Not that he’s letting the Canucks off the hook. Far from it. He points to a pair of incidents during last spring’s seven-game Cup final loss to the Bruins as crucial evidence for the prosecution.
“I can’t remember who it was (Brad Marchand) that completely manhandled (Daniel) Sedin. But the guy just basically punched him five or six times in the head. And everybody else stood around. Nothing was done about it. Not at the time, not later.
“And then going into Boston (for Game 6), to get run out of the building, physically and mentally, like that . . .
“For us Saskatchewan guys and Alberta guys. . . stand up, be counted. If you take your lumps, you take your lumps. But to not be physical enough in situations where you were forced into taking on that challenge is unacceptable.
“Boston played unbelievable. Their goaltending was unbelievable. But they won the Stanley Cup because they had way more heart than (the Canucks) did. That bugs me.
“Think about getting to the sixth or seventh game of a Stanley Cup final, to have that once-in-a-lifetime chance. And you’re not willing to die to win? To me, that’s sad. They lost the average Canadian’s respect.
“It’s up to that organization and those players to gain all that back from us. That’s my read on it.’’
As the current edition of the Vancouver Canucks, widely unloved and now suddenly unfancied, is now trailing 3-0 in the series, Tiger sees in the pervading gloom a chance to begin the redemptive process.
“People look at me as if I’m a two-headed cow, but to me it’s a bit of karma, for what happened after the seventh game in Vancouver last year. The Hockey Gods making them pay. If they don’t know that the Jedi with the sword is not in their favour, well, they’re going to have to cut the head off the monster and take that sword back.
“If they could somehow win this now, come back and beat L.A. after losing two games at home — and, gawd, I hope they do — it’d go a long way in mending a lot of those issues.
“It’s so hard to get respect. But it doesn’t take much to lose it.
“And once you’ve lost it, as hard as it was getting it in the first place, it’s twice as hard getting it back.”