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Blame for Canucks' first round defeat to the Sharks starts at the top

Photo from Flickr/VaguelySerious

In the end, it was a disaster which was surprisingly easy to predict. The inconvenient evidence has been accumulating since the trade deadline all the way back in 2012 — when Canucks management decreed an abrupt system change, forever neutering what was once the most vaunted offense in the league.

But we'll get back to that. 

The warnings, this season, have been appearing consistently in this space since January, before the shortened season even began. The Canucks have struggled with the most basic of basics all year, and for large stretches of the season their defensemen have unleashed a comedy of errors game after game. They strung together winning streaks only their goaltenders deserved and as recently as two months ago were still plagued by apathetic, listless, bumbling play, a troubling theme they never corrected.

A month ago we wrote that, based on the way they sauntered through each of the past two regular seasons, expecting any different outcome for the Canucks than what transpired last year against the Los Angeles Kings was folly.

But we need to guard against the conclusion that this is an isolated event — the result of a strange, lockout shortened season, filled with serious injuries to key players.

This is systemic, a problem long in the making.

The Blame Game:

Most will look a step below management, to coaching, but that's only partially fair. 

This is a management group which dictates every aspect of this franchise, and assumes control over every decision big and small. And while many of those decisions have been supreme home-runs, for the past fifteen months or so they’ve become a chorus of misses. This season the decay in decision making has come rapidly to a head.

Coach Alain Vigneault is the easy fall-guy, and not undeservedly. The first period of Game 4 is testament to that.

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