23

You Know What I Hate?! – March 24th

 

Today I return with my regular feature of venting and raging on stupid crap happening with the Canucks, their fans and other happenings around the NHL. Two things about this feature… 1) It will appear (hopefully) every week, and 2) It is blatantly ripped off from a stand-up bit from comedian Craig Anton. On either point, I make no apologies. Enjoy. Or don’t.

This week, I hate rooting for the wrong team, fending off fellow fans, and Megna’s magnitude of minutes.

You know what I hate?! Cheering for the Chicago Blackhawks. And I did it. I cheered for Blackhawks on Tuesday to beat the Canucks. I cheered vocally and demonstrably and voraciously. I felt gross doing it, but it had to be done. As a card-carrying member of Team Tank, there are no days off. You don’t get to pick and choose when to apply the love of the tank. So if you have to cheer for the Blackhawks and the Bruins and the Oilers and the like, you just do it. I’ll be cheering for delicious regulation losses for the rest of the season. Oh look, as I’m writing this, the Blues just scored to go ahead. How wonderful.

You know what I hate?! Defending my stance as a Canucks fan. Let’s get this straight – the Vancouver Canucks NEED to tank. Anything else is counter-productive. You can tell me all you like that winning helps the young players’ confidence. That’s just garbage. These players have all been on winning teams before so they don’t suddenly need to learn this. These players KNOW the team stinks. They know where they are in the standings. Winning or losing right now should have no impact on their collective psyche. Admittedly, I’m not a sports psychologist but if these young’ns need wins to help them feel better then the Canucks have much bigger problems than their place in the standings. So when other Canucks say that the tankists aren’t real fans, because you always want the team to win no matter what, I call bullshit of the highest order. No. I want what is BEST for the Vancouver Canucks, for whom I’ve cheered since I was five. And what is best for this team is to tank. Tanking leads to the best possible draft position. Tanking leads to a much-needed shake-up behind the bench. Tanking may also lead to an upheaval in the front office. All of these things need to happen for the Canucks to get back on a path to improvement. First and foremost, Willie needs to go.

You know what I hate?! Willie Desjardins’ unabashed love for Jayson Megna. It is inexcusable to play Megna as much as he has. He doesn’t provide offence, yet we see him with the Sedins. He’s not particularly good defensively, yet Willie has stated repeatedly that he plays Megna because he trusts him in their own zone. He’s also not young, so that’s contrary to the new management mantra to play the kids.  Despite that, he’s getting selected over Boucher and others. Luckily now, Willie’s toy has been taken away from him because of injury, so poor, sad Desjardins is going to be forced to play ACTUAL youngsters.

And finally…

You know what I hate?! Waiting this long to get back to writing here at CanucksArmy. It was lazy and dumb and silly to stop writing in the first place since I like it so much. But A LOT has happened to your old pal Cam in the last 4+ years and it was time to get back to doing something I really enjoyed. A huge thanks to JD and the rest of the crew for being awesome.

Editor’s note: We’re glad to have you back, Cam.

  • Neil B

    Stop wasting energy on Megna. He’s a place-filler, because *someone* has to play those minutes and the team doesn’t want to risk the development of Boucher/Goldie’s 200-foot game by rewarding them too early, before they have shown the requisite discipline. If they work harder in practice, in off-ice time, in the video room, and so on, they will get played, get minutes, and get proper ice time (Bo, Granny, Sven, Groot…).

    If you want to be angry about it, be angry at the Canucks management for insisting on disciplined growth from the kids; but don’t be angry at Megna. The Canucks are kinda screwing with him to the (supposed) benefit of the kids, and to zero benefit to him.

    • Killer Marmot

      I don’t see where Canucks management is screwing with Megna. This is a marginal player who due to special circumstances gets to play with the Sedins for a month or so. He’s likely in hog heaven, even as he recognizes that it will not last long.

      • Eric B

        Because playing above his skill level makes him look incompetent which kills his career. If he placed a solid 4th line it would not look bad but playing on the power play and further up the lineup even fans have noticed he can’t succeed. Who is going to sign him after this year? Cracknell played a solid 4th line and got himself another contract. That’s why this is bad for Megna.

        • Killer Marmot

          Megna barely has an NHL career no matter where he plays. He’s 27 years old and played 107 games.

          This, at least, gives him an opportunity to succeed. Getting 6 minutes of ice time a game playing with other marginal players on the 4th line doesn’t give him even that.

    • tyhee

      I agree.

      Neil mentions the Canucks insisting on disciplined growth from the kids. Some people hate that and take the view that the way to develop the kids is to just play them. I actually agree with the Canucks on this one and think young players will usually develop better at lower levels and with less responsibility, increasing their NHL playing time slowly to challenge them as they are able to meet the challenges. I also think it is far better for the team cap-wise and ufa/rfa wise to bring players along slowly so they are cost controlled for a longer period of time. I think having exclusive negotiating rights to 25 and 26 year olds is more important than accelerating the development of a 19 year old.

