Monday, 3 March 2008

Vancouver Canucks: Stuck in the Middle

by Jes

It hasn't easy being a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, a team that has been close to the Stanley Cup twice, but has never actually won it. All the while, we've seen newer teams like the Ducks and Lightning win it all ...

It certainly hasn't been easy being a fan of this season's version of the Vancouver Canucks, a team truly stuck in the middle.

Fans of teams like the Sens/Ducks/Sharks/Stars/Wings/Devils can be confident that their team has a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup.

Fans of lesser teams like the Blackhawks/Jackets/Oilers can at least have hope in their young prospects and the fact that they can look forward to high draft picks. At least there is some bright light at the end of the tunnel.

The Canucks? They have neither.

Let's face it, the addition of Brad Richards or Marian Hossa would not have turned this edition of the Canucks into legit contenders. The Canucks have quite a few holes to fix, and few assets to work with. Thus, I am quite happy to see Dave "No Action" Nonis not get reamed for a rental.

I am, however, frustrated that all we get is Matt Cooke for Matt Pettingzoo ... crap for crap. This kind of mean-nothing move is what we've come to expect from the current Canucks administration, and it doesn't actually get the team anywhere.

Can the Canucks be considered a true contender? Hardly. Luongo can steal a playoff series ... maybe two ... but the Canucks lack of fire, depth, and offence will kill them.

Can the Canucks look forward towards the future? Hardly. Sure, Mason Raymond has some uber skills, and the Canucks have SOME decent young talent, but the farm system is hardly stocked with bright jewels. Again, no big stars to build around like a Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner, or Erik Johnson. The Canucks don't even have great draft picks to look forward to.

Last night's 4-1 loss to the Hawks pretty much sums up the current Canucks, who had just 10 shots on goal the whole game. 10!!! How can any team make the Blackhawks look like the New Jersey Devils-on-steroids? Somehow, the Canucks managed to blow a game against a crappy team missing about seven players. Sheesh.

Unlike last year's squad, which seemed to outwork the opposition most nights, this year's club seems to get very lazy against 'weak' teams and only draw up some fire against stronger clubs. The Canucks can't be considered a blue collar team with their constant game-to-game inconsistencies.

Yet, the Canucks will probably pull an amazing win out of their ass in the next week. Bad game, good game, mini bad streak, mini hot streak...

In the end, it'll likely end up in a .500ish record and a playoff spot. The
Canucks will go out in the first or second round, and that will be that.

Given how Dave Nonis has done such a poor job with the club (One amazing trade, notwithstanding), Canucks fans can't really look forward to next season.

Do you really think Nonis will have a great off-season and add a bunch of talent to go with the Sedins and Luongo? Bah! We'll get more Brad Isbisters. The talent level will continue to be mediocre, overall, and the Canucks will fail to get any big names to sign with the Canucks.

So, how much should I invest myself into this team? Should I be elated if the Canucks pull off a playoff series win? Should I really be that upset if they do manage to miss the playoffs?



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