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Whistler, BC • 2009 Years Old • Male

The Butterfly effect

Posted 11:22 AM ET | Comments 4
How many times have we heard from the uninformed talk about how Vancouver is a one-man show? Suggestions abound that the only difference between missing the playoffs and winning the conference and bowing out in the second round to the eventual cup champions was the addition of Roberto Luongo. That kind of talk only makes me laugh at the Flames Fan from whose mouth those kinds of comments tend to emanate.

Ever hear this one? “The Canucks are boring because they can’t score and all they have is Luongo who gets hung out to dry on a nightly basis”

Thanks for the input Flamer89 but let’s take a deeper look at that: The Canucks were in the top half of the league in shots allowed per game, seven spots better than the highly vaunted Calgary defense corps could muster. If Bobby gets “hung out to dry” then Kipper must have a clothespin surgically attached to the scruff of his neck. The Canucks exposed Luongo to fewer shots per game than Auld faced the season before, took far fewer penalties and subsequently gave up far fewer power play goals. All the while, two building blocks for the Canucks offensive future, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, managed to bump up their offensive production – yet again. The neophytes making the “one man show” argument are off base because they completely ignore the contribution made by last season’s Jack Adams trophy winner. Is it possible that the Canucks have adapted to an entire new system based on defense and discipline or does Alain Vigneault get crowned as the best Coach in the league because he has just enough hockey acumen to look at the Canucks Roster and decide to start Luongo?

According to some, a Vigneault pre-game speech might sound something like: “OK boys, let’s go with Bobby tonight everyone on board with that? Good, I will be at Fortes working on my acceptance speech. You have my cell if you need anything”. AV leaves the room making that extended thumb and pinkie “call me” gesture.

It was only a few games into the season that I realized that while the Players, the uni’s and everything else looked the same; this was a completely different hockey team playing a completely different brand of the game. To be honest, I was not too sure that I was happy about what I was seeing at first. The team was in the middle of a metamorphosis and I was anxious to see if the caterpillar would turn into a graceful butterfly or some Weft Coast version of the New Jersey Devils.

I am not going to pretend to be smart enough to break down the X’s and O’s that explain exactly how Vigneault has managed to morph our team into a contender but it is pretty obvious that he has a devised a great system and has been able to get his Players to buy into that system. Those are the two achievements that likely catapulted him to the top of the list for the Adams trophy Voters.

Nazzy will still bring me out of my seat on a regular basis, the Twins will make yet another jump in their offensive production despite having bought into the system (last years numbers prove their adaptability), Cookie will continue to barge around the offensive zone with complete disrespect for his own safety, and Bieksa and others will still bring just enough “mean” to make opponents dread coming into GM place. So Flamer89, ask me if I care that the team scores a few less goals than I am used to seeing out of them?

The single most intriguing/Interesting event of 2005-06 was that we got to watch the Canucks build around their strength and jump from playoff spectators to division Champions in one season. The team exceeded our expectations and we got our beautiful butterfly. OK, more like a burly, sometimes nasty, butterfly with a healthy dose of attitude but beautiful just the same.
Filed Under:   Vancouver   Canucks  
September 24, 2007 1:06 PM ET | Delete
Good job stating your compelling and intelligent rebuttal Nordic. I prefer a positive analysis, and yours fits. Nicely written too. Looking forward to our match ups with Vancouver this season...always great hockey.
September 24, 2007 1:07 PM ET | Delete
Well said. If it was all Luongo then Florida would have been playoff bound the last few seasons. It takes a lot more than a great goaltender to have a 105 point season. Another comment that makes me shake my head is when fans say "the Canucks are one injury away from a lottery pick." - Well, it isn't just the Canucks is it? What about Calgary, or New Jersey? The funny thing is - every team in the NHL aspires to have goaltending like NJ, Calgary, Vancouver, etc.........yet, if you have that stud between the pipes..........they make that stupid "well if he gets injured, you're fukked!" comment. Its just jealousy. Idiot Canuck fans were saying the same thing when the Flames were successful on the back of Kiprusoff. Its human nature. If you want something, and can't have it, convince yourself that it isn't desirable. Oh, and one more thing - the Canucks were one of the most penalized teams in the NHL last season (top 4), so I'm not sure your point about how they reduced their penalties taken is valid.
September 24, 2007 2:02 PM ET | Delete
Nashcity - The Canucks dropped from being shorthanded 512 times in 05-06 to 436 times last season. That was the basis for my comment although, I admit, it does not take many factors into consideration.regarding your other comments. Yes, it is also like when people refer to a baseball team as being "all pitching" - sour grapes in most cases.
September 24, 2007 5:48 PM ET | Delete
How many games in the 07 playoffs did they go without a single goal again? The thing is that your offense does exist, but it's way too shallow to really make you guys a contender. you have the sedins- Great. but there are only two of them, most teams dress 12 forwards. If all but two of your forwards are either past their prime of forgettable, that's a problem. You're 3 injuries away from 1st pick- Luongo, And the Sedins. A great system is all well and good, but you need to score to win.
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