SAN JOSE — Should it come as any great surprise that the Vancouver Canucks' long-held illusion that they could win a Stanley Cup with this group should end so quickly in a city built on the technology that changes the way we view many things in our lives?
In the last stages of what ended an era in Vancouver, there was one last valiant attempt to escape their fate, but a couple of ridiculous calls ended that thought as quickly as it had arrived, which was the start of the third period.
As an app summons anything from a newspaper to a video game on any device, this team has gone from contender to rebuilder, having been passed by in part by the changes in the game and -- until the third period -- the resolve of those playing it in these uniforms. Two years ago they had the best team in franchise history and now they have perhaps the most disappointing, this pratfall as complete as it was unexpected.
Could there be any greater proof the coach has been tuned out totally by these skaters than all the dumb penalties they took against the Sharks Tuesday night in their swan song? Yes, there were the two bad calls at the end and that was, in fact, the 'bullshit' Henrik Sedin called it.
And they deserved a better fate on the whole. But what about before that? After having talked about how they can't do that anymore, they come out and do exactly what they claimed they had to avoid, spending much of the night once again killing penalties, one of the numerous reasons they've had trouble scoring.
There will have to be changes made if they want to sell tickets, and that was also demonstrated right here at HP Pavillion. Where there were thousands of fans two years ago for their Western Conference final games here, there was just a scattering of a few mopes in Canuck jerseys with nothing to cheer about until the third period.
For one period the Canucks played as though they were actually tuned in, but not surprisingly a bad call on Kevin Bieksa gave the Sharks the extra power play they needed to tie the game, and then there came the absurd call on Daniel Sedin which everyone saw was nonsense. But penalties energized their attack the whole series and not all of them were bad calls.
What those changes should be will have to be carefully thought out by somebody smart on the inside, but given the way the Sedins had slowed to a crawl in Game 4 until that third period, offloading them seems like a real possibility.
Under The Microscope: Goalie-Gate
At least Alain Vigneault made the last goaltending decision a good one as it took four great shots to beat Cory Schneider in Game 4, the Vancouver Canucks goalie of the future certainly erasing his hideous memories of Game 3.
While winning was the goal and that was not accomplished, once again you couldn't really fault the goaltending, which was under siege all night from the string of penalties taken by the club -- some deserved and stupid like the Derek Roy elbow in the first period, and others completely unwarranted like the last two of the season to Kevin Bieksa and Daniel Sedin respectively.
If that in fact should turn out to be the last big decision he makes as the Canucks coach, he should feel pretty good about it.
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