Next season on…The Canucks….
Good ole storylines. Narrative drama that fuels the core of what makes sports great. The great unknowns.
The Vancouver Canucks will have their fair share of those this year.
There’s John Tortorella, stoic and peaceful in late June. Where will his temperament take him? There’s Roberto Luongo, who won a goaltending duel by sitting on the sidelines. How does he respond?
There’s a brand new division featuring the two teams that embarrassed the Canucks in consecutive first rounds. Where do the Canucks match up next to them?
Oh yeah, and there’s the small matter of the Sedins on the final year of their contracts. It may seem like a lock that they’ll re-sign, but ask Senator fans if they thought re-signing Alfredsson would be hard. Sometimes, strange things happen.
With all these plotlines, it should make for an exciting, if not soap opera-esque season of British Columbia’s favourite TV show.
Let’s take a look at the top five most promising episodes.
1. October 3, 2013 – @ San Jose Sharks
The season opener’s theme is redemption. When we last left our heroes, they had been brutally defeated by the Sharknado and left to die. On the very first night of the season, the Canucks get a chance to rise up and extract a small bit of flesh back from the Sharks. And again, these games are now about divisional races.
It’s a fantastic chance for the Canucks to prove they’re on a better track than last year, so they probably shouldn’t screw this up.
2. October 7, 2013 – vs New Jersey Devils
On the topic of proving decisions right, we come to a very juicy early-season game, from which you hope Martin Brodeur stays far, far away.
In what could very be a dry run for a Canada/USA Olympic matchup, there’s a chance we see Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider compete against each other at Rogers Arena. If both bring their A games, it’ll be a stellar goaltending duel.
3. November 30, 2013 – @ New York Rangers
AGAIN on the topic of proving decisions right, it’s Coach Swap featuring AV and Torts. One coach going up against his own team is fun enough, but rarely do you see two coaches go up against their former teams.
What if they get confused and coach their old teams and no one notices for the entire first period? Is there something in the rulebook for that?
4. December 14, 2013 – vs Boston Bruins
The Bruins come to town for the first time since they stole something very near and dear to our heart. Even two-and-a-half years removed, the emotions should be running pretty high.
It’s pretty easy to slip back into hating the Bruins.
5. March 2, 2013 – vs Ottawa Senators
Actually, this game is about proving decisions right too. I’m not convinced on this whole Heritage Classic thing.
For one, March is not winter, especially in Vancouver. The weather is probably going to be rainy, being pretty much spring and all, and that means there’s a solid chance this game is played with the roof closed, creating a nebulous grip on the concept of an “outdoor” game. So then you just have a game played on a makeshift rink to a whole bunch of paying customers who can barely see the players. Neat.
At least it’s against Ottawa, and their historic and intense rivalry with the Canucks will propel the game despite the little promise of ambiance.
I can’t wait for Daniel Sedin and Erik Karlsson to finally settle their longstanding blood feud from back home, or for Marc Methot to gain retribution on Ryan Kesler for ordering all those pizzas in his name, or for me to learn the names of probably 15 Ottawa Senators for the first time.
Were Edmonton or Calgary busy that weekend?