(The following post is modeled after those insufferable State of the Union speeches so common in the United States to address key issues at a given moment of time. I sure hope this doesn't have the same effect on you as those speeches do on me:-)... It starts after the jump.)
Well, here we are, fellow Canuck fans. After a promising start, our team has lost three straight to the Chicago Blackhawks, and now finds itself on the verge of elimination, a bitter end to a promising season.
Where do we go from here?
Well, certainly not to any further analysis...this series has been broken down on the web to the point of shattering before our very eyes. And at this point, we all know that if the Canucks had done what we all said they needed to do in the previous games, they wouldn't be in the position they're in right now.
Besides, if the Canucks didn't already know all that stuff, they shouldn't put on the uniforms. They're all professionals...among the best in their profession....and if by your 94th game, if you haven't figured out that you should go with what you know got you to this point, control rebounds, and not come unglued at the first hint of trouble or a breakdown in your game plan, and NOT listen to and be influenced by every lame aspect of your series discussed in the media, you'll never learn what you need to know all of a sudden NOW.
No, they know what to do...and know they can't lose any more. So it's quite likely that the fear of failure has hit critical mass here...so we don't need to tell them in places like this what to do(though as fans, it's certainly our prerogative till the end).
We know that has much as we hope, we can't suddenly e-mail or fax the Secret Lab All NHL Teams Have To Create Players They Need Out Of Nowhere...and put an emergency request in for a 6'9", 260-pound defenseman who can simultaneously move guys like Byfuglien and Kopecky out of the goal crease, plant Toews into the ice, AND run the power play from the point. It's all well and good to want someone like that now to drop out of the sky, but since that won't happen, we're resigned to(sigh)coming back to win with who we've got.
And if the Canucks could play such a poised, excellent game the way they did in Game 1, it's certainly possible that they could do it again. And but for a few plays that went awry, the compete level on the ice has been pretty equal thus far in this series. And continuing with logic(hope you all can stay with me here:-)), if they can lose three straight to a team they're pretty much equal to competitively, it follows they can also win three straight, if everything breaks right.
And whether it does or not, they have to...they've run out of mulligans.
And I'm sure we all agree that if the Canucks don't do all that, they deserve to lose this series anyway.
So don't be bothered by all the Blackhawk partisans that come here or to SCH and other places on the web and ridicule Vancouver, the Sedin "sisters", Luongo, or all of us Canuck fans. If we do that, we're doing the same futile thing our team has been doing for the last three games of this series, and you all see where THAT has gotten them.
So let 'em howl....it's just hockey, not life...and their team won. This almost Pavlovian urge to respond with an extra dose of testosterone to deal with such non-threats to our well being has never ceased to amuse me.
But take heart, Canuck Nation...it's not over until one team wins four games in this series...and as I write this, that hasn't happened yet.
Intelligent Blackhawk fans(and many such people have stopped by NM in the past few days)know what I just said is true...and know better than to celebrate prematurely or assume they'll be traveling to San Jose in a few days to open the Conference Finals.
We all thought that this series had the potential to go the distance, and it still might. And even if it ends after today for the Canucks, it wasn't all THAT bad of a ride for us...surely there are several teams who would love to as been as "bad" as we were this year.
So, let's root our players on to do what they can and might do(after all, they're the only ones who can...certainly none of us writers at NM or people who drop by the site can beat the Hawks in a hockey game), and let's do as fans what we can do...root as hard as we can, represent our team and our city well, and hope that positive energy can reach our team in Chicago tonight and manifest itself in their play...and go one at a time from there..
And if it ends after tonight(or Tuesday, or Thursday), then hold your heads high...if we did our job, there's nothing for us to be disappointed about.
Juat like life, all any of us can do(players and fans alike)is to do our best with what we've got...no more, no less.