I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. New York Islanders, March 10, 2014

When the second period came to a close, the Canucks led this game 3-0, having outshot the New York Islanders 19-13, and looking far and away to be the superior club. It was then that I made a grave mistake. Believing the result of this game to be all but assured — why, who could blow a three-goal lead to this hapless Islanders team, I thought — I started writing. By the time the intermission was over, I had produced my intro:

The Canucks accomplished something they’ve only accomplished one other time in 2014: they won their second consecutive game. There are similarities between these two winning streaks, too: in both instances, the Canucks notched their first win over the Calgary Flames, and their second over a team that was statistically worse.

For months now, we’ve been wondering what’s wrong with the Canucks, and now that we have two marginal win streaks to look at, it’s clear what needs to be done: the Canucks need to play worse teams. Put another way: they need to be better than the other team more often. How we didn’t think of this before is beyond me. But it finally dawned on me when I watched this game.

Six minutes. That’s how long before this original intro was wiped out, along with the Canucks’ unassailable three-goal lead, easily assailed by the Islanders, who were ahead by 6:22  of the final frame.

I had to adapt. My thought was a self-referential intro that quoted the original intro, then explained that I had to scrap that intro, and finally, closed with this:

In the process, I learned a valuable lesson: never count these Canucks in. That’s what really dawned on me when I watched this game.

But then the Canucks tied the game, so I started writing another intro, even more meta than the second:

I originally wrote an intro for this game. Here is that intro:

The Canucks accomplished something they’ve only accomplished one other time in 2014: they won their second consecutive game. 

But then I scrapped that intro for another intro:

In the process, I learned a valuable lesson: never count these Canucks in. 

And now I have written a third intro, and it is the history of my intros through which you have just been led.

But then the Islanders took the lead again, so I scrapped the third intro and started writing a fourth intro that didn’t reference any of the previous intros, except to let you know that they had been written, and then sacked. This my final draft of the intro:

Kill the Canucks. Kill them with fire.   

I watched this game.

Canucks 4 – 7 Islanders

  • That said, I have to be honest: I’m glad I watched this. We’re seeing the Canucks implode in an historic way right now. We’ll tell our kids about this. We’ll memorialize this in verse: The Canucks were good and then they weren’t / and soon all of Vancouver burnt / But three years on, they dropped so far / That no one cared to flip a car.
  • Let’s start at the beginning. The Canucks scored the first goal in this game thanks to Chris Higgins, who shovelled in a rebound on a powerplay after a Jason Garrison shot hit the post. He celebrated with reckless abandon, letting the snot flow from both his nostrils like twin snot geysers (which is, as it happens, what some are calling the Sedins these days). Either that or he just got way too excited in the group hug. We know how much Kiss Huggins likes to snuggle.
  • Early in the second, the Canucks doubled their lead thanks to Henrik Sedin, of all people. The Canuck captain notched his first goal since the 14th of December, banking one in off Evgeni Nabokov at the side of the Islanders goal. It was the most Henrik goal imaginable. He never shot the puck. He passed it to Nabokov, then whispered, “You’re Daniel”. Then, when Nabokov bumbled the tap-in, Henrik added, “…from two years ago”, and Nabokov put the biscuit home.
  • You’d have thought that goal cured the Canucks. They looked completely in control after that, so much so that they actually repeated their scoring play from the first period, and saw similar success. This time it was Alex Burrows putting the puck off the post before Kesler cleaned up and made it 3-0. Then the team huddled together so Kesler could apologize to Burrows privately.
  • A win seemed assured at this point. Can you imagine how bad a team you’d have to be to drop a three-goal lead to the Islanders? I mean, even if they did claw their way back, it would take them ages to — sorry, I’m receiving a transmission. One second…. I’ve been informed that the Islanders scored four more times while I was setting up this joke.
  • Sorry, make that five.
  • Ten seconds later, the Islanders scored again and then the Canucks turned the crowd and laughed and laughed and laughed. Psych! shouted Henrik Sedin, slapping his hand on his knee and laughing maniacally. Then he ate a baby, like a young Abraham Lincoln.
  • Through two periods, this game had some positives: Nicklas Jensen looked good. Eddie Lack looked good. But then Lack surrendered six goals and Jensen took two minor penalties, the second of which exacerbated the Canucks’ third-period collapse, so that’s what you guys get for believing in anything.

46 comments

  1. Russellgburger
    March 10, 2014

    Best IWTG intro ever!

