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Old 05-10-2003, 02:37 AM   #16
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Michael, I'm sending you my finest beer... cheers to us losers eh?



A cold one, from a bold one... enjoy.
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Old 05-10-2003, 02:42 AM   #17
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Sweet! A cold Canadian beer. Nectar of the gods. Thanks, good fellow.

But tell me - How will they fair next season? Will their confidence be shattered, will they play like crap, or will they grow as a team and be even better because of it? Do you have any idea either way, good fellow?
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Old 05-10-2003, 02:47 AM   #18
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crap
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Old 05-10-2003, 02:50 AM   #19
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Who asked you? I was speaking to good fellow Cujo, not cruel, kick 'em when yer' down, Chizip.
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Old 05-10-2003, 02:58 AM   #20
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Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
But tell me - How will they fair next season? Will their confidence be shattered, will they play like crap, or will they grow as a team and be even better because of it? Do you have any idea either way, good fellow?
Canucks... they'll actually win a division title. But, I think that their season depends on how the organization responds to the Dan Cloutier situation. They have to assert themselves as staunch supporters, or trade him. If they just leave things as they are... there will be dressing room troubles. Other than that, I don't see why they can't improve.

Cheers...

here's one for chizzer too...

St. Louis will win the Stanley Cup. Do I have to give a year?
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Old 05-10-2003, 03:32 AM   #21
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Originally posted by cujo

St. Louis will win the Stanley Cup. Do I have to give a year?
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Old 05-10-2003, 03:42 AM   #22
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hey mikey when has vancouver won a cup?

i have a feeling the blues will have one before vancouver does

or any canadian team really
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Old 05-10-2003, 04:04 AM   #23
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im honestly quite disappointed with this thread.

michael, i do believe your on crack. crawford has made improved this team tremendously each season since he first took over.

what people fail to realize is that ONLY ONE TEAM CAN WIN THE STANLEY CUP! sure it sucks when your team loses, but 29 teams have to!

sorry michael, i couldnt disagree with you more.
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Old 05-10-2003, 04:21 AM   #24
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I think Crawford's done a good job too... do you remember Keenan? Egad man he was one colossal crapwad. Coaching isn't the problem... you win some, you lose some. But I admit, losing 3 in a row is a concern for the entire coaching staff... not just Marc Crawford... his mandate has seen the Canucks excel in almost every category, they just needed more playoff experience. If the team stays together, I'll bet they'll go much further next year...
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Old 05-10-2003, 03:07 PM   #25
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Originally posted by Zoomerang96
im honestly quite disappointed with this thread.

michael, i do believe your on crack. crawford has made improved this team tremendously each season since he first took over.

what people fail to realize is that ONLY ONE TEAM CAN WIN THE STANLEY CUP! sure it sucks when your team loses, but 29 teams have to!

sorry michael, i couldnt disagree with you more.
Well, you are right about the crack comment, but I still disagree with you on my original point. Look, I agree with you that Crawford has taken this team extremely far during the last 4 years. Each year has brought a steady and significant improvement, no argument there. But my point is that a team, at some point, stops listening to the coach. They get tired of hearing the same things from the same mouth. They begin to tune out. Why do you think Jacques Lemaire, himself, got fired a few years back? He even won a Cup with the Devils! But, as we all know, there's always that inevitable breaking point when the players stop listening.

It's no secret that the players have, at best, a grudging respect for Crawford. One player recently commented off the record saying, "Well, I guess you can't criticize him that much since we are winning games." Doesn't exactly sound like high praise to me. Lemaire, on the other hand, has all his players thinking he's a god of some sort. Which makes sense, really, since they are a cult. But the point is, they just adore him. They will do anything he asks them to, because they not only believe in him, but they respect and enjoy him as a coach. The Canucks may believe in Crawford, but I'm not so sure how much they respect and enjoy him as a coach. As we have seen this last series, players will go to the ends of the Earth (which usually spells victory) for a coach whom they respect and enjoy. Things to think about...
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Old 05-10-2003, 03:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chizip
hey mikey when has vancouver won a cup?

i have a feeling the blues will have one before vancouver does

or any canadian team really
Hey, I was only laughing at what Cujo said. Take it up with him if you have a problem with it.

