Monday, April 16, 2012

Vancouver, Where Have All The Car Flags Gone?

One thing you can't help but notice driving around Vancouver this playoff season is the stunning lack of car flags in the city. Last year it was borderline ridiculous how many vehicles were running Canuck colours, and one year later the fad has easily fallen by at least 90%. Last year they could barely keep them in stock, this year there has to be boxes upon boxes of this unsold junk in merchandiser inventories. It isn't just that Vancouver has fallen behind 0-3 in their series against Los Angeles, the virtual extinction of this phenomenon happened from day 1 of the playoffs. Did the Stanley Cup riots sour everyone's spirits? It's possible. Or everyone just got sick of an asinine exercise.

Today's poll question; who will be the next Canadian NHL franchise to win the Stanley Cup? Vancouver is all but done this season (with less than a 5% chance they can come back when down 0-3), but would still have to be the Vegas favourite to win next season. Ottawa still has a chance this season, but their long term odds don't necessarily look good as the window on Alfredsson and Spezza closes shut. It is tough to tell anything about Toronto anymore (99.9% chance next season is Burke's last in TO if they miss the playoffs again) , Montreal is a mess, Calgary is barely mediocre bordering on a mess, and Winnipeg is still a few pieces short. Edmonton has the greatest abundance of high end young talent, but are still waiting for them to come of age.

What will happen? Nobody knows for sure. That's why they play the games. TSN's expert projections had Pittsburgh and Vancouver meeting in the finals. Now both are down 0-3 (for example, you have a 6% chance of winning a 50-50 proposition 4 times in a row). Even the experts are wrong a lot.


  1. the Habs will be back. too many injuries this past year.
    you might recall, last year they gave the Bruins a tougher series than those sissy Canucks did.

  2. I'm in Vancouver, and I'm praying for one more loss. One more and it's done, and then the nightly news won't be full of up-beat banter about 'the team' and 'our game', stories about jersey sales, extreme 'super fans' and an uptick in bar sales on 'game day'. No more man-in-the-street interviews with mouth-breathing, jersey-clad fans, spouting quasi-pious cliches: "we gotta have FAITH...we gotta BELIEVE."

    Don't even get me started on the newspapers --1/3 of a page on North Korea testing a rocket, but 56 pages on the Canucks! Because, you know, "This is What We Live For".

    Vancouver loses all sense of proportion whenever the Canucks make the playoffs, and it's wonderful to see some modesty rammed down the city's throat.

  3. The referee's have already started to get rid of the Vancouver team in their first game and continue with biased calls or non calls against the opposition team. The announcers sound like it's a funeral when Vancouver scores a goal, and wet themselves when a goal is scored against Vancouver.Will Vancouver pull off 4 straight wins? Not with the HATE from the media and the referee's.They did what they set out to do,(referee's) starting with that first game.

  4. I heartily disagree Vancouver "but would still have to be the Vegas favourite to win next season."

    Why? They allowed the guys who can win playoff hockey games,Raffi Torres and Christian Erhoff,to go elsewhere and traded away a good third line center for a 19 year old kid who looks lost trying to play the role management hired him for.

    Kassian may develop into the player they think he can be, but probably at least another year or two from now.

    In the Off-Season,Vancouver should have been trying to acquire exactly the type of players that beat them, but instead they let good ones go to be replaced with lesser caliber players.

    Looking at the playoff teams right now, the teams with the toughness to win it all appear to be Philadelphia and Boston in the East and maybe Detroit or Nashville in the West. Nashville doesn't have the scoring though.

    I think any Western team is going to lose to the East if either Boston or Philly win the East. The West might have a chance against the Rangers,who play like a NY version of the Canucks, but with better goaltending.

    Vancouver needs another rebuild around a small core of players,the best of whom are Bieksa and Kessler,but current management doesn't seem capable of recognizing the type of player they need to win the Stanley Cup.

    The Canucks are a great International Hockey style team,if they could play at the World Championship tourney later this year they'd undoubtedly win hands down. But,they are NOT geared to an NHL win,too many smurfs,not enough mean and nasty types like Lucic and Hartnell.

    Boston won last year with 17 Canadians on the team, guys who turn it up a notch and get meaner the more they're hit. The Canucks,at some stage,simply wilt,as they did last year and will do again this year.

    Vancouverites would be well advised to cheer for the Lions or Giants,their management seems to have a better understanding of what it takes to win in their particular League.

    Btw, to demonstrate my hockey genius,I picked the Canucks over LA in 6,and Pittsburgh over Philly in 7. ;-)

    1. You make some very excellent points sir... The trading of Cody Hodgson was an act of idiocy, no offense to Kassian, he seems like a good Canadian kid, but this trade makes no sense and I would suspect Vignault was the one behind it... he never liked Hodgson. One would suspect that Gillis never watched the Canucks get smacked around by the Bruins last year. If Gillis trades Schnieder then we know he's an igit. The refereeing in the NHL has got to be the most inconsistent, inexplicable mess of all professional sports. Again, Mr dmorris, excellent analysis.