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    Rating: +20 (from 20 votes)
  2. Timmy Wong
    March 10, 2014

    Is it still an intro when it’s longer than the body of the article?

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    Rating: +15 (from 17 votes)
  3. burrinator
    March 10, 2014

    *stares at nothing while being carted away in a wheelchair to an institute for the mentally ill*
    Newstations around the world: “3 years after setting fire to their city, vancouverites are falling into a numb state of being, currently 4 mental hospitals have been set up for these poor people, with another 5 to be built within the next year…”

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  4. Spuffyduds
    March 10, 2014

    I am so, so sorry.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  5. Mitch
    March 10, 2014

    “You’re Daniel… from two years ago” absolutely killed me.

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    Rating: +28 (from 28 votes)
  6. Sean
    March 10, 2014

    The highlight of the game for me (and my family) was the shot of an adorable baby head-to-toe in Canucks gear… completely oblivious to the absolute choas on the ice before him.

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    Rating: +20 (from 20 votes)
  7. Pavel Blue
    March 10, 2014

    I guess Mike should’ve waited a day to send his letter to us

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    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
    • cathylu
      March 11, 2014

      That’s exactly what I was thinking.

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      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  8. JO
    March 10, 2014

    I wonder if Torts still feels Eddie gives the Canucks the best chance to win?

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    Rating: +20 (from 20 votes)
    • the olde coot
      March 10, 2014

      Knick knack paddy whack
      Eddie’s on his own
      Bobby Lu’s not coming back
      Poor Eddie’s all alone

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      Rating: +16 (from 20 votes)
    • Ken
      March 11, 2014

      Luongo or Schneider in goal would have madeNO difference.

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      Rating: -4 (from 10 votes)
  9. chocoball
    March 10, 2014

    LOL!!!

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  10. jenny wren
    March 10, 2014

    A three goal lead a win assured
    But New York tied it in the third
    And then they went a goal ahead
    A certain win a loss instead
    Although Tanev tied it a four
    The Islanders then got two more
    A third into the empty net
    The playoffs now we can forget

    Their losing this depressing game
    And so I echo Whisky’s claim
    That many of today’s Canucks
    Are worth less than “a bag of pucks”
    Of management I feel the same
    The coaches too must shoulder blame
    This once fine team so sadly sucks
    The flags are gone from both my trucks

    If I come off a little strong
    It’s I don’t know just what is wrong
    Was hiring Torts a big mistake
    What foolish trades did Gillis make
    There are some things I think I know
    One’s Tom Sestito has to go
    And unlike Valk I’m not amused
    I’m just a fan and so confused

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    Rating: +14 (from 24 votes)
  11. Zach Morris
    March 10, 2014

    I’d like to thank Mike Keenan over there for leaving Lack in for six goals.

    “Stop! Stop! He’s already dead…”

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    • Naturalmystic
      March 10, 2014

      No, no…..No, ‘e’s stunned!

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      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  12. Naturalmystic
    March 10, 2014

    According to Gillis, everything is awesome. Just a minor tinker her and there and boom Stanley Cup contenders 2.0.

    Tortorella, congratulations on destroying your pretend number one goalie.

    I really enjoyed this game. Vancouver gave me a bit of a scare through 40 but they showed what they were really made of in the third period….Poop.

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    Rating: +7 (from 19 votes)
    • shoes
      March 11, 2014

      Everyonce in awhile you spot a jaunty dude struttin’ down Granville street, sportin’ a 1987 haircut, longish in the rear, all business up front, sunglasses, and three super-models in tow. You can’t help but wonder where this happy-go-lucky lad is heading, his cowboy boots clacking along. Then you notice him turn in to and internet cafe and it all becomes clear. He is on holiday from Drumheller and he is about to comment on the previous nights Canucks game. Another big moment in his life of big moments. Or as he says. “ain’t much else to do in Drumheller”

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      Rating: +20 (from 24 votes)
      • Starling Albuquerque
        March 11, 2014

        I deeply regret that I cannot give this comment more than one thumb up. Excellently played, sir.