As for the Blues winning a Cup, they may want to think about cutting their inflated payroll first and getting back to basics.
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Old 05-13-2003, 03:29 AM   #27
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from faceoff.com

Crawford act wearing thin

By TONY GALLAGHER
The Vancouver Province

When Vancouver Canucks general manager Brian Burke came forth with his ringing endorsement of coach Marc Crawford recently, he may have painted himself into a corner.

Under the direction of their present coach, the Canucks have improved steadily during the regular seasons, despite the fact the head man is not liked in the least by most of his players.

His emotional, often negative and most assuredly loud style behind closed doors has been effective and there is no rule anywhere that says players have to like their coach to perform at a high level. But let's face facts here. This act, while it will be around the NHL for as many years as Crawford wishes to coach at this level because it is an effective routine, will have a shelf life with this group of athletes. Burke's job is to guess at which point that shelf life is finished.

That's where it gets tricky. And while the Canucks won a round in the playoffs for the first time since both Burke and Crawford have been working together, the late regular-season collapse, the good fortune of having the Blues ill and minus Al MacInnis, and the monstrous swoon against Minnesota all must be taken into consideration.

Next season this core of players, which is young and still promising, will have the option of going two ways under Crawford after what has just happened. They will either be disappointed at their own performance and come in resolved and motivated to again have another solid regular season and really do something in the playoffs. Or they will come in discouraged at hearing the same old negatives and fearful that the way this team finished the season -- remember the season before last finished in a similar way -- will become a pattern they cannot break. Then you're looking at despair and a start like the Colorado Avalanche had this season. Either direction is a distinct possibility.

Some of the better hockey minds in the country insist the Canucks have taken on the personality of their coach by virtue of the fact he's been around 4 1/2 seasons. They are an emotional, physical, offensively creative club, which are strengths brought by Crawford, the emotion often carrying the day.

But along with those strengths comes the lack of discipline emotion brings, and the belief that negative things are going to happen in the end because that is the way the world is presented to the players and that is the way the season has usually ended. That fear of the negative was clearly present in the third period of Game 7.

When Dan Cloutier stood in front of the media and spoke after Game 7, he rightfully took some of the blame himself and then quite courageously, in that given context, verbalized the obvious that "there are others things wrong as well."

Burke may well be able to improve the goaltending, size at centre and improve even further on the depth on the back end he has already done much to upgrade. But those "other things wrong" Cloutier identified are not likely to go away when the same coach is beginning his sixth season with this group of athletes, the most important of which are the ones who appreciate the coach the least.

The GM has probably already put himself in the position of having to support Crawford. But don't let the 104 points fool you.

As good an NHL coach as Crawford is going to turn out to be when his regular-season win totals begin to dwarf all but the very best in the game's history, it's a big-time gamble to bring this guy back to work with this team next season.
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Old 05-13-2003, 05:08 PM   #28
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Well, like I said... the organization asserted themselves behind Cloutier. He's not to blame for the collapse... I'm glad they've resolved any lingering feelings by giving him and Crawford the vote of confidence.

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Old 05-13-2003, 05:22 PM   #29
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Cujo, I'm with you. That made me quite happy, too.

By the way, Chizip, Tony Gallagher is Vancouver's equivalent to Al Strachan. He's a hack writer who writes for the Vancouver equivealent of the National Enquirer (The Province). The Province only hired him to piss off the Canucks even more than they already do. He's a pion. That said, I guess I have to admit I did entertain such a move (coaching change), as shown in this thread. Let's just say this: Crawford hopefully has also learned, like the rest of the Canucks, what it takes to win in the playoffs with this team, in this city, at this time. If he grows as a coach, he should stay with the rest of the team and all go forth together. So I guess I retract my earlier statement. However, if Bowman is up to task...
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Old 05-13-2003, 05:29 PM   #30
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Bitter pill to swallow
Brian Burke offers no apologies for unhappy ending

By IAIN MACINTYRE
The Vancouver Sun


Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford and general manager Brian Burke face the media at a news conference at GM Place on Monday.


