Dear Vancouver Canucks,
It's me again. Your longtime, opinionated and passionate fan. You may remember me from my Open Letter to Ryan Kesler last year or my ferverent plea during your Chicago Blackhawks series this year. Then again, you may not remember me at all - and that's okay too. You're kinda busy right now and I get that. But I'm writing you once again to chat. I think we need to touch base and regroup after Game 3 and Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
First off I would like to set the record straight - I do NOT hate you. not a single solitary one of you. I know the media in this city love to make it seem like we're all a bunch of incensed, judgemental fans a la Montreal Habs variety but we aren't. Not all Canucks fans cheered when Luongo was pulled last night. I would even dare to venture that not all the fans in Rogers Arena cheered his departure from last night's game. Just because a bunch of towels were raised at the moment he left the ice and Cory Schneider skated onto it doesn't mean squat. I personally was cheering the fact that Cory was going to play in his home state in the Stanley Cup Finals. What a great thing that was for him! I love Lu. And I love Schneids too. I was happy to see him play but it was NOT at Luongo's expense. When Luongo starts Game 5 I will cheer just as loudly for him.
Secondly I want to say this - The 2011 Boston Bruins are not the 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks. I think for some reason you, Canucks, might be feeling like they are. Because well frankly you are starting to play like you did against that hideous team that beat the life out of you way back when. And you are so NOT that team anymore. You're past that! Sure the Bruins resemble the Hawks in the fact that they're cheap and dirty, but the Bruins lack the actual skill that the Blackhawks have. They don't have a Kane or a Toews who can score regardless of cheap back-up help. Peverley and Marchand get lucky off their dirty antics and the dirty antics of their teammates - not a lot of base skill there. OWN that information and USE it.
Yes, they're essentially trying to maim the twins on every play. Let them (no offense Hanky and Danky, I wish you no harm and I know you can handle it). But while the Bruins concentrate on harrassing the twins the rest of you should be concentrating on putting pucks to the net like you did in other series. You've proven that the wonder twins are the icing on the Vancouver cake not the cake itself - Hansen, Torres, Kesler, Burrows, Bieksa, Raymond, Malholtra - you can all score and set up plays too. So do it. Don't worry about retaliation. Take the anger at the inaccurate reffing calls and constant bullying by the Dirty Bears, swallow it down and SHOOT.
Thirdly, Thomas is a wall. But it's a wall built of toothpicks, popsicle sticks and junkyard bricks. He's chaotic. He's spastic. He's not impenetrable - he's just unpredictable. I know you know that if you get him out of his crease (which can happen easily any time he goes for a puck) you can get a rebound past him. Just GET ON THOSE REBOUNDS!
You are the CANUCKS. You know how to do this. You've done it all year! Your Power Plays are to be FEARED. Show them why. Crash the net, pepper Thomas with rubber. You did it the first two games - that wasn't that long ago - ignore the petty, cheap dirty style known as "Bruins Hockey" and concentrate on the skilled, intense, unrelenting style known as "Canucks Hockey"
One last thing - are you tired? Because you look tired. And yeah you've earned the right to be tired. But think about it this way, if you're the kid in the backseat whining "are we there yet?" during a long journey - the answer is finally YES you are ALMOST there. Two more games. That's all it'll take - TWO MORE WINS. So buck up! Dig deep. Give it everything you have and then take a deep breath and give it more. You have the skill and the style it takes to win this - the Bruins can only win this if you continue to forget that you, the Vancouver Canucks, are the true talent. You are the ones with the grit, heart and determination. Not the Boston Bruins. Don't let them make you forget that.
I'll be at Game 5 screaming my head off for all of you. I KNOW you've got this. You can and will bring Lord Stanley home.
Much love, support and faith,