When the bronze statue of Roger Nielson – he of the white towel mock surrender – was revealed last spring at Rogers Arena, it was supposed to ensconce the determination and integrity of the team and organization into an identity which future generations of fans and renditions of teams could rally behind.
On Wednesday, both the team and the fans missed that point entirely.
With a 9-9-1 record nearly a quarter of the way through the 2011-12 campaign, it’s fair to say that last year’s Stanley Cup finalists are seriously underperforming. After the Chicago Dragons – er, that is to say, Blackhawks – burned Vancouver 5-1 at home, it became clear why this team has been consistently inconsistent. In fact, it’s the same reason why the Canucks’ bandwagon, yahoo fanbase makes more 180°s than a protractor factory:
They’re raising the white towel.
In the team’s case, a constant “key to victory” is a complete sixty-minute effort which we have yet to see in any game this season, barring the November 1st victory over the lowly Calgary Flames. Wednesday’s game was no different, with the lone bright spot being Jannik Hansen, whose goal marks his fourth in five games. The 25-year old Dane has earned his top line minutes by performing on a nightly basis which is a mantra the city of Vancouver needs to reconnect with, especially the fans.
There are plenty of excuses which critics can nonchalantly point to or hide behind to explain the ‘nucks treadwater record, but officiating wasn’t an option on this occasion. The fans need to recognize that the league looks at matchups like VAN – CHI and will let most scrum shenanigans go for the sake of rivalry and entertainment. Vancouver simply did not have the legs to draw even a single penalty and the ‘hawks powerplay seized its opportunities with a vengeance (a recurring word between these teams).
The team and the fans need to pull together and rally with the drive to overcome adversity that Nielson instilled in ’82; with the ideals that led them to their first finals appearance.
The Canucks now have three days to steel themselves before their next game. Hopefully that’s enough time to not let their personal dragons burninate the entire season.