Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com
Where to begin? I’m dazed and confused right now. I’m devastated. I’m lost as to exactly what I can say that will make any sense of this for any of you because it’s just ridiculous to think the Presidents Trophy winners are one game away from elimination. But here’s what small thoughts my brain could wrangle up on Game 3 of the Canucks-Kings series.
You want a controversy? I’ll give you a controversy!
When AV announced Cory Schneider was starting, heads exploded all over the internet. I don’t understand why Canucks fans think this our BIG controversy right now. We have 2 starter goalies. I’d venture to say Schneider’s performance tonight along with Lu’s in Games 1 and 2 prove that. Accept it and move on.
Tonight also proved what the real controversy is: our talented, trophy-heavy team can’t score goals. We have a Hart Trophy winner, a Selke Trophy winner, an Art Ross Trophy winner and several clutch scorers and we just got blanked. Other than Burr and Hansen, our goals this series have been scored by Edler and Pahlsson. 4 goals in 3 games. No Kesler or Henrik goals, obviously no Daniel ones. But other clutch players like Higgins and Lapierre aren’t netting anything either. And Booth and Raymond… don’t even get me started.
Canucks fans, get your knickers in a knot over THAT. The fact that Vigneault can pick between a redheaded American who stops 3-on-1s or an Italian-Canadian who stands on his head is a luxury not a controversy.
Did we trade one too many puzzle pieces?
I honestly do not believe missing Daniel Sedin is having this big an effect. That is because, in the past playoffs, the Sedins together have been quite easily controlled. Last year players like Kesler took the playoff lead. Burrows slayed the beast known as Chicago. Bieksa and his stanchion-rific goal got us through San Jose. Lapierre and Torres scored clutch goals against Boston. So although it would be easy to say Duncan Keith ruined our playoffs chances, it would be erroneous.
I do think though that management may have tinkered one too many times with the winning machine. Dumping Samuelsson, Hodgson and picking up Booth, Kassian, and Pahlsson might have seemed like good ideas but did it tilt the balance? This game alone Booth fanned on a pass, missed the net and lost the puck. Pahlsson took a dumb penalty and then, after shoving Dustin Brown into the corner, thought his work was done and left Brown to get up, take a pass and nail the back of the net. Kassian gave a puck right to a King and made no physical impact. We may have traded ourselves out of contention. That said if someone would offer us a bag of magic beans and a unicorn for Edler and Raymond right now I would take it. Even if the unicorn can’t skate it would be a step up.
Let’s hear it for Hammy
I want to make sure that, even if this is all over in two days, the valiant efforts of Dan Hamhuis do not go unrecognized. He was the best defensemen out there tonight. He hip checked like a king. He took shots. He pinched pucks. And for the second time in two games Hammy was our real back-up goalie, blocking shots like a boss. Hamhuis wants this. Let’s put him in net and make Luongo and Schneider Hank’s new wingers and see where that goes. After all, we only have everything to lose.
All we can do now, Canucks fans, is believe. Believe that our team paid special notice to how the Blackhawks marched their way thru us to a game 7 last year. Believe Ryan Kesler will find the back of the net. Believe Mason Raymond won’t fall down. Believe Booth will get his mojo back. Believe whatever alien life form has been occupying Edler’s body will get bored with being a blonde and give him back to us. Believe, Canucks fans. Believe.