Though there are many that disagree, the Canucks season was an overall success that 28 other teams would have loved the opportunity to have had.
Of course, no city wants to see a riot erupt immediately after their team plays in a Game 7 situation. After being exhausted physically and mentally, the last thing a player wants to do is be drawn into a verbal battle over who is to blame for circumstances beyond anyone’s control. It’s like going to work, having the hardest day you’ve ever had, then coming home to find some hoodlums have vandalized your neighborhood. To top it off, though they had no hand in the carnage, people start pointing at your kids as possible culprits.
The truth of the matter is as Mike Gillis described: “The better team won this series.” The Bruins had every element necessary to enjoy a deep, solid run to the cup. They won 3 Game Sevens en route to the Stanley Cup. They overcame 2 series where they fell behind 2-0 (Canadiens/ Canucks). For the Canucks, injuries factored in heavily into their final series. In Game 1 of the Finals, they lost top pairing/shutdown defenseman Dan Hamhuis. Hamhuis will have offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia / groin injury. Mikael Samuelsson was lost to a similar injury. Mason Raymond, their speedy second line RW is having surgery to repair a compressed vertebrae. Chris Higgins was playing with a broken foot since the second round. Alex Edler was playing with 2 broken fingers. Though nothing has been announced, it’s speculated that Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin were playing injured as well.
Make no mistake about it, hockey world – The Vancouver Canucks are a classy hockey team. Circumstances beyond their control conspired to tarnish the image they worked so hard to achieve. There will always be those pundits that try to pollute the fine air the Vancouver Canucks organization has surrounded itself with. But with a couple of key additions, Mike Gillis, Alain Vigneault and the Canucks staff will be back next season, eager to prove this season was no abberition.