The disappointment of losing the deciding game of the Stanley Cup final could be seen in the faces of the Vancouver Canucks players and their fans at Rogers Arena as the clock ticked down and the opportunity slipped away in Game 7 on Wednesday night.
The process of picking up the pieces following this series will begin immediately for the team and its supporters, but TSN hockey analyst Ray Ferraro does not believe the 2010-11 season should be looked at in a negative fashion.
“If this season is judged as a failure for the Vancouver Canucks, then the people that are doing the judging are foolish,” said Ferraro. “To get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, you‘ve had a fantastic year. The disappointment will be deep and long but after cooler heads look at this they have to view it as a remarkably successful season that came one step short.”
The Canucks once again started this season as one of the favourites to capture the Stanley Cup and held the top spot in the standings wire to wire. One of the reasons they were able to accomplish that feat was through off season changes that were made to their roster. TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie said those changes were the reason the Canucks were able to have success and make a deep run into the playoffs.
“The Vancovuer Canucks at the beginning of this season identified areas they thought needed strengthening if they were going to be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders,” said McKenzie. “They added depth on defence with Danny Hamhuis and Keith Ballard. Obviously Ballard didn't have a great year and Hamhuis got injured, but they brought in the people they thought would get them over the hump. To get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals as disappointing as this is, it has to be a successful season.”
The Canucks, though, might have a harder time finding any silver linings.
"Everybody's disappointed," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "The players gave it their best shot but at the end of the day you have to give credit where credit is due. Boston played a real strong game, they got great goaltending and they were able to score a couple of tough goals around our net and they deserved to win."