Canucks Win! Canucks Win! Canucks Win! (On to the third round)
For the first time in my adult life since 1994 I’ve watched every one of the Canucks games in a second round series. I have been impressed with the Canucks’ ability to blow my blood pressure completely out of normal range, even when I’m medicated. Even when they’re winning, I’m freaked out that they might lose. I like the insurance that a two goal lead provides, and whenever they have one, a goal is scored against them and I’m back to feeling my heart pound against my sternum, threatening to break free and run for good.
There have been two superheroes in this series and one of them has been making me smile throughout the regular season and against the Blackhawks. Batman Ryan Kesler and Superman Mason Raymond.
The Superman for the Canucks in this round was Mason Raymond. I’m not saying he’s invincible, but he flies in from nowhere and then disappears – faster than a speeding bullet. Watching him come across the red line nonchalantly and then turn on afterburners from who knows where only to steal the puck and put it on net, leaping small defensemen ina single bound (and then, not so Supermanly, careen into the boards, a Predator defender, or a linesman) is fun and makes me think that he’s been getting tips from Clark Kent. I guess if I was hard-pressed he’s more like the Flash than Supes, but I don’t have a Flash action figure, so what was I supposed to do.
The Batman to his Supes is Ryan Kesler. This guy does the dirty work that no one else wants to and takes the physicality of a game like hockey to an artistic level. He grinds away at the patience of defenders and goalies and fans by refusing to give up the front of his opponents’ nets. He takes a puck to the face and only misses a shift. He’s the (un)caped Canuck Crusader. He’s the Dark Knight of Robson Street. He’s…well, he’s impressive all the time for doing what most everyone else cannot.
So you know how I feel. How about you? Oh, and Nashville fans – you have one heck of a team and it was fun to watch this series. Congratulations.