As much as we want to get the knives out and carve this team a new one, we’ll focus for now on last night’s debacle:
- The first period was fantastic playoff hockey. The referees let the players play (conspiracy theorists will have to take a back seat today) and we got great chances and brilliant net minding at both ends.
- It was clearly too much to expect empty headed Kevin Bieksa to have two consecutive good games. You’d think that a simple guy could keep it simple.
- We had the pleasure of watching the game with noted contributor “Sandlak”. With just over a minute remaining in the second period, the Canucks got a much needed power play opportunity. “Sandlak” says “call a timeout and get the first power play unit out there. The second unit has been costing us this series.” Stone faced Coach Vigneault, as if mesmerized by his own inadequacies, does nothing and predictably rolls out the lame second unit. Seconds later, Pavol Demitra (in his last shift as a Canuck) turns the puck over at the blue line and the Hawks score short handed. Again. Make no mistake, this was THE turning point.
- At what point did noted whipping boy (though beloved around here) Kyle Wellwood become our number one centre? He led, save Alex Burrows, all forwards in ice time. If Hank Sedin and Ryan Kesler are that incapacitated, why not play a healthy body in their place? You cannot tell us that Rick Rypien could be any less effective that the suddenly incredibly lame Ryan Kesler. Going out on your sword is notable and all that, but we’re trying to win a bloody hockey game.
- Canuck fans once again showed their general lack of hockey knowledge and poor etiquette. The bipolar fan base can go from “Louuuuing” Luongo for routine saves to giving him the old raspberry for failing to stop 2 consecutive breakaways. Say what you will about his big game capabilities and lousy leadership abilities, last night’s loss cannot be hung entirely on him.
- By virtue of winning games handily, the Hawks were the “better” team, but that is not to say we could not have won. Another early playoff exit is not acceptable. We are owed more. And should demand more.
Here at Critically Canuck, we’re still nursing our hangover (the upside to a demoralizing playoff loss is no line at the Shark Club), but you can expect a most critical carving over the coming days and weeks and months. Thanks for coming. Come again, we’re only getting started…