With all this talk about who the Canucks play in the playoffs a lot of people lose sight of the fact that it just doesn’t matter who we play. Every year at the turn of the season from it’s first half to it’s second half (the playoffs) one thing you see is that teams and players almost seem reborn. The team you see in game 82 of the regular season is not the same team you see in game one of the NHL post season. A perfect example is the Edmonton Oilers that beat Detroit to move on to the Stanley Cup final just a few years ago.
No matter how tough the stretch drive to get to the playoffs, once teams lock up that playoff spot be it with ten games left in the season or in their last game of the season when game one starts they come out flying. After you get through game 82 it doesn’t matter how many goals you scored, where you finished in the standings, or what the record in your last 10 games was. It’s a fresh slate, it’s a best-of-seven, and every team starts from scratch. If we play Nashville, or we play Detroit, it doesn’t matter because team’s change their strategy and the importance of the game changes how team’s play.
Luongo can lose every start from now until the end of the season, and you can be assured that come the start of the playoffs he’s going to be in a different mind set. A prime example of this is the Red Wings. It doesn’t matter if they finish in first, or if they finish in eighth, no one wants to play them. Why do you think that is? If your team is healthy, you’re firing on all cylinders and your goalie gets hot you can play any team and win. That being said there’s a host of reasons we do and don’t want to play every team that’s jockey for position in the bottom half of the Western Conference playoffs. At the end of the day statistically there may be a team that the Canucks would line up better against but when the playoffs start players are going to take their game to a new level and just like it’s game one of the season hopes are renewed and players come out recharged to give it all.
To quote Bob Marley – “Don’t worry, about a thing. ‘Cuz every little thing, is gonna be alright.”