Monday, April 21, 2003

The Brooklyn Dodgers of the NHL

Well, I'm waiting for game seven of the Vancouver-St. Louis series on Tuesday. The Canucks have managed to win the last two games to make it a one game takes all series.

I was talking to Colby Cosh about work related matters when we began to talk about the series.

"Well," I said. "I am pulling for the Canucks, but they will need some help."

I knew, although he didn't say anything, that Colby's eyebrows were rising. "Some help???" he said. The Blues have been hit severely by the flu, and Todd Bertuzzi's checks have clobbered several players. "How much more help do the Canucks need?" he added.

I told him that as someone who has cheered for the Canucks for 25 years, I tend to be hopeful but pessimistic.

I guess, now that I think about it, that the Canucks may be the Brooklyn Dodgers of the NHL. Before they moved to L.A., the Dodgers went for years and years without winning a World Series, but the fans stuck with them anyways. It's the same with the Canucks. In the past 33 years, they have made the Stantley Cup finals only twice, although they did take the New York Rangers to seven games in 1994.

(The Dodgers finally won a World Series in 1955, so I hope that the Canucks win a Stanley Cup at least once in the next 50 years. Before I die.)

Yes, I'm a bit of a pessimist, but it's just that I have seen so many blown breakaways--Thomas Gradin once had a breakaway on an empty Bruins net and hit the post--and other gaffes by the Canuckleheads, that I am sad but not surprised when they mess up.

I will keep on cheering for the Canucks though. Sometimes optimism dies very hard even in the heart of a cynical journalist. One of my friends, who lives in Vancouver, has started cheering for the Colorado Avalanche because he wanted to cheer for a team that wins. (He's never lived in Colorado, so that's not it.) That's something I would never do.