And what do I mean by that? It's simple. I no longer believe this team is capable of winning the Cup this year. I am not 'jumping off the bandwagon'. I am still a Canucks fan until the day I die. But with all the injuries to the defence, and other issues, I just can't see this team going forward unless they show us something that they haven't yet.
So call me names. I am aware I am gonna get torn apart for this, but I am just trying to look at this as realistically as possible. Healthy, this team can win the cup. But with a decimated defence, there's simply no way. The guys we have are not good enough. It's not that I won't cheer for the team, but it will be with the knowledge that doom, and the ridicule of the fans of the other 29 teams lay ahead.
Maybe it's the frame of mind I am in right now. Maybe not. Maybe it's just what we have seen, when we thought we were really going to see the best of this team, we didn't. Maybe Luongo winning that big game, now means for whatever reason that he can't. Or maybe it's just one more year from a team that can win it's division, then do nothing in the playoffs. The upside to all this? At least we're conditioned for the heartbreak to come.
And what if I'm wrong? Awesome. I pray to (insert deity of choice here, for those who wish to) that I am. But my heart tells me they just can't overcome this. It's not about blaming one player. It's not even about blaming the defence. As a whole, the team as it stands right now is not capable of moving past the second round, and may even go out in the first. Like I said, I hope I am wrong. I am not switching my loyalty to another team. When they're out, I shut it down. I watch with only mild interest as a hockey fan, but to be honest, I rarely even pick a side, because so often there isn't even one of the few teams I like outside of the Canucks in the finals.
So I stand here, prepared for your insults. Whatever. I just couldn't truthfully tell you I was confident in this team heading into the first round. A week ago, hell a couple games ago I felt differently. Not anymore. I will leave the topic with this disclaimer. I rarely, if ever predict the score right in games. Maybe I am wrong about this too. Come on Canucks. Prove me wrong. I dare you. Oh yeah, and That Guy took over the scoring lead. Meh.
It's kind of like the Battle of Alberta, only one of the teams is actually good.
Well on paper at least. Yeah, I don't see this one turning out all that well either. Kind of like the embarrassing ass-kicking they laid on us for Trevor Linden's final game in the NHL, the Flames are here to spoil the party. Mean nothing game? Come on. This is their playoffs tonight. One tiny sliver of salvation for their wasted season. They can take this little nugget to the golf course, or some arena in Europe (for those chosen to represent Canada at the World Championships): they did it to us at home. Again. And after witnessing the shenanigans in the game against San Jose, you know Calgary will be doing their douchebag-doodly-oodlest to run guys, start fights and get the entire team off their game. They don't know how to do much else, even with cro-magnon knuckledragger Dion Phaneuf exiled to Toronto.
The Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in a position that apart from the playoffs, at least for their fans, they live for: a chance to knock the hated Montreal Canadiens from the playoffs. That game will be, quite simply, a war. One of those rare times when you actually want to watch these two teams play. And I am calling it now: they buck the trend, and this one ends in regulation. Sorry Habs fans, but Client Halak will be letting you down tonight.