Don Cherry: “I don’t think Vancouver’s paying the price”

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Everyone has an opinion on the early season problems in Vancouver. There are plenty of people pointing at Roberto Luongo’s slow start, while others choose to go with the vague “Cup Final hangover” theory. Don Cherry threw his tie suit hat into the ring tonight when he called out the Canucks, their whining, and overall lack of effort throughout the first month of the season. As usual, Grapes didn’t pull any punches.

The CBC hockey personality pointed to only 84 blocked shots in 10 games for Vancouver—that was the kindest observation he had for the slumping Canucks. Cherry rhetorically asked, “Why does everyone hate Vancouver?” Then he went on to point out three occasions when Vancouver players chose to complain to the on-ice officials instead of engaging their opponent.

Like fans around the league needed any more fuel for the Canucks and their diving ways.

He finished off the segment with some fireworks. “Stop whining. Start paying the price,” Cherry said. “Quit blaming the goaltenders, and you’ll start winning again.” Throw in the obligatory thumbs up and there you have it.

Even though Cherry has a larger than life persona and comes off as the crazy uncle these days, he certainly has a point in this case. The Canucks are slumping and there’s enough blame to go around to everyone. Luongo has struggled in the early going, but the entire team has struggled as well. They set an impossibly high standard last season—now we’re finding how just how important it is for every team to play to their highest potential. With the parity that exists around the league, average effort just won’t get it done.

With all of the drama surrounding the Canucks, there are plenty of question marks to be addressed on the team. Aside from goaltending, what do you think is Vancouver’s biggest problem?