Found April 04, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Quack Quack Mr Ducksworth

Yes, the switch can be flipped.

All the way back in March the Canucks were making some people hit the panic button for the simple fact that the Canucks weren’t hitting it themselves as the team took the most laissez-faire approach to hockey since Vincent de Gournay last fielded a team all the way back in 1755.

Now they’ve won seven in a row. This is like if the rabbit hadn’t overslept and won the race after taking that very enjoyable nap while the turtle did whatever loser turtles do.

The Canucks are rolling, and so is this Ducks vs. Canucks Love ‘Em/Hate ‘Em.

Love ‘Em

1. #1stplaceproblems

You see the Canucks are now tied for first in the league. Despite all the hand-wringing that has occurred since well, the Boston game they’re right back to where they where last year, poised to perhaps enter the playoffs in the pole position one more time.

bobby lu Anaheim Ducks vs. Canucks blog: love ’em & hate ‘em

Are the Canucks better off with Lu in net?

Are the Canucks better than last year? Not in the regular season, but that would be an impossible standard of the size usually reserved for Roberto Luongo. Instead, everything this year seems to revolve around one singular task, win the Cup.

Are the Canucks a better playoff team?

We’re about to find out.

2. The Role Players

Not only have the Canucks flipped the switch, they’ve flipped the switch without Daniel Sedin, currently rehabbing in an IKEA ball room.

If  Daniel comes back next week like Mike Gillis hopes and if  he plays like it never happened and it never comes back to haunt him then the Duncan Keith hit could be the ultimate blessing in disguise.

Motivation sure, but the Canucks already had that as soon as the playoffs started. More importantly, look at Maxim Lapierre aka Maxim Lapierre first line forward. You’re witnessing an instant confidence boost that will have Lapierre chomping at the bit before Game 1.

And Maxim Lapierre brimming with confidence is a very good thing….well for the Canucks at least.

3. Greasy Wins

Ok, imagine I describe this game to you. The classic double goalie pull, see-saw game, decided by a shoot-out, penalty shot, just a strange and memorably odd game.

Now if I asked you who you thought the opponent was I really hope you would pick Anaheim because doesn’t every game with the Ducks follow some variation of this. They have more twists, turns, and nonsensical action than your average M. Night Shyamalan pic.

So here’s to the greasy win aka the one where you take two points from a game you never led.

Hate ‘Em

1. #1problems

So Roberto Luongo was booed when he was pulled. Was he at fault for any of the four goals the Ducks had scored? Who cares?

The pertinent fact is that Luongo was booed in his own building a week prior to the playoffs for giving up four goals to a non-playoff team in what was essentially a meaningless game.

Canucks Love Em Hate Em Anaheim Ducks vs. Canucks blog: love ’em & hate ‘em

She's back by popular demand. When we win YOU win! Ducks vs. Canucks Love 'em & Hate 'em

And then we wonder why Roberto is so mentally fragile. I have no idea guys.

There’s a weird undercurrent that runs through Canuck nation that is always, always looking for the negative, even when the team is winning.

Or maybe it’s just that only the worst kind of people have money so therefore only the worst type of fans can afford to get into Rogers Arena.

After all, all those rioters had $200 shoes, $350 jerseys and fancy university educations!

2. No One Hank is an Island

Meanwhile, Henrik Sedin set up camp near the face-off dot on the powerplay in the second period and hung out with the puck for like two hours while he calculated the percentages of every possible play.

This allows us to turn to  those other hockey-loving twins, Goofus and Gallant.

Gallant would think to himself “I know Henrik Sedin and know that he is a very smart offensive player. He wants to make the right play and he is the best passer in the league. I trust him. Let’s see what he does here.”

Goofus would spill some beer on his shirt as he yelled “SHOOOOOOT!”

Somehow, there were a lot of Goofuses at Rogers Arena last night.

3. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie? NO

So according to Sports Club Stats, it’s looking likelier and likelier that the Canucks will open the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks in a re-match of the Western Conference Finals.

This shouldn’t be an potiental upset considering how efficiently the Canucks handled the Sharks last year and how much more lethargic San Jose seems to be this year but there’s the rub.

What better team to wake up these San Jose Sharks than the team that bounced them out of the playoffs last year?

We’ve already seen the Canucks bring out well, something, against the Sharks this year and who knows what a little revenge can inspire in the Sharks.

After all they’ve eliminated Detroit two years running and that has to count for something.


© Richard Hodges for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: #1stplaceproblems, anaheim ducks, Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim vs. Vancouver, Cory Schneider vs. Roberto Luongo, Daniel Sedin, Ducks vs. Canucks, First round opponents, game rewind, Goofus & Gallant, Henrik Sedin, Love Em Hate Em, Maxim Lapierre, NHL Playoffs, Roberto Luongo, Rogers Arena, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks


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