The Fantasy of Trevor Linden
After watching another week of the current edition of the Vancouver Canucks alternately raising the hopes of their fans, and then sadistically dashing them in with back to back Jekyll and Hyde performances, one can’t help but wonder what way this season will turn out.
Are we destined to see a desperately desired return to the Promised Land, or is the team in for another sputtering ill-fated campaign as we have seen far too many times in the past?
The hangover from Vancouver’s third Stanley Cup appearance has become so protracted and dragged out, that it is starting to resemble the foggy head that Shane O’Brien used to sport from a long weekend at The Roxy.
Who is there on the team right now that can stand up and bring this talented but troubled group back down to earth?
But none of them is the classic vocal type whose words can captivate and inspire. Bieksa and Kesler are often the mouthpieces of the team publically, but whether either one has the gravitas, calm demeanour and maturity, tied in with the ability to perform in the manner that the leader requires is questionable.
In the 5-1 thrashing by Chicago, it was very telling that Captain Serious Jonathan Toews was the standard bearer that the Hawks could go to when they needed a lift. Be it a timely hit, or a creative play, Toews carried his team in that game.
Who is willing to be the figure that the Canucks can go to when that boost is needed for them?
Kesler is not ready at this time.
How much would Canuck fans be willing to promise the devil if only Trevor Linden in his prime could be miraculously taken out of time and space and deposited conveniently into the 2011 line-up.
Imagine the possibilities of Trevor and his right wing role fitting in seamlessly with the Sedins. With Henrik at centre and Daniel in his customary left wing slot, this line would marry the Swedish creativity and talent of the twins, to the timing and grit that number 16 bore as his trademark.
Linden was never the pure talent that Mike Modano was when he was drafted by the North Stars one spot ahead of Vancouver’s captain for the ages. But Trevor squeezed out everything he could from what gifts he was given, and that is a lesson the current players could absorb if only he was able to appear in the dressing room at present in the way we remember him.
Well, until the flux capacitor is finally made real, we can only romanticize such an ideal. (Just what are all those engineering students doing with all their time up at UBC anyway, other than suspending cars from the Lion’s Gate Bridge!)
But the time is now that the Canucks need someone to step up and grab this team by the scruff of the neck and demand that they play to their potential, lest the season start slipping away in the current sea of malaise.
Note: Nice win tonight vs. Ottawa boys!