There’s something about bloggers you should know.
No, we don’t live in our mother’s basement, although sometimes I’ve considered it. Those were much simpler times a few months ago when I had a bunk bed down there, and my lunches were made everyday. And no, we’re not beer-guzzling slobs, except maybe Lewis.
But there is one semi-common stereotype that’s often true, or at least it is if you take stock in my sweeping generalizations. If there’s an easy way out, we’ll find it, and we’ll run for it.
So when I sat down to sift through the boxscores, consider some recent Stanley Cup Final history, and break down Vancouver’s failings over the past two games, I remembered doing the exact same thing about five weeks ago (five weeks!!!). That was during a Vancouver collapse that looked a lot like this Vancouver collapse, just worse.
Would anyone really notice if I just copied this line, changing the word “spring” to “series”?
Ryan Kesler scored a career-high 41 goals this season, putting him in a tie for fifth in the league’s scoring standings. We’re still waiting on his first goal this spring.
Yep, that would be pretty easy, but it also wouldn’t be accurate. We talked to Harrison Mooney from the always entertaining Canucks blog Pass It To Bulis earlier today on our quasi-kind of/sort of-almost daily podcast. He was actually standing near the ledge of a building while we spoke, and we encouraged him to step back from that ledge, my friend, while being sure not to say the name “Luongo.”
Canucks fans are getting familiar with collapses and near collapses after the franchise almost crippled back in the first round against Chicago. That debacle was highlighted by Vancouver blowing a three-game lead and needing overtime in Game 7 to mercifully clinch the series, and by Alain Vigneault oddly inserting Cory Schneider for Game 6.
As far as the severity is concerned, Vancouver’s slide against Boston isn’t nearly as crushing. The Canadiens experienced a similar spiral against Boston in the opening round, winning the first two games before losing the next three. They then regrouped at home, and forced the Bruins to squeak out an overtime win in Game 7.
So no, the mystical mistress known as momentum isn’t nearly as disturbed when a two-game lead is blown. Breathe easy Vancouver, because this sucker is still tied, and two of the next three games are on home ice back at Rogers Arena. The Canucks were a league-leading 27-9-5 at home in the regular season, and over the past five years the home team is 24-8 during the Stanley Cup Final.
But while you’re exhaling slowly and deeply, just don’t think too much about the offensive and defensive deficiencies of your boys from the left coast. That could cause one more step off that ledge, and bring back memories of Vince Vaughn.
Why being a Canucks fan sucks right now
(Alright, we don’t mean that. It’ll only really suck once you lose the fourth game. But if you’re one of the even-tempered Canucks fans out there, please advise your fellow crazy Canuckers to stop being roped in by national columnists trying to irritate poor, irrational fans on Twitter.)
- The ratio of 12-1 has been tossed around quite a bit in the last 24 hours. As we’re all well aware by now, that’s the scoring difference in favour of Boston over the last two games. That begins to sound significantly worse when Roberto Luongo’s save percentage of .882 during the final and 3.50 GAA is factored in. Those numbers aren’t nearly as putrid as his .792 save percentage during that nauseating three-game stretch against Chicago, but it’s still a steep decline for a goalie who maintained a .928 save percentage and 2.11 GAA all season.
- The usually potent trio of Ryan Kesler and the Sedins combined for 101 goals during the regular season, which accounted for 39 percent of the team’s offence. They’ve now combined for one goal this series.
- But throwing Vancouver’s offensive drought entirely on those three isn’t fair. Secondary scorers like Mason Raymond (zero points over his last six games) have also run dry, with the offence concentrated on Alex Burrows, the biter who has scored two of Vancouver’s five goals against Boston.
- What’s remarkable though about Vancouver’s offensive woes is that a lack of rubber on Tim Thomas certainly can’t be blamed. The Canucks have still outshot Boston 79-67, despite scoring only one goal. There’s either optimism (see, we’re due!) or pessimism (we’re not getting any real chances, and a peewee goalie could stop these shots!) to be found here. You decide.
- Maybe some nagging injuries to Kesler and Daniel Sedin are to blame, but it seems that Boston’s pathetic powerplay is contagious. A Canucks unit that led the league and operated at a 24.3 percent clip throughout the regular season, and overall has been successful 22 percent of the time in these playoffs has scored just once in 22 tries in the Stanley Cup Final.
- When Vancouver has lost during their pursuit of Lord Stanley’s mug circa 2011, at least they’ve done it in style. The Canucks have been outscored 38-13 in their loses, a sizable step down from the 31-22 goal differential in their wins.