Take a look at the battlefield this morning:
That's amazing: seven teams out of 15 are effectively in a logjam, from 11th to 5th! So while they don't deserve to still be in this, a Vancouver win tonight could actually pull this team back into the hunt far quicker than all these losses pissed them out of it. Then again, if you read this, we're basically dead already.
An aside: Phoenix, Edmonton, and Columbus? REALLY? This is a bad dream.
It's no shock what a win tonight does. I'm sure some would be so ecstatic that they'll forget the last 15 games or so. The players would likely say it's just one game with more work to do. They'd be right...if they win tonight, no one should be celebrating. Talk to me next week if they can rattle off three in a row (with Carolina and Chicago on the horizon).
In two weeks they get three games against absolutely beatable opponents, two of which they are currently chasing in the race: St. Louis, Phoenix and Dallas.
In three weeks they get hell week, the Canadian gauntlet: Habs, Flames, Sens, Leafs and Habs again in nine days.
Another aside: it's wonderful drama that if the Canucks still flounder through the next two weeks, Sundin's return to Toronto could be a potential knock out blow. Ugh. Will Toronto boo him any louder than Bertuzzi's return to Colorado?
The Wild are coming off a loss last night and the additional travel to get to GM Place. As you can see above, they are tied with Vancouver. And they both hate each other. What better test against a tired opponent could Vancouver possibly need?
The Canucks, meanwhile, have been busy the past few days fighting each other and waiting for Gillis to swoop down and spank them like an angry mother. Vigneault admitted yesterday "it’s just a matter of going out and playing"...interestingly no follow up about it also being a matter of a good coaching.
Demitra is still out, Raymond and O'Brien will be sitting (replaced by Brown and Davison respectively) and Sundin should at least start the game on the checking line with Kesler and Burrows.
I fear the window for a bump from a new coach's system is rapidly closing. Inexplicably, it would seem we should expect Gillis, perhaps not wanting to admit he made a mistake this summer, will let Vigneault drive this car straight into a brick wall. So be it, another link in the chain of Vancouver nightmares that spans decades.
Nothing more really needs to be said. If they win, they buy themselves an inch of wiggle room for next week. If they lose again, heads should roll. They probably won't. You'll just get the same recycled list of excuses as the season slowly flips from a playoff drive to the Tavares sweepstakes.
I'm not a positive person, but I am an angry one. So despite my doubt I'll go ahead and say:
GET IT FUCKING DONE TONIGHT GUYS.
NO. MORE. EXCUSES.