Farhan's $0.05: Does this Canuck core simply lack character?
For years, I have openly thought of ideas (much to the chagrin of many
) on how to improve this team.........whether it's bringing back the WCE (lol), bringing in Lecavlier (lol), trading for Weber, trading for Nash, trading for Tavares, trading for Staal and Ward, Getzlaf, etc., etc., etc. Hell - even trading Luongo and Kesler for all of Toronto's prized prospects.
As absurd and unrealistic as many of these ideas were, it was all with the intention of making this team better so that we could win a cup.
However - is it really talent that we lack?...........or on the most fundamental level, does this team simply lack heart and character? Since late 2008:
I know I was in the minority, but I honestly believe that the 20082/2009 team was talented enough to win a cup that year. Before Luongo's 2 month injury, the Canucks were REALLY starting to tear it up. Luongo already had 5 shutouts, and the Canucks were beating teams in a wide variety of ways. Once Luongo came back, along with Sundin finally starting to round into form, I thought the Canucks' chances were as good as any.
(Although finally around end of December/late January, the Canucks finally started to show signs of struggle as they lost 9 straight without Lou........and in MANY of those games, they simply gave up leads and/or late goals......as it became evident that they were pressing too hard to break the streak.........was this the stuff of champions?). Anyway - playoffs:
-First round: Although the score flattered us, we took out St. Louis in 4.
-Second round: This is where I disagree with most. I actually think that the Canucks were a better team than the Hawks this year........but simply lost due to a disturbing mental fragility. Case in point - Game 1: We almost blew a 3-0 lead. Game 2 - we blew a 2-0 lead. Game 4 - we gave up a goal in the dying minutes. Game 6 - moments after scoring and taking leads, Chicago was scoring themselves and tying up the game. In 2010:
First round: Although the Canucks managed to take out the Kings, the Kings crawled into their head. For the life of us, we could not kill a penalty for the first 2/3's of that series. Was it really a lack of talent, or was there something else at play here? (i.e. lack of heart, being mindfucked, etc.).
Second round: Unlike the previous year, I think the Hawks were a far more talented and better team than Vancouver. However - we had them on the ropes. Game 1 - Out of sheer anger and determination, the inferior Canucks destroyed the Hawks 5-1. In Game 2, the Canucks jumped out to a very quick 2-0 lead. The Hawks then battled back and won the game........which then broke the Canucks' spirit.
They were thoroughly dominated at home for two games, and then got lucky in Game 5 when Chicago was caught napping. In Game 6 - Chicago raped us once again. 3 blowout losses. Was Chicago really THAT much better than us? 2011:
First round: Blown 3-0 series lead against a now significantly inferior team in Chicago. Dying minute goal given up to Jonathan Toews in Game 7. Canucks escape series.
Second round: Game 2 - fucking idiotic dipshit dying minute goal to allow Nashville to tie the game late....ultimately resulting in a loss in OT. Game 5 - a massive drop off in level from the first few games.......possibly attributing to the fact that the Canucks thought they had the game in the bag.
Third round: Great performance by the Canucks.........but also went to show that the Canucks, when not facing a team that has a top-tier shut down pairing, a top notch goalie, and a top shut down center, play like their regular season selves. Unfortunately - in playoff hockey, you will rarely meet a team that lacks all 3 of these qualities.
Finals: I mean seriously...........are you kidding me? 2-0 series lead. Game 3 comes - and the Canucks have the mentality that its "in the bag." Not only are they down 5-1 with only 3 minutes to go, but they decide, "fuck it.........this game's done...........which then prompts Boston to score 3 quick garbage goals...........which plants a seed of doubt in our minds........while raising Boston's confidence.
Game 4 - no push back. Game 6 - no emotional response to Raymond getting injured........unlike how Boston reacted when Horton got smacked. First goal given up - leads to whole team completely collapsing/getting deflated..........despite us out playing the Bruins up until that point. Oh - forgot to mention - D. Sedin completely whiffed an open net! 2012:
Game 1: Late goal in the dying minutes to Dustin Penner to make it 3-2 Kings. Idiotic penalties by Vancouver throughout the game.
Game 2: Last second goal to Dustin Brown in first period. Completely changed momentum of game.
Game 5: Blew a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd period.
Overall effort in this series = these guys looked like they were "tired" and "jaded.".........unlike Boston who actually played quite well, but got unlucky against a Capitals team that was firing on all cylinders.
Compare the Vancouver Canucks of last year to the LA Kings of this year (so far anyways).
And so - I ask the good people of Canuckscorner: Is this Canucks core really the stuff of champions? Or are they simply trodding down the same path as San Jose?