If we consider the Canuck season as a kind of story, I wonder, will it end up being a good one?
We might first ask what the basic element of a good story is.
A good story can’t be too brief. It has to be complex – the more incidents the better, as long as they can be seen to contribute to an overall unity, and leave no loose ends behind. In other words, the best kind of plot contains surprises, but surprises that, in retrospect, fit coherently into the overall structure or sequence of events.
And the best kinds of suprises, it is said, are brought about first by ‘reversal of fortune’ and then by ‘discovery’. Reversal of fortune is the reversal of one state of affairs into its opposite. Someone, for instance, thought they were in good shape, but suddenly find themselves lost. Discovery is a change from ignorance to knowledge, a kind of self-discovery.
So far into our Canuck story, we have read about many nice discoveries. The Sedins figured out how to direct their play towards the net. Raymond discovered how to move around the ice in a much more intelligent manner. Kesler worked out how to accompany his gritty, defensive play with nearly a point a game contribution. New homes for both Ehrhoff and Samuelsson brought new metamorphoses. And many more discoveries besides.
But, the Canuck story isn’t finished. And like any great story – if this is what it is to become – we should expect more reversals of fortune to come. And we are starting to see them. The Sedins are now facing teams that are able to contain, or at least restrict, their style of play. Luongo is finding consistency difficult in a seventy game season. Bernier is faced with the realization that he will have to compensate for his talent level by adding many other intangibles to his game. Demitra and Wellwood – both have been hit with reality checks. And the Canucks will have to figure out how to start a game the same way they finish it. And so on.
What ultimately will make this season a great read is if, at the end of it all, a denouement has been reached, if conflicts have been resolved, and a subsequent, long awaited catharsis has been experienced by all us avid readers.