<table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/bear_head.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>By my count, the Canucks have won the Stanley Cup several times and, since their inception into the league, have been the most successful Canadian team besides Montreal. I'm not talking about my NHL08 league either, this is real.
I'm not usually one to bellyache about the inequalities in the NHL, but this one drives me up the wall. The Canucks are screwed over by the NHL every year, and it is about time it stopped. Because of our geography, the Canucks travel more than any other team in the NHL. Our closest rival is still a plane ride away, and we find many of our games against the "Western Conference" require cross continent flights and several time zones difference.
This needs to stop because it is costing this city and its fans their rightful claim to the Stanley Cup. I can't believe that anyone is surprised that the vast majority of the Stanley Cups that have been won come from the East. The Flyers, Bruins, Islanders, Rangers, Red Wings, and Devils, who have all won cups since the Canucks joined the league, often find themselves on minutes-long bus rides to get to games as opposed to hour-long plane rides. In the Stanley Cup final of 1994, a final that hinged on a post by Lafayette, the Canucks traveled a tremendous amount more during the season than did the Rangers. Had the distance been reversed don't you think the Canucks would have won that series?
The travel schedule for this team costs us at least ix points and several injuries each year. In short, it cost us a second-round battle with Detroit instead of Anaheim last year, a series that I think we would have won. It also may have cost us key injuries during the season to players like Matt Cooke, Sami Salo, and Willie Mitchell. Had they been healthier, we could have iced a full team against the Ducks, and I think we would have gone on to the Finals last year and beat Ottawa ourselves.
But what about Anaheim? Aren't they in the West? Yes, but they also have cross-town games with LA, near-neighbour San Jose, and they are closer to western teams such as Phoenix, Colorado, and Nashville. The comparison isn't equal (How man cups have the Kings and Sharks won anyway?).
Face it - the Canucks have a harder job winning the Stanley Cup than any other team in the league. The NHL, in order to maintain their maxim of parity, must schedule the Canucks before any other team to reduce our travel time. If they do that, then we will be playing on an even field. If they don't, it'll take an act of God, or Luongo, to win the mug.
If the league had been smart enough to do this earlier, then we would have a few cups under our belt already, and I could stop giving Layfayette a bad time. It's about time the best city in the NHL got a fair shot at the silver.</td></tr></table>