scandal over trying to influence the way the refs called games his son was in?  Hmm, this takes a real kook to key in on.
Yeah and the way the that they called 8 penalties one game and ZERO in game 7 against Tampa?  ZERO.  Seen that lately?  Oh, it couldn’t be because TB had the best PP.
Remember the rule that says “players perceived to be diving are not entitled to the protection of the rules”?
May the toughest team win.  That’s why we call it the neanderthal cup.  I think the Bruins could beat anyone in a no-rules scrum.  Now that’s hockey.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt on 10/04/11 at 04:39 PM ET

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Five mottos of Damien Cock and the rest of the Canadian media:

1. I hate the Canucks (always have, always will).
2. Hockey hasn’t been good since Lafleur.
3. International hockey is way better than the NHL.
4. Sidney Crosby is our patron saint and way more important and interesting than anything or anyone else in the NHL.
5.  Anyone who still likes hockey is a headshot-lovin piece of shit.

Catch me on the Gripe590 where we whine about everything hockey related, a inarticulate lament that 70’s hockey is gone.  It’s just not interesting if there’s no scandal.  Unless Chicago or Detroit is in the hunt.  Then maybe we can do an actual hockey story.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt on 10/04/11 at 04:50 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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