On this blog, and across the internetz and broadcast waves, the reaction to Game 5 was, well... predictable. The Canucks let that one slip away, and that brought the latest onslaught from their detractors as well as anger and bile from the fan base. And it got me thinking as I took a day off from hockey on Sunday, about what kind of inspirational message could be sent to calm people down. I left Friday night angry, but my anger wasn't entirely focused on the Canucks, it was on some of you and the things you were saying. A frustrating loss, I get it. Some players struggling, I know. But I saw some reactions that struck a chord, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I logged off rather than react to what was being said and continued to think about where to go with this post. And it was in the pregame thread for Game 6 that it hit me. All the drama about a certain speech turned the porch light on for me. That's not the speech that's relevant. It's this one...
After a disheartening loss to the Soviets in Game 4 of the Summit Series, the Canadian team was booed off the ice by the crowd at the Pacific Coliseum. And that's when Phil Esposito rallied an entire nation with a 2 minute interview. From that moment on, the press and the fans got behind the team, and even after losing Game 5 in Moscow, their faith didn't waver. They won 3 straight, with Paul Henderson notching the GWG in all 3 games.
This is where we should be looking, friends. Not implying any "this is Canada's team" nonsense. Just the message to the fans. Have they played their best hockey? Not yet. Is it a lack of heart or desire? Absolutely not. The media and fans are all guilty of distorted views in both directions. When the Canucks win, it's because they should. When Nashville wins, it's some kind of major upset despite them having Vezina and Norris candidates in the lineup. This series was not supposed to be a cakewalk. We know they play us tough. Yes there are elements of the Canucks game that are a source of frustration right now. But the old adage "good teams find a way to win" rings true. And they will do it.
I know it gets maddening when they slip up. It's magnified because of the high expectations for this team. The key is having faith in the system. People will tell you the Canucks haven't faced enough adversity this season. If you truly believe that, then you have not been paying attention to what's been going on over on the West Coast. Do you really believe that every win the Canucks notched this year was due to them completely and utterly dominating their opponents? Hell no. They had a barrel full of wins where they were outplayed, but still got a timely goal, someone stepping up to help them find a way to get the 2 points.
So take a deep breath and relax. The Predators are a good team, and they're up to the challenge. But this Canucks team is on a mission and they will find a way to break through and advance to the 3rd round tonight. Forget the haters, and most of all don't be like them. This. Is. Our. Year.
WAACH 'Cast's Classic Album Of The Day- PANTERA- Cowboys From Hell
If you could pick one album that ushered in the 90's for metal that wasn't lame, it might be this one. Though the band had previously released 4 albums prior to this, this was their major label debut, and it was a major step forward and far away from their glam metal past. Thrashy, with a major helping of groove, Pantera, and most noticeably guitarist Dimebag Darrell influenced a new generation of headbangers, and they were a welcome alternative to the rap-addled crap that major labels were pushing during the decade. While the majority of the metal scene went back to it's underground roots. Pantera flew the metal flag proudly in the mainstream.