Notes on a Championship
It was a tons of fun watching the Canucks dispatch the Kings last night to take their first Presidents’ Trophy. Nearly perfect in fact. A few notes on the night:
1) This version of the Canucks is clearly the best team they have ever iced. I don’t think there is any way to compare teams from different eras, but there have not been many more dominant regular season performances in hockey history. They could lead the league both in goals and in goals against. The last time that was done was the 1978-79 Montreal Canadiens. They could end up with both the best power play and the best penalty kill. That hasn’t been done since the 1984-85 New York Islanders.
Has anyone ever led in all four categories?
2) All the talk about resting players over the last few games is nonsense. Who plays if Vigneault decides to, say, rest Kesler? The Canucks don’t have any extra forwards and they won’t burn one of their four allowed callups to sit someone out even if they could find the cap space.
3) Vigneault will keep experimenting with the Malhotra problem, he had to be happy with the job Raymond did in the middle last night. So far that looks like the best choice to me.
4) I get the reason that the Canucks are all adopting the “We haven’t done anything yet because everything is about the playoffs” talking points. That’s the politically correct in this era when only a Stanley Cup counts. But I’m tired of it. I hope it is not true. I hope the Canucks are proud of what they’ve done and I hope they take the time to savour it. They should enjoy their accomplishment. I suspect they are all – from Mike Gillis on down – hugely pleased with themselves and they all (quietly) celebrated.
I’d rather hear them celebrate than listen to playoff sound bites.