      That way of thinking doesn’t seem to be popular among those commenting on this
      site.

      However, given those beliefs, it is necessary to have place fillers while the team is at its worst. I fully understand that people would have more fun watching McCann and Virtanen than veteran 3rd and 4th liners in 2015-16-but I think it was bad for the team. People quite naturally want to watch offensive dynamo Jordan Subban-but I don’t see anything to be gained by it. (Those who think he can learn to defend in the NHL while he isn’t doing very well at it at the lower level will disagree.)

      The upshot? I don’t mind at all that in a year in which the Canucks aren’t going anywhere, they play place fillers. I’d rather Chaput and Megna had actually spent the season in Utica helping the Comets, but all that would do would create space for other place fillers on the Canucks.

  • Killer Marmot

    Surely, being a card-carrying member of Team Tank, Davie should approve of Megna playing on the first line. Let’s be consistent in our curmudgeoness.

    • haha ok I admit that’s true. But I also love the Sedins, and want to see them flourish as long as possible. While having a boat anchor tied to their line certainly helps team tank, it makes for unbearable hockey.

      • Aardvark

        I feel like you can be critical of management for making decisions that make the team worse, because their goal is to win. If Willie played Megna, but his goal was to lose, then it would not make sense to be critical.

        Also, I would assume team tank would still like to see goals and entertaining games, just as long as the team loses. Megna does not equal entertainment.

  • Roy

    So, how exactly do you tank? Ask any athlete what it means to deliberately play poorly and try to lose, and they will look at you like you are joking or a simpleton. Asking a team to do this is even stupider, even in the short term. You have to try to lose, and that not only looks like crap, it feels worse.

    You can ask a coach to do this, maybe, but it will look like crap, also. Why would a coach on the likely way out make himself and his team look worse by deploying new and untrustworthy players to make natural mistakes and lose worse than if they play conservatively?

    The odds of ending up in first or second over fifth or sixth are so slim it is not worth trying, whatever “trying” actually means. So if you are going to call for a “tank”, define your terms. As soon as even the barest analysis is applied, tanking doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

    And if you are still not convinced – I present to you, the Edmonton Oilers circa 2006-2016.

  • Moneyball

    Agreed the Canucks need to be as low down in the rankings as possible. However one draft pick will not fix this club, the time has come to ditch the sedins for whatever can be had. They are a distraction and there is no combination of team that has them earning 6 mil each and a Stanley cup.

    • neal

      At this time of year, I also would like them to finish as low as possible. However, this team has not taken a night off, they have worked hard all year, and deserve recognition for that.Their standings are mostly due to a lack of talent.
      Perhaps the scouting staff is old and stale and needs an overhaul.

  • westy99

    The problem I have with #teamtank philosophy in general is that I don’t know what will finally shut them up? Will I have to suffer through several variations of #teamtank until the Canucks win the Cup? #Teamtank has no patience and has bipolar moments (I hope team loses……..(later)Team should have won….boooo team, coach…management, even though I got what I asked for.) This could a long few years on every Canuck blog and twitter.

  • Walker

    I don’t fully understand Team Tank. First off, the Canucks are doing a nice job of crashing and burning to get too worried about a single victory. I’m glad they beat the Hawks the other night.

    With the weighted lottery system, there’s no guarantee of anything unless your goal to end up in the “top five” for picking, then you do want to end up no worse than second to last.

    First off, look at Winnipeg last draft, they made off like bandits without tanking. Secondly, with GMJB calling the shots, why does it matter where they end up drafting? He’s clearly happy to deviate from consensus. He’s had two high picks and both times he went his own way (and both times, I was personally gutted).

    Even if he does end up five or better in draft order, there’s no guarantee he won’t go off the board again. So, maybe just relax and hope that he continues to pluck diamonds in the later rounds.

    • Vanoxy

      Good points.
      Most years, I would be a team tank guy, but this year the top 8 picks are all basically in the same tier.
      Patrick is a small step above, but there are no franchise players coming out of the first round.

      Benning has shown that he’s a gambler with his high picks, but he seems to be great with his later picks.
      I’m all for a trade down this year. If he could swap the 5th or 6th pick for something in the 20-25 range, plus a 2nd rounder, go for it.
      His top 6 picks are questionable. But he’s struck bronze, or some other semi precious mineral with a good number of late picks.

    • westy99

      Comments like this are awesome. Goldy scores in his first game on a broken play and then sits and watches the team system, which he isn’t familiar with……and some Canuck fans lose their minds.