On the day Philadelphia Flyers' general manger Bob Clarke called a press conference to lynch his goalie, Vancouver Canuck boss Brian Burke held one to embrace his.

Burke, passionately but predictably, defended beleaguered goalie Dan Cloutier and the Canucks, saying Monday there was no reason to apologize for the season even while noting the bitterness of its end.

Displaying the heart and leadership he expects from his players, Burke accepted responsibility for the team's second-round playoff collapse. The Canucks squandered a 3-1 series lead and were eliminated Thursday by the third-year Minnesota Wild with only the Anaheim Mighty Ducks standing between Vancouver and a possible Stanley Cup final.

"The ending here has spoiled the fairy tale," Burke told reporters at a post-mortem press conference, four days after the Canucks blew a 2-0 lead and lost Game 7. "We didn't live happily ever after. We failed to beat a team we had down 3-1."

Burke appeared on the verge of tears when he described the aftermath of a loss in which the underdog Wild scored on four of its final seven shots.

"What we didn't achieve as a team has been a real difficult, bitter pill to swallow," he said. "When you go up 3-1 on that team, you've got to find a way to finish it and we didn't. I'm not good at losing. It's frighteningly difficult to handle.

"[But] the truth of the matter is we had a wonderful season. There is no reason to apologize for this season, no reason to defend this season."

Burke cited the Canucks' franchise-record 104 points, record winning and unbeaten streaks, the accomplishments of star forwards Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi and the 45 sellouts in Vancouver during the regular season and playoffs.

Burke explained teams fail at one of four levels: Ownership, management, coaching or playing. He said owner John McCaw and coach Marc Crawford are not at fault, leaving Burke and the players as culprits. But he added he takes responsibility for the players, too.

"If we don't have the right group of players -- and I believe we do -- that's my fault," Burke said. "Have I done enough? Did I do enough at the trading deadline? I haven't ruled out that I haven't done enough."

But he also gave no indications that he'll do much to change the lineup, saying he may need to let players "walk" to keep the payroll increase to about five per cent.

Burke made it clear that Cloutier, whose career playoff save percentage is .866 and who has had problems in all three post-seasons with the Canucks, will return as the team's No. 1 goalie.

"The notion that this crushing disappointment can be placed at the doorstep of one player is so unfair, so wrong, so mean-spirited that it is shocking to me," Burke said. "One player does not cost you a playoff series. Shame on any of you who want to say it's all Dan Cloutier's fault because it's not.

"Does he have a challenge to get to the next level? Yes. Did he play well the last three games? No, but Dan Cloutier is not alone."

Burke argued many goalies have struggled initially to reproduce at playoff time their form from the regular-season, although his example of Ottawa Senators' goalie Patrick Lalime does not appear to withstand scrutiny.

Nor does the case, advanced by others, of Anaheim Mighty Duck goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Lalime had a career playoff goals-against average of 1.63 before taking the Senators to the Eastern Conference final this season, while Giguere is excelling in his first playoffs and has been a star since the Ducks gave him a chance to play regularly two seasons ago.

Burke and coach Marc Crawford said they believe Cloutier will get better because he has character, athleticism and is driven to succeed.

Burke added, however, the 27-year-old needs to find a way to maintain his health through a full season.

Burke said he'd like have an experienced backup goalie capable of "pushing" Cloutier but indicated there is little money available for this.

Incumbent Peter Skudra, who lost irretrievably Crawford's confidence, was bumped in March from the No. 2 spot by prospect Alex Auld, who did not start a playoff game.

"The only way to go into the playoffs with no holes in your lineup is to spend $60 million US," Burke said, referring to teams that spend about twice as much as the Canucks on players. "I don't have that luxury, and I'm never going to have that luxury and I accept that."

Burke, who estimated the Canuck payroll will increase about $2 million US next season to $38 million, said everything he has done for two years has been predicated on a revised collective bargaining agreement that he hopes will put a drag on salaries after next season.

The Canucks have 14 free agents - three of them unrestricted - and Burke will be forced to do the bulk of the negotiating if assistant GM Dave Nonis is named later this week to the top job with the San Jose Sharks.

Nonis was conspicuously absent from Monday's press conference.
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