So, You Think This Is A Bad Team?

justineToday’s newly acquired Canucks fans, meaning those who became Canucks fans after the mid to late 1990’s are pretty disappointed with the way the Canucks have started.  In fact, I’m sure all Canucks fans are pretty disappointed in the way the season has gone so far.  I just want to tell you all, “You have no idea what a bad Canucks team is all about.”  I rather think you’re quite spoiled fans to be honest. *wink*

I am not saying that today’s Canucks fans aren’t good fans and contrary to what Spike TV has said about us as a populace, I think we’re pretty good fans, but I am biased.  The point I am trying to make is, we as fans should be a little more patient with the boys because when they are healthy, they are a pretty good hockey team.  I have seen worse and I know better, really.

I have been a Canucks fan since 1981. I am almost 35 years old, and I have seen some pretty bad Canucks teams.  You know you are bad when the starting goaltender has a record of 16-27-6, his save % was a .855 while playing 51 games (Richard Brodeur). Let’s not forget your number one call up from the farm (Marc Crawford) had one goal, four penalty minutes and was a -4 on a 23 game stint with the big club. One of their defensemen (Doug Halward) had a -42 +/- rating! He was a defenseman, not Todd Bertuzzi!  Not one player was in the + side of the +/- stat. Not one.  A few evens but everyone else was in negative! Their best goal scorer was Tony Tanti who later left and played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Tanti had no support. That team was just God awful bad.

The aforementioned stats are all true! All you have to do is research the 1984-1985 Vancouver Canucks roster.  Sad isn’t it?  I remember sitting at games wishing the opposing team wouldn’t beat us too badly before the game even started!  Feeling me yet? I hope so.

These days, I just want the Nucks to get the hell out of their funk. I just want them to start playing to their ability level.  I just want them to show me they are the competitive bunch they are touted to be by fans, media, and management alike.  This Canucks team that we have now is not a bad team. In fact, I like I said before, they are a fairly good team. They are just going through a bad time and they are going to have to find their way out of it. I also believe they will do just that.

There are some positives to take out of this ‘slump’. The team is shooting a good amount of rubber to the net, they have the highest shots on goal average in the NHL at 37 a game.  Unfortunately, the shots aren’t going in.  A couple of good bounces here and there and their record could be slightly different, but that’s not the case. We’re eight games in, there are 74 more games to play.  Lots of hockey still.

What I am saying to my fellow Canucks fans is…we have a pretty good team, let’s just be a little more patient and not get down on their ‘mistakes’ too much.  Twenty five years ago, the Vancouver Canucks iced a really bad team. But I also remembered the fans at Pacific Coliseum being supportive and cheering them on and hoping for a better outcome.

Why is it in 2009, we cannot give our pretty talented and pretty determined team a better support system?  Why are we booing our captain after eight games because of this ‘slow’ start? I am not sure, but our expectations are much higher than the ones of 1984. At the same time, maybe we should take a step back and see what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t have.  So if you had a choice, would you rather watch the Canucks of 1984? At least they can really give you something to ‘boo’ about.

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  1. Farhan Lalji says

    I don’t think it’s so much a bad team as it a highly stupid one…..and a mentally fragile one. I think the manner in which the Canucks were ousted by Chicago last year had a significant mental effect.

    The Canucks have arguably the most overrated defensive corps in the entire league, while Luongo is looking like an absolute sieve for god knows why. The team to me just looks….jaded….just as they did in 05/06 when the core realized that they didn’t have what it took.

    I know it’s ill advised to lay such quick judgments on a team, especially only after 8 games, but I think this team needs a significant change. I’m not saying that we need to gut the core or anything like that, but this team needs to make one or even two SIGNIFICANT trades before things get out of hand.

    I also think it’s time to reunite Burrows and Kesler so that they give this team some needed spark. Put Rypien on that line as well. Hordichuk and Bernier being on a line together would also beef up whatever line that they play on together.

    If it was up to me, Bieksa would be packaged off with another one of our defenseman (hopefully, that useless sack of shit Salo), and we’d get a decent defenseman in return that could play alongside Edler.

    • says

      Ah the virtual “GM” *wink*

      I’ve always been iffy on Bieksa too. I always thought we should have traded him when he was worth something as well.

      As far as Salo goes, I am not sure which team would take a risk on Salo with his injury problems now.

      Sittin’ Waitin’ Wishin’…

      • Farhan Lalji says

        I’m really disappointed with Bieksa’s development. A few years ago, I had pegged him to become one of those ‘Darren McCarty’ types where he’d become a major leader through physicality and fighting at the right time. We just never saw that from Bieksa. The physicality and leadership never came to fruition, while the brains farts continued to exist.

  2. says

    Totally agree.

