LOS ANGELES -- Are the Vancouver Canucks getting what they deserve?
That will be the debate that follows this lightning rod franchise, by far Canada's best National Hockey League team, yet its most divisive at the same time.
Constructing a team as wisely and patiently as this organization has, drafting the Sedins way back in 1999, Ryan Kesler in '03, Alexander Edler and Cory Schneider in '04, installing new management and slowly chipping and clawing its way to the top, it's hard not to think the Canucks' time should come. Eventually.
But, then there's the diving and yapping. Another playoff game, another 10-minute misconduct and series of Maxim Lapierre dives.
Some say its karma when Vancouver loses. "Surely, the hockey Gods can't let that team win," an NHL player told me this season. Others say their turn has to come one day, and that the Sedins -- there are not two more decent men in the game today -- are ring worthy.
Head coach Alain Vigneault complained last Friday that Duncan Keith could get suspended for just five games for elbowing Daniel Sedin, who has yet to return.
Others would remind Vigneault that he employed headshot predatorRaffi Torres for a season, and that he still defends Aaron Rome's late head shot that KO'ed Nathan Horton for both the short- and the long-term. It's inevitable that one of yours might take his turn on the concussion wagon, that Vancouver would reap what it has sewn. That's just how the concussion wheel turns.
Down 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings, and without Daniel for at least Games 3 and 4 if not longer, the Canucks are in serious trouble. They are a team built around beating you with their power play, and right now that unit has completely lost its way.
"We are not going to do everything the same way as last year, (and) cruise to the Stanley Cup final," Kevin Bieksa said on Saturday. "We are going to make it interesting. Last year we were up 3-0 against Chicago and then we let them come back. This year we will spot them a couple and see what happens."
That may be how it goes. But Bieksa and Edler will have to up their play significantly in this series. Both have been well below average in Games 1 and 2.
After all this Canucks franchise has been through, "When does our turn come?" is not a form of entitlement. After 41 banner-less years on the West Coast, we get it.
The problem is, you're never the only one in the queue. Yes, just south on the National Hockey League map lays a team that's been banging its head against the wall even longer than yours, Canucks fan.
Since 1967, the Kings have waited, and just as the Canucks watched the upstart Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames show up at the party later than Vancouver and hold six Stanley Cup parades between them, the Kings got a jealous eyeful of the Anaheim Ducks back in 2007, who brought the first Cup to California after a paltry 14 years in the rodeo.
So perhaps there is no "deserving" anything in this Vancouver-Los Angeles matchup, when you look long-term. And in the short-term, the Kings’ rebuild has been every bit as patient and deliberate as anything Vancouver ever built.
L.A. has drafted and developed a goodly chunk of its club as well, then augmented it through trade. In fact, only five players in the Kings Game 2 lineup were not either drafted by L.A., or acquired in deals where Kings draft picks or prospects went the other way.
And, as Canucks fans figured out last spring, there is no "fair" in the NHL playoffs. If there was, Vancouver might have been healthier against Boston last spring.
But, as the Tragically Hip so famously penned, nobody wants to hear about something you didn't do.
"I wouldn't say it's the ideal situation," Vigneault said of his team's predicament. "The reality is we are down by two and we have to win tomorrow. That's it. All the other stuff doesn't matter."
He's right. Nobody gets what they deserve. They get what they earn, and nothing more.
If Vancouver doesn't want it as badly this year as last, no troubles. Los Angeles has been after old Stanley for even longer.
The bolded part has me thinking really. What's you're take on what Juice said?
Edited by LordYoshii, 14 April 2012 - 09:16 PM.