SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Canucks may still be too weak mentally to win in the playoffs and have lessons still to learn before they'll be ready to win, suggests former teammate Kyle Wellwood.
Wellwood said Thursday he's much happier, and confident, going to the playoffs with the San Jose Sharks than he'd be with the Vancouver Canucks.
"I just feel feel Vancouver has a few more lessons to learn and I'm glad I'm in San Jose," Wellwood said. "I just feel they're (meaning the Sharks) are more mature because they've lost a few more times.
"They're not so scared of losing. I think come playoff time this team (the Sharks) is going to be better."
It's not easy to decipher Wellwood all the time, especially when he uses the word "they" to describe his new team. But he continued. When asked if Vancouver was impacted negatively because of the pressure in the market to win, he said:
"I think that's going to be a theme for a few years," Wellwood said. "You saw it in San Jose. They finally made it to a conference finals and they were out quickly.
"I just feel Vancouver has some more lessons to learn and I'm glad I'm on San Jose, because they've been through a lot of hard times together and they are, I think, more prepared."
Nearly as interesting as Wellwood's comments was the Canucks reaction. It was essentially: Yeah, he does make some sense.
"He has a few points," Henrik Sedin said. "I don't think that was the case but it's easy in a Canadian market (to be scared to lose) when you're afraid to make mistakes because you know how much pressure is on you. Instead, of going out there and you try to win.
"I think our team has taken a step and I don't think we're close to being that way this year."
Ryan Kesler said Wellwood was being Wellwood.
"He says what is on his mind," Kesler said. "He's not lying. I'm not saying it's true.
"I think last year, yeah maybe (he's right) but we have a mature group of guys and I don't think by any means we're afraid of the pressure or afraid of losing."