Canucks: Game 3/4/5: Return of the King
|Part III: The Return of the King|
Okay, so I know this isn’t ideal… I know that you’re not supposed to lump a “review” of three “games” into one post that is shorter and less satisfying than intercourse after a big meal.
Still, it’s not as if the beginning of the hockey season is really anything we should be looking at game-by-game and, considering that tonight is the season premiere of the Ryan Kesler Show, I think that statement holds true. Because, before tonight, the Canucks are a different team than they will be from now on (provided Kes stays healthy, and he will). It doesn’t necessarily mean the Canucks will be more successful and it doesn’t mean that their recent “slump” has anything to do with his absence.
(P.S. Is it not odd that the third version of the Lord of the Rings and the third post in my blog about the Canucks this season could both aptly be named “The Return of the King”?)
I firmly believe that the Penguins can’t get any better than they are now, despite their recent “slump” – even with a healthy Crosby and Malkin in their lineup – and I “firmly” believe that the Canucks haven’t played up to the potential of their first five-game lineup, Kes or no 17.
The Canucks aren’t 2-2-1 and the Penguins aren’t 3-2-2 because of their missing stars. It’s Month One… call me in January and tell me how they are.
Take the last three games as they are:
- Philly gets out to a big lead, the Canucks tie it, and Luongo and Bryzgalov let in a combined nine goals. This normally happens in April, May and June, not now.
- With the French, er, the fans calling for Luongo’s head on the guillotine (1-1-1, really?) Cory Schneider goes out with little help in front of him, and the Canucks lay a goose egg, essentially spotting Detroit a big lead in the Western Conference and a false sense of confidence (yay). Okay, Kesler may have helped here.
- Despite a hat trick from The Nuge and an even stronger game from his linemates Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, the Canucks down the Oilers in another close game against their rivals from the worst NHL city in Alberta (it’s nice in the summer, though). The Oilers show the NHL that they might not be a doormat, even if they continue to lose, and the Canucks show the NHL that they are ready to arrive.
That takes us to tonight’s game against the Blueshirts (the Rangers, for those who don’t speak puck), where Ryan Kesler will make his return and – in an even bigger story – the Canucks will honour Rick Rypien.
The fact is, despite what happened in Edmonton, or the final period in Philadelphia, OR the entire 60 minutes against Detroit, the Canucks have not yet arrived. Their lines aren’t yet figured out (and they may not be for a while), and it’s October… they never play well in October.
There’s no need to panic, but there’s no need to read into any of these first 10 games. After all the Leafs started last year 4-0-0 and fell apart.
The Canucks have been tapped by some to return to the Stanley Cup Final, after breaking our hearts last year, and they have the tools to do so. All we should be looking for right now is reason to believe – the “between the lines” stuff. This is their audition, so keep that in mind when you watch tonight’s game against Broadway.
White Cover Staff
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