NHL Playoffs 2011: Are the Vancouver Canucks Overconfident or Arrogant?

Bobby Brooks@BrooksBetsAnalyst IIIMay 8, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 02:  Fans of the Vancouver Canucks, Force and Sully, perform during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on February 2, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Canucks defeated the Coyotes 6-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I'm not sure when it happened, but this year's version of the Vancouver Canucks suddenly became very arrogant—at least it appears that way.  You can point towards Ryan Kesler's recent impersonations of Dustin Byfuglien, the green men, or general manager Mike Gillis' comments to the press for good supporting evidence.

However, the real arrogance seems to come from something less empirical—the team's play and the subsequent fan reaction.

It's no secret that the Canucks were the odds on favorite to go all the way and win Lord Stanley at the start of the playoffs.  They are the reigning President's Trophy winners and hold home ice advantage throughout the postseason.

In round one, they cruised through the Chicago series until they went on auto-pilot in Game 4.  It is understandable to take your foot off the pedal when you have your opponent by the throat, but the Canucks took it a step further.  They not only let Chicago dominate Game 4, but they paid the press and their fans lip service before Game 5.

It took them three games before they became mentally re-engaged with the Blackhawks.  Their fans didn't start to worry until game six.

Were they that confident that they felt they could spot the defending champions two games?

A turning point in the perception of the Canucks could have come later—after Game 7 of that series.

Not only did Canucks players and their fans celebrate the Game 7 overtime victory as if they had already won the Stanley Cup, but most seemed to agree that they were now on a one-track ride straight to the promised land after finally defeating their nemesis.

Forgive me for saying this, but this wouldn't be the first time the Canucks faithful have made plans for the parade route after an early round.

Most so-called experts and fans predicted an easy series against the Nashville Predators.  The only debate seemed to be "in how many games?"

Even after the Predators played them tough in the first four games, the only result that mattered was the one in the win column.   Going home for Game 5 to wrap up an "easy series" seemed like nothing more than semantics for the mighty Canucks.

That is until they realized that the Predators aren't pushovers after all.  Roberto Luongo looked off his game and all the celebrations had to be put on hold as Carrie Underwood's new favorite team pulled out the victory.

Yet, this still does not seem like enough to concern anybody watching this series.

The fear that Canucks fans felt after losing Game 5 versus Chicago is not in the Vancouver air today. 

Instead, the attitude is "ok, we'll wrap it up next game".

I'm not sure where this organization and their fans picked up this arrogance from, but it certainly doesn't come from their team history.  

Somehow all the previous years of choking and falling flat on their faces has been wiped away with a President's Trophy.  

The only problem is that someone needs to remind them that the top seed in the league has only won the cup twice in the last decade.

If you don't, you can be sure that Pekka Rinne and his band of merry men will do the honors in Game 6 in Nashville.

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