We’ve Got a Series, Baby

All the talk heading into this series was about how good the Canucks were.

Heck, all the talk heading into this season was about the Stanley Cup favourites – Canada’s Canucks.

Is anybody else getting sick of the “Canucks Cup Quest” banner flying daily on the TSN NHL main page? Since when did living in Canada oblige me to cheer for Vancouver’s finger-biting, head-hunting, unsportsmanlike-diving excuse for a hockey team?

There’s no denying that GM Gillis has built one of the strongest, most skilled powerhouse teams in many a year. But there’s also no denying that until Kesler and Seidenberg stepped up to their pillow fight that the Canucks were never willing – and never will be willing – to back up their dirty play on the ice.

Always willing to agitate.

Instigate.

Dive.

Bite.

Slash.

Whatever necessary but never willing to finish their own battles. But I guess it’s the playoffs, after all. The courageous and the cowardly show themselves at this time of year. So sure, take a run at Keith Seabrook. Blindside guys like Nathan Horton.

But eventually you get what you deserve, and the Vancouver Canucks got what they deserved as the Boston Bruins romped them 8-1.

Certainly, the Canucks still are heavy favourites to win the cup and might still win the cup. But the Bruins have shown in two straight one-goal games (albeit dishearteningly not-so-well-fought by either team kind-of-games) and through this blowout game that nobody is handing the Canucks anything just yet – let alone the Stanley Cup.

People ask me why I can’t cheer for the Canucks – why I won’t cheer for the Canucks.

My friends know I love a feisty agitating kind of team. Sean Avery was once one of my favourite players (he’s not much of a player anymore).

Why don’t I like the Canucks? They ask.

The answer?

The reason teams play in the playoffs is that the 82 games before it don’t mean jack. So President’s Trophy or not, all the Canucks fans who felt that they are owed a cup – earned a cup – deserve a cup.

You aren’t; You haven’t; You don’t.

For Oilers fans who have suffered through 5 seasons of 82 games without a playoff game and 2 seasons of the worst team on the ice – good for you. But to Canucks fans who couldn’t sit through one blowout of their team at TD Garden as they were leaving after halfway through the third period – grow some kojones because a real fan sits through the thick and thin.

I can understand since that Canucks bandwagon must be getting pretty full about now.

To the Vancouver Canucks who celebrated like they won the cup when they finally – but barely – beat the Chicago Blackhawks: the Bruins have reminded them that 40 years of drought can easily turn into 41.

To all the doubters who came into this game questioning Zdeno Chara’s defensive game: I think they ignored that the Bruins also have an offensive game.

Finally, to all those Canucks’ fans who are complaining about what kinds of rights Tim Thomas has to play inside or outside of his crease, tiny Tim has the following answer:

Timmy’s going to do whatever he wants – when he wants.

Hextall would be proud.

We’ve got a series, baby.

And it’s about time.

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Game Notes:

Boston

- Thornton with a couple of what I call “Darren Helm” shifts, where he is a force of nature and you can’t knock him off the puck
- The Thornton family probably never thought it would be Shawn and not Joe that would be sticking it to the Canucks this time of year
- What a game by Daniel Paille and Brad Marchand! Their individual efforts are among the important contributions to Boston’s win
- Kaberle and Chara played poorly but it didn’t hurt the team
- Tim Thomas with the stereotypical “big save,” at the big moment

Vancouver

- The CBC commentators might scold Vigneault for not pulling Luongo earlier but I think they made the right decision: with all the doubt that was stirred in the Chicago series, sometimes it makes more sense to believe in your main guy even when he has sit through 8 goals
- Whale of a game by Malholtra and Kesler again but to no avail this time
- Bieksa and Kesler are the only agitating Canucks with the guts to stand up for themselves
- Burrows is a good player with a lot of skill but watching him dive such as with that tripping call tonight, just makes me sick

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