John Garrett: Finding a way to believe
“If I listen long enough to you, I’ll find a way to believe that it’s all true.”
So listen. The Canucks will make the playoffs and will be contenders. There is reason for optimism. Sure you say “Garrett always picks the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup, but after missing the playoffs can really be serious>”
Yes, I am.
Just look at the teams who had the short season. Only five of the fourteen teams had seen the playoffs more than once in the last five years. Toronto has been in the post-season once in the last nine years. Winnipeg has been on the outside for seven straight. Calgary has gone five years with no playoff action. The Oilers are at eight. Carolina is at five. Florida has been at the dance once out of the last 13 years. The Canucks are on the rebound, not in a rebuild. Before last season they had won five straight division titles. They were the fist team to win back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies since Dallas did it in 97-98 and 98-99. It was not that long ago. Do you think they just forgot how to play?
Last year Henrik Sedin had 50 points in 70 games. In the previous six years he had 490 points in 458 games played. Yes I said six years. Daniel Sedin had 47 points in 73 games. He tallied 452 points in 428 games in his previous six and Alex Burrows averaged 23.7 goals a year in his previous six and last year he got five. Since becoming a regular on the blue line Alex Edler has averaged over 23 minutes a game and was a plus-25. Last year he led the league on the wrong side of the ledger at minus-39. Did his game leave with Alain Vigneault and Rick Bowness?
The Canucks are preaching change. Trevor Linden, Jim Benning and Willie Desjardins bring a positive attitude and have already created an atmosphere for success. That success and that change can mean nothing more than getting back to being that exciting team they were.
How does that song go? “Still I look to find a reason to believe.”