We came out of last year's SCF a battered and bruised team.
Kes needed hip surgery and quite a few others needed minor surgical procedures.
Manny was struggling to get his vision back to where it had been.
Mason Raymond spent most of the close season in a body brace.
We uncovered a player who we thought could play an important role for us, Steve Pinizzotto, only to see him take a long term injury before the season got underway.
We found a great hard hitting player and willing pugilist in Aaron Volpatti, only to lose him to long term injury.
Byron Bitz never got started until after Christmas due to recurring injury and even when fit enough to play still looked lacking in game fitness. We hope to see him back for the playoffs.
We lost Sami just when we seemed to be getting some momentum.
We lost Andrew Ebbett who had already surprised us with his offensive threat to another long term injury in the same game.
No sooner was Sami back than our defence was further disrupted by the loss of one player who had been playing really well, Keith Ballard. He is still not back but we hope to have him for the playoffs.
We lost Chris Higgins for two stretches due to Staphylococcus infections when he had been one of our most in form players.
Two things happened partly, if not entirely, due to much of the above.
Firstly the team never really got going in the early season. While we are notoriously slow starters, we might have expected to pick things up earlier, if we had not incurred the injuries and fatigue and loss of pre season caused by the SCFs.
Secondly the injuries and setbacks since Christmas all seemed to occur just as we were turning things round and showing a bit of form.
In summing up we have hardly, through choice or necessity got out of 2nd gear this season. Despite this we have shown against Boston, NYR, Detroit and Chicago that we CAN up the tempo of our game when push comes to shove. Dare I say when bragging rights are at stake.
We look like an over wound spring that just keeps getting tighter, yet still holding back and holding back, waiting on the flick switch.
We are not taking teams on physically unless we see a worthwhile return and whether that is a subconscious attempt to enter the playoffs healthy, who knows?
What we do know is this team can hit and can hit hard. We can match up with the most physical teams on any given night when there is something at stake. We, as fans, know that. We have seen it with our own eyes.
So let's not panic. Let AV do his "r'n r freshen up" musical chairs.
Let the rest of the teams take us for granted, regard us as soft touches. I am confident, come the bell, we will unleash a "sh--storm of kickass" the likes of which might even surprise the most optimistic Canucks fans.
Edited by Bodee, 17 March 2012 - 07:28 AM.