Being a sports fan is hard sometimes. Sometimes I wish things could be different. I wish I could believe the league was actually concerned about the fans. I wish the officials weren't incompetent. I wish our fans could see the real issue is our team not executing the game plan, not any one player. Hell, right now I wish I was a Leafs fan, so I could take some comfort in knowing I don't have to go through this post-season angst. The security of being able to follow a team that lets you down early in the game is strangely appealing.
You can sit there and dissect the game all you want, one simple fact remains. 3 games in: 0 60 minute efforts from the Canucks. Is LA's powerplay the greatest of all time? No, but a combination of having the 2 best PK men out, along with other normally solid PK'ers seemingly having forgotten how to do the basics in killing a penalty is quite simply destroying the team.
There's lots of people ready to give LA all the credit in the world for being up 2-1 right now. Bully for them. You're not going to get that from me, because honestly how could they not be? The Vancouver Canucks have served up the last 2 games on a platter for them. Has the officiating played a major role? Of course it has. From mind-boggling non-calls, completely unacceptable penalty calls and the mindset that has created for the Canucks, it's a huge factor.
The hardest team for the Vancouver Canucks to beat in this series still remains to be the Vancouver Canucks. We can sit here and say the Canucks can't take penalties, but I believe that's not realistic. They need to be better at killing the penalties, and if that means putting different players on the ice during PK's then so be it.
We're not getting nearly enough from our best players right now. The Sedins and Alexandre Burrows have to be the dominant line on the ice. If they're not, and the Canucks don't get the PK fixed, this series will go back with the Canucks down 3-1 heading back to Vancouver for Game 5. They simply can't allow this to happen. These are two evenly matched teams, but the Canucks aren't playing the full 60 minutes. The evidence is there, when the Canucks crank it up, LA hangs on for dear life, with no answer for the speed and skill. Yet time after time they let them off the hook with 1 pass too many, or shots that miss the net, or shots that wait too long, or not long enough.
My forecast of doom and gloom for this team did not include collapsing against this LA squad. Something has to give. If not, it's simply another season of trying to find out why the mix isn't right when we get to this stage.