Now that my liver has recovered from all the funneling of alcohol, here are my rather scattered thoughts about the Canucks and their attempts at playing hockey. All in all a very disappointing season. Too many injuries, not enough talent up front, our MVP goalie (understandably) a distracted head case most of the season, too many rookies playing over their heads. All excuses that add up to a very frustrating, rather depressing, season of Canucks hockey. We’re left to say again, “There’s always next year.”
I love playoff hockey. I love being in downtown Vancouver when the guys score a goal and the city gets loud. I love when they win and you can’t get to sleep after because everyone is honking their horns. I love watching the games at a bar and high fiving total strangers when the good guys go up. But to be honest, I didn’t want to watch the Canucks get run over by the Wings in four games. I’m hugely disappointed they were eliminated, but it really looked like they had nothing left in the tank to even try and make a run.
I have come to have a strong dislike for AV’s coaching style. Many say that he doesn’t have enough talent, and he does a stand up job with what he has. I don’t entirely buy that. He’s stubborn, and he doesn’t try to adapt when things are clearly not working. He favours a certain kind of gritty player, and wants all his players to play that style. When his team is struggling, the only thing he does is switch up the lines. And I don’t think I have ever seen the man call a time out when his team is obviously having a melt down. When you add the fact that certain key veterans have had conflicts with AV, I don’t think he’s the right coach to take the Canucks deep into the playoffs, even when they have a more talented line up.
Although this season was ultimately depressing, there were a few bright spots to be had.
- Ryan Kesler’s break out season. 21 goals and awesome two way play. Some highlight reel goals. Definitely worth his money now.
- Alex Burrows. What a great story he is. Never drafted and worked his way to a roster spot. Burr could barely skate last year, but smashed his point totals this year. Entertaining and a general pain in the ass(for the other team).
- the emergence of Alex Edler and Mason Raymond. It was really fun watching these guys find their game. Edler did get worn out from too many minutes, yet he will only get better. Raymond looks like he will mature into quite a nice top 6 forward.
If Nazzy does leave us, I will miss him like crazy. He deserves to go and play somewhere that suits his style. I would love him to stay, but he would probably have more fun playing to his strengths somewhere in the East. Or maybe Detroit. I will just have to become a fan of whatever team he goes to.
Trev’s send off was one of the classiest things I’ve ever seen in hockey. I bawled like a baby. Even though it was a 7-1 loss, it didn’t feel like one. The crowd was loud and supportive. When the third period started, and both teams backed off from center ice, tapping their sticks on the ice, while Linden got an ovation, it gave you chills. A very classy move by Iginla to have all the Flames line up to shake his hand. And his final lap around the ice, with his hand on his heart, and applauding the crowd right back, was a beautiful moment. Maybe Trev should become head coach. Hee.
Nazzy and Trev have been here since I’ve been a Canucks fan, so it is weird to contemplate the team without them.
The Canucks get to pick 10th in the draft which is a pretty good consolation prize for missing the playoffs. They should get a pretty studly pick, because this draft is supposed to be deep in talent.
This summer will be interesting, and hopefully Nonis can rock some deals and get us some forwards. It would be nice if next year Canucks fans weren’t twiddling their thumbs in the spring and wondering who they should root for in the playoffs. Now the Humming Giraffe starts praying to the hockey gods that Matty doesn’t have to waive his NTC.
And now I’ve rambled on for far too long. I will have playoff predictions up in the next couple of days, just for fun. I just need a little more time to mourn what could have been.