I won't hide the fact that I was happy to see the Canucks lose, especially in the manner they did. As a Leaf die-hard (I hate that term "die-hard", it's too easily thrown around when discussing ones fandom. My unwavering, undying support of the Leafs is unmatched by anyone I know with their favourite team. It really is all-consuming.) there was no way I wanted the Canucks to win a Cup in my lifetime before my Buds. It would have been thrown in my face, and held over me for years, until the Leafs win one....maybe for decades. Now, I have a collosal Canucks collapse to throw in the face of my rivals when need be. Some may say it's a case of "Schaedenfraude", pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. If that's the label, so be it, because it's true.
I try to be as impartial as can be in my research and analysis, and on many occaisons I have written of the exploits of various Canucks past and present. But, when it came down to Game Seven, I had to watch the game with the only other two like-minded pals I have. I have to admit, I was probably as nervous before that game than I would be if it was the Leafs trying for a Cup victory...(yeah, yeah I may never find out.) Needless to say, I was pleased with the outcome. Anyway, here's a few facts and thoughts;
- Throughout the post-season, Tim Thomas Home/Road splits were Home; 1.78 GAA & .945 Sv% and Road 2.22 GAA & .934 Sv%., very comporable and balanced. Roberto Luongo's splits were; Home, 1.80 GAA & .939 Sv% and Road, 3.76 GAA & .878 Sv%. They were pretty much identical when on their home ice but Luongo saw his GAA more than double over 11 games on the road.
- Henrik and Daniel Sedin were both slightly better performers on the road during the regular season yet during the post-season the difference was far more drastic and disturbing. On the road in 11 playoff games Henrik scored 2-11-13 and Daniel scored 4-8-12. At home however, they each dropped off drastically over 14 games, Hank to 1-8-9 and Daniel to 5-3-8. Is it a case of not coping with the pressure of the home crowd.
- The Sedins were a combined -20 for the playoffs and -12 for the Finals.
- In contrast, Brad Marchand improved dramatically from the regualr season to the playoffs. After a regular season in which he scored exactly twice as many goals on the road as at home (14-7), he was pretty much identical in the playoffs with 13-6-4-10 at home and 12-5-4-9 on the road.
- After taking a three games to none lead on Chicago in the opening round, Vancouver won only 12 of their last 22 games. In those final 22 games, they scored 49 goals while surrendering 64. Even though they finished up 12 and 10 they averaged 2.23 goals for and 2.91 against.
- More importantly, the Canucks became only the fifth team in history to lose a seven game final series after leading two games to none. The others are:
2009 Detroit held a 2-0 lead over Pittsburgh and lost 4 of 5, getting outscored 12-11.
1971 Chicago held a 2-0 lead over Montreal and lost 4 of , getting outscored 16-11.
1966 Detroit held a 2-0 lead over Montreal and lost 4 straight, getting outscored 14-6.
1942 Detroit held a 3-0 lead over Toronto and lost 4 straight, getting outscored 19-7.
2011 Vancouver held a 2-0 lead over Boston and lost 4 of 5, getting outscored 21-4.
Other than the 1942 collapse of Detroit, this year's Canuck melt-down has to go down as the worst in Cup Final history.