The Canucks haven't been playing lights-out hockey, but it doesn't really concern me a great deal.
As long as they are winning, things are fine with me.
I understand his point that they need to work out the kinks in their game for the playoffs, because those kinks lead to bad habits and when adversity strikes, suddenly even the "A" game isn't good enough.
Detroit's philosophy has always been to bring the "A" game in the regular season, and still try to reach another level in the playoffs. It's obviously worked.
But many teams also successfully do "just enough" in the regular season simply because the regular season isn't important to them, relative to (finally) answering the bell in the playoffs.
Remember 1994 - our regular season was actually crappy in comparison to prior years (though admittedly the Nedved thing was hanging over the team all season).
To sum it up, it's all about the playoffs to me, and it may well be the same for them also.
But that's assuming that the Canucks are good enough to "turn on the switch", so to speak, and bring their game up into high gear. Whether we're actually capable of doing so just like that, I'm just not sure.
Gallagher always cracks me up--when I lived in Vancouver i loved the Burke v Gollam battles
seems to me Gally whould write an article that the canucks are lucky about how bad Minny, Calgary and Edmonton are--nucks are only in the playoffs by 3 pts and are even more lucky that they have 3 games on hand on the aves. If the Division was not so bad--nucks would be under a lot more pressure. For the canucks it is all about playing a good game and not getting injured between now and April
This is my primary issue with the print media. They are like scholastics, they never venture out into the world to test thier theories, but that doesn't stop them from formulating a bunch.
At least the TV guys have played the game! When Garrett (sp?) says a goalie whiffed one, you know he knows what he is talking about. Yes.
Well c'mon. How many people on here ever played the game? We can make posts on the internet, and apparently we're all qualified to comment on the Canucks, their coaching, management, ownership, media, etc.
The whole time I was reading this article in the paper, all I could think of was him sitting there at his keyboard, hands against his temple: "Deadline looming. Controversy sells papers. Need to think of something. Hmmm. Nothing. Deadline. Deadline. Auugghh... C'mon Gallagher... you can DO this..."
I like Gallagher. Not because he's a particularly skilful writer (he's not) or because his analysis is all that insightful (its not) - but because he's always playing the heel.
I dig that.
His job is to get people riled up a bit and generate controversy where there is little or none - and he's good at it. If you hate him, its working.
Every sports media outlet in North America has a Gallagher or two on the payroll, and its because its effective. Whether you agree or disagree with the guy, the reality is that we link to most of his articles on here and spend several pages ripping the guy apart.
From a media marketing perspective, that's a great success.
There are no easy games in the NHL. Even the worst teams will win 40% of their games and some of those games will be against good teams. You just can't walk over every team every night, and the Canucks have had their fair share of blowouts against poor teams.
The Canucks are 5-0 against bottom five teams, outscoring them 20-9 in the process. They are 9-1-1 against bottom five teams, outscoring them 48-25 in the process. How much more can people actually expect from them? That's almost undefeated while outscoring the opposition by a 2-1 margin.
This type of analysis is founded on the completely unrealistic expectation that teams will play the perfect game night in and night out. It doesn't happen. With parity the way it is now, teams are not going to dominate like the seventies Habs or nineties Red Wings anymore.
Thank you. Great post with all the info we need to see that this "playing-down-to the competition" business has no base. The Canucks are grinding out wins against the crappy teams, and for the most part playing well against the powerful teams. I guess people need to make up something to complain about though.
People have to realize that this particular team is just plain better than most teams by a good margin, and without being flashy or ultra-exciting, they're going to win a ton of 3-1, 4-2 games. At the end of the year don't be surprised if this is the all-around best season ever numbers-wise (meaning goal differential, special teams, personal excellence, etc).
At times I have been as frustrated as anyone with AV, but he really deserves recognition for the job he's done. Beyond Kevin "The Blemish" Bieksa he's handled players well and many core guys have flourished, in both ends of the rink. Not too many coaches you could say that about.
Canucks have been playing Vigneault's system perfectly. It's stifling, like a wet blanket over the opposition's offence. Not allowing a lot of chances. By playing better, he must mean we need to finish teams off. Which I agree with. If we buried some chances against St. Louis, that game would have been over in the 1st. A team like Detroit will pounce on something like that.
With parity the way it is now, teams are not going to dominate like the seventies Habs or nineties Red Wings anymore.
This is what I was going to post - Tony, like many others just don't realize how small the gap is between the have's and have not's in a salary cap NHL. Home ice advantage or a couple injuries to key players is enough to make a bottom feeder in the West even money to beat a Detroit or Vancouver. Yet you hear fans talk like games against the Oilers or Blues should be automatic wins - I think a lot of Canuck fans need to check the betting lines a little bit more, or go one step further and start putting money on the 'bad teams' to beat the Canucks once in a while. After all, the Canucks always play down to or lose to poor opposition right? Well, time to put your money where your mouth is and make some money off it - it's nearly foolproof.
The other thing Tony Gallagher and fans overlook is the fact good teams don't necessarily control the flow of the play and dominate puck possession - they just have more talent and execute on the chances they do get. So you can look like you're not outplaying the Blues, Oilers, leafs still but find a way to win the majority of those games - as they usually do...