The Canucks offense has yet to actually play 60 minutes of good hockey. Canucks fans can use the excuse that Daniel Sedin has been out with an injury, but that’s bullshit. The Canucks have a deep roster that is full of talent. I know he’s their best player, but he’s not the entire team. The Kings outplayed Vancouver in Games One and Two, primarily because Ryan Kessler, David Booth, Hedrik Sedin, and Alex Elder never showed up. The Canucks did look better in Game Three, but when the Kings offense was only able to put one puck past Cory Schneider, the offense couldn’t get anything by Jonathan Quick.
Speaking of goalies, by starting Schneider in Game Three, they continued the goalie controversy that has lasted all season long. Roberto Luongo might have given up four goals in each of the games he’s started but they weren’t bad goals (unlike what Penguins fans are witnessing). The Kings have taken advantage of every scoring chance, especially when the Canucks defense breaks down (which happens more often than not). All Alain Vigneault did by switching goalies is he caused an unnecessary distraction to a team that already has had problems focusing on the ice.
I know that most Canuck fans would rather see Schneider be the starter the rest of the playoffs and the future, but the odds of it happening on slim to none. I have no doubt that one of these goalies will be traded in the offseason, but by trading Schneider Vancouver can get a lot in return. If they trade Luongo, it’ll be nothing but a salary dump and outside of maybe the Lightning, no team is going to take on his ridiculous contract. Vancouver brass made that bed with Luongo, and now they need to lie in it.
I don’t want to make it seem like the reason the Kings are dominating this series is all Vancouver because it’s not the case. While they might have finished the season in the eighth seed, they’re a damn good eighth seed, especially with the addition of Jeff Carter (despite his disappointing season).
Back in September when I did my NHL Predictions, I had the Kings playing the Capitals in the Stanley Cup. Both teams have strong goaltending, solid defense, and can score (at least on paper). As it happened, both teams couldn’t get their shit together and struggled the entire season, but had enough juice to squeeze in the playoffs. While it’s unknown if that’ll happen, I have no doubt that the Kings will advance to the second round Wednesday night and fans will be treated to a Darryl Sutter press conference (who doesn’t like his monotone excitement?).
Fans in Vancouver… Once your team is sent packing Wednesday night, do me a favor; DON’T RIOT! You guys pulled that shit last summer after losing to Boston and ended up looking like bitter white trash. That doesn’t need to happen again. Simply realize the better team won and hope your precious Canucks can find the magic next season.
I want to hear from the fans. I know Vancouver has a ton of fans who will be crying in their beer or find new insults to hurl at me (I prefer “Thoughtless Knob”), but I want to hear from Los Angeles. The Kings are the forgotten team in the City of Angels because they don’t have players named Bryant, Kemp, Griffin, or Weaver. It’s time for your fandom to shine. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let it show.
Jack Buck’s MNF Memories