Jarret “Stoll” the Show
By Matthew Inouye, Grade 11
First is better than last, one is higher than eight, and 111 points is more than 95. So the Canucks beat the Kings, right? Well, despite having the superior roster and regular-season record, the Vancouver Canucks were shown the door by Jared Stoll, who scored the series-winning goal in the overtime period of Game 5.
The Canucks were defeated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings. They readied their own ruin, to a certain extent, by dropping the first three games of the series, with scores of 4-2 (for both Game 1 and Game 2) and 1-0. The Canucks were severely out-played in the first two games, struggling to find any source of consistent offense, not to mention that they had their previously dominant power-play turned on end to the point that it actually did some damage to the team… The proverbial result of an early exit from the playoffs was avoided last spring; the team fought all the way till June, when they reached the Stanley Cup Final, a series which they lost in the seventh game to the widely despised Boston Bruins. However, this year, the same situation definitely isn’t going to be seen again, as the Canucks players are no longer on the course to the Stanley Cup (but rather, they are on the golf course for the summer).
Accompanying the early exit is the assured off-season plethora of questions towards the make-up of the team and its direction of development heading into next year. After a season that never quite felt the same, many Canucks find themselves with little room for breath in terms of further duration of their time in Vancouver. Canucks players who have struggled this season, such as Mason Raymond and Manny Malhotra, may have had their job security taken away because of their lack of production. Nonetheless, both Raymond and Malhotra have their roles on the team and are by no means ensured to be leaving. That being said, their names are often mentioned when discussing possible trade bait for the Canucks this off-season. When you talk about trades and the Canucks, though, there is no way that goaltender Roberto Luongo isn’t mentioned as the centerpiece of all the rumors.
Luongo’s tenure with the Vancouver Canucks consists of six years of service with a total of 224 regular-season wins and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. When he arrived in Vancouver to relieve the frequently criticized Dan Cloutier, it was believed that he would be the one to lead Vancouver to the “Promised Land”—a place beyond the second round and hopefully to the team’s first league title in franchise history. He came close, but close is just a forty-year curse for this tired city. That said, despite the circling rumors, the Canucks cannot trade Luongo, as his current contract has the stipulation of a no-trade clause. This means that unless he decides to waive it, the Canucks are not allowed to move the 33-year-old back-stopper. Luongo has lately released a statement of a list of teams that he would be willing to waive his no-trade-clause for, a list which includes Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Chicago Blackhawks. But as the sun begins to set, Vancouverites look to forget the past and think about the future, which may see the Canucks with a new Number One net-minder. If there is one positive thing that we, the Canucks fans, can take from this disappointing ending to the 2011/2012 Season, it is that at least we won’t have to wonder if they’re LO’s or BOO’s anymore.
I’m Matthew Inouye, and that was your Canu-pdate.