Friday, November 02, 2007

Troubles in Canuckville

But did it occur to anyone that '06-'07 was just one of those seasons where just about everything which could go right for the Canucks did, and no reasonable person could expect those same things to break the same way again?
— Ed Willes, Vancouver Province

Vancouver as a hockey market really isn't all that different than Toronto, albeit on a smaller scale, and while I think fans out in B.C. were more than willing to go along for the low-scoring, Roberto Luongo ride when the team was winning last season, it's going to be awfully tough to serve up one of the lowest scoring teams in the league as a loser.

Vancouver's been awful at home (1-6-0), where they've been outscored 26-13 and beaten only Edmonton (who, coincidentally, they're tied with at the bottom of the division standings).

It's early, but this team needs Luongo and the defence on their game, soon, and that's going to be a tall order with both Sami Salo and Kevin Bieksa out.



At 4:59 p.m., November 02, 2007, Anonymous Karina said...

Wow. The market here is not at all like the Toronto market like everyone thinks it is. Toronto's record is better than Vancouver's and there's been a LOT more panic in the Toronto papers. At least Vancouver reporters try to be balanced.

At 5:00 p.m., November 02, 2007, Anonymous PPP said...

I spent an entire spring telling my homer Canucks buddy to enjoy the playoffs because his team was terrible and then an entire summer telling him not to expect a repeat.

Today I got a capitulation e-mail acknowledging how much he loves watching the Canucks' three fourth lines trying to score.

At 5:05 p.m., November 02, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I've lived in both cities, and as far as the fans go, they're just as easily turned ugly out west as here.

At 5:25 p.m., November 02, 2007, Blogger Loxy said...

Many Vancouver fans are oblivious unless the team is good.

When they are good, they are the best team ever.

When they are poor to bad, they are ignored and shamed. And you don't see a Canucks jersey again til a winning streak.

At 5:34 p.m., November 02, 2007, Blogger McLea said...

I've lived in both cities, and as far as the fans go, they're just as easily turned ugly out west as here.

Really? I found that as soon as the Canucks start sucking, Canuck "fan" stops caring.

At 5:35 p.m., November 02, 2007, Anonymous jealous broadcaster said...

I was in Vancouver the past 3 days and left this morning with the sports talk blaring in the car... the sky is falling!!

Bieksa could be gone for a long time, Salo won't be able to play soon, and the team hasn't been able to generate any sort of scoring punch.

Even the boo-birds were after Luongo last night... Short term memory like fish! Welcome to the goalie graveyard Roberto

At 5:54 p.m., November 02, 2007, Anonymous nebcanuck said...

I, as a Canucks fan, was completely willing to accept their downfallings as a team. I was perfectly aware that they were liable to take a stumble. But what I do appreciate is that Nonis and Vignault are innovative as management... Or have been to this point. We'll see if they can manage to pull any other tricks out of their hat this time around. If not, the Canucks are doomed. But, at least I figured that from the beginning.

At 5:59 p.m., November 02, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

...innovative as management...

Is that what they're calling drafting Bourdon over Kopitar?


At 7:46 p.m., November 02, 2007, Anonymous Karina said...

James, I grew up in Toronto and reside in Vancouver, I've been here for almost three years.
In Toronto, with the Leafs in the playoffs, everyone wore their jerseys to school/work. Robson St was awesome after the Round One win last year, but fans here just aren't as pumped up by the media as they are in Toronto. So maybe it's the media that's different. But something's different.

At 8:23 p.m., November 02, 2007, Anonymous Keith said...

So, my understanding of last night is this:

Two key defencemen suffered catastrophic injuries... best wishes to both on their recovery.

The fans booed Luongo, and cheered Nashville's third goal. Morrison called the fans out after, calling it a "horseshit act" or something close to that.


Naslund has called out the coach, the coach has called out Mitchell, and the fans have called everyone out.

There is the capsizing, there is the Titanic, and then there is the Vancouver Canucks.

At 12:15 a.m., November 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They won, what, 17 games last year during 4x4 or Whack-A-Mole. This was a crappy hockey team saved by Luongo.
They needed scoring on the wing and Nonis brought in a busload of guys, none of which scored more than 2 NHL goals last year.
And this year Luongo hasn't been pulling them out of the fire.
Last place. And the idiot fans will blame Luongo.
Fire Baby Face. Fire the Giggler. Trade Naslund at the deadline for prospects. And build with youth.

