Alain Vigneault Discussion - Part 2
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01-30-2013, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Originally Posted by
I'll admit that it often feels this way, but the nature of a knockout system in the playoffs is that every team gets eliminated except one, so every fanbase thinks their team "melted down" or "beat themselves" or whatever. One team has to lose every series (fans also misunderstand what "choking" is in this respect, as it seems literally 90% of losing teams are called chokers now, which is structurally nonsensical), and some losses are prettier than others, but there
to be far more losses than wins, so almost everyone's season comes to a sputter in some way. And the fans always feel the team could have won but for one or two costly mistakes -- but this is true of almost
win or loss in every sport, and someone has to win what is ultimately a coin toss between two teams that are necessarily close in talent (as they are all now).
The 2006-07 Canucks didn't melt down at the end, although they got overmatched by a dominant Anaheim team in the second round. I wouldn't say the team "melted down" in the 2010 playoffs either, for instance -- they just lost. And while the 2011 finals took an ugly turn once it became clear the team could no longer overcome their health situation, it's tough to claim that a team that makes it within a game of the big prize actually "melted down" even if they had a rough go of it -- rather explicably, frankly -- in a few individual games.
I will agree that the Canucks have tended to peak around January or so, but I would argue this was always the case, even going back to the Pat Quinn days. (Part of what made the 1994 run so weird is that the team got better
all of a sudden
after a consistently mediocre season, although that one actually did start strong). When a trend lasts that long I think there are some structural factors at play, and some of it may be the reality of playing in a high-travel market, who knows.
I think you make a number of salient points -- most of them, actually. You do contradict yourself slightly by saying that every fan feels its team "melted down" and then giving an example of a time the Canucks didn't. It would seem that even you agree there is a distinction.
As I've said before, I think AV is a very capable coach, who has met his best before date. There is a lot more that goes into playoff failure, including both on-ice and off-ice luck.
And you're right about 2006-2007. They were over-matched, but they also scored 1.8 GPG in the playoffs and had a PP% of 6%. Last year they also lost to a team that might have been better (despite their record), and they were close games, but that was also a President's Trophy winner losing to an 8 seed in 5 games.
If you go through every season -- all of which started slow -- the Canucks were either blown out of the water in the playoffs while routinely being exposed on special teams (either PP or PK), or were crushed in blowouts numerous times. I guess 2007-2008 was an exception: they fell apart and missed the playoffs.
The team just seems prone to wild swings in momentum. Maybe it's the same as every team, but I don't think so. The team (Luongo, Sedins, etc.) probably deserve some of the blame, as well, but how many teams have earned the label Luongo has undeservedly had foisted solely upon him by media, opposing fans, and even many Canucks fans. I think at some point you need a different coach. Others may disagree.
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