Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Morrison delivers his insights into the world of hockey, on and off the ice.
Worry not, Canucks nation
Thursday, April 26, 2007 | 09:40 AM ET
By Scott Morrison
Just before Canucks Nation - if there is such an official and pedestrian title to the legion of Vancouver Canucks fans out there - jump off the bandwagon, a little cautionary advice.
Remain poised, but don't jump too soon.
Now, after losing the series opener against the Anaheim Ducks handily, 5-1, the climb back in this series is going to be steep for the Canucks. But most expected that Game One would be a write off, that after a seven-game series with the Dallas Stars, that in real time was actually closer to eight games, there was not a lot of gas left in the tank for the Canucks, emotionally or physically.
So, forget the opener and the key then becomes Game Two. Win it and the Canucks have a chance going home. Lose it and it becomes a matter of time before the end arrives, essentially of whether Roberto Luongo can steal a game or two to preserve hope. Remember, though, Anaheim is the only Western Conference team he did not and still has not beaten this season, though Game 1 remained close longer than it should have because of him.
Now, as much as a day between games will re-energize the Canucks, the Ducks were allowed to work the cob webs out and the rust off and there is the potential for them to be even better, as well, in the second game Friday. After scoring first in the opener, then having a few power-play chances, the Canucks could have built a comfortable lead and maybe have stolen that game; instead they let the Ducks stay close and, after 10 minutes or so, then took over.
Bottom line, is the Canucks have to find a way for the Sedin line to battle through the Sammy Pahlsson line. Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison and the supporting cast have to find the back of the net. No disrespect, but when your only goal scorer is Jeff Cowan, it's a bad sign. And the special teams have to be much better. It was another oh-for on the power play and they allowed two.
More troubling for the Canucks is the fact the Ducks got big-time production from the Selanne line and had its offence spread around.
Like we said, it's too early to jump off the bandwagon, but as Yogi Berra once said: it's getting late early.
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About the Author
Scott Morrison, the recipient of the Hockey Hall of Fameís 2006 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, has been covering hockey for 25 years. The Toronto native began his career at the Toronto Sun in 1979. After spending more than 11 years as a hockey writer and columnist at the paper, Morrison became Sports Editor in 1991 and led the section to being named one of North America's top-ten sports sections in 1999 - the first sports section in Canada to receive the AP Sports Editors North American Award. Scott, a former two-term president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, joined Rogers Sportsnet in 2001 as Managing Editor, Hockey, and is currently both a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada and a columnist for CBC.ca.
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