The end for the Canucks, which came on a bizarre play in the second overtime period last night, diametrically opposed the way most of the season went for them.
It ended on a goal that their star netminder, Roberto Luongo, should have prevented.
It also ended because none of the forwards who excelled during the regular season — the Sedin twins included — were able to do much of anything against the Anaheim Ducks.
And it ended because the Canucks lost three consecutive games, something they hadn’t allowed to happen since last November.
In other words, the Canucks weren’t themselves when it counted most.
Not even Luongo on that final play.
He kept his teammates in the game while they were outhustled and outshot. When Scott Niedermayer unleashed a harmless-looking wrist shot from just inside the blueline early in the second OT, however, Luongo was surprised, out of position, and clearly not himself.
And so the Ducks prevailed 2-1.
End of series. Start of re-evaluation process.
• So focus now on Steve Nash.
The B.C. native has, after all, been the NBA’s most impressive player this post-season.
He’s led the Phoenix Suns past the Los Angeles Lakers, and oddsmakers figure he’ll do the same in the next round against the San Antonio Spurs.
Nash is setting playoff records with his assist totals. Because he has a full compliment of healthy teammates accompanying him this post-season, unlike last year, it may just turn out that he’ll garner a championship ring for the first time.
The NBA’s MVP award, however, probably will go to the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki instead of Nash, who’s won it the past two seasons.
“It’d be a bit of a jab if I didn’t win the award, but I wouldn’t care,” Nash said. “It’d be nice to win again but, if I don’t, at least I wouldn’t have to deal with all the publicity.”
• Check out my latest MLB Report, only at www.metronews.ca.