By Richard Eriksson on April 15, 2004 - 10:43pm
Much better performance from the Canucks than the last time, and I'm even going to say they way outpreformed the Flames. That is, if it wasn't for Kiprusoff. The Canucks are getting the chances but there is not a lot of garbage—and hence not a lot of garbage goals except for the goal tonight that deflected off both Sedins—and Kiprusoff is in the right spot every time. If the Canucks are going to win game 6, it'll be off garbage goals. Otherwise they're letting the best goalie in the league defeat them.
I can't say I'm disappointed with the pace of the game either. The fans at GM Place got their money's worth in terms of excitement. Many people are pointing to the low-scoring affairs in hockey over the last few years, but the fans still come out, especially to the teams that win. I hate to say it but the Canucks fans are bandwagon jumpers. But guess what? So are the fans for every other team. Winning hockey teams sell tickets, period. (The exception to the rule that winning sports clubs sell tickets would have to be the Indiana Pacers of the NBA.) Analysts looking at lower goal totals are looking at the wrong stat: the goal-tenders have markedly improved in the last 20 years, but has the number of shots decreased? The question is less than rhetorical, because observationally, more shots seem to get blocked before they hit the net, so I leave it up to someone else to do the leg work.
I'd like to spend some time talking about something that shouldn't be mentioned: Canucks fans need to prepare themselves psychologially for a game 6 loss. I'm probably a top-tier Canucks fan, especially in the last 4 year or so, but the Canucks losing a playoff series, I hate to say it, signals the real start of Spring. Don't get me wrong, I'd love it to signal the real start of summer, and a game 6 win in Calgary would, in my mind, lock in a game 7 win back in Vancouver. If they lose in game 6—I reiterate that a game 7 loss is inconceivable—then great, three more hours every couple of nights for us to enjoy the best city in Canada, and one of the best cities in the world. If they win, then also great, three more hours every couple of nights the most exciting game in the world featuring our favourite team.