Hello Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s so nice of you to finally return.
I know in this market, a one year absence from the chase of Lord Stanley’s Cup has been marked by plenty of changes with the Canucks. These changes so far have been excellent, but the measuring stick in this town has always been the playoffs. It always has been…it always will be.
We have a certain expectation of the Canucks, and while this year has been labelled already by many as an over achievement, now that Vancouver has achieved what they have, we want more.
Canucks fans expect to beat Calgary and will be hard pressed to give any kind of respect to the Flames. Calgary’s course this season runs eerily parallel to that of the Canucks. The Flames overachieved with a new GM, a young team and a career year by Jiri Hudler and their injured Captain Mark Giordano.
Despite the good season by Vancouver, it will be wasted in the eyes of the fans if they don’t beat Calgary. The Flames overachieved; therefore, the Canucks need to overachieve better. It’s the nature of the beast.
This series has already been labelled by the USA Today as the least compelling series of the opening round. Tell that to the fans of Calgary and Vancouver. Calgary has waited six years to get back to this spot, Vancouver 24 months.
This series isn’t just about key match up, great goal tending, timely goals and everything else that goes into a series; it is about measuring where you are in comparison to your rivals. Especially when comparing to your Canadian rivals.
A win over Calgary puts the Canucks ahead of the Flames on the rebuild apex. A loss wipes out the season because we now will consider ourselves behind Calgary.
This series isn’t just about the winner; it’s about our psyche too.