Canucks and Beyond

What, Me Worry? Please.

04/20/2011 at 4:37pm EDT

As Tony Gallagher pointed out today—and as every hockey fan in the connected world already knows—the Vancouver Canucks laid a giant egg in Chicago last night. And there’s nothing worse, the day after such a birthing, for us thousands of Canucks fans to have to eat it. Alas, if you call for a sweep, you’re going to get eggs—it’s just one of those things and we’ve all done it. Damn hockey karma. (Wait and see, Chief.)

But am I worried? No. A little sick, but not worried.

Yeah, I still feel a few waves of nausea hanging around from the experience, but worried… no. It’s a 3-1 series, and from what I could tell, the Canucks had to play like drunken members of a 50-something beer league team in order for Chicago to finally rip their world apart.

But I don’t think that speaks to unprofessionalism on Vancouver’s part, or any conscious effort to not take Chicago seriously. It was just the nearly-inevitable result of playing 3 games in a row against an opponent that frequently seemed resigned to laying down and taking it. Not letting them off the hook here, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world, either

The Canucks can talk all they want about how they know the fourth game is the hardest to win, that they can’t let off the gas till the series is put away… but knowing it, and actually executing it are two different things. It’s human nature to learn subconsciously from experience, and no matter how seriously they WANTED to take Chicago, they didn’t. Not really. Or we wouldn’t have all be subjected to that Horror Show on Ice last night.

From the players:

Alex Edler: “I’m fine, I just didn’t play well.”

Henrik Sedin: “It had nothing to do with [Dave Bolland], we just didn’t do a good job as a line.”

Sami Salo: “You just move on. That’s all you can do. We just didn’t play well at all tonight.”

And so on, down the lineup, everyone played like ass. Everyone admitted to playing like ass.

That’s not to say Chicago didn’t play great, because they certainly did… and I suspect they would have won this game even IF Vancouver had played well. But certainly not in this kind of blow-out way. And if Vancouver played their A-game, I think they’d have beaten even last night’s version of the Blackhawks.

But obviously we’ll never know. As it happened, they played poor, undisciplined, unfocussed hockey. Let’s hope that’s the end of it… especially idiocy like Bieksa’s at the end of the game, risking an instigator call in the final 5 minutes. The fact he doesn’t recognize how dumb that was, is bothersome, though. His remarks after the game:

“I wasn’t worried about it,” said Bieksa of the instigator call. “First he blind sides a guy and then what really got me was when he speared (Maxim) Lapierre. He got what he deserved.”

Are you kidding me? What he “deserved” is irrelevant… playing with control and not getting sucked into stupidity is what’s made the Canucks especially dangerous this year. Chippy, reactive, unprofessional play will give them—and every Canucks fan—a real-life trip down memory lane to playoff years past. We could live without it.

My only lasting question is about Luongo… was he really just terrible, or did he get injured in that play early in the 2nd period? Something seemed wrong there, and the two goals that beat him a few moments after that seemed to suggest a problem nobody’s admitting to.

Just a thought.

Anyway, game 5 would be the way to end this. At home, and no more questions, doubts, and misfires.

And no more idiot Chicago fans, either (no, not talking about all of you Blackhawks fans, maybe just these goofballs?). :)

Go Canucks!

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