<table width=90%><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/07/mikeblog.gif border=0 align=left hspace=4 vspace=1>I am forced (at gun point sometimes) to at least know what is going on in the Yankees world if not vehemently care about it. See, the Yankees own my town and thus will make the front page of the papers quicker then you can say "Ghostrider was a terrible movie." The Yanks are used to winning at all costs no matter who they have to kill, so when the city had to watch their rivals cruise to their second championship this decade while the Yanks, simultaneously, lose the best player in the history of our species to pick up a bat and swing it (Alex Rodriguez) you can imagine the degree of utter chaos and bedlam surrounding it all.
It's not too far off, honestly, from how the Canucks are being talked about these days. It's getting to the point where you'd think they’re the heir apparent to the 1974-75 Capitals:
"Oh they have a million injuries and Luongo isn't any good anymore"<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/11/van_vs_nas_gallery_5.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/11/van_vs_nas_gallery_5_t.jpg border=0 align=right hspace=4 vspace=1></a>
"Oh they're last in shots per game"
"Oh the playoffs are a pipedream now"
"Oh they're last in faceoffs won"
"Oh [insert some statistic and then start profusely crying right HERE]"
Gotcha. Understood. Nothing's working. The Sedins are slumping, Vigneault's ornery, Mitchell's annoyed, Krajicek's injured, Bieksa's lucky to have his one leg entact, Rypien's got a case of the Sami Salo's, Sami Salo has a case of the Sami Salo's, etc, etc, etc. This squad isn't doing much right these days.
Then I think..."69 dude". Don't read into that, just remember Bill and Ted said it and look how happy they were a few decades ago. Perhaps Keanu Reeves is a prophet? Discuss amongst yourselves.
No, there are still 69 games left. That's over 3/4's of the season. Nothing is over so it's a bit premature to start acting like the Canucks are 0-13 and haven't scored a goal yet.
So they'll have to play from behind for the foreseeable future, so what? You never want to be in that position but sometimes that level of adversity proves your mettle as a team. Anyone recall a certain Calgary Flames (ugh) team that has a mediocre start in 2003-04 only to find their rhythm in the winter months and steamroll into the postseason? Or ditto the 2005-06 Oilers (UGH) who started the year even worse and found their legs later on? Its sports: part of the fun is the unexpected craziness.
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/11/van_vs_nas_gallery_2.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/11/van_vs_nas_gallery_2_t.jpg border=0 align=left hspace=4 vspace=1></a>
So before anyone starts talking about Vancouver’s chances for the first pick in the 2008 entry draft, why not see what the boys, Vigneault and Nonis can do with the majority of the season that's left in front of them? These guys took us all by surprise last year, it's just time for that second act (preferably sooner rather then later). They have many of the pieces they need, they just need to get that rhythm back, that “winning is contagious” mentality back and that sweet swagger of knowing they can ice any opposing team when they put their minds and sticks to it.
One last thing: Don't boo Luongo, we fans damn near canonized him a mere six months ago. He’s not the problem and he’s the face of the team, so booing him is stupid.
Instead, just keep saying "69 dude" to yourself, giggle accordingly and pass it on. Nothing's over yet, not be a long shot.