Well, I now feel like a lazy sack ‘o crap. Who’s with me?
Thanks, Kevin. You jerk lol
full time hockey player, part-time model.
kevin bieksa, everybody.
By me, Dee
The Canucks received news of their first round playoff match up against the San Jose Sharks following their 7-2 loss in Edmonton Saturday night. Kevin Bieksa stated the obvious after the game, saying it’s “[n]ot the ideal way to finish the season, but we have to put it behind us and get ready for Game 1” (x).
Canucks’ captain Henrik Sedin is adamant that his team is playoff ready, despite closing out the regular season with 2 consecutive losses. He feels that the Canucks dominant 3-1 win over the Blackhawks last Monday night was more reflective of the team’s playoff readiness: “that was a game that mattered for us and we showed up and played our best game of the season…we have to look back at the things we did well in that game and go from there” (x).
The Canucks will have to bring the same energy they showed against the Blackhawks if they want to defeat the Sharks for the first time this year, with the Sharks having swept the Canucks in their season series matchup, something that does not phase Henrik Sedin. The former Art Ross champion remains positive, explaining that at the end of the day “[y]ou can be successful against a team [during the regular season] and then you play them in the playoffs and it’s a totally different series” (x).
The Canucks and Sharks have recent playoff history, in which Vancouver eliminated San Jose in just 5 games during the 2011 Western Conference Final. “Yeah, we won that series” reminisces Kevin Bieksa, who is prepared for this series to go to the distance: “I think we expected to go to seven games and that’s kind of the way we’ll approach it again [this year]” (x). The 2011 series, has the Canucks feeling confident in what to expect, “[i]t’s always a good matchup against those guys…It’s a team we have seen a lot so there is not going to be a whole lot of surprises…I’m sure it is going to be an exciting series” (x) said winger Jannik Hansen, who is eager to be a contributor this post season, having just played his best season as a Canuck, notching 27 points (10 goals and 17 assists) in 47 games.
Sharks’ Logan Couture says his team is excited to be kicking off the playoffs in Canada and are eager to redeem themselves for the 2011 series. “We are going to have to play well against them, they are a good team. They have a lot of skill…It should be a good matchup” (x). San Jose’s starting goalie Antti Niemi has not forgotten the 2011 series either, admitting, “[i]t’s a tough city to play in” (x), and is hoping that this time around the Sharks will fair far better than the last time these two teams met in the post season.
While there is no question about who will be getting the nod in net for the Sharks in game 1 on Wednesday night, the starter for the Canucks is questionable. Cory Schneider is still recovering from an undisclosed “body injury” and could miss the start of the series. Never fear, Roberto Luongo will be there, “100-per-cent committed to the team” (x), in typical Roberto Luongo fashion, if Schneider is a no-go.
Game 1 of the series is set to start Wednesday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Also posted on Aerys Sports
By me, Dee
There is no question that Roberto Luongo helped mold the Canucks into the Cup contending team they are today. Before his arrival in Vancouver, goalies were a dime a dozen, with one not staying for more than a season or two at a time, if that, (with the exception of Dan Cloutier, but his extended time with the Canucks left a lot to be desired, to say the least).
No goalie was ever good enough for fans, until Roberto Luongo, who came, conquered, and put an end to the days of Vancouver’s goalie graveyard. Why then, did the Rogers Arena crowd fail to show Luongo his much deserved appreciation on Thursday night, a start which could possibly have been his last as a Canuck on home ice? Because some people can’t appreciate a good thing until it’s gone.
In his seven seasons with the Canucks, Luongo carried the weight of his entire team (and the expectations of this city) on his shoulders, a responsibility that he never backed down from. Along the way of creating stability and re-enforcing hope in goal, Luongo was nominated for numerous NHL awards including: the Hart Memorial Trophy (for league MVP), Vezina Trophy, and the Lester B. Pearson Award. He also lead the Canucks to within one win of a Stanley Cup, and won a gold medal for Canada, yet nothing seems to be good enough to please Canucks fans.
The Montreal, Quebec remains humble after all he has done for his team (including several North-West division championships, a Western Conference championship, and 2 shutouts on home ice during the Stanley Cup Final). Despite the waves of criticism he’s faced over the years from Vancouver’s ever-so, not-so faithful fans, Bobby Lou epitomizes class when questioned about his time here and his role with the team: “Everything happens for a reason…[and]…Like I said after the deadline, I wanted to let everyone know I was here 100-per-cent committed to the team” (x), as always.
If critics are going to hold the fact that Luongo didn’t win a Stanley Cup against him, they should also take a second to reflect on what he did bring to this organization. He made the Canucks Cup contenders again, in a city that saw 18 goaltenders come and go since 1998, Luongo cemented confidence in goal. He also set an exceptional example for his teammates on how to remain calm under pressure, believe in themselves, and give it their all every game.
Night in and night out, Roberto stood on his head for this team when they needed him most, and helped them learn how to win again. “[T]he way he competed every night…it was contagious on our team. He made us into a team that could succeed,” (x) says winger Alex Burrows. Defensemen Kevin Bieksa echoes Burrows’ sentiments, stating “[Luongo] made us an elite team in the league…He gave us the confidence…[and] stability [we needed to compete]” (x).
The legacy of Roberto Luongo in Vancouver will always prove to be bittersweet. When he played well, the city was behind him and he could do no wrong, a bad stretch, and within a blink of an eye, it was time to blame him for the apparent falling sky.
After the game, Luongo was noted saying, “[f]or me it didn’t feel like [my] last game” (x), and while no one is certain what the future holds for Roberto Luongo, the sad display of respect he received by the Rogers Arena crowd Thursday night, assures that Vancouver will never be able to fully appreciate what they have until it is gone. Unfortunately, this time around, they will be saying goodbye to one of the best players this franchise has ever seen.