I’ve divested myself of the Canucks for this year. Again.
After game 4, which I shut off about 10 minutes into the second period, I had seen enough jack-assery to last me a full summer. I think the Canucks confused “play hard” with “lose your goddamn minds”, and went out to stink up the Garage with whatever you call that game. Luongo looked like he could have been successful in my sunday night league, though the hackers down here in LA still might have found some of those rebounds.
After I turned it off, signing off on another wasted season for the Canucks, I plugged in my PS3 for the first time in a couple months and booted up my franchise – a good Canucks teams that almost always delivers – and laid a goooood licking on the Hawks, beating up everyone from your Patrick Kanes and Duncan Keiths to your Ben Eagers and Andrew Ladds. That was a very – very – small measure of redemption. I felt, in some small way, satisfied.
So call me a sucker, but I couldn’t help myself from watching game 5, out of morbid curiosity. I figured at least I should watch this half-dead and thrashing whale be put out of it’s misery, right? I owed it to myself, at least. I caught up with the game about 3 minutes in, at which point we were already up 1-0. A lucky goal, or a rookie goalie’s mistake, I assumed (I wasn’t really wrong, on either count). But as I watched the game progress, I was stunned to see that they had put an entirely different team on the plane to Chicago. They were all wearing the same jerseys. They all had the same equipment. The players even looked the same. But there was no lazy, stupid penalties. There was no undisciplined play defensively. The passes were tape to tape, and there was plenty of puck movement, especially coming out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone. Bizarro-Luongo was like a Jello goalie – pucks just hit him and stuck, he always seemed to be in good position, and he made a couple of big saves when he needed to.
Now, I’m not dumb enough to get back into this thing. The chances of the Canucks winning the next 2 games (or the Hawks rolling over for the next 2 games) is slim. Do the Canucks have the horses to do it? Oh, sure. With the exception of maybe the battered and beaten defence corps, the Canucks have depth up and down their line up, and a decent top gear, in the Sedins and Luongo. Getting the right damn team to show up on a nightly basis – now that’s an entirely different story. If the Canucks play like they did last night, we have a decent chance at taking this series to 7. But anything short of that, any failure to bring that kind of game, that kind of effort? Well, that’ll be that, and Gillis will have some not so difficult decisions on more than a few players to make this offseason.