OUR VIEW: Canucks’ silver lining

We say: Thanks Vancouver for giving us our spring back

Well, that was quick.

Like removing a bandage with a mighty yank rather than a slow, painful pull, perhaps the Vancouver Canucks’ early exit from the NHL playoffs is for the best.

Despite finishing the regular season with the most points, a second straight run at the Stanley Cup didn’t seem assured. Questions about the ability of goaltender Roberto Luongo to win big games lingered. The team’s scoring seemed to dry up late in the season. Its powerplay had been dormant since January. And coach Alain Vigneault’s penchant for juggling line combinations nearly every game meant you couldn’t tell whom would be playing with whom without a program.

The reunion of the Sedin twins in game four against the Los Angeles Kings after Daniel had missed more than a month with a head injury gave the Canucks a win and their fans a glimmer of hope. But in the end, it just delayed the inevitable.

Now while mighty hockey markets like Nashville, St. Louis and possibly even Phoenix battle on for hockey’s biggest prize, the local airwaves, bar stools and sports pages are alive with second guessing and speculation about the future of various Canucks’ players, the coach, even the general manager.

The Canucks may not have given us the drama and excitement of another Stanley Cup run, but pause for a moment to think about what they have given us.

Instead of being cooped up inside through May and early June watching hockey games, we’ll be able to enjoy our spring evenings in the garden or on the patio. Police can keep their riot shields and batons in storage. Businesses in downtown Vancouver won’t have to stockpile plywood to protect their windows. We can be spared the sight of those ubiquitous car flags flapping in the breeze.

Thank you Vancouver Canucks for breaking our hearts yet again. And giving us our spring back.

– Black Press