Late last night I received an email from my friend Darin. Darin is a die hard Canucks fan, about as die hard as you can get. He watches every game, analyzes every play. He loves the Canucks. But he also takes losing pretty hard. He last ranted this hard during the Chicago series last year. He was remarkably quiet during the first round this year, but after last night, he needed to rant.
A repetition of what I have been saying for years: Raymond is a detriment to the team… Who is Lou anyways? …and the NHL boys’ club is a joke… thanks Carl Lindros!
Mason Raymond is a detriment to the team. Raymond playing on the second line puts Kesler, the Canucks’ top two-way player, in a perpetual shorthanded state. Raymond brings nothing to the table. He plays with absolutely NO passion or emotion and I am saddened to watch him play for what is otherwise a great team. Raymond is useless. He reeks of Demitra, but without the average personality and intelligence. I forgive him his lack of finish but I cannot forgive a guy that has ability but plays with so little intensity. He is a male nipple… he simply lacks purpose as a contributor to a system. I watch Raymond skate around during the play and make huge circles that take him out of the play… or I watch as he fails to get up off the ice and get to the net quickly… I watch such things (there are more) and I realize how useless he is… he neutralizes Kesler’s drive and determination and it kills me to be watching it happen. I share Kesler’s frustration. I would advise, nay, beg AV to consider putting Kesler alongside teammates that will contribute something to the effort of the line and the team in Game 5. The situation is desperate.
With respect to goaltending, which Lou will show up in Game 5?
For the record, I would start “Coco” Schneider in Game 5… I think AV has to start Coco. What choice does he have? Really? Coco is just such a technically better goalie than Lou. Granted Coco doesn’t have the experience (of course that’s NHL experience I speak of because this is Lou’s first kick at the cup, too), but throughout the playoffs Lou has disappointed me to some extent. I really thought he would rise to the challenge and steal a few games for the team. Arguably, I don’t think he has done that. And, frankly, at times I have been embarrassed at his play… his puckhandling, his tendency to allow ridiculously easy goals, his unpatented dive-lunge forward technique on breakaways when he anticipates a deek, his ‘on the knees’ style of play (he is 6’3” right?) and, worst of all, his refusal to own any of his shortcomings (I have not watched any of the post-Game 4 interviews but ‘history has been made’).
I do think AV will go with Lou in Game 5 and I think the team will play better in front of him. But, for what it is worth, I will say Coco could do it, too… probably better. Let’s all hope that Lou shuts down the Bruins and we can file this one under ‘R’ for arrivederci.
Below is a segment (quoted, paraphrased, and edited) of an email I received following Game 4 from a former player. I thought it to be a particularly interesting perspective and I would like to share it with all of you:
“…the boys’ club known as the NHL is a fucking joke and the sport they pretend to give a fuck about is also a fucking joke. I miss hockey. Real hockey. I don’t mean Mike Milbury hitting a fan in the face with his shoe hockey, but rather the kind that sees Scott Stevens elbow Eric Lindros in the head three seconds after he dished off the puck and then being praised for being the hardest hitter in the game. Lindros was mocked for skating with his head down and cutting to the middle. The Lindros family ruined hockey forever.”
That pretty much says it all.