There was a new NHL team which took the ice in Vancouver on Saturday against the 4th seeded Chicago Blackhawks. They wore the green and blue and called themselves the “Canucks”. This team has a superstar goaltender with the name of Roberto Luongo, and he is just fabulous, stopping 39 shots for the win, leaving most fans wondering where he came from, and why didn’t he show up earlier. This new team has terrific offense, lead by a pair of twin brothers from Sweden, who can make no-look passes to each other and easily open up the ice with their cycling game. Both brothers scored a beauty in this game.
And then there’s this veteren player who seem to be able to create excellent scoring chance every time he touches the puck. This huge centerman is extremely fast for his size, and he wins face-offs too. He deals out superb passes for his line-mates to score, and he has the ability to put pucks in the net himself, gathering two assists and one goal in this game alone. Aside from the three very good scoring lines, this team has one of the best defensive line-up in the league. Any one of the six dressed defenseman can easily play in the top four defensive position in any team of the league. The fifth defenseman scored a goal and 3 assists for a 4 pt night, making him the first star of the game.
Did I mention about their powerplay, they are lethal, scoring 4 powerplay goals in one single game!!
It’s just too bad that this team played its first game on Saturday night, nearing the final third of the season. All NHL teams play 82 games for a season, but this “special” Canucks team only has 31 games to play. The team now sits on the border of elimination for the post-season, and only has 30 games remaining to ensure their eligibility for the playoffs.
Can they do it? If this team can continue to show up every night as they did on Saturday, there’s no doubt in my mind that few teams can beat them, not Detroit, not Boston, not even San Jose!!
However, there is a slight problem here. There are two teams in Vancouver, both called the Canucks.
The other team also has a lot of talented players (at least on paper), but they lack confidence. The players on this team are undisciplined; they take stupid penalties at the worst timing. They play small and passively. There’s absolutely no chemistry on the team, and they never play a complete 60 minutes game. Star players choose to show up whenever they feel like it, and most often when one player picks up his game, the others will rest. This team recently put up a nine games losing streak!!!
The thing is, no one know which team will take the ice, not the GM Mike Gillis, not even the coach. The players themselves choose which team plays on any given night.
Vancouver now has a three game road-trip ahead of them, starting out in St. Louis on Tuesday. There’s still plenty of games to play before April, here’s to hoping the right team hits the ice every game from now on.