At 2:43 p.m., November 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Bring on the Canucks haters. I love how the misinformed call Canucks fans bandwagon jumpers and trash the franchise the minute they lose two in a row. No, I'm not referring to James' post, I'm talking 'bout all the comments from others. I've been a Canucks fan since they came into the NHL in 1970 and have stuck with them through many lean years without jumping off any bandwagon. I still talk Canucks with lots of people around greater Vancouver. Last time I looked there's been little discussion about the Oilers with bloggers/posters since they have become a have-not. And where were the Flames fans during the seven seasons they were on the outside? It seems to me there was a "Save The Flames" campaign in the early 2000s. Now one Cup run later and three seasons in the playoffs and you would think there were 24 Cup banners hanging from the rafters of the Saddledome. Get real folks. There are fairweather fans in all hockey markets. Trash talk and rivalries are one thing, your misinformed comments are another. The last time I looked the Canucks were still selling out GM Place. I still wear my Canucks shirt and will be wearing it on Friday when I go see the Canucks play the Avalanche.

Monsieur Parafect

James, since you mentioned Bourdon over Kopitar, do you think Paul Kariya was a better pick than Chris Pronger? Many thought that way in 1995.

At 3:44 p.m., November 03, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

Vancouver - like Toronto - needs to "blow up" their team and start a major four to five year rebuilding program.

The current roster is at best capable of only scrapping into the playoffs. Also, the talent on the farm will at best be third line talent in future years.

As a result, Luongo will not re-sign in Vancouver when he becomes a free agent in 3 years.

Therefore, they should trade Luongo this year, when they can get a huge return for him in the form of young talent and draft choices. They should also trade some of their older d-men who have market value for young talent, prospects and picks. Keep only the Sedins, Kesler, Bieksa, Edler, Krajicek and their young talent.

Write off this year - and next year too - and compete for LAST PLACE and high draft picks - not a playoff spot. This is the only way Vancouver (or Toronto for that matter) will ever get to a Stanley Cup in the future.

Its a painfull strategy for the fans and owner - but its the only solution and will pay big returns in the future. Its also a hell of a lot better than having to cheer on mediocre teams forever.

At 4:30 p.m., November 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank - Is that the way the Philadephia Flyers rebounded from a poor season from last year? Are they in a 4-5 year rebuilding program? It seems to me they moved some expensive, over the hill veterans, kept their prime assets (Gagne) and key young players, traded for players young and old from other teams and used free agency to complete their roster. Any GM who purposely strips all the talent from their team to purposely get high draft picks and plans to be lousy for 5 seasons in this day and age of UFA at the possible age of 25 years old and teams raiding RFAs is a fool, trying to build under the old system. Where did you get your information the Canucks talent on the farm are third liners at best? The Manitoba Moose lead the AHL in scoring with only five players over the age of 25. They've had their roster ransacked with injuries and picked over by the Canucks yet last night scored 6 goals, led by 21 year old Pierre Cedric Labrie, 20 year old Michael Grabner and 20 year old Juraj Simek, all rookies. Get your facts straight.

Even if the Canucks aren't to make the playoffs this season, you still don't trade a key player in his prime such as a Luongo. You also don't trade Luongo on speculation he will leave the team as a UFA in 3 years, only idiots think that way. Besides, last season at the end of November I heard the same old BS about the sky falling on the Canucks and them needing to overhaul and completely rebuild by non Canucks fans. The season didn't end November 1, the last time I looked it ends in April.

Monsieur Parafect

At 6:09 p.m., November 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trade Luongo? Now that's just crazy.

At 7:08 p.m., November 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What no posts, no answers to my rebuttal? Is that the sounds of crickets chirping?

Monsieur Parafect

At 12:03 p.m., November 05, 2007, Anonymous Keith said...

Monsieur Parafect - you really don't want to get into an attendance comparison between Calgary and Vancouver. Least of all if it includes comparing our down years with yours.

Every team has bandwagon fans, obviously. Vancouver more than most.

At 1:34 p.m., November 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith - What statistics do you base that on, that Vancouver has more bandwagon fans? Are you basing this on Vancouver having twice the population of Calgary or on a per capita basis? Or is it because you hate all thing Vancouver that leads you to say this? When it comes to the Canucks and their ups and downs in attendance, I think I know a helluva lot more than you about the history of Canucks owners meddling in the day to day operations of the club over the years that led abysmal Canucks teams and to fans having to boycott the games in order for the owners to wake up. Fans in other cities would have done the same thing had they faced the same situations. Fans in Edmonton, in fact boycotted the Oilers at the end of Peter Pocklington's ownership as an example. Calgary would be no different. I can and will make comparisons when my team and my city is unfairly attacked by the uninformed.

Monsieur Parafect


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