Besides the fact that I am very likely one of the larger Vancouver Canucks fans there is (I choose to stay away from saying "the biggest" because you hear it so often & in reality, its pretty hard to decipher the biggest from say....anyone else in the top 5% of fans), last nights 7-5 embarrassing second round game 6 departure to the Chicago Blackhawks hurt for other reasons.
See, being an autograph hound is sort of like being a small time stock broker. Each item I get signed has a peak & not so peak time to sell it. As you can imagine, losing a series everyone expected you to win, not so peak time. So I took a huge kick to the balls with last nights lacklusture defensive letdown. I had been sitting on the stockpile of Canucks items I have, waiting for round 3, the round I expected they would get to when I saw the way the match ups ended up at the start of the playoffs, and everything had gone to plan in round 1. Little did I know we would manage to blow a 2 games to 1 lead, and a 1-0 late 3rd period lead in game 4, and lose 3 straight. So now that the bandwagon is emptied, the stock on their items also has emptied. Guys that I WOULD have got like $30 for in a few days had they won, I probably will be lucky to get $6 for now.
To top it off, I put so little faith in Chicago beating us, I barely hounded them...and when I did, I did terrible But I wasnt too concerned about it, since they were going to be done soon IMO. How the fuck was I supposed to know that a large chunk of our defense core had various Hawks players in their playoff pools? Or so it seemed by their determination to allow the faster Hawks to do what they wanted when they wanted.
Sure, there is always "next year" with much of the stuff. But those Sundin, Wellwood, Ohlund, LaBarbera & Pyatt signed items arent likely to rise in price once they sign elsewhere or retire in the offseason. Not to mention how long its going to take fans to get the sour tastes out of their mouths from Luongos game 6 let down & Bieksas game 4 brainfart that allowed Chicago back into the series. To put it simply, this team cost me A LOT. But, I am used to our team losing when they looked poised for victory. We've done it before. Detroit did it to us from centre ice & went on to win the Cup. Minnesota beat us one year when we looked to be going on to the next round, Calgary did it to us in 2004. We just seem to find a way to do it over & over again. So why am I suprised? I shouldnt be. Yet last night, as I sat dumbfounded slouched back into the corner of the booth I was at in Red Robins basically at a loss for words or logic of this collapse, I could not believe what I witnessed. A team that blew 3, no 4, no wait 193854 leads in the series who was so good at protecting them and coming from behind all year, failed to do it when it mattered most.
Its the next morning now & I still havent snapped out of it yet. My "lucky" shirt, that I wore all playoffs is still on, not because I am a fan of its overly ripe smell, but because my brain clearly hasnt come to terms with the fact its over yet. I am tempted to bring it with me to locker cleanout day, stop infront of Bieksa & Ohlunds car & force them to smell it, just for being so fucking stupid out on the ice. They deserve to endure what I have.... I probably wont though.
Now is the time of year the Canucks fans always hate & love the most. "Next year" time. We can sit back & over analyze the team to death & redesign it in our minds & come September, bitch, moan, cheer & applaud all the choices we agree & disagree wth for the team...and watch it likely all unravel again in April or May.
What hurts me more than anything is, the two guys I put the most blame on for this are two of the 3 guys I had slagged the most for the last couple years. Bieksa & Ohlund. Why it hurts is, I was starting to think they were "doing ok". I should have known they would let me down eventually. Only one who proved me wrong out of the trio of terribleness these playoffs was Mason Raymond & I have no logical explanation for what turned his game around outside of maybe he changed flavours of gatorade or something.
Things were going so well for me lately. Twilight had been a great financial success, weather has been nice, one of my most loathed players had announced his retirement, so I should have known something was going to fail.
This is the first time in a while I have actually lost interest in the playoffs with 1 single loss. I probably will get it back sooner or later, but wow, right now. I am done with hockey for the year....or atleast till I see some mindblowing hilight from Ovechkin or Crosby in the next couple days & suddenly find someone new to cheer on for the final month.
To Mattias Ohlund- So what if you are the teams all time leading scorer amongst defenseman. So what if you lead the team in these playoffs with a +5. Please DO NOT come back, unless its for less than $2M.
To Kevin Bieksa- FUCK YOU SUCK! I should have known better to put my faith in a guy who is the defensive equivellent of a composite stick to a slapshot. great when they work, but always fall apart in vital situations.
