I bet these fans got some great deals at the Canucks Team Store.
Saddest of sad trombones.
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
This is a weekly feature that will highlight The Good, The Bad and The *fill in the blank* exciting things that are currently happening in the NHL. Questionable ice time, multiple overtimes and bad behavior from some crazy Russians? Yup – it’s the playoffs alright.
The Good: Good Deals
If you are looking to get some new Canucks gear, there is a sale on selected 2012 playoff merchandise at the Canucks store. Sigh. This is what it has come to Canucks fans. And it sucks. You know who doesn’t suck though? Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes. This is the man who was brought in to replace Mr. Humoungous Big Universe, Ilya Bryzgalov, at the start of this season. The man who played a part in eliminating the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of these playoffs. The man that Gary Bettman will probably invite over for dinner should the team actually make it far this spring.
There is a small part of me that sort of wants the Coyotes to do well, and if these playoffs have been any indication of what is possible, it seems that this could be a good year for them to do so. It sure would make a great story, given all the talk of the franchise possibly departing Phoenix. I hope that they at least advance to the Western Conference Final, preferably with the Kings as opponents because that would be an interesting goalie showdown.
So, who has found the joy in stress free living during the playoffs when your team has been eliminated? Unlike some, I am not fully cheering for any other team that is still in it. I admire individual players, but that is still not enough to get me emotionally invested in the games that are being played. I promise next year that I will not complain about playoff stress. I want it back. I want to bite my nails and feel like I am going to throw up when watching the Canucks play in OT of a game 7. I want to cheer when Ryan Kesler scores a goal or Bieksa tries to fight someone. I want to feel anxious awaiting our next opponent. Dear hockey gods… ah forget it, you don’t listen anyways.
The Bad: The Canucks not being in the playoffs
Being forced to watch the Kings win playoff games and all the shorthanded goals they keep amassing is not fun. Now to be clear, I have nothing against the Kings other than they eliminated my team and therefore are now my enemy. Jonathan Quick, however, has been amazing for them and really, as one franchise who has never won a Stanley Cup to another, we should be supportive. But I am bitter and am slowly starting to understand how the Canucks can be considered the most hated team … that happens when you eliminate others.
Sometimes bad things turn out pretty well, at least if you are the Nashville Predators. All it took for them to come out of a two game deficit was two Russians getting into some "breaking the team rules" kind of trouble resulting in them being banished from playing in game three. They certainly were not missed. The Predators ended up winning and Pekka Rinne even got his first playoff shutout. What might be bad for both Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn is they may just find themselves being scratched for the next game as well. Whatever is best for the team boys.
And There is Always Next Year
Is anyone else sick and tired of hearing this? I AM. At least with ‘next year’ there comes a renewed sense of hope, in theory. From the various lifelong Canucks fans that I have encountered, the consensus seems to be that it is harder and harder to keep that hope alive year after year. Especially when the team really had what seemed to be their best chance to finally win a Stanley Cup last year. Being knocked out first round this year seems almost inexcusable. This year was supposed to be the "There is always next year"!
Next year actually makes me a little bit apprehensive because I can just feel that there will be changes for the Canucks franchise. Though everything is done for the benefit of the team, or so we are told, change is still scary and hard to deal with. It took me a while to accept that Kyle Wellwood was no longer a Canuck so I cannot even imagine what will happen should either Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider leave. Both Luongo and Schneider are great goaltenders and there is a case to be made for each of them staying, or going. However, until an announcement is made I don’t want to think about it; but this topic will be ongoing for the majority of the summer and will become unavoidable. Much like the AV situation – does he stay or does he go? We sit and wait.
"There is always next year" is starting to sound like a nice way of saying "Hey you suck". And for a team that has never won a Stanley Cup, it just makes it seem like a fairytale that is doomed to never get its happy ending.