Dear Vancouver Canucks,
Here we go again. Me writing open letters, you in the playoffs. Only this time, the do or die part has come a little earlier than anyone expected.
I wish I knew what to say here. I wish I was confident and passionate like I was right until the end of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last year. But this year… call it a Cup hangover, but I’m just not so zealous.
I don’t hate the Kings like I hate the Hawks or the Bruins, probably because I have never had to before. They’re a non-factor. So I’m more perplexed than anything that they are some how a factor suddenly. Maybe that’s why they became a factor. Because you, like me, don’t have a hateful fire burning deep for them.
Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know I believe in your talents. I know you have it in you. The core did it last year and I see no reason why you can’t do it again. The newbies – Booth, Kassian, Pahlsson – should be full of drive. It’s become an easy, over-used catch phrase but it’s also a hard truth – THIS is what YOU live for. As an NHL player there should be nothing you try harder at than getting as close to Lord Stanley’s cup as humanly possible.
You’ve gone on winning streaks before and you can do it again. I don’t buy the hype that “playoffs are different” and neither should you. Let’s be honest you guys face scrutiny from media, hate from around Canada and the league and attacks from “fans” year round so this is just another day as a Vancouver Canuck.
Who cares if the odds are stacked against you? Who cares if the math is not in your favor? Who cares if the Kings twitter is run by a Communications department that thinks bad attention is better than no attention? You’ve dealt with worse.
Schneider or Luongo it doesn’t matter – you both have the talent and the ability to blank the Kings. Kesler, find that strength, patience and determination that had you carry the entire team on your back for large parts of last year’s run. I believe it’s still in you – dig deep and find it. Burr, picture a rolling puck and Crawford in net with every freaking shot you take – and take every shot you can. Bieksa, find a stanchion and a puck and make them your bitch. Hamhuis and Henrik, you’ve been everything you could possibly be in this series so far so keep on keeping on. Lapierre focus on skating and pestering for the puck not the penalty. You have the potential to cause a Kings collapse, more so with your mouth shut than with it open. Believe in your hockey talent. Kassian, Weise, Booth – hit something! Hard and clean and as often as possible.
If I had to pick a team in Round 1 that’s likely to drop a lead – it would be the Los Angeles Kings. And if I had to pick a team that has the ability, stamina and talent to come back and win four in a row – it would be the Vancouver Canucks.
It’s do or die time. You have it in you to win this. In the words of the most passionate and dedicated Canucks I’ve ever known; I don’t just believe, I know. Go Canucks Go!