Although I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to watch Game 5 last night, the fantastic world of the twitter allowed me to ride the virtual rollercoaster the Canucks seem to enjoy putting their fans through. Just as rough and heart wrenching as it is to watch the game live at GM Place or in High Definition on TV, I would say following online where I had to rely on the speed of Bell Mobility’s data network was even worse – I swear I had chest pains by the end of the night.
So here the team now sits. Down three games to two. On the brink of elimination. The dawn of apocalypse. The end of days. Major FAIL.
Yet back in the twitterverse, @hosea24hours asked us all if we would consider the season a failure if the Canucks were to be eliminated in the second round. Now I’m not about to put the cart before the horse and believe the Canucks are done, but felt strongly enough that I needed to reply. Like many fans, I feel the Canucks should advance beyond the Blackhawks for this post-season to be considered a success, but is it really fair for me to do so? This is a team that many thought would have difficulty making the post-season. Furthermore, this is a team that many had written off as all but dead once Luongo went down. And yet here they play as the Northwest Division Champions in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So how is it fair that we consider them to be a failure? If you had asked me before the season what I was hoping for, I would have simply said getting into the post-season would be good. True, by getting into the post-season I was thinking that anything could happen, but I would likely have not been upset with a first round eviction back then. So is it then right for me to change these expectations based on the late season play of the team and the fact they surpassed Calgary to take first in the divison? I’m not too sure it is.
I believe the season should be considered a success. The emergence of Burrows and Kesler show that the team is heading in the right direction. Although nearly laughed out of town with Happy Meal in hand, Wellwood has been a pleasant surprise as a dependable two-way player as the season progressed. Luongo has shown that he is able to bounce back from a major injury (his first one ever, if memory serves me correct) and will likely look to prove himself further next year. So when we weigh and measure the year fairly, the team has done itself proud.
But don’t panic. The post-season is not over. The Blackhawks are only up by one game and if there is anything this Canucks team has shown us this year is they can comeback from a deficit. We just need to continue to believe in blue, remain calm, and approach Game Six in an orderly fashion.