Nashville Predators 4 at Vancouver Canucks 3 (SO) – 2022-11-05 recap

There’s a popular Bill Parcells quote that I don’t think is all that applicable to the start of an NHL season: “you are what your record says you are”. At some point, we have to accept that the Canucks don’t win because they are disinterested in winning.

First, I want to apologize for how late this recap came. Doing two games on the same night is difficult, and I’m not sure how many people scour the Internet for content about their favourite hockey team on a Sunday afternoon, so I plodded along through this game, not so much because I was learning anything, but because I’ve commit to doing this, and I had to see it all the way through.

This game stunk. It stunk when I loaded up the NHL play-by-play file and saw that there were 73 faceoffs in the game. That can never be good. This game was slow and featured all the worst qualities in a hockey game. There were 15 icing calls. There were 15 weak shots that the goalie snagged and covered. There were no momentary lapses when the players forgot they weren’t supposed to be playing hockey. Every player in this game played scared. There were no major momentum swings. One team scored three goals early on, and then the other team did. There were no inciting events, nor indicators in the run of play that told us those events would occur. These were two teams absolutely disinterested in playing hockey, and I was disinterested in watching it.

That’s fine if you’re Nashville. You come away from this game with two points and you don’t see any apathy set in for your home market. But for the Canucks to not only blow another multi-goal lead, and then they sat back in the final period waiting for their offensively-inept opponent to tuck the winner past Thatcher Demko so they could just go home.

The reason the Canucks are in this mess has nothing to do with bad defence, or shaky goaltending, or poor offence. It has to do with a lack of ambition. It is because the organization at a fundamental level doesn’t not want to do anything different. It sees the playoffs as the end, as opposed to a means to an end, and can’t see the bigger picture. The result is a roster of mediocre players, and when mediocre players play poorly, it’s sloppy, boring, and pushes potential fans away from the product as opposed to drawing them in.

This game is mercifully over, and while that sounds like a poor way to sell my product to you, the potential reader, the promise I made to myself and to my readers was that I would provide honest analysis of the hockey I watch. This was awful. This was dull. This was embarrassing. And it was everything the Vancouver Canucks deserved Saturday night.

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