Some day, if you’re so lucky, you’ll have the chance to sit your grandchildren down on your knee and regale them with tales of Dale Weise’s conquests. No, not those conquests; rather his heroic efforts in not only sending the hated Boston Bruins home packing, but also getting so far under local boy Milan Lucic’s skin that he couldn’t help but shine a light directly on just how scummy he really is.
By using the transitive property, you could argue that Weise’s accomplishments over these 11 playoff games to-date have quickly catapulted themselves atop the leaderboard of silver linings to be taken from the 2013-14 season for the Vancouver Canucks. For all intents and purposes, there’s a case to be made that he has been the team’s Most Valuable Player this year. The bigger question is which cap he’ll wear to ironically bring even more attention to what’s happening on top of his head when he accepts his Cyclone Taylor Trophy?
The goal Weise scored last night paled in comparison to the goal he scored earlier in the series aesthetically, but it was monumentally important in staking the Canadiens to an early 1-0 lead that they’d carry throughout a large portion of the decisive game.
Weise has been something of a revelation in Montreal this Spring, having registered 3 goals and 5 points. That’s the sort of production that we haven’t seen from him since his days with the New York Rangers AHL affiliate (well, except for that time he ran wild all over the Netherlands).
Maybe just as importantly as those offensive contributions, though, was the integral role he played in causing Milan Lucic to absolutely lose his mind as the series went along, with shenanigans that were expertly walking a tightrope. It was a thing of beauty, really. He flexed on him, both literally and figuratively. Suffice it to say that Lucic didn’t exactly handle it all that well after the fact, reportedly threatening Weise in the handshake line.
That particular component of it will (and probably has been, for all I know) be blown out of proportion, but on a grander scale, it must serve as at least a tad bit of vindication for Canucks fans, given how their team and players were generally portrayed by the media as the whiny antagonist to the Boston Bruins’ “doing things the right way” approach.
Back to Weise, though, whose conquests have to be somewhat bittersweet to watch from afar, what with the Canucks only having 5 games of Raphael Diaz and a 5th round pick to show as their ultimate return from that trade back in early February.
It’s worth mentioning that Weise is shooting 21.5% personally, enjoying a 107.4 PDO (thanks to both an elevated on-ice shooting percentage and a ridiculous .955 save percentage by Carey Price), and still getting hammered from a possession perspective. He’s also 19th on the Canadiens in average time on ice this postseason, so while everything he has done has been both admirable and enjoyable, let’s not lose the plot here. You can most certainly argue that the Canucks traded away the wrong 4th liner, but the methodology behind the move was sound at the time, and still is, regardless of how it turned out. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the ride.