Composure…it takes a season to muster and a series to unravel.
That is the story of the Vancouver Canucks in this series with Calgary. As they stare into the abyss that is now win or go home, the Canucks only have themselves to blame for this mess, the mess that begins and ends with experience.
Remember that word? It was thrown around pretty liberally by the media on both sides of the Rockies when this series began. Vancouver had it and Calgary didn’t, which makes this argument even more confounding for the Canucks.
They are the team that has the depth and experience to know what the playoffs will throw at them, yet they are the team that is looking for the retaliation, that cannot turn the other cheek, and that constantly gets taken out of position to prove a point to a team that has been very efficient in how they play their game.
Are the Canucks being out skilled? That is a tossup.
Are they being out willed? Without a doubt they are.
When you watch this series and you hear the names of the players that are beating Vancouver, it isn’t just Bennett, Monahan and Gaudreau. It’s Ferland, Colborne and Jones as well. The depth has been on Calgary, not on Vancouver, because the Canucks have lost their cool and have lost their way.
It comes down to this. One game, one period, and one shift. The Canucks have now forced themselves into a corner and must fight their way out against a team that is organized, is talented, and has composure.
Vancouver will not be the last team to be eliminated from the playoffs because of a lack of composure, but losing this way to a team of supposedly lesser talent will make this elimination sting a lot longer.