Today, a post by hockeywidow indicated that some sort of virus is ravaging the Canucks dressing room, and that this explains the lack of effort and the apparent AHLing of the Presidents Trophy winners.
I think this is spot on. Reasoning is under the jump.
I think that the Canucks have come down with a norovirus (or previously known as a Norwalk virus).
I have personal experience with a norovirus (twice) and it's an awful illness to get. You can't keep down any fluids or food, you're vomiting, you have a massive headach, your blood pressure could be dangerously low (as it was with me) and you have no energy.
What makes me think that this is likely is that Sammy had 'the flu' and missed Game 2, and Torres had 'food poisoning' and missed the skate before Game 3. Both of those are basically synonyms of a norovirus. Here are the key facts about noroviruses:
1. They are incredibily contagious, especially in situations where people are gathered together in small quarters, like cruise ships, daycares, and in this case, airplanes and dressing rooms.
2. They are contagious for at least 3 days after symptoms subside.
3. The symptoms, although awful, are very short lived, lasting 1-2 days.
4. The incubation period is also 1-2 days after infection before symptoms develop.
So here is the timeline.
Friday, April 15.
Sammy misses Game 2 because of the 'flu'. Torres misses the game skate before Game 2 due to 'food poisoning'. One or both of them actually have a norovirus. AV states that Torres will be on the plane if his symptoms subside. Presumably this is the case as Torres makes the flight.
Saturday, April 16.
Torres and company fly to Chicago. Players begin to get infected.
Sunday, April 17.
Game 3. The Canucks survive the onslaught and win.
Monday, April 18. Players infected on Saturday begin getting symptoms.
Tuesday, April 19. Game 4. Edler misses the game skate. It very well could be that he's already majorly symptomatic. The Canucks get their asses kicked. Edler and Blastoff are -3, the Sedins and Sammy also -3. Bolland goes on a tear. Bickel blows by Bieksa. Several goals are explained by 'bad line changes'. In fact, these bad line changes seem bizarre, idiotic even. But what if the players were completely drained? Does anyone know if Sammy looked tired in Game 4? It's possible that the players started getting symptomatic during the day too.
Wednesday, April 20. Practice Day. Players could still be getting symptomatic, and others could be coming down with the virus. Edler, Daniel and Luongo miss practice (after getting pounded like that?).
Thursday, April 21. Game 5. Rome is in for Ballard for some reason. Cody gets the call too and he actually looks like one of the players with some jump. The Canucks come out flat and get their asses handed to them again. Did anyone miss the skate that morning? Edler, Lu and Daniel all make the optional skate though. Can anyone recall how they looked (more specifically, Edler and Daniel).
Anyway, the hypothesis is that a norovirus was ravaging the dressing room from April 19-21. It probably didn't hit everyone at once, but probably did affect different players for different games. I didn't actually watch either game, so I can't judge for myself who seemed to have jump, and who didn't.
However, if my hypothesis is correct at least these players were affected:
Daniel, Edler Game 4. Both should have been better for Game 5.
Kesler could have been affected in Game 4.
Torres and Sammy should NOT have been affected at all. This may help explain why Sammy went onto the top line.
Anyone who missed the optional skate for Game 5 are suspects for symptoms for Game 5.
But here is the good news.
The vast majority of the players should have been fine by today, and if not today, by tomorrow.
Prediction: We'll see a dramatically different team come Sunday afternoon.