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Tag: Vancouver Canucks (page 1 of 3)

Zero to Hero – A Fan’s Pain

It’s Day Ten of my Blogging 101 Zero to Hero journey. And it’s about time I share with you my pain.

I’m a fan of the Vancouver Canucks.

Chris wearing Canucks colours with Jack Poole plaza behind.

Chris Golden. Johnny Canuck. Separated at birth? Probably not.


Success has been fleeting with this team. Sure we’ve seen three beauty playoff runs from the home team – ninety-four forever, yo’! Sure there are a few division titles. Heck, there are even two Presidents Trophy banners hanging in rafters at the Rog’.

Just no Stanley Cup.

And this year?

Hello darkness my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.

SOB’s Jersey – Should I Wear It?

SOB

SOB can haz goal?

For those of you who follow me on twitter, you probably know how I rage on Shane O’Brien. If it’s not a tweet about his jersey being retied and hung in the penalty box, it’s something about trading him for a bag of pucks and a box of day old timbits. You’ll also recollect a number of statements I’ve made regarding the scoring prowess of one Shane O’Brien recently. Something along the lines of wearing his jersey for every Canuck game for the rest of the season should he score. Well, I think I might be eating those words shortly.

Having not been able to catch the first two periods of last night’s game, I didn’t get the chance to see the beginning of what has to be the end of days. Late in the first period, O’Brien was on the ice in a 4 on 4 situation and found himself in alone against Ty Conklin. Going with the popular “whiff the puck and hope to get a changeup past the goaltender” style of shot, O’Brien hit the lottery and scored. Yes. You heard that right. He scored.

Now I figured this was simply a joke when I read about it and made a comment that if I didn’t see it happen myself, then hell if it didn’t. Kind of like how a tree falls in the forest and no one is around type of thing. But then @donkamero linked me a replay to ensure I didn’t miss out:

I’m pretty sure frogs will fall from the sky later today if they haven’t already.

Fortunately, one of my last conversations on twitter about the whole “SOB scores a goal, I wear his jersey” deal was with @carolineguichon. I had tweeted that should SOB score a goal, I would wear either his jersey or shirt if someone were to buy it for me. I figured that it was a good deal either way due to the inability of ol’ cement hands to get one, and should he happen to fluke out, I wouldn’t be held entirely on the hook. Caroline took me up on this offer thinking it would be fun, but also likely thinking it my reasoning was logical – SOB scoring a goal was as likely as Wellwood turning down a Mozza Burger from A&W.

So, here’s the deal. If someone, anyone, has a desire to hook me up with either his jersey, or a shirt with his name on it (and provided it fits – XXL or big ass huge works), I will wear it for a game or two. Heck, I’ll even let a picture be taken with me wearing it in public – something you can imagine is nearly as bad as being caught naked on Robson.

Any takers?

Jonesing for some Hockey

The last time I was seriously jonesing for some hockey was 11May. It was do or die time for the Canucks and even though I was up in Sechelt for a book signing, I did my part by ensuring the LBP was present for the Canucks FanZone Live Blog to fire up fans of the team in Green and Blue.

Canucks FanZone Live Blog Mods

Christopher Golden aka “Live Blog Player” – the guy on the left

Heck, even Shane O’Brien showed up on the scoresheet with his first goal of the season. However, it seems that simply showing up wasn’t enough as the Canucks lost a close one 7-5 (close in a manner of speaking).

Now unlike some other hockey fans out there in world, I love the game but love my team more. I took the loss so hard that I found myself skipping past hockey if something else caught my eye, like reruns of The A-Team (which I will have you know is being remade into a movie and being filmed in Vancouver). Seriously, it was that bad. Even though others found it fantastic that the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, or thought it was cool that Sidney “QQ” Crosby was the youngest captain to ever hoist the holy grail over his head, I simply grumbled about when the next season was to start and began the analyze how the lineup would pan out.

But alas the summer heat has baked away the pain and as we transition into September, I only have one thing on my mind:

THE PRESEASON STARTS IN 10 DAYS!

So here I sit. Psyched. Fired up. I’m Jonesing for some Hockey. And I know you are too. With the Sedins locked down for a few and Luongo for just a few more, with the additions of Ehrhoff, Schneider, Raycroft, and others, and with some passion, we’re in for a FAN-tacular season.

Don’t Panic

Although I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to watch Game 5 last night, the fantastic world of the twitter allowed me to ride the virtual rollercoaster the Canucks seem to enjoy putting their fans through. Just as rough and heart wrenching as it is to watch the game live at GM Place or in High Definition on TV, I would say following online where I had to rely on the speed of Bell Mobility’s data network was even worse – I swear I had chest pains by the end of the night.

Don't panic!

Don’t Panic – courtesy of Lava

So here the team now sits. Down three games to two. On the brink of elimination. The dawn of apocalypse. The end of days. Major FAIL.

Yet back