(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers who hated them the most. Here is San Jose Sharks blogger Megalodon of Battle of California, fondly recalling the 2012-13 Vancouver Canucks . Again, this was not written by us ... OK, by all of us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
By Megalodon of Battle of California
"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come,
And laugh at the Canucks because they suck."
What? It's time ALREADY? Oh, gosh. Give me a moment to finish up my notes here....
Sorry folks, this all came as a bit of a surprise to me. Not the fact that the Canucks lost, of course—anyone with half a brain could see that was coming—but a first-round SWEEP?
Ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, and esteemed Puck Daddy commenters: We are gathered here today to bid farewell to the Vancouver Canucks, a team as ineffectual, fat, and dead as the explorer namesake of their city. The Canucks may be out of the playoffs once again, but they should be proud of their performance.
No, wait, sorry, I read that wrong—I should have said "they should NOT be proud of their performance." My mistake.
Embarrassing. Sloppy. Undisciplined. Weak. There are thousands of words I could use to describe the post-season play of the Canucks this year, but there is one word I refuse to choose: "choker."
The Canucks did not choke this year. "Choking" implies performing below expectations in a pressure situation. So they didn't choke at all—because they suck.
A first-round sweep out of the playoffs is exactly what everyone should have expected for a team that was by many measurements the worst team in the Western Conference playoffs:
The time of the Vancouver Canucks, such as it was, is over.
I wrote about it before the series with the Sharks started, and the actual games only underscored the truth: The Sedins are aging and fading fast, and that will be the end of this team for a generation. Shenanigans allowed the Canucks to draft TWIN BROTHERS that would be two of the best players in the league for years and years, but nothing came of that once-in-a-franchise stroke of fortune.
Opportunity missed. Window closed. It's over. The Canucks are over.
The situation is bad for the Canucks right now, and it's not going to get any better for a long, long time. Next season they join a division that will be much stronger than the one they have dominated for a decade. Henrik Sedin will only be the 6th-best center in the new Pacific Division, and his point totals will continue to plummet as he plays against better defenses and goalies.
Vancouver's core players—all on the wrong side of 30—will continue to decline and struggle against tougher competition.
The Canucks will be a low seed if they make the playoffs at all, and they'll be bounced in the first round again and again until they give up, implode, and rebuild.
Maybe by that time there will be another pair of all-star twin brothers they can draft. The Sedins will be long gone by then, having moved on to other, more successful careers:
There is no hope on the horizon for the Canucks. No promise of a bright future. The team has the fourth-worst prospect pool in the league. Their best forward under the age of 25, Zack Kassian, looked like stinky, penalty-taking garbage in the series against the Sharks, managing just four shots and no points, while Logan Couture had as many points as Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Ryan "Beast Mode" Kesler COMBINED.
But wait, you might think to yourself, surely the Canucks can pursue some free agents to fill in the gaps!
Whoops, nope, not going to happen. They don't have the cap space! The have too many aging players on long, expensive contracts, and their stupid GM missed his chance to offload Roberto Luongo—so now they're stuck. Doomed.
It isn't all the fault of GM Mike Gillis, of course. There is a whole lot of blame to go around for this slow-motion car crash of a franchise. Alain Vigneault is a worthless coach who let Todd McLellan get the match-ups he wanted in all four playoff games. Now Vigneault is going to be fired a few years too late for it to matter. A new coach isn't going to stop the slide of this team into mediocrity unless that coach has magic time-reversing powers.
You can also throw some blame Cory Schneider's way, and that blame will probably sail right into the net, because lord knows he's not going to keep it out.
Kevin Bieksa, noted bigot, was another embarrassment to the team this post-season. His clumsy attempt to deflect attention away from the intense levels of suck his team was displaying amounted to nothing, save to serve as another humiliating example of the long, long, long, long, long, long, LONG history of the Canucks whining and blaming their failures on something other than the fact that they just weren't all that good. This time the Canucks took a trip to the Bizarro universe and started crying "embellishment" over and over again whenever they took penalties. Look, fellas—just because your wives have to constantly fake orgasms doesn't mean everything everyone else does is fake, too.
The Canucks fooled themselves into thinking they were some great franchise when really they have just been coasting on regular season wins over weak divisional opponents for years. When they have to face tough teams in the playoffs they get brutally beaten, and they have no one to blame but their own pants-pissing incompetence.
You'd think they'd get used to it eventually.
And while we're blaming people, we should all spend some time criticizing Vancouver's Green Men for just generally being lame as hell.
True, the Green Men aren't really basement-dwelling, snow globe-collecting nerds—at least not any more so than the average resident of Vancouver—but they're actually something much worse. The Green Men are irritating, desperate attention-whores who are only known because they steal from those more talented than them. They're parody Twitter accounts come to life, laughing about "Jobs, Hope, and Cash" and getting praise and attention from fools who don't know enough to know that these guys are ripoff artists.
Boy, I'm running out of time here, and I still have so much I want to say about the Canucks. I'm going to need some help to make sure I cover everything. Luckily, I thought about this ahead of time.
Prior to Game 4, I took the liberty of creating a blog post inviting fans of all teams to stop by and leave a personal farewell message for the Canucks. Sure, setting up something like that COULD have been a jinx, but I wasn't worried. I knew the Canucks were dealing with the much more powerful "being a crappy team" jinx.
Hundreds and hundreds of comments poured in. Fans from around the globe stopped by to share in mockery and hatred of the Vancouver Canucks. It was beautiful. Fans of the Sharks, Kings, Ducks, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Bruins, Burritos, Maple Leafs, Jets, and more all joined together and celebrated the coming defeat of the Canucks. All these natural enemies united to pee on the broken and battered Vancouver corpse. It's simply amazing that one team can inspire such widespread and intense dislike and derision, and it's a testament to the fact that the Canucks have a very real, very special talent.
It's just a shame for them that talent doesn't extend to playing hockey.
Finally, before I'm done here, I need to point out the absolute too-good-to-be-true PERFECTION inherent in the whiniest team in the league having their season end after a penalty that really WAS a bad call.
The Canucks finally have a legitimate complaint, but by now everybody just ignores them!
Enjoy the golf course, chumps. Hopefully the refs out there won't be so mean to you.
(Thanks to Battle of California's artist-in-residence Mako for the Pacific Rim-inspired art)