EDITORIAL: Politics? Nah, let’s talk hockey

Vancouver Canucks just not built for the NHL playoffs

We like to reflect in this space what people are talking about, what has them glued to their TVs, filling the Internet chat forums, providing fodder for drama and emotion.

The B.C. election? Puhleese. Today, it’s the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Life changing? No. Important to the future of the province? No. A topic of conversation more than anything related to politics? Absolutely.

At time of writing, the Vancouver Canucks were on the edge of elimination, down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks. As usual, the Canucks had an impressive regular season, winning their (ultra-weak) division and garnering a top-three seed.

Also as usual (despite a run to the Cup final a couple of years ago when everything fell into place for them opponent-wise), the Canucks are showing they are a team built for the regular season and not what really matters, the run for the Cup.

They have played nine periods of hockey against the Sharks and aside from the third period Sunday night, their goaltending has been solid. The fact much of the discussion still centres around Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider is bewildering and is a clear indication both GM Mike Gillis and head coach Alain Vigneault have done a poor job focussing on what really ails this team. And what’s that? Well, we’re glad you asked. The leadership group on this team, the ones that excel in the regular season, do not have what it takes mentally or physically to compete when the stakes are higher in the playoffs.

Have the Sedin brothers even played the first three games? If Ryan Kesler isn’t the most annoying, disrespect-the-game player we’ve ever seen, he’s close. Did anyone other than Gillis think deadline acquisition Derek Roy was going to change his playoff stripes (zero goals in his last 10 playoff games)?

Now, if the Canucks win the next four games and take this series, we will be the first to say we are wrong. But we don’t see that happening.

Meanwhile, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto are literally fighting and scraping for every inch of ice in their respective series. There’s lots of room on their bandwagons for Canucks fans who want to see what playoff intensity is all about.           — Editorial by John Harding

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