The Canucks say the Flames are under it.
Calgary says Vancouver is feeling it.
It’s everywhere in this series and the NHL playoffs itself, and yet it can’t be seen, touched, heard, smelt or tasted. The “pressure” being discussed can’t be quantified.
Game 6 of this Western Conference Quarter-Final series goes down at the Scotiabank Saddledome Saturday night (6 pm PST start) and both teams are saying it’s the other under pressure to win.
“I don’t think we have any pressure on us,” Calgary centre Mikael Backlund told the Flames website. “No one ever believed in us this year and we’re one game away from going to the next round and they are one game away from their season being done. If you want to put pressure on someone I’d put it on them.”
What the Flames don’t realize is the Canucks are most comfortable when they’ve been counted out, when fans vocalize their team hatred on social media, when a comeback looks out of reach.
The 11th hour is when some people feel the most comfortable. I’m almost certain at one point in your life you waited until the latest possible time to complete a task – and you nailed it.
That’s not pressure, that’s preference.
No, I’m not saying the Canucks wanted to be down 3-1 needing to win three games to win the series. But when there’s no room for error, some strive. They operate at their best because they realize it’s do or die and when you know it could be your last game of the year, you’re not squeezing your stick, you’re having fun.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said it best: “Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing,”
Angry fans argue the Canucks didn’t know what the hell they were doing in the last two games in Calgary, but it’s quite the opposite. Mistakes were made and they were met with adjustments.
Game 6 is the biggest of the year, just as Game 5 was and Game 7 will be – should the Canucks take the final step in a few hours.
Pressure? That’s for tires. The Canucks are loose bunch. There was a lot of smiles and playfulness today; boys being boys.
If there’s pressure to assign, give it to the Flames. They’re playing in front of a crowd that wants a win BADLY. If the Canucks have their workboots on and claim victory, the pressure remains on Calgary. You never want to be the team that blows a 3-1 series lead, again.
So have fun during Game 6, Canucks fans. It’s the 11th hour and that’s when our boys are at their best.
Derek Jory (@NoJoryous)