The sun and the beaches are nice here in the Caribbean, but I’ll admit my mind is wandering to back home. It’s a strange feeling not being in Vancouver for the start of the playoffs, but the choice was either going this week and missing the first 2 games of the series or going next week and missing, potentially, the final 3 or 4 games. As it turns out, we get CBC here at the resort so we won’t miss any of the games at all.
There is quite a large BC contingent staying in the resort. Already, Tracy and I have met a nice family from Nanaimo and a couple from North Vancouver. There is also a girl with a Canucks tattoo on her arm though I didn’t get around to talking to her. We’re hoping to all get together and convince the bartenders at the Port Royal Pub to show the game on their big screen.
A couple of years ago, Tom Larscheid said that this organization will never win a Stanley Cup until they say that winning anything other than the Cup should be considered a failure. (Or words to that effect anyway.) I mention this now because this Canucks team has accomplished quite more than expected. At the start of the season, most pundits expected this team to fight and claw their way to one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. They responded by getting career years from half the roster – 12 Canucks set a career-high in at least one category – en route to the Northwest Division title.
All that said, the Canucks shouldn’t be satisfied. I honestly believe that, top to bottom, this is the best group of players this team has ever assembled. They have 2 lines that can put the puck in the net, a 3rd line that has the potential to do the same and a 4th line that can be a pain in the ass to play against. Their defense isn’t spectacular but very solid, especially in the team’s final 3 games. And with 2 SO and 1 GA in his last 3 games, Luongo seems to be playing his best hockey at just the right time. Even their special teams have been special; off all playoff teams, the Canucks’ PP and PK both rank in the top-5. Add this all up and this is the best chance in years this team has to win it all.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved what this team has done so far. However, I can’t say I’d be satisfied unless Gary Bettman hands the Stanley Cup to Roberto Luongo in June.
Neither should the Canucks.