Can Canucks fans stomach a rebuild?
Vancouver head coach John Tortorella speaks with forward Brad Richardson (15) during the second period of an NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, April 12, 2013. (QMI AGENCY)
As the weather improves, there tends to be more valid reasons to miss a hockey game or two. I get that.
But if you missed the Los Angeles Kings scoring six straight goals after trailing 2-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks then you missed a lot.
“@BonksMullet: Blackhawks fans must be six-two their stomachs after that one.”
This was the first indication that the Kings are better than they have been playing. To a man, L.A. believed coming into their series with Chicago that they had yet to put the full package together.
Here's the scary part. They waltzed into the Madhouse on Madison, an arena that had yet to surrender a Hawks loss, and played half a perfect game.
Apparently that was still good enough to blow out the defending Stanley Cup champs 6-2.
“@jimrome: LA Kings score 6 unanswered goals. Ref should step in and stop this fight.”
God only knows what a full 60-minute Kings effort would bring?
“@johnhancockcbc: I said it on air this morning, Los Angeles Kings are going to win the Stanley Cup. No deficit is too big for a team built for playoffs.”
It just goes to show you how far off the Canucks are. No way in the world Vancouver could make the same built-for-the-postseason claim.
Trevor Linden believes he's got himself a playoff team as they sit right now. Maybe so, but I think most observers would agree — especially after watching the Kings dismantle one of the best teams over the past decade — that the Canucks are firmly entrenched in mediocrity.
The only questions that remain now are how many down years are the Canucks willing to suffer before they start to climb back into contention?
And is there an appetite for a rebuild in this city? Could this franchise continue to attract fans while showcasing a much younger, less successful, prospect-injected team?
They may have no other choice.
The gap between the Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks is a wide one, and it's threatening to grow to cavernous should the Kings hoist their second cup in three years.