Saturday Night Special?
Vulgar [adjective]: lacking sophistication or good taste; unrefined
There may be no other game this season that better sums up this season for the Vancouver Canucks, at least so far. It wasn’t all bad of course. The first six seconds of on-ice action had fans off their seats.
Unfortunately and as we all know too well, at Rogers Arena, when butts go up, they do come back down and hard.
Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Saturday night’s matchup between the Millionucks and Red Wings.
Well damn. Congrats to Alex Burrows on the new franchise record of fastest goal in Canucks history. Six seconds for the puck to bulge twine off a beauty feed from Daniel Sedin and then it was, “Seat Super-glue Activate!”
Let’s give credit where credit is due though. Burr placed that puck perfectly off the near post and in the net, bumping Trevor Linden’s record of 9 seconds into a game set in 1994 to #2 in the record books.
As far as this writer can find, the fastest goal by a Canuck to start a playoff game was 8 seconds into an April 7th, 1982 duel with the Calgary Flames. The lamp-lighter on that occasion was the one, the only Stan Smyl.
Honourable Mention: The Canucks looked sexy in those Millionaires uni’s. Here’s to seeing them on the backs of our normally blue and green sometime again in the future.
The crowd at Rogers Arena was as dead as ever on a night meant to be special for something that’s mostly irrelevant to the main point of the game which is winning.
“You play to win the game.”
As mentioned, the butts descended and so did the Canucks effort level. Granted, they did try for a little longer than those glorious six seconds. However, it just wasn’t there. The magical IT.
The Canucks have not found IT yet this season.
They haven’t found the consistency they need to go deep into the playoffs and it’s cringe-worthy to hear folks say they hope the Canucks can, “streak at the right time.” The story of the Stanley Cup champ from year to year is never the same.
The Canucks are not going to be this year’s Los Angeles Kings that get hot late, squeak into the playoffs via the 8th seed and hardly lose a game thereafter.
If the Canucks have a deep run in this short season, they will, as Survivor’s latest cast-off Brandon Hantz put it, “write their own fate.”
Let’s break it down.
The Canucks have two Art Ross trophy winners, both of which have also won one of each of the MVP awards handed out by the NHL. They’ve got Captain Clutch in Alex Burrows, a blue-line deeper than the Pacific and a Jack Adams award winning Head Coach.
I honestly don’t want to hear a peep about Kesler or Booth being out. Nevertheless, they haven’t scored in over 30, yes THIRTY power-play attempts.
Perhaps play-by-play and colour commentators Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey put it best, it’s star players over-thinking things out there. Or…or how about this?
They’ve tuned out power-play guru and Assistant Coach Newell Brown. If Brown and hell, if Alain ‘If it ain’t broke, fix it’ Vigneault are still around for Game 1 of the 2013-14 season, I’ll read the Twilight saga because the twilight zone is exactly where this point squandering squad seems to be with just 21 games to go.
You didn’t think that a seven month hiatus would turn me from an optimist into a pessimist did you? There are still a lot of things to look forward to this season. Let’s call them beacons of hope.
Are we nearing the right time to press the panic button? No. Should the Canucks be sellers at the deadline? No. In fact, I’d be disappointed if they rid themselves of Luongo.
I maintain that if the Canucks can get all their key players back in the lineup and still be in the playoff picture by the time that happens, two solid starting goaltenders could go a long way towards winning the 2013 Stanley Cup, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
That’d just be vulgar.