To Mats Sundin- Good to see you show up when it reallllly mattered, too bad you didnt show up the few games before that. If you were able to push that hard in the final 2 games, why couldnt you do it in the few before it???
To the Sedins- For a couple years I was worried you guys were going t become the next Naslunds. Strong early regular seasons, late season collapsers (if thats a word). But you did it this year. Strong end, fair/good playoffs. I could have expected a LITTLE more from you, but with the tight checking you got & no 2nd line depth, you did IMO a decent job. You BETTER fucking come back.
To Pavol Demitra- Get well SOON. It was never more glaring at the lack of offensive depth we had on our team as it was once you left. We need you back at 100% next year.
To Ryan Kesler- great effort out there. I woulda liked to see a touch more offense from you in the playoffs. Defensively, you were decent still. But offensively, I think you took your foot off the pedal. We needed you to step up, especially with Pavol out & Alex going into a coma. But you didnt.
To Alex Burrows- I should not find disappointment with a guy who used to play in the ECHL. Yet here I am, disappointed in YOU. With 28 goals this year, there was expectations on you to deliver offensively in the playoffs. Whether it was unfair is irrelevant, the fact is, during the regular season you showed you could do it....then, you didnt when it mattered most. The last top goal scorer we had who had 6 game goalless droughts to end the playoffs was Markus Naslund. DO NOT become the next Naslund.
To Roberto Luongo- For all the greatness you displayed this year, all people will remember is 7 goals in game 6. Its unfair, yet fair at the same time. Granted 3 or 4 of them you had no chance on, but that still leaves 3 or 4 you SHOULD have had. Maybe the worst game you have had here in some time happened to be when the team needed you the most. We finally score 5 goals in a game, and you allow 7. You know what you have to do next year, and I expect you to do it. That is, prove everyone wrong.
To Alain Vigneault- When your defenders arent being as good as they are supposed to be. Make them accountable. You gave KB, MO & even Edler & Mitchell at times, too easy of a pass IMO. Where was the message sent to them? You played them...more?? You have to bench them, let them know shitty play isnt tolerated. Besides that, learn to coach offensive minded players. Besides that, learn to trust your back up goals occasionally. Also, quit being the next Marc Crawford.
To Mike Gillis- I doubted a few of your moves. In the end however, you got a decent group I think. Long as you re-sign the Sedins, all seems good for the future IMO. Raymond really turned around a fucking abysmal start, I liked Edlers improvements as the year progressed, you didnt re-sign Naslund which gave you instant cred with me, you gambled on Sundin & didnt entirely lose, your addition of Johnson and Hordichuk helped immensely I think with making this team a more rounded team. In the end, I was even pleased with Wellwood, who I utterly detested coming in. I see places the team needs iprovement still, but we'll see what has to still be fixed after we seee what you pay the Sedins (and yes, they are worth big star money). I cant believe I am saying this, but...keep up the good work.
To Francesco Aquilini- Even though you come across as a rat bag weasel....you arent such a bad guy...actually, no, I think you are. How the fuck do you have the audacity to charge so much for tickets on a whole, let alone aproximately a 100% increase in price for the playoffs. DO NOT give me "supply & demand" because that would be only valid IF YOU SOLD OUT EVERY GAME!!!! You motherfucking money grubbing leech. Quit treating the team like a license to print money & you might, MIGHT actually get more fans. So many people are sick of your gouging that you are pushing fans away.
Quit trying to lie outright to the fans you fuckhead. Everyone with an IQ higher than 5 knows we didnt sell out every game for the last several years. Do you really think the marketing team cant sell the team on its merits alone & that you have to lie about some achievement to sell it?
Sure a sold out every game team is more in demand ticketwise. But its obviously not selling the building out here because of the exorbitent amount for tickets. You just have to go to any bottom feeder western conference team game to see that. When you can still buy tickets right up until the time the ticket windows close, that IS NOT a sell out.
It doesnt count as a true sell out either if you guys "buy out" the rest of the tickets. If I have a 100 apples, I sell 90 of them & throw the other 10 into the garbage, I didnt "sell out" all the apples I was given you fucking witless moron. You clearly are a Gary Bettman loving fuck, because only someone that fucking ratbag douchy would come up with such a business plan.
Well, till next year. i guess thats it for Canucks hockey for now.