Oct 132011
 

[Two-Line Pass is a discussion, or even a debate, between two hockey bloggers on some of the hottest topics in Canucks Nation and the NHL.]

To: Caylie King
From: Christopher Golden
Date: Oct 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Hey Caylie,

So… it’s been a while, no? I mean… the last time we were talking we had high hopes for Stanley’s sweet chalice rolling down Robson. Instead, we were left with canisters of tear gas rolling down Robson. Have you even gotten over that misery yet? Although it didn’t end the way we wanted, it’s important to note that short of winning the cup, the Canucks nearly met all expectations as to what they were going to do throughout the season as well as the playoff run.

And speaking of playoff runs, that’s what I’m curious about – where do you fall on the idea that the Canucks are simply playing an 82 game extended preseason? There are so many out there that believe the playoffs are where the real season starts and seem to think it’s just a cakewalk to get there.

C.

To: Christopher Golden
From: Caylie King
Date: Oct 10, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Hi Chris,

The events that took place after game 7, downtown Vancouver, really overshadowed what a great season we had. I felt like it was a good distraction and helped me get over the loss. Fast-track to the start of this season and seeing all the opening segments, before the Canucks games, about how close we were and seeing Chara lifting that Cup at the start of very CBC production, the answer to your question is NO. I am totally not over game 7, I don’t think I will get over it until we hoist Lord Stanley. But in hindsight, what we went through last season has only made us stronger as a team.

I am not a believer in the 82-game extended preseason. Although we made minor changes this off-season, I think the regular season is very important for us to gel as a team and get back to all those positive things that we did one year ago. And let’s be honest, if this was an extended preseason, half of the Chicago Wolves would be dressed in Canucks blue and green. I think the regular season is where you develop good habits, where you go through winning streaks and most importantly losing streaks. We learn the most from losing streaks and all the adversity that comes along with it. It’s the ups and downs of the regular season that helps a team prepare for the roller-coaster that is known as the playoffs. If people really believe the regular season is going to be a cakewalk, they better prepare themselves. The off-season saw many changes for a lot of teams. Call me crazy but I think the Northwest division is going to be a lot more competitive this season. I mean come on, the Oilers ARE undefeated at the moment.

Whether people have seen the EA stimulator or read any of the season previews by analysts, it’s interesting to see that the team that was one win away last season is somehow the underdogs. I haven’t seen a report that has the Canucks making it to the Western Conference Finals this year. It’s going to be a long season and unfortunately I don’t see the Canucks having the same record-breaking season, as they did last year. But that being said, I do believe the motivation, from last year, in the locker-room will get us far this year. Far enough to silence the critics.

Caylie

To: Caylie King
From: Christopher Golden
Date: Oct 10, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Hey Caylie,

You know the worst thing about it? We’ll have to watch Chara lift that cup before EVERY. SINGLE. HNIC. GAME.

Enough of that though.

It seems you and I are on the same page about the regular season. I’ve heard from far too many people who seem to think that the only real season is the Stanley Cup Playoffs and their interest level regarding the 2011/12 season revolve around who the Canucks first round opponent will be. You’re bang on about the need to develop chemistry and flow during the season. We also need to see what this team can offer that differs from last.

The funny thing is, we’ve been through this before.

Back in 1994, the year 3 Ninjas Kick Back (“Tum Tum” rules) movie was released and a different group from Sweden was at the top (The Sign – Ace of Base), the Canucks had themselves a humdinger of a playoff run only to lose to the Rangers in 7 games. Yes there was heartbreak, yes there was civil disobedience, and yes the Canucks were poised to become even better in 1995. Although the season lost a few games due to a lockout, which I’m sure you’d agree is better than a freaking cancelled season, the Canucks were allegedly a team with the same mettle that saw ‘em finish sixth in the West. After beating the Blues in a solid series, they were swept four straight by the infernal Blackhawks.

And then then the years we shall not speak of came forth.

It’s those dark years that worry me today.

C.

To: Christopher Golden
From: Caylie King
Date: Oct 10, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Hi Chris,

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I was in South Africa when the 1994 Stanley Cup finals happened, so this feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction is new for me.

But you’re absolutely right, it is not a given that the Canucks will make it far this season. I definitely expect them to make it into the playoffs but who’s to say that we won’t go dry for another 15 years before we make it to the finals again.

A very important player, in my mind, is Ryan Kesler. He had a career year last year and was the emotional leader of the team. With his hip surgery during the off-season, we have to expect that his first 10 games will be his training camp/preseason, and is it fair to expect another career year? So that begs the question, who will step up in his absence? Who can we rely on to make those clutch plays? As we saw in the seasons before our trip to the finals, if we don’t have at least 2 lines going, we don’t have much of a chance because we cannot rely on the Sedin’s as our only source of scoring.

I am concerned about that secondary scoring as well as the health of our defensemen. We all know our blue line has some sort of curse when it comes to long-term injuries; which in my mind hurt us in the finals last year.

There are a lot of questions and uncertainty that looms this early on in the season. Only with time will we see how we match up against the rest of the league and whether or not we have the stamina and balance to go deep again.

Caylie

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