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        Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
      • Naturalmystic
        March 11, 2014

        there’s a rainbow in Toronto
        Where the Maritimers are told
        They always get a pot full
        But they never get a pot of gold

        But they’re at it and to it and to it and at it
        You gotta tune your attitude in
        If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it
        You won’t get to it to get at it again
        You won’t get to it to get at it again

        A guy from ol’ New Brunswick
        He couldn’t even pay his rent
        We don’t know how he traveled
        But we all know where he went

        He was at it and to it and to it and at it
        You gotta tune your attitude in
        If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it
        You won’t get to it to get at it again
        You won’t get to it to get at it again

        A girl from ol’ spud island
        Old potatoe lips
        She married a Newfoundlander
        And they lived on fish & chips

        But they were at it and to it and to it and at it
        You gotta tune your attitude in
        If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it
        You won’t get to it to get at it again
        You won’t get to it to get at it again

        A guy from Nova Scotia
        He can’t afford the train
        He’s sittin’ on a street car
        But he’s east bound just the same

        He’s at it and to it and to it and at it
        You gotta tune your attitude in
        If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it
        You won’t get to it to get at it again
        You won’t get to it to get at it again

        A frenchman from the Gaspe
        Said frogs don’t like smog
        So he hopped in a swamp with lilies
        Where he lives in a hallow log

        But he’s at it and to it and to it and at it
        You gotta tune your attitude in
        If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it
        You won’t get to it to get at it again
        You won’t get to it to get at it again

        A guy from ol’ Cape Breton
        So lonesome he got stoned
        He crawled into a suitcase
        And someone mailed him home

        But he’s at it and to it and to it and at it
        You gotta tune your attitude in
        If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it
        You won’t get to it to get at it again

        He was at it and to it and to it and at it
        You gotta tune your attitude in
        If ya don’t get at it when ya get to it
        You won’t get to it to get at it again
        You won’t get to it to get at it again

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        Rating: -3 (from 9 votes)
      • Naturalmystic
        March 11, 2014

        C’mon Shoes, lets go. They have Lawyerin’ and Doctorin’ jobs in Toronto!

        http://youtu.be/FPFAAGC0Jxo

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        Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
      • mb13
        March 11, 2014

        It used to be that shoes would focus on the smallest sliver of silver lining in a game…. now he/she has resorted to attempting to insult those that criticize the Canucks. LOL.. times are tough eh.

        Shoes used to think that fighting the Kings and losing would embarrass the Kings and turn the Canucks season around. Now he has given up that idiotic line of thinking.

        Thats ok shoes. .. you dont need to get worked up about this team for another 5 years… which is how long before they are decent.

        Maybe shoes… you should start listening when people have a different take on a situation instead of insulting them.. clearly you have a lot to learn.

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  13. Brent
    March 10, 2014

    I feel responsible for this one. I wasn’t watching this game, but heard on the radio that the Canucks were up 3-0. So I turned it on and watched the third period and….. well…… we all know what happened. Sorry about that, I shouldn’t have turned it on.

    So why wasn’t sestito benched after the bone head boarding penalty? He was right back out there the next shift. I just don’t get it.

    Someone should do a series of gifs of Torts after every goal in the third. It was interesting watching his increasingly incredulous expressions.

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    • madwag
      March 10, 2014

      “interesting” = pathetic

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  14. flyingv
    March 10, 2014

    While already resigned to not making the playoffs, this is where I resign myself to an embarrassing end to the season.

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  15. Ratatat
    March 11, 2014

    Buh-hah-ha
    Bye Tortsy !! Bye !
    Oh, crap, that was my script for “The Death of Trotsky in the Gulag”. Gave it away.

    It is done now, though, right ? That IS it now, correct ?

    please . . .

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  16. BBoone
    March 11, 2014

    That went well wouldn’t you say? Since the Olympic break , most everything that can be said has been said by PITB and the fans who follow ,and comment on ,the column. However, at the very least ,ownership and management do need be careful how, and by whom ,they develop their young goalies. Last time I looked Luongo and Schneider were no longer their employees .

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  17. akidd
    March 11, 2014

    abysmal. something this bad can’t be just the coach’s fault obviously but as far as team confidence goes, when you’re up 3-0 and the coach is twitching and grimacing at things like not getting the right face-off call it hardly helps the players feel like things are in control.

    tortorella has been at this for a while. i’ve mentioned it before. maybe he calls it passion. whatever. but the grimace-fest to me just shows insecurity and weakness. even if that’s what you’re feeling you’re not supposed to show it like that. i don’t see any other coach doing that so so regularly and the good ones, like babcock in the olympics, are pretty darn stoic. they keep their cool like generals in the field. AV would mostly just chew his lozenge and if he had a beef he’d yell at the ref. all those jerks and twitches really aren’t very professional for a guy who’s supposed to be in charge.

    and then to come all calm and cool into the press conference…who’s he kidding?

    i hope we just saw the last of it/him. it’ll obviously be better for everyone, tortorella included.

