Saturday, June 18, 2011

Go Canucks ... Gone?

They lost. Terrible disappointment. Riots in the city. Depression all around.
The Vancouver Canucks lost in the final game of the final series of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Only one thing to do .....

Start cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs, they will NEVER lose in the Stanley Cup finals!


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Psychological hockey

Well the 'hit' changed a lot of things. It woke up the Bruins. It changed Aaron Rome's reputation. It remains an example of the North American style of play; If you have your head down you are fair game for a death blow. This is inbred into some Canadian and American players from Junior days. Like a macho thing to show that hockey players are tough. It is the remnants of the old style brutal game of intimidation where the hit in the corner has nothing to do with getting the puck. Sort of like the mentality of a pickup truck driver that thinks running you down in the street because you're not in the crosswalk is legal.

The 'hit' could have caused a psychological turning point and we mightn't win another game. But, at the same time, the humiliation of the Canucks by the Bruins could be a counter for the hit. Head game against head game. In a negative way. So it could be that all things are now equal again.
But I still have a bad feeling that we are done because the Canucks have an inability to inflict equal damage.  We just haven't had to play that way. Probably a result of the schedule inbreeding. One reason for this foreboding sense is that if there is a repeat of a goalie shelling, and the Canucks are being overwhelmed, Vignault will wait until the game is out of reach to pull Roberto Luongo.

I am one who has criticised Luongo since day one, deeming him a good goalie at best, However, in the first two games against Boston Luongo played his best ever as a Canuck. I am not sure he can reach that high again. Tim Thomas is the leagues best goalie. Roberto is not even close. By the way, it seems to me that there was a rule once that goalies cannot check because of their equipment. So wasn't that a penalty? Thomas was leaving the puck to hurt a Sedin. Shouldn't the NHL clarify if goalies can check? And if so can we check them back?

I hate to say it but I think the series is over because the Bruins have cross-checking, slashing, fighting etc as part of their Eastern game and the refs accept it. The Broad Street Bullies in Boston. Most of the eastern teams play this old game.
Since the Swedes and Czechs and Finns brought their hockey skills to the NHL, the old Don Cherry style rock 'en sock 'em hockey has been losing. Now it seems we might be headed for a return to that brutal game.
It basically depends on what NBC wants to promote. They will dictate their needs. And a skill game of speed and beauty will not draw viewers like MMA on ice will. Blood trumps stick handling. The Sedins are targets now and to protect them we would just get our players thrown out. The conspiracy theory deepens.

Just watch the cross checks with intent to injure around the Bruins' net, with the ref watching every one. Gretsky had Semenko and McSorley. Jean Belliveau had John Fergusen. Crosby had Georges Laraque. We even had Donald Brashear and Gino Odjig.
Boston has purposely worked in this direction, as GM Peter Chiarelli admits here -
Bruins embrace tough guy image

The trend after this series will be to go back to the old style clutch and grab rasslin hockey of the 70s and each team will once again have a resident goon to protect the stars. If Crosby got the abuse that the Sedins get the opposing players would all be constantly penalized. Or beaten. Not so in these games. The league is after the head shots but losing sight of the rest of the brutality of the game.

I was hoping hockey was going in the right direction to show off the speed, skill and finesse but I think not. I think the psychology of the game is regressing.

I wonder if Dave Semenko is available? Can you imagine the line? Sedin - Sedin - Semenko.
Reprisal on ice.

Go Canucks go anyway.