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Give your heads a shake

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A broken record keeps on spinning in the minds of lazy commentators.

Perhaps a little diagnosis is in order - this is getting compulsive.

The only thing about last night's victory that wasn't satisfying is the nonsense that persists in the commentary. It was another outstanding Canucks performance - a team-game executed to near perfection.

When a team wins a game in the Stanley Cup playoffs and shuts down and shuts out its opponent, people reporting and commenting on the game are lacking perspective when the most common theme is Sedin "frustration" and the notion that they must score every night in order for the Canucks to be successful and win the Stanley Cup. The Sedins are done with the Hawks but still have to face the parrots.

Newsflash - the Canucks could win the cup without a single goal from the Sedins. They were not the best team in the NHL simply because of the tremendous contributions of the Sedins, and when it comes to the playoffs, it is not generally the top 10 players that decide who wins - it is the deepest team. At the risk of oversimplifying things, it is usually the team with the best third and fourth lines that wins. Pay attention and you might just notice how good Vancouver's third and fourth lines are... and their number 5,6,7 and 8 defensemen. Chicago may have mistakenly thought they could exploit Andrew Alberts - he is, however, one of the most improved players in the NHL and what allowed Vancouver to let Shane O'Brien go. He is good enough that he would be in the top four on most teams - a luxury the Canucks have of seemingly endless depth on the blueline.

Being the best team means just that - the Canucks have a whole lot of potential difference makers in their lineup. Nashville did not manage to score - when the Sedins have twelve shots and spend copious amounts of time in the opposition's end of the ice, not much opposition scoring is possible. That is called a job exceptionally well done - it is very productive whether they score or not, and it is the best form of 'defense'. (If there is a criticism that can be made, perhaps neither of the Sedins will win the Hart, Art Ross AND Selke trophy in the same year...) From an opposition perspective, when your goaltender manages to stop all 12 Sedin shots and you still lose the game, things do not bode well. Henrik's comments at the end of the game were spot-on - the usual, borderline petty, "you didn't score again tonight" message was repeatedly implied - and he reminded people that in playoff hockey you need to be prepared to win 1-0 and 2-1.

I am relieved that the Sedins don't get as annoyed as I do by all the nit-picking. And I seriously doubt they underestimate the value of every player on their team the way that many of the hockey "experts" are.

Another newsflash - there are no two players in the NHL who are going to light up the scoreboard on a regular basis when facing Keith, Seabrook, Toews, Bolland, and the strict line-matching of Joel Quenneville. Going into that series if you are the Canucks and can trade-off the Sedins for Toews and Kane lack of production, you would take it - and let the depth of the teams be the key factor. That is pretty much how it played out. One wild card named Duncan Keith decided he would go interplanetary for a few games when the tight pressure was let off - the Canucks clamped down again to keep the Keith factor in check and close out Chicago. I doubt anyone can show me a couple players who have managed to "expose" Chicago's core - a Stanley Cup would seem to evidence that.

Flogging the Sedins is getting very boring. People who persist with this theme ironically aren't really being very productive themselves - they aren't really doing their job of highlighting the complexity of the game.

So perhaps a little credit to the rest of the Vancouver Canucks is in order. I can understand the expectations people have regarding the Sedins, but the blind-spots created in doing so are a result of failing to look at production in context. Are there any two top-line players on any team that have consistently managed to light up their opponents in the playoffs? Who are they? Teemu Selanne, one of the greatest hockey players of all time, had by all accounts an extraordinary first-round of the playoffs... and finished with one more goal than Daniel.

Final newsflash - teams that make the Stanley Cup playoffs (and advance) tend to have at least a couple stellar defensive pairings, some serious offensive threats, some excellent two-way hockey players, and some excellent checking forwards. The second part of this final newsflash - teams that win the Stanley Cup do so because they have excellent goaltending, depth on the blueline, and four lines of effective forwards.

To suggest repeatedly that the Sedins must be highly productive every game in the Stanley Cup playoffs is to continue to seriously underestimate the Vancouver Canucks. Thankfully Daniel and Henrik are two of those people who realize this - and I am confident that the continuous expectations of people lacking perspective will not manage to get them off their game - which, by the way, is pretty damn good, pretty much every game.

I suppose the fact that the Sedins are so special has created a phenomenon that people who are not Canucks fans can't help but compulsively express...perhaps you could call it....Sedin-envy.

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Excellent read ! I too cannot stand the fact our outstanding effort is watered down by such brutal commentary and reporting . I could care less how exciting or how many goals have been scored . As long as it is more than the opposition that is all that matters. Simpson is a complete tool and his disdain for the Canucks shines through every broadcast. He sickens me with his greasy backhanded compliments.

AS for the bandwagon fans bashing on the twins , well LOU is performing , Bieksa has been stellar, Burrows and Kes are doin the dew and pretty much the entire team is firing on all cylinders . So the haters really have nothing to hate and are just desperately grasping at straws trying to latch onto anything to get a reaction.

All systems go boys ! Time to take out the Predators only three more wins till the 3rd round .




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Thanks vanfan73.It's odd isn't it?Maybe it's just a case of too many Canadian crabs.If only the Canucks were in the bucket, they could simply climb out - but since the bucket is full of crabs, when the Canucks attempt to climb out, the rest of the envious crabs reach up to try to pull them back down. Towards the end of the season there was a surprising amount of fan support for Vancouver in opposition arenas throughout the U.S. - something unexpected that I hadn't really seen before. It's strange, but outside of British Columbia the Canucks may have more support south of the border than north. That's ok though... it's just unfortunate that we couldn't have the games broadcast by the best team of commentators in sports - Sportnet's John Shorthouse and John Garrett with Don Taylor, Gary Valk and crew.


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