The last time the Canucks made the Western Conference Final, google and twitter didn’t exist, Osama Bin Laden wasn’t a household name, and Ace of Base had a number one single. Girls were getting tattoos of Trevor Linden’s name instead of Ryan Kesler’s name. It was a different time indeed. Days before the Canucks see the Western Conference final once again, here are 12 burning questions.
1) How many different words will be used to describe Ryan Kesler by the end of the Canucks playoff run? So far I’ve heard horse, derby winner, beast, stallion, monster, and studly. Barry Trotz even compared him to Messier. Canucks fans clenched up of course but he meant the GOOD Messier. Not the expensive crying zombie Messier we had in Vancouver.
2) How valuable has Kevin Bieksa been for the Canucks this season? From punch line and trade bait to pleas and prayers that Gillis re-signs him.
3) Who has the more terrible playoff "beard"? Hansen, Raymond, or Burrows?
4) Did Hank and Danny struggle that much against Nashville or were Nashville’s top defencemen that good? Perhaps it’s a chicken or egg scenario.
5) Did ANYONE say on trade deadline day "Damn we’re really going to miss Chris Higgins in the second round if he can’t play a game after blocking a shot with his foot?" I know I didn’t. Now everyone is getting Higgy with it!
6) Will the real Alex Edler please stand up? After dominating in the Chicago series and even catching the eye of the Eastern media, he REALLY struggled at times against Nashville. Delayed rust after time off from back surgery? Loss of adrenaline? He played much better with Salo in game 6 so hopefully that will continue against the Wings/Sharks.
7) Would AV let Keith Ballard save him from a burning building? Or would he be hoping and praying that Aaron Rome show up instead?
8) Best use of limited ice time so far? My vote would be for Jeff Tambellini’s gorgeous speedy back check to catch Erat on the breakaway. Be still my defensive beating heart.
9) Has Luongo silenced his critics? Or not until he wins a big shiny Cup?
10) Who would you rather play if you had the choice? San Jose or Detroit? The Canucks match up pretty well against them both but staying in your own time zone against San Jose would be really nice.
11) How many hacky "This is not Canada’s team" articles will we see? I say over/under is 10. Perhaps media in other Canadian cities should take up backgammon or knitting so they don’t have to suffer the horror of watching the Canucks go deep in the playoffs.
12) Where do we send our thank you letters to Dave Nonis for matching the offer sheet for Kesler from the Flyers? I’ll make mine scented. As Elle Woods told us it adds a little something extra!