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    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
  18. Chrìs
    March 11, 2014

    I love the you’re Daniel from two years ago line, that killed me. My face hurts from laughing so hard. Apparently some one one told Eddie lack that he was dan coulier. First a goal from centre then a game that was very reminiscent of a coultier game, solid 40 mins of play. followed by some “five alarm” saves followed by a couple bad goals. Pair that up with a total defensive break down and we’ve travelled back to the 04 play offs.

    The truely scary part of all this, is that the team hasn’t been this bad sense potvin was tending goal for us. Messier was still on the team and the year before we had drafted the sedans… Maybe pat Quinn can take on an advisor role for the aquilinas so we don’t hire another player agent for a gm after gillis is fired

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    • Harrison Mooney
      March 11, 2014

      Not sure if you mean Dan Cloutier or Dave Coulier, but both are the wrong person for Eddie Lack to be.

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      Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
      • Chris
        March 11, 2014

        I meant cloutier, but do you think Eddie has a catch phrase when he does his happy dance.? Its a one two three kinda of move. Maybe he busts out the “cut it out”.

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  19. Agepay
    March 11, 2014

    On days like this I am grateful that I moved to Saskatchewan. I can still feel the pain wafting over the Rockies, but it’s diluted by the time it reaches me, and it’s dry, and very cold. My Canucks cap is hanging by the back door, abandoned in embarrassment. I’m a photographer, and I spent a day last week scanning old images I shot on film at Canucks games in the mid-eighties, thinking of them as the “good old days”: Smyl, Gradin, Tanti, Skriko, Lanz, Lidster, Brodeur. Seasons of futility, but at least they put up a fight and gave us some hope. This current bunch is hopeless. Gillis is incompetent, Torts is insane. But what is Aquillini’s problem? Is he so ego-bound that he can’t or won’t admit he made a monumental error in judgement by hiring Gillis in the first place? The team is not a team anymore; it’s a travesty. Fans need to stay away until the message somehow penetrates and meaningful steps are taken to turn this around. We all know what that means.

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  20. a bowl of petunias
    March 11, 2014

    oh no, not again.

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  21. Gored1970
    March 11, 2014

    The Canucks have an idiot for an owner who’s only concern is to squeeze every $$ he can out of the fan base, a totally incompetent GM, a coach who employs systems that don’t match the teams’ skill set and players who have tuned out the coaching staff. Jeez, the Canucks are just like … the Oilers, now how bad is that?

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    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  22. bilbo
    March 11, 2014

    Huh, so the Canucks, after a few years of success and several seasons removed from an unfulfilled run to the Stanley Cup, lured a former champion from the New York Rangers who is underdelivering, and now are floundering after dealing away their top goaltender?

    I gotta check my calendar and make sure it’s not 1998!

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  23. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 11, 2014

    Clay Morrow is the president and Jackson Teller is the vice-president, however motorcycle clubs tend to function democratically so all policy needs to be vetted by vote. Set in idyllic Charming, CA, the club butts heads with local law enforcement and rival gangs over various issues, and these conflicts are also sometimes exacerbated by complicated family situations. At the risk of including any unintentional spoilers, I will be necessarily vague as I mention that I Watched Sons of Anarchy.

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  24. Steveston
    March 11, 2014

    Silver lining: we’ll get a decent drafting position this year.

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  25. Noodle
    March 11, 2014

    Love the gallows humour – made me feel better about that loss.

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  26. Ratatat
    March 11, 2014

    The comments coming out from players, in public and anonymously indicate that they have lost all patience with Torts. They are clearly playing half-heartedly to get him fired. Which given how badly this has gone is:

    a. clearly their prerogative (he’s a maniac, and he’s incompetent)
    b. the right call
    c. can’t happen fast enough

    Step 1: Torts has to go. Now.
    Step 2: Whomever HIRED him has to take the fall or the blame. If it’s FA, he needs to get the hell out of the GM’s way. If it’s GIllis, he needs to be canned.

    Step 3: Gillis needs to be canned ANYWAY. His drafting and trades have decimated this team. Experiment is over. Wonder what Trevor Linden would look like in that seat? Would he look like Stevie Y ? Maybe. What about Stan Smyl ? What about Justin Bieber ?

