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Road Rage - SEP.24.07

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Polar Bear

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<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>

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I'm gonna have to bust on you here a bit Tom.

A wise man once told me (ok it was a woman and it was my Mom) not to complain about something unless you can offer a solution. So, what is the solution? - your rescheduling doesn't move mountains and shrink continents.

I don't think there is an answer unless you convince the league to put franchises into Seattle and Portland. It hasn't really hampered the Oilers or Flames over the same period. If ever there was a case of "it is what it is" then this would be it.

Sorry, no sale.

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I'm gonna have to bust on you here a bit Tom.

A wise man once told me (ok it was a woman and it was my Mom) not to complain about something unless you can offer a solution. So, what is the solution? - your rescheduling doesn't move mountains and shrink continents.

I don't think there is an answer unless you convince the league to put franchises into Seattle and Portland. It hasn't really hampered the Oilers or Flames over the same period. If ever there was a case of "it is what it is" then this would be it.

Sorry, no sale.

Ok, I know it is never going to be perfect, but I think the league could do a better job of making sure the road trips make sense geographically and that they are followed by lengthy home stays. What is going to happen again is that the team will be traveling out east, we will come home for 1 game vs Pittsburgh, and then go on the road again.

That home game is really just another road game for the players.

The NHL needs to make sure our schedule is as easy as it can be to help even it up.

Will that ever happen? I doubt it.

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I'm not sold on this. Fact is, there are at least 20 other teams that dislike the current type of schedules so much, they are willing to look at the pre-lockout one.

I don't see Vancouver's geography as a reason why the Canucks would be making 1st round exits. It's more about player mentality and the psychology of sport. As long as there's negative feedback about the schedule, it will affect the player's morale level, and how much they give night in and night out.

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Guest Guest_Kyle_*

Posted

Tom, Tom, Tom-

I spent several hard earned minutes trying to vote for you in the blogging competition (only to give up in frustration, but I digress) only to find this site and see two measly posts from you.

C'mon champ! The season has begun and nary a squeak from the Polar Bear! (good nickname, btw, suits you). It's impossible to get good (any?) hockey news here in Melbourne, especially since Al moved back to Van, so I'm relying on you, mate.

All the best

Kyle

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Guest Guest_Tom_*

Posted

Ive got two that I have submitted and I am just waiting for them to be posted! Thanks for reading Kyle, and we'll see you up in Van City soon I hope....

Tom, Tom, Tom-

I spent several hard earned minutes trying to vote for you in the blogging competition (only to give up in frustration, but I digress) only to find this site and see two measly posts from you.

C'mon champ! The season has begun and nary a squeak from the Polar Bear! (good nickname, btw, suits you). It's impossible to get good (any?) hockey news here in Melbourne, especially since Al moved back to Van, so I'm relying on you, mate.

All the best

Kyle

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