Yes, that’s the question. Can the Canucks win the Stanley Cup?
Before the season started, I compared Vancouver with the Toronto Maple Leafs, except Toronto doesn’t have Roberto Luongo between the pipes. But I thought the Canucks were in their rebuilding stages. No one on the team had really accomplished much in the big leagues. The Sedin twins looked like they’d never become more than pretty good players, slow skaters who create nice plays from time to time, but could never be considered major stars. Ryan Kessler showed promise as a power forward, but hadn’t elevated to another level. Mason Raymond, Ryan Johnson, Alex Burrows? Who are these people, castoffs from the Bentley Generals?
Kyle Wellwood is a fancy playmaker, but small and unpredictable, and motivation is often questioned. Mats Sundin didn’t play for more than a year, and is older than Red Fisher. And in front of Luongo stands Willie Mitchell, Mattias Ohland, and the rest of the cast of defencemen, none of whom strike fear in to the hearts of men.
Can the Canucks win the Stanley Cup? They can because they have Roberto Luongo in nets. When you have the league’s best goalie, you automatically have a real shot at the big prize. It’s like having a garage band with Elton John as your singer. And they can because those no-name players I thought compared to the Toronto Maple Leafs are arising as young stars. They’re not acting like no-name players at all. Alex Burrows and Ryan Kessler are making NHL teams throughout the league wipe drool from their bottom lips.
The problem is, as a Habs fan living in Canucksland, I have to endure the car flags, the excited talk at work and in bars, and the smiles and the laughter, all the while knowing my team sits in the cracks in the floorboard while the Canucks live it up in the penthouse after sweeping the St. Louis Blues. This hurts me, this every day reminder.
But I will cheer for the Canucks, but it doesn’t come without a price. Canucks fans must tell me nice things about the Habs. That’s the deal. Because as soon as Canucks fan laugh at my team or say naughty things about them, I’m going for Calgary.