    I said it in December when the ball of string started unravelling, and got mocked for it – rebuild. Too many people hung on too long to this old cast of characters.

    I have an idea: hire WALLY BUONO as GM.
    He has NO hesitation to fire out older vets every season. Sometimes you wonder about the call, but within a year or two you can see the decline he was seeing (Jason Clermont for example). If a GM cannot make those calls, he’s the wrong guy.

    Hiring a player agent was a STUPID move. It all started there. It led to making a goalie the Captain and the Lu saga began there.

    ugh.

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  27. Ratatat
    March 11, 2014

    . . . and PLEASE, don’t respond to my post with, “ya, but, all the no-trade clauses . . . there’s nothing they can do . . . “

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  28. bluemoonjones
    March 11, 2014

    What we have here is a stinkin’ train wreck… and you know what they say about train wrecks: you can’t get yourself to look away. I will keep watching. How could you not? Who knows what’s next (other than it won’t be good…)?

    On a similar note, I have extended family that live in Chicago and are lifelong hardcore Blackhawk fans, and they harbor seriously strong hatred towards the Canucks. I’ve heard from two of them this morning, both with very sincere “I’m really sorry” messages about the state of the Canucks; no gloating, no “ha ha ha’s”. Gawd, it’s really that bad, isn’t it?

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  29. Chinook
    March 11, 2014

    Canucks are now 8th in the running for top draft pick. Surely with a bit less effort and a little bad luck they can get below Calgary. Canucks are in contention with Florida and Carolina to be the greatest stinkers and fastest sinkers. Can any of them displace Edmonton and Buffalo from the Number One Pick?

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  30. Mt
    March 11, 2014

    I’m not superstitious but writing an intro like that after 2 periods? As I said I’m not superstitious, but that’s akin to starting a GM Place-wide “shutout, shutout shutout” chant after to period of no scoring.
    That said, all the good mojo in the world couldn’t have overcome the downward momentum of that collapse.

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  31. James
    March 11, 2014

    The strange thing is that I feel more entertained by the team’s implosion than by the last few years of ‘easy does it’ – we are one tweak away. I suspect a lot of people are, even though it’s weird to admit it. The question now is whether we’ve got the chance to actually get some good scouts. That’s the only aspect of the organization that matters right now on this long trip south in the standings. Because with our past/current scouting, turning into our Alberta cousins might be inevitable. Picking number #1 in the draft isn’t all its cracked up to be when you are stockpiling Yakupovs.

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  32. cathylu
    March 11, 2014

    Here’s what I’ve been telling myself to feel better:
    As a fan there is nothing I can do to help our team win games. It’s hard to put together an NHL team; it’s hard to coach an NHL team; it’s hard to play on an NHL team. If there was a magic switch you could flip that would make you play better then every team would flip that switch every game. If you add a couple of puzzle pieces then it all comes together (win games) but if you take away a couple of pieces it all falls apart (lose games). And who can say what the right puzzle pieces are? Plus injuries. I’m not expecting us to make the playoffs so I won’t be disappointed. tldr: there’s always next season.

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  33. madwag
    March 11, 2014

    did you notice near the end of the game when there was a timeout. torts didn’t talk to the players. i believe it was sully who did. why? because the players don’t listen to their head coach. not do i, turning off his interview with the media as soon as he opened his mouth. i think i can relate to how his players feel. blah blah blah.

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  34. Snepsts
    March 11, 2014

    As someone else said, this blog is the only reason to follow this team. What a joke.

    The team probably hates Torts because he apparently was the only person who could move Luongo by buttheadedly benching him for the big game. Gillis couldn’t move Kes and that disheartened them even further…expecting fresh blood and a shakeup after losing the best goalie (and their good buddy) this team has ever had. It’s a total clown college now.

    This team has no raison d’etre with no top line and a rookie goalie who needed at least a year as backup to get a feel for big-league pressure.

    Oh well. To paraphrase William Tecumseh Sherman on the subject of war, “…the crueller it is, the sooner it will be over.”

    I don’t care if Aquilini has exploited the fanbase – whatever. Lifelong fan. But if Gillis is around next year, I’m taking the year off hockey. Gillis lost his vision after the cup run. He had no idea what to do with a league that wouldn’t let his skill/possesion/PP team win against thugs…and now look at it. He’s like a toddler with an awesome Lego set.

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