If only the playoffs started today, we could all worry about how the hell a team beats Detroit four times in seven attempts. Sadly there's a ton of hockey left; the Canucks could finish as high as sixth in the conference or as low as 11th. Awesome.
Some will look towards last night's crushing win over the Flames (by the by, Joe Pelletier has a great post on Linden today) as proof that this team can be clutch when needed and should be able to take down Colorado, Edmonton and Calgary this week.
But the cynics in the crowd (yo!) will look at this past Friday's equally vital game against the Wild and note that that disaster shows they are not. Whether last night was proof of something larger in this team or just an anomaly is still clearly up in the air.
If you've read this blog at all in the past several weeks, you'll know that I have been pointing the guilty finger at Nonis since the deadline for not preparing this team as best he could have (on that note, you'll see the Hockey News ranked the GM's today; Nonis comes in at 16th in the bunch, one ahead of Sather which seems off to me). I still fully believe IF Vancouver makes the playoffs that it'll lessen the heat on him to fully upgrade this team with extreme prejudice at the next possible opportunity. In that respect I am torn; I am not so certain what is best for the Canucks right now (making the post season) is in the best interest of their franchise long term.
So I'll take it a game at a time since I know I want them to prove me wrong. Just go out like they did last night and take down the rest of their rivals with their big guys, vets, kids and papa Bob all stepping up together. If they can do that, then I'll be as rabid a booster (and as vehement a Detroit hater) as I can starting this time next week. Drunkblogs, ornery bets and all. Scout's honor.
I don't recall a more tense week in hockey in quite sometime. Zero hour, do or die. Up first: the filthy mullets and pulled groins of the Rockies. Go get 'em guys.