On the Eve of Game Four
Don’t want to put any pressure on you to post, but I’m dying to hear your thoughts on the Canucks and the playoffs in general. Is there anything more to say than the league’s best team has run into a hot goalie and are missing their top scorer due to a gratuitously violent non-hockey play that went woefully under-punished? Not to mention Vancouver, despite winning the President’s trophy, is facing a team that was the beneficiary of a comically lopsided late season trade with a franchise that has very little business being in the league. What a shame and what a tragedy. It’s been so frustrating watching that series, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for fans who’ve been with the team all season let alone however many years. I guess they’ll get another roll of the dice next season, which, particularly given the frequency of serious concussions in the game these days, is all the playoffs are at this point.
There isn’t much more to say about the Vancouver-Los Angeles series. I knew it would not be easy going in, and it hasn’t been. The Canucks have not played badly – it isn’t hard to imagine how they could be up 3-0 in the series instead of behind 3-0. It has been frustrating and disappointing, but I’m not the kind of guy to be jumping off a bridge because my hockey team isn’t winning. I won’t consider this season a writeoff even if they are swept. The Canucks and I spent hundreds of hours together again this winter and I’ve enjoyed most of it. I can hope for more than that, but I’m not entitled to more and I don’t expect more.
If they lose – and I do mean if – then I’ll chalk it up to the universe unfolding as it will and get started in the garden. I’ll even take some consolation from the fact that I didn’t enjoy the playoffs last year very much anyway. It was not the hockey (or the final result) so much as the circus, the media, the stupid media narratives, the insanity and finally the riot.
Daniel’s injury is a killer, but that he was hurt unnecessarily hasn’t really entered my mind. I don’t like the idea of putting him in the lineup tonight because he really isn’t ready to play. (I also don’t like the idea of starting Cory Schneider, but I can see why Alain chose him.)
As to the playoffs themselves, they’ve been insane in more than one way. (The Pens are ahead of the Flyers 9-3 as I write this.) The other insanity? I almost made a post when Gary Bettman made his announcement about how the league intended to maintain standards throughout the playoffs this year. “Standards?” I hooted. “There are no standards! I guess you will maintain them!”
I can’t say that I am really surprised by the gratuitous violence this time around. I was bewildered when the league let the Stanley Cup Final degenerate into a disgrace last season. “Do they really want the game to go in this direction?” was my plaintive cry. Everybody is prepared to play like Boston played last season and it shows.
Apparently the league does want to take the game in this direction.