    Doug Halward… What a great player, lol. He has a -42 in the middle of his 16 year NHL career. The MIDDLE! He had better +/- numbers the year he retired from the Oilers. The funniest part about the early 80’s is that Haleard wasn’t our WORST player at the time! With a +/- so ugly, he averaged just under 32 points a season. Of course, it was helpful that In ’82 he was ALMOST a 20 goal scorer. This was not indicative of his skill, rather the LACK of skill by the rest of the team.

    Sigh… the good years… when we were so bad there wasn’t even a bandwagon to load people on. Us die hard would just run around and piggyback the odd bandwagoner just so we didn’t have to go to the game alone. Some things back then weren’t so bad!

  3. says

    As one of those “new” fans (I started closely following Vancouver in 2002) I can’t say I know what it’s like to have a 1984 Canucks roster, but from those stats, yikes do I feel better about our current team! The “problem” with WCE era fans is that well, we entered watching a pretty great, exciting, high-scoring hockey organization under Crow & Burke. After that, not to say that the current team sucks in comparison, but it is definitely a 180 from what we had then in terms of fore-checking, size, goalscoring, an incredible blue line and TREVOR FREAKING LINDEN lol just kidding. To sum it up, aside from Rypien, the Canucks have a pretty ‘soft’ roster in comparison, with not as many exciting goals, no 40-50 goalscorers, no Todd Bertuzzi beating the living crap out of Dion Phaneuf — oh, those were the days. BUT, at least we have a goalie!! How soon even WCE era fans forget the days of Centre-ice-Dan-Cloutier,. how DARE they boo Roberto Luongo in comparison? Shame WCE era fans!

    • says

      When I first started talking to you a few years back, I honestly thought you’ve been watching since you were a kid. I didn’t realize you were a ‘new fan’.

      Yeah I’d rather take my chances with Luongo in net over super nice guy but not that great a goalie, Dan Cloutier. Now if we can get some offense like we did with Naz, Bert and Morrison.

      • VanCitySports says

        I’ve been a fan since the early 90’s and I never experienced the 84-85 team I did go through the late 90’s.

        I have honestly not even thought twice about the slow start, obviously would have preferred a strong one but a month doesn’t make a season. Once we get a little further into the year and when our players are back I’ll start worrying a bit if they still play poorly. With it being an Olympic year we all want to get out to a quick start but a strong November and December can cure all that.

        Bottom line, long time to go and as the article says, we aren’t at rock bottom, not even close.

        • says

          I remember going to the games and trading up my upper bowl tickets for lower bowl near centre ice for an upgrade of $20 for the pair.

          The late 1990s was a dark period. That was the legacy of “Messier” until he left and went back to NY.

  4. Cerah Bernier says

    I am frustrated with the team but I love them regardless & I will always be behind them, cheering my lungs out. Great article G!

    Things could be worse! We could be the Leafs =) lol

  5. Kevin Zarifeh says

    Nice article, Justine!

    I have been a fan since Day One. I have seven different Vancouver jerseys to wear when I play and my mask has the Moose, Millionaires, Canucks, and Blazers logos depicted. I really hope the days of having to picj highlights from amidst the many lowlights is over. I remember the unveiling of the “aggressive” V jerseys. I remember Jocelyn Guevremont going for hypnotherapy to get out of a slump. I remember the Craig Janney “canoe” trade.
    What the team is GOING through now is NOTHING compared to the suffering that fans endured in the early days. Bill LaForge’s “Hockey PHD” (pride, hustle, and desire) that led to a brutal start, pros being treated like pee-wees, and LaForge saying after a 13-0 loss to Philly “I’m glad they got the thirteenth, maybe tha’ll bring us some good luck.”
    The Pacific Mausoleum, the Neely trade, Esa freakin’ Tikkanen and Mark Messier in OUR jerseys(!), the horrors seemed to never end.
    THIS is NOTHING. A bad start? A Stanley Cup run in ’82 and ’94 notwithstanding, it has been forty years to rival the Israelites.

  6. Kristian Ullman says

    Ive been a canuck fan for 12 years and they have never won.
    i love them as a team in fact i used to live in Vancouver. The team just needs to keep the players they buy and get some better ones. The canucks will eventually win a stanley cup no doubt about it. you just have to wait out the storm.

    BTW whatever happened to Todd Bertuzzi?

  7. crovax says

    just one thing to say.

    ask me if this is a bad team when the season is done.

    until then i have my faith firmly planted. i may yell and scream at the tv ( something my wife hates)
    they may stress me out but i still have my faith

    if they miss the playoffs that is when i will be an upset fan. but for now let things roll no trades should be made promote from within shirokov and grabner will both be good nhlers. and once hodgson gets healthy we have have three great young players to boost our team. our team looks great. the only person we should trade or buyu out is sami freaking broken glass salo. we could have re-signed ohlund and bought out salo. but thats another situation all on its own.

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