Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Okay to be Optimistic


I understand some Canucks fans are wary of the playoffs: with only two Stanley Cup Final appearances in the team's 40 year existence and no victories, most Canucks fans have a pessimistic outlook, just waiting for something to go wrong. And certainly things have gone wrong in the past. We've seen a dream playoff run ended by a goal post. We've seen an Art Ross trophy and a division championship choked away. We've seen Nicklas Lidstrom score from center. We've see Luongo lose focus. We've seen them lose in the second round to the Blackhawks. Twice. In a row. And that's just recent history.

So I get it, I really do. For many years the pessimism has been a realistic and fair reaction to the performance and history of the team. So I want to let you know, because it's completel atypical and likely goes against everything you've ever believed about the Canucks: it's okay to be optimistic.

It's okay to think this could be it, they could really do it this time, or this is our year. It's okay. Yes, it's okay to say "this is our year." It's optimism. It's okay.

And it's not misplaced optimism. Sure, the Canucks might not win the Cup this year and that will be disappointing, but there's no need to expect it or, as some fans appear to be doing, accepting it as an inevitability. We are witnessing the greatest regular season in Canucks history. They have already broken team records in points and wins. They have already locked up first place in the Western Conference. With a win tonight and a loss by the Flyers, the Canucks could have the President's Trophy secured before any other team in the West has nailed down a playoff spot.

The Canucks are first in goals, first in goals against, first in powerplay percentage, first in penalty kill percentage, and first in faceoff percentage. They also have in their employ the league leader in points, two of the top five goalscorers, and three of the top ten leaders in plus/minus. Their starting goaltender is top-five in the NHL in save percentage, goals against average, and wins. Their backup goaltender has almost identical stats, with just a slightly better save percentage and winning percentage.

They haven't lost in regulation to the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks, the two teams immediately below them in the standings. They haven't lost 4 games in a row in regulation all season. They haven't had their top-six defensemen on the ice at the same time all year and they just keep winning.

Look, I'm not trying to cheerlead. I'm not trying to pump up the bandwagon. I'm not trying to be a fanboy. I'm just giving you permission: be optimistic. Embrace it. Keep calm and be optimistic. Really, it's okay.

It's okay.

19 comments:

  1. you damn optimists! Can't you see the sky is falling!!!!1!! Dan Cloutier!! Lars Lindgren!! Bwaka fraka!!

    Uhm... heh. Sorry, had to get that out. Pretty much what I have been saying for weeks. It really looks like this team is legit, and it's perfectly fine to think exactly that.

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  2. I'm so cautiously optimistic right now. No one is more cautious or optimistic then I.

    Seriously though, regardless of what's happened I'm proud and happy for my Canucks. They've overcome a lot of adversity to get this point.

    It's been quite a ride, let hope we can enjoy it for a few months more!

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  3. "They haven't had their top-six defensemen on the ice at the same time all year..."

    Well no, If they did that where would the scoring come from. Besides, they'd get called for too many men.

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  4. It's also comforting to think that both goalies, Manny Malhotra, and the entire top six are all under contract for next season, too. Whether this turns out to be our year or not, it's not unreasonable to think that next year could also be our year.

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  5. Between the optimist and the pessimist
    The difference is droll
    The optimist sees the doughnut
    The pessimist sees the hole

    Oscar WIlde

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  6. Good post...I've been thinking about this as the playoffs inch closer. I've decided to try to just let it go, to just enjoy the ride and hope it lasts. Last year, the series with the Blackhawks, I got too invested and couldn't really enjoy what I was watching. Too worried about injuries, and our roster, and match-ups....etc.
    This year, I hope for a long playoff run, but I plan to simply have fun while I'm watching it too. No worries this time.

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  7. You all are collectively such jerks, I hope you fail. I have never felt that about any other fanbase. But you earned it!

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  8. but daniel, every time we're optimistic our hopes and dreams are crushed forcing many of us to have to come up with ways to cope. these ways to cope have been in place for a long time and are very difficult to work around.

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  9. This is our window! Get the Windex, because I want a streak-free shine!...
    Wait aren't streaks good? But losing streaks are equally bad? And streakers will just disrupt the game...

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  10. @anonymous

    “You all are collectively such jerks.”

    An opinion without the support of logical argument is of dubious value. An ad hominem comment without justification is totally worthless. An unsigned attack on two fine bloggers and those who support them and the Canucks is simply cowardly.

    madwag

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  11. only god can judge me

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