Vancouver Canucks Are the Underdogs, and That Is the Way It Should Be
VANCOUVER - Lets be honest, the Canucks don't do things the easy way.
In the first round, they went up 3-0 on their hated rivals, but the Chicago Blackhawks came back to force overtime in Game 7 before the Canucks finally defeated them.
In the second round, the Canucks, with the exception of Ryan Kesler, seemed content to play the Nashville Predator's style rather than uptempo hockey. Combine that style with the Canucks penchant for giving up soft goals, and that series was way closer than it needed to be. Canucks would win in six games.
In the deciding Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, the Canucks apparently decided that Luongo hadn't faced enough rubber, so they let him stand on his head and stop 54 of 56 shots until Kevin Bieksa decided to call it a night and put a knuckle puck past Antti Niemi in double overtime.
And then we come to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins.
The Canucks were the consensus favourite going into the series. They proceeded to win the first two games, and it seemed like the Canucks were about to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
But then the Bruins struck back, their backs against the wall and inspired by Nathan Horton's season ending injury.
In the span of a few days, the Canucks went from being up 2-0 and being heavy favourites to being tied 2-2 and being heavy underdogs after the lopsided losses in Boston.
And they aren't even lovable underdogs at that.
Aaron Rome's hit on Nathan Horton, Alex Burrows biting Bergeron, Maxim Lapierre taunting, Raffi Torres demolishing Brent Seabrook, accusations against the entire roster of diving… the Canucks simply aren't liked.
So here we are heading into Game 5, everyone outside of Vancouver has apparently written off the Canucks, and hates them to boot.
Isn't this the way it was always going to play out?
Winning it all as Canada's team and without any self-inflicted injuries? That was never in the cards.
Given Vancouver's history, if the Canucks are ever going to win the Stanley Cup, it would be in this fashion, despised underdogs thumbing their noses at the rest of the country.
The stage is set, now all the Canucks need to do is win two out of three.
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