It’s on every fan’s list of how to improve the Canucks, and there’s no denying it.
Markus Naslund, the captain and the leader of this team, needs to start playing as such. I might be a couple years too late to point this fact out but I kept suppressing hope that Naslund would pop out of his long, long slump.
It still hasn’t happened yet, and last night was a prime example of that.
He did score a goal, but besides that 10 seconds of fame he was unnoticed throughout the entire game. He only registered one shot on net and he played on more lines then Kris Beech did teams in the past month.
Markus Naslund is the head honcho in the locker room. That means players look up to him, and when he has no emotion and energy, neither does his teammates. He honestly had more excitement in his lame jumbotron speech to the fans at yesterday’s game then he did with his play, and that’s not saying anything. Naslund was energetically-dead.
The city is getting sick of his lack of back-checking, his resistance of using the body, and his sloppy skating.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not like all the other Naslund bashers. I’ve supported this talented hockey player for years, and he’s always been my favourite NHLer. I’ve always had faith in him that he would return to his old self and dominate the ice, and find his most-feared wristshot. But that’s why it hurts even more for me.
Naslund himself knows that he’s not at his best. He’s not even close to his best.
His post-game speeches are ridiculous and cliched, his comments are not heart-felt, and his actions on the ice is as bland as Greg Millen’s quips. It’s like Naslund doesn’t even care.
The numbers this Swedish native puts up is decent, but not appropriate at his calibre. The money he’s getting paid is not comparable to the product he’s showcasing. It’s apparent he’s struggling, and it’s not helping with the constant changing of linemates, but when did excuses factor into performance?
It’s probably wrong of me to still assume that Naslund can lead this team to a Stanley Cup, but if something, or someone, lights a fire under him, this man still has the ability to humiliate the opponent. All the talk shows are calling for Naslund’s head, but I’m still waiting for him to shut all his critics up. But it just doesn’t seem likely with what we’re seeing lately.
How do you fix Naslund? How to you instill life into an emotionally-dead hockey player? How to you help the captain regain his old form and lead his team night-in and night-out?
The respect for this forward is slowly diminishing from the faithfuls at G.M. Place. Or at least it’s much less then that he recieved as he came out on crutches prior to an L.A. Kings game seven years ago with the whole arena giving him a long, thunderous ovation. That was the Naslund we loved. Not this ineffective, invisible, non-scoring buzz kill.
It’s time for Naslund to step it up, and hopefully he can regain the ol’ Nazzy form in time to lead us to the promised land.
Please Naslund, just start playing with some heart. Is that too much to ask?