Thursday, June 16, 2011
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - R.I.P. 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks
I mean, you guys knew it's not a best-of-nine or something, right?
Good morning, hockey fans! Last week we told you what it takes to be a Vancouver Canuck. This week, it's time to celebrate, baby!! Whether you've been a Bruin fan since the beginning of this series or since the beginning of Game 7, there's no sweeter feeling than seeing your temporarily-favorite team squash their despicable rivals in mano-e-divo combat.
This seven-game Finals had it all: gutsy, blue-collar, friendless rejects cobbled together off the unwanted scrapheap of the NHL's trashbin going up against hockey's Evil Empire, losing their first two guys right away on the early levels, battling back on the easy worlds, losing their third guy when their hand slipped off the controller, then going deep into the final Boss Level and defeating the Main Baddie in his volcanic lair.
After which, they rescue all those princesses.
Although my own Dallas Stars have an inexplicable hatred of the Boston Bruins in the regular season, it's pretty obvious that fans of all 29 real NHL teams owe these yellow-and-black heroes their undying gratitude. Without them, the most insufferable fanbase in North America (hockey fanbase, that is -- they're really just a pimple on the arse of Miami Heat fans) would have "earned" eternal bragging points despite being the most worthless champion in team sports history.
So let's take a moment and bow our heads to our new Boston Bruins overlords to thank them for their invaluable service to hockey history. (pause) Ah. There. Now that that's over and done with, time to forget the Bruins ever existed and move on to worshiping our own teams once more.
But first, a little Griswold-esque eulogy for North America's Sweethearts, the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks.
O Hockey Gods, ease our suffering in this, our moment of great despair. Yea, admit these riot-hungry flop artists into thy arms of thine heavenly area, up there. And Moab, he lay us upon the band of the Canaanites, and yea, though the Hindus speak of karma, I implore you: Don't bother with these jackwagons.
Now that their reign of terror is finally over, we can look back at fond memories of these Canucks and laugh our collective tuckuses off. They, unfortunately, cannot join us as their rear ends are bruised and battered from the many, many pratfalls, reverse belly flops and Swedish Triple Lundys that garnered them 32 power plays over seven games -- a number that might have been significantly higher had they just stayed on their skates and drawn penalties by going into the middle of the ice and shooting a puck on net.
Powerplays that they were ultimately outscored on, 3 to 2.
Who could forget the memorable performances of the Canucks' unstoppable offensive stars? Like Captain Henrik Sedin, who had one goal -- a garbage goal late in the Game 6 Blowoutathon Part III -- over seven games? Or Conn Smythe stone-cold lead-pipe lock Ryan Kesler, who put up exactly one assist over the seven biggest games of his career?
Hockey fans across the world will forever have a special fondness for Alex Burrows, who was held off the scoresheet in six of the games but wasn't held off our hearts with his hilarious on-ice vaudeville routine. His covert way of attempting to draw penalties was enjoyed by millions of television viewers and three referees, who rewarded his zany shenanigans with a slew of unsportsmanlike penalties and the complete inability to ever be trusted by an NHL referee again for the rest of his hockey career. The shady carnies that put up their trailers behind the dumpster at Walmart have taken notice, and are eagerly awaiting Burrows' retirement from hockey so he can get to his real passion of biting the heads off of French-Canadian chickens.
I know I'd pay 10 cents to see that.
And what more can be said about the top-ranked Vancouver Defense, the most gracious and welcoming bunch of defensemen in recent Finals history? The unstoppable offensive juggernaut of Christian Ehrhoff, Alexander Edler, Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo played the team-first concept perfectly, where each one would pick one game to score and leave the other six for somebody else.
Come to think of it, one point per seven games sounds awfully familiar. But we're talking about the top-ranked offense in the regular season here. They obviously know what they're doing out there on the ice.
Finally, and most importantly, we come to the $64 million dollar sacrificial lamb of the series, one Roberto Luongo. The one Vancouver fans have compared to Jesus Christ -- and that was years before he signed a 12-year deal with the unspoken agreement to bring 12 straight Cups to Canucklandia. All told, Luongo wasn't completely awful -- 3-4 with a 3.41 GAA and an .891 save percentage is pretty bad, but he did have two 1-0 shutouts -- and many of those twenty goals against were not entirely his fault, as his porous defense and too-lazy-to-backcheck forwards often left him out to dry.
Still, Luongo's career will forever be remembered for two perfectly Canuck-like non-stops in the critical second period of Game 7. First, when he somehow managed to toss a saved puck into his own net to generously spot the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Second, when he gave up halfway on Bergeron's shorthanded breakaway in order to pre-emptively glare at the ref for a call that was going to go against the Canucks anyway.
(shudder) Has there ever been a more Canuck-y sentence than that one?
In all, sports fans across the U.S. and Canada owe the Canucks a tremendous debt. This game is, after all, entertainment, and nothing is more entertaining than watching the undefeated bad guy lose at the last possible moment. Even before the season began, the Canucks were anointed to win it all. And the NHL's usual crop of Baddies just aren't cutting it anymore -- the Red Wings are too old to get it up, the Flyers are a leaderless mess, and the Sharks ... best not mention the Sharks -- and the Canucks swooped in with that rare combination of arrogance and high-pitched whining that made them the most reviled team in hockey since Whichever Team Claude Lemeiux Was Playing For made the postseason.
To end this eulogy, I give you the single Defining Moment of the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks season. In it, a tiny man who was playing Midget Hockey in 2004 punches one or the other of the Sedin twins seven times in the f**king face ... and not only goes completely unpunished by Sedin's teammates, but scores twice in the following elimination game.
See more stories in:
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - So, Who's the New Guy?
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - It's Time to Welcome Our L.A. King Overlords
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - 10 Silver Linings of the Kings Winning the Stanley Cup
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - Why Your Team Won't Make the Playoffs This Year