The Vancouver Canucks versus the Chicago Blackhawks looked like the preview of another possible playoff match up, or at least it did before the game started last night. The outcome and the progression of the game didn’t pan out to be a classic Hockey Night in Canada match-up. Instead, it was a lacklustre blow-out type of game. Are the Canucks cursed when it comes to facing the Blackhawks? Did Patrick Kane’s playoff mullet disturb Vancouver so much it rattles them to this very day? Did the great tribes of the Great Lakes region of North America put a curse on the west coast warriors? I’m beginning to think just that.
After a two week road trip the Canucks come home to host the Blackhawks. The game was the most disappointing game I have seen in recent years. It wasn’t even so much the score of 7-1 that bothered me. It wasn’t Patrick Kane’s incessant chewing of his mouth-guard, Duncan Keith’s face, or even the over-exuberant celebration of the benched Marty Turco that bothered me last night. It was the effort (and I use that term loosely) of the home team last night. The Canucks were never closer to the term ‘disinterested’ than they have been in years.
The Canucks were lazy, emotionless and complacent. Last night, their lack of interest couldn’t be masked. The Blackhawks exposed every bit of their disinterest, their effort and their (lack of) drive. Where was our Hart Trophy winner last night? Where was the whole team for that matter? In fact, where have they been since the game in Ottawa?
I don’t know what it is about the Chicago Blackhawks but the Canucks just can’t seem to ‘get over’ their mental block about them, especially Roberto Luongo. Although, last night, he deserved less of the blame than the team in front of him, they were far more responsible for those goals than Luongo or even Schneider for that matter.
As mentioned on the Canucks Corner forum board, I believe they will still be a winning team, and will most likely have home ice for the first round of the playoffs, but they need to either exorcise the Blackhawk demons or just try to avoid them all together. I’d prefer the former, but who knows with this bunch. It was the first time I wanted to leave Rogers Arena early for the first time since its opening day back in 1995.
I usually don’t write about specific games but last night stirred some concern in my being regarding this team. Find the deficiencies Canucks, and fill them, because I don’t ever want another Canucks fan to feel cheated the way I was (along with many others) last night.
Follow Justine Galo on Twitter: @Aviewfromabroad