Summing Up the 2012 Vancouver Canucks, and the Spilled Milk and Scrambled Eggs Of It All
It’s been, what, 24 hours since the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated? The venom hasn’t yet left the veins.
The Los Angeles Kings, a team that underachieved all year, grabbed a new coach and rode him to a hot second half, and then lined up as one of the greatest eighth seeds in NHL history against a two-time Presidents’ Trophy winner, moved onto the second round when Jarrett Stoll snapped a leg-kicked wrist shot over the shoulder of Vancouver’s newest fan favourite.
And, in some way, it was completely expected. Or, at least, it was fitting.
Rogers Arena was alive before the game, and it was on ecstasy after Henrik Sedin’s first period powerplay goal. It had been resigned to doubt after Brad Richardson tied the game in the third, and it was put into a state of “Oh Well!” and “Ahh Shucks!” when Stoll ended it.
Have the Canucks now become the 2007 Ottawa Senators? Can we officially write them off as a has-been, or does this team have more to give?
Now – at this point – the Cody Hodgson trade looks like a disaster, at least for this season and for the right here. Sure, Zach Kassian will be a great power forward, and Cody was (reportedly) not quite the lovable toddler that we all thought he was in the dressing room, but it’s no secret that Hodgson wouldn’t have been a healthy scratch for a pivotal Game 5, as Kassian was. It’s no secret that Hodgson would have helped to buoy Vancouver’s scoring when Daniel went down to an NHL-condoned Duncan Keith elbow, or a 17-game goalless drought from Ryan Kesler.
Roberto Luongo’s exit seems to be impending, which is as tragic as it is necessary. After seven seasons at the helm, Luongo leaves from the bench, only 10 months after he and his teammates failed to win the only Stanley Cup they’d ever had a chance at winning. Not with a bang, but a whimper. Right?
Some teams close things out when they have the opportunity. They take care of business.
Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Chicago are those teams. They can look back now, even without success in 2012, and say that they grabbed the pie while it was on the table.
Other teams let things fester. They let it build up, and then they let it crush them. They make you cheer, cry, and curse until you just can’t do it anymore. Ottawa, San Jose, and Vancouver. They are those teams.
But, that’s the Stanley Cup. It’s not meant for destiny, as those YouTube hits have told you. It’s not meant for “this is our year” or “This Is What We Live For” and it’s not meant to make you feel good.
It’s not meant for predictions or for complaining about the referees or for Damien Cox’s war time propaganda.
It’s meant to be a relief. It’s meant to be a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that you’ll only see at a passing glance from the inside of your mom’s minivan. It’s a one-time thing, or a five-time thing. There’s no pattern, and they best don’t often win.
Injuries. Bad bounces. Hot goaltenders. You can’t explain it.
And, if you’re trying to explain it, Vancouver… just stop. Leave it alone, like a bad zit. Watch everyone else, and enjoy the fact that you’re no longer the favourite.
White Cover Staff
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