Well the last two games have simply been about nothing more than aggravating me. Rome with a goal and an assist, Raymond with 2 goals. Figures.
There is nothing more frustrating in sports than watching a team on its last legs battle hard and hold on to a 2-1 lead going into the last minute only to have the officials screw up and cost the team the game. Obviously I am referring to that blown icing call. First off, the puck was not whipped down the ice by the Canucks, it was directed to a player on the side boards just Vancouver-side of center. That player was interfered with by a Dallas defender coming from the Star's side of center. I should clarify that I do not think that there should have been a penalty on the play, none was committed, the intended recipient of the pass was simply prevented from cleanly making a play on the puck to prevent icing. The puck then continued on and in the end only had enough momentum to make it about 6 inches across the Dallas goalline. The puck went by one Dallas defender, and was moving slowly enough that the other defender could EASILY have made it to that puck. The result was a lucky bounce of a skate on the ensuing faceoff followed by a deflection that tied the game. Total crap.
The Canucks have 7 of a possible 10 points on this trip, and if they even get so much as a point in Phoenix tomorrow nobody can complain about a thing as pulling in 8 of 12 on the road is quite respectable. The team is on its last legs right now, and if it wasn't obvious enough in New Jersey, the last 24 minutes of the game in Dallas really showcased the fatigue this group is feeling as they end one of the hardest road trips I have seen a team endure in recent history having started off seeing the Canucks play 5 games in 7 nights, with games 3 and 4 being against two of the top 5 teams in the NHL. I'm not making excuses, fatigue on a road trip like this is as legitimate a reason for a loss as having multiple injuries.
As for Raymond, I agree with HW. He would probably be more successful in another setting. He's too soft for playoff hockey, and both of his goals in the last couple of games have been markers that Brodeur and Lehtonen would love to have back. When you are on a line with a player who is as smart and good at distributing the puck as Hodgson is, and you aren't
going to the net or finding open spots in scoring areas, then you clearly need a fresh start somewhere else.
As for what Arachnid says about the "old guard demanding we trade Neely back in the day".....
I would be surprised if Neely had turned out the same way if he had stayed in Vancouver. I really don't think Burrows would have succeeded quite the same way in a system other than ours. Possibly he would have developed similarly with the Red Wing's. As with probably 95% of the players in this league, Neely's success was as much the result of his talent and work ethic as it was the chemistry he developed with his linemates, most notably Craig Janney. Either way, I think comparing Neely and Raymond is a bit of a stretch.