The Vancouver Canucks season came to a close in dramatic fashion. Amist all the question marks at the begining of the season the Canucks made a rather impressive season out of nothing. Roberto Luongo proved that he could not only carry a team into the post-season but he also proved that he could give his team a chance. Alain Vigneault proved that he could make a bunch of 'roll players' work together and win hockey games. In the end, however, the lack of offensive finish was the teams downfall.
Another acilies heel for the Canucks this season was their inability to finish a team off. Case and point, Tuesday evenings game four the Canucks lead 2 -0 heading into the third period. Bryan Smolinski had a beautiful scoring chance but put the puck wide and on the ensuing rush up the ice the Ducks pulled to within one. The rest of the game is history as the Ducks continued to pester the Canucks and evened the score before eventually winning in overtime.
In game five, after a dismal first two periods the Canucks were waiting for their opportunity and Alex Burrows came through. The pesky wingers goal appeared to spark some life into the club. Jan Bulis had a glorious opportunity to send the series back to Vancouver for game six but in the end the powerful Ducks came up victorious.
Give credit to the Ducks, there is a reason that they have been touted as Stanley Cup competitors, if not, Stanley Cup Champions. Niedermayer, Pronger, Getzlaf, Selanne make for a rather strong argument that these Ducks pack a lot of punch.
Back to the drawing board for the Canucks. I am sure that Mr. Nonis has a shopping list that includes some more offensive punch. More questions will be raised this off-season. Will Markus Naslund return? We will have to wait and see.