Four games into the 2011-2012 NHL season and already talk shows and fans alike are micro-analyzing the Vancouver Canucks.
Ok, if we’re completely honest, it never really stopped did it?
If I’m really really honest, i’m just not into the new season yet. Those of you who know me I am also a CFL freak (Canadian Football League for those NFL folks out there) and my BC Lions are the hottest team in the league at the time of this blog. So with the battle for playoff position brewing and Vancouver hosting the 99th edition of the Grey Cup this season, my attention is admittedly elsewhere. *Shameless plug warning* I also run BCLionsDen.ca, if you would like to check it out.
There are other reasons why the Canucks don’t have my undivided attention yet. The the mental drain of last year’s playoffs and the way things ended last year have been tough to get over. I’m almost there, but not quite. Off-season, we hardly knew you.
I’ve watched parts of every game this year. I’ve been impressed with Cody Hodgson, the Sedin twins are once again displaying outstanding regular season form, and Luongo is once again struggling through his annual October tuneup. Is it the playoffs yet?
I’m a big sports radio guy. I pretty much listen to sports radio all the time in the car, usually the TEAM 1040. I understand this is a hockey market and that the ratings, advertisers and callers dictate that hockey rule the airwaves 90% of the time. But over the first four games of this season, I’ve gotten to thinking how the sports radio hosts on those town have an affect on the hockey fan in Vancouver.
Already they’re talking about how the Canucks aren’t tough enough, how Luongo isn’t good enough and how Marco Sturm is a bust after four games. The “experts” are riling up the masses and fueling the micro-analysis that exists in this rabid hockey town and that’s their job.
Of course social media has given everyone a voice. Bloggers blog, fans tweet, all with their own critiques and opinions. Some are very rational, some not so much, but such is the world of the fan today. It’s certainly provided fans and media with a voice they never had in the past.
In an 82 game season, there are going to be slumps and streaks, peaks and valley’s. As a long time Canucks fan of over 30 years, I’ve see a lot of bad hockey teams. I’ve seen teams that weren’t supposed to do anything excel, and teams that were just crash and burn.
I’ve also learned a lot from the players over the last few years and how they don’t get too high after a win, and too low after a loss. I’ll admit, I’m not the best fan come playoff time. I’m heavily invested and affected by the outcomes. I wish I could have the calmness and patience of the team, who has much more at stake in the games than I do as a fan. It’s a game by game process with the ultimate goal of making the playoffs and winning the last game you play. That thought process worked last year and the team fell short, but it’s the best process to follow for both players and the fans.
There should be no panic in Canucks Nation, yet you wouldn’t know it listening to some of the radio hosts in this town and the flames they fan with the fans. I always find it amusing when talk show host fill the airwaves with negativity and then in the next breath accuse the callers that interact with of overreacting etc. Some of them should look in the mirror.
I know my passion will come back, it always does. I know that come playoff time I will be glued to every face off, every goal, watching nervously. I do have the “Heart of a Canuck” and that heart will always belong to the green white and blue. Whether Luongo lets in a soft one or Daniel goes four games without a goal.
While it’s great that people are passionate about the Canucks, fueling the success of sports talk radio in our city, the only thing that really matters is what happens come playoff time. So sit back, relax and watch the story unfold game by game in hopes that come playoff time the final result will be different.
Or, you can just keep micro-analyzing every little thing that happens and drive yourself insane.
Go Canucks go!