This is a tale of a team whose reach exceeded their grasp. It is the story of a man named LOLuongo and his band of misfits. It is the saga of a group of fanatics with broken ankles. It is an epic of overconfidence, failure, and excuse-making. You'll laugh, you'll cry...with tears, and you'll revel in some excellent schadenfreude. Chemmy and I had to eulogise the Senators - leaving the Habs to a dream team of bloggers that are waiting to try to come as close as possible to our previous gems - but we might get the Canucks next year. If we do, we'll consider this a training run.
The story of the Canucks begins 365 days ago at the United Center in Chicago on May 11, 2009:
52 weeks later, taking a cue from the confident and roaring Team Canada crowds, Vancouver fans chanted "We Want Chicago!". The team captain has been itching for the matchup since the Olympics. A scant six games later and it's all over but for the crying:
Gotta wonder if May 11th will henceforth be known as #Canucks Day in the city of Chicago.
Ah, Canucks Day. No mockery of the Canucks can gloss over the gift that was Canucks Day. Set aside the hilarity of it coming after advancing past the first round. When your franchise has only been past the second round twice in forty years you know you have to jump at whatever you can get. I think the highlight was coach Alain Vigneault's reaction:
Head coach Alain Vigneault looked puzzled when asked after practice what he thought about the event. When it was explained to him, the coach shrugged.
"I don't care," he said.
One of the team's public relations staffers quickly jumped in and said, "I think he thinks it's a great honour."
"I didn't know about it," said Vigneault, bringing laughs from reporters. "It's a great honour."
Considering how thoroughly he was outcoached by Quenneville it's no surprise he went to the Paul Maurice school of media relations. Of course, Vigneault was one of the first guys to get thrown under the bus and it's fair in my mind. When the best move that Jim Hughson is able to praise to the heavens is that you put the Sedins on after an icing then you might not have earned that Jack Adams Award.
Speaking of Jim Hughson:
If only the elimination of the Vancouver Canucks meant Jim Hughson's season came to an end to.
If you put your face close enough to the television you could smell Jim Hughson's tears.
- Godd Till
Roberto Luongo, he of the sixteen goals against in three homes games in round two, is another candidate for some fresh tire tracks:
#Canucks 11 more years of Reboundo Luongo? ugghhh. That was terrible!! Go Sharks Go? no.... too soon.....too soon
Reboundo Luongo's not bad but it's not as good as the trolling Mats Sundin did on Sunday night in Chicago. Sure, it looked like he was there to support his old teammates (vomit) but did you guys pay attention to what he was calling Luongo in his interview with Scott Oake? LOLongo. What a legend. Still, you don't become a Canucks fan without learning to toe the company line:
no goalie could've backstopped the Canucks to a victory given the D injuries and lack of consistent offence
Note: Joel admitted that Halak was an example that did more with less.
Our blue line was missing Mitchell, Edler, we had half of Salo, no Rome, no Baumgartner... it's rough. #canucks
Willie Mitchell last played January 16th. That date probably rings a bell because it came almost two months before the trade deadline. A trade deadline that saw Mike Gillis make the inspired move to trade for Andrew Alberts. But who could forget the catastrophic loss of Alex Edler...in the first period of game six. Or Salo's gutsy performance. Sure, he looked terrible out there, understandably so, but at least he was good enough to keep the other bums like reads depth chart Aaron Rome and Nolan Baumgartner getting a game. Jim Hughson did his best to defend Alain Vigneault's decision to dress just six defencemen but he really should have asked why Mike Gillis didn't upgrade last year's glaring weakness or replace the greatest defenceman ever in January.
I guess the important thing is that after last year at least the Canucks have taken greater responsibility:
Luongo followed this script to the letter. RT @mlse: RT @Lord_Bob: The Canucks script: "I don't want to make excuses." <makes excuses>
And who will be able to forget Ryan Kesler's post-game interview - "Look, I'm not making excuses but my right shoulder is injured. Did you write that down? But yeah, no excuses." At least some fans didn't fall for the bait:
Just back from the game. Players done admitting all their injuries? This ain't my first rodeo.
They will at least have one injury, bruised egos:
Bieksad. Sadin twins. Sadmuelsson. O'Cryin.
Back to Ryan "I Guarantee That We'll Beat The Canadians*" Kesler:
Some journalist should twist the knife with Kesler: "Two horrific losses in VAN in 2.5 months. How does this compare to the Olympics?"
On the bright side, the fans are at least taking this all in stride:
pretty sure Canucks can never win, the refs are always against them
Ah yes, the Tony Gallagher method of coping. I wish I had the patience to listen to Total Prat and Failure (Pratt and Taylor for the uninitiated) on Vancouver radio tomorrow. I bet insane would be a good way to describe it:
The frustrating thing is, like the English football team, the Canucks have all the right players to win but just can't quite pull it off.
Oh Jesus buddy, next you'll be telling us that Phoenix is definitely headed for Winnipeg. Another highlight had to be the famed Canucks fans giving Luongo mock cheers when he stopped a dump-in. Good to know you've got your goalie's back. Enjoy the next 12 years. Nice to see that Coyotes fans stayed to cheer their team's season while Canucks fans streamed out of GM Place faster than bullshit out of a Habs fan's mouth.
So yuk it up Leafs fans. Is it petty to find joy in a rival's failures? Hell no! It's sports. But go forth to troll on the internet prepared for what will come back our way:
Expect #Canucks fans to start saying "we lasted longer than you". That's the same as saying we came 3rd in the beauty contest. Who cares?
Talk about an oracle:
I can;t believe I'm getting shit from LEAFS fans!! when the hell did they last win the cup??? assholes #canucks
Gee, I don't know. I am sure the last Leafs Stanley Cup team is close to Vancouver's scans list of Stanley Cup winners weird, can't find it. Rest assured though PPPers because Canucks fans would rather have made it past the second round only twice in forty years than have ever won a Stanley Cup:
Could be worse.. #Canucks could've won a Cup before I was born..
Oh Canucks fans, even Damien Cox knows that 40 years without a Cup is a long-time. I'm sure in your internet travels today you'll find a tonne of great insanity from Canucks fans. Be sure to share your favourite tweets and insane Vancouver media tales and let's remember not to be crazy next year when we're eliminated from the playoffs.
*Guarantee does not apply to medal round games