Apr 242009
 

I agree with what Brian from Canucks Corner had to say about the Canucks’ four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues.

First, this:

I have to say, that was the most stress free series I think I’ve watched the Canucks play. Not at any point did I feel like the series was in jeopardy of slipping away. The Blues fought hard, but were clearly over matched in key areas of the game. In fact the only area you could say the Canucks could improve would be staying out of the penalty box. This will be imperative in the next round and beyond if the Canucks hope to keep this ball rolling.

And then, this:

You’ve heard it said a million times, but there is something special about this team, and the way it conducts it’s business. They celebrate the highs for a few hours, then it’s back to the task at hand, game by game, day by day, as they have said all season. Players like Mason Raymond, Steve Bernier and Kyle Wellwood have shown sides to their game not seen often. It would seem this team is playing as one, and that is a key ingredient to any championship team.

Quiet confidence is what this team has, and I think for the first time perhaps in their history, their fans have it too.

Of course, full credit goes to the entire team for this; however, one guy who doesn’t get enough credit is Alain Vigneault. He faced a lot of criticism during the Canucks’ January swoon. Likewise, we should acknowledge what he’s done to take this team to the second round of the playoffs.

Especially when the playoffs started, he never panicked and stuck to his game plan. He made sure his players didn’t retaliate when the Blues tried to rough them up, and instead, they made them pay on the powerplay. Likewise, he refused to get into a pissing match with Andy Murray even when Murray was going ballistic at him near the end of game 2. Like a good leader, he remained calm behind the bench and I have no doubt this filtered down to his players. When the boss isn’t freaking out, it’s that much easier to just focus and do what you’re supposed to do.

  • http://NucksHub.com Brian O’Neill

    I think we should keep in mind that the Blues were a scorching hot team. The key word is were. We may be getting a little to confident. They didn’t have their two best D-man and one of their best offensive threats. We may have not faced a playoff calibre opponent yet.

  • http://NucksHub.com Brian O’Neill

    I think we should keep in mind that the Blues were a scorching hot team. The key word is were. We may be getting a little to confident. They didn’t have their two best D-man and one of their best offensive threats. We may have not faced a playoff calibre opponent yet.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com J.J. Guerrero

    And we didn’t have our 2nd line center and one of our top-3 defensemen either for parts of the series. :)

    I wouldn’t say that the Blues weren’t a playoff-caliber opponent because that’s taking away from what they’ve accomplished. After all, they were the best team in the NHL after the All-Star break. They finished 6th in the Western Conference, and considering they were dead last at one point, that’s saying something. If we beat, say, 7th place Columbus or 8th place Anaheim, would we say that we didn’t face a playoff-calibre team?

    You’re right though that some may be getting overconfident. And by some, I’m refering to some fans. (I know I have to control my own expectations.) I don’t get the sense the players think they’re better than they actually are, and really, that’s all that matters.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com J.J. Guerrero

    And we didn’t have our 2nd line center and one of our top-3 defensemen either for parts of the series. :)

    I wouldn’t say that the Blues weren’t a playoff-caliber opponent because that’s taking away from what they’ve accomplished. After all, they were the best team in the NHL after the All-Star break. They finished 6th in the Western Conference, and considering they were dead last at one point, that’s saying something. If we beat, say, 7th place Columbus or 8th place Anaheim, would we say that we didn’t face a playoff-calibre team?

    You’re right though that some may be getting overconfident. And by some, I’m refering to some fans. (I know I have to control my own expectations.) I don’t get the sense the players think they’re better than they actually are, and really, that’s all that matters.

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