More on that in a second. Let's go back to lazy and stupid.
I was spared the indignity of watching the team on PPV like so many Vancouvrites, but rest assured, seeing how I humbly reside within the Eastern Time zone and in the Tri-State area, I had quite a few people reminding me Philly was trouncing us. Strangely these same people were rather silent last year but I guess that had more to do with them being the worst team in hockey. Fair enough.
It struck me, as I read the reports of the game (and man did Orland Kurtenblog sit through the wrong game to liveblog) that I felt like I was thinking about the late 90's version of the Canucks. You know, the good old Messier days where they didn't really need a defense so just go on and get out there and try your best and, heck, if you get a few goals while you are getting absolutely crushed and thoroughly outplayed, at least the fans know you tried. After all, they came out for the effort knowing the end result far ahead of time. So kick back, cue the soft angelic music and fade to black.
Unfortunately, a division championship, a decent playoff run, a Jack Adams trophy and LuonGod changes those expectations mighty quick. Which is why it is perplexing to see a squad that personified staunch defensive play and a blue collar work ethic last year have those tenants utterly vanish on them. It was almost as if we were all watching a live action version of NHL 2K8 with God playing the Flyers while he was snacking on a cheesesteak and drowning an Orca with his free hand.
Oh yeah, before I forget: hey Jesse Boulerice, get used to the phrase "Would you like fries with that?" since, if this league has any semblance of a spine, that'll be the extent of your career options after they're through with you clown. (Update: The league still has no spine. Wait until someone overreacts to Crosby and see what this gutless league will do then.)
The silver lining here (it's there seriously, squint real hard) is that maybe the squad needed this to abruptly end whatever hangover may have been left over from obliterating their expectations last year. Perhaps getting slapped that silly at home (seriously, giving up a short-handed goal during a five-on-three?) will provide just the correct amount of anger and energy this team needs to jumpstart its game. Perhaps Philadelphia did Vigneault a favor and awoke a bit of a sleeping dragon somewhere in the guys behind those new spiffy uniforms.
If only there was a team with its own set of issues, perhaps right in Vancouver's own backyard, who we'd have to play maybe twice in a row to really gauge the mettle of the team. If only there was an obvious, almost delicious target, for the Canucks to enact their revenge on and get their train back on track all at the same time.
Edmonton, it's good for what ails ya (you can't say that very often huh?). The Oilers are coming off their own minor embarrassment at the hands of the Wild who shut them out which, as bad as that is, is a far cry from having your ass completely handed to you like the Canucks did. I’m not even confident the Canucks can win either game against the Oilers, but it should make for at least a fun series. And, making it all the more dramatic, the Canucks saw fit to move their leading goal scorer to the minors in hopes of...umm...I have no idea. Hell let’s go the whole nine: if Luongo’s knee is worse then expected, then we may all wish it was the late 90’s when at least we had Bure and Mogilny buzzing around on the ice to keep us remotely interested as the team lost repeatedly.
Let’s just hope for a series split because if they lose twice to the Oil, future live blogs could morph into the Russian roulette variety. And, by that point, I suppose I’d have to ask both Oiler and Flyer fans what they did last year to properly cope when your team is a complete and massive train wreck.