Hey guys, originally posted at matchsticksandgasoline, but I saw a number of you gave the initial letter a ponder...much appreciated(good people here)! Here's my post-mortem. Dissect at will!
To whom it may concern,
This isn't how it was supposed to end. This isn't how it all played out in your mind. The Cup was supposed to come home to Canada, brought back by the mighty Canucks, ending almost 20 years of it being won by those bastard teams south of the border.
But, yet it wasn't. And now amidst your burning cars, burning Luongo jerseys, and burning hatred of the rest of the world who weren't cheering for you, you are left with one question: What happened?
In my earlier missive to you, I mentioned that something had changed in Boston, changed after Rome's hit on Horton. However, after looking back at this series, I think that may have been misplaced. That game did change, but it was always just a matter of time before Boston won this.
I think the question I want to pose to Canucks fans is this: Are you proud of your hockey team?
Many would answer, "Yes." And to them I say, "Great!" However, I think there are many Canucks fans out there, there have to be, who would say..."I guess so."
I remember when Calgary made their run in 03', the Red Mile in full swing...we were convinced we were bringing that fucker home. Iggy was going to carry us, Miikka was going to backstop us, and Dion and Reggie were going to destroy everyone that came down the ice. We came short that year, but I never once felt our key players let us down, never doubted the heart and will of our team, and for that I will forever be thankful.
I got a text today from my Dad as the seconds ticked down on game seven and it said, "Gotta love it." He is an Oilers fan and a non-Canuck hating hockey guy, but yet he said in three words what I had been thinking all along.
A true hockey fan, someone who respects the game, respects what we play for, would never cheer for Vancouver over Boston. Not in a million years.
The best team in hockey won last night, the team that realized they had to win it, the team that realized nothing comes easy, that you have to earn that motherfucker, earn the privileged right to be called Stanley Cup champions.
I often refer to your team as "Fake Tough", and they are. Boston knew this, knew if they pushed you, you would break. And that is exactly what happened.
Game seven provided a perfect example of this. Burrows gets demolished, pops up...whining to the refs, then goes out and gives a little cheap shot to one of the Boston players. Garbage. Legitimate dudes don't do that. Men don't do that. What they would do is get out there, forecheck the shit out of you, and change the game. Vancouver was incapable of doing this.
In a big game, your best players have to be your best. Sure, the role players will play an important role, but your best have to be your best. And in this game, in the biggest game of their lives, your stars Vancouver...well, shit the bed.
The Sedins, peripheral at best. Kesler, solid...but where was that the rest of the series? Bobby Lou, not going to jump all over him, but Thomas was better, much better.
Despite all this, you are still very, very, close to being the best team in hockey.
I think you know what has to change Canuck fans. You need a Mark Recchi, you need a Shawn Thornton, you need that heart. You need players who will drive possession, give every ounce of their being to get the job done, because they know what it takes. That was not there this year.
I realize this may be contradictory, to a degree, from what I said earlier, but I don't think it is. Bergeron was excellent, Marchand blew me away with his Crosby impression, and Chara was the beast he is.
The future however, does remain incredibly bright. You will probably have back to back MVP's in the Sedin's. Luongo does remain one of the best goaltenders in hockey, whether you regard him as a choker or not. The farm system is solid, you have a brilliant trade chip in Schneider, and a rock solid core moving forward.
The problem is though, and the question will remain: Does the core of this team possess what it takes to bear down, get dirty, and get the job done? This run leaves that question hanging out there...and to me, that is a tough one.
You want to love your team, respect your team, believe in the will of your team to do whatever it takes. If I was a Canucks fan, I could not sit here this morning and say that.
Vancouver got beaten by a better team and so I believe, regardless of your affiliation, regardless of who you cheer for, only one thing is left to be said: Congratulations to the Boston Bruins, the best team in hockey in 2010-2011.
Love (as always),
P.S. Riots? Really, Vancouver? Really?!?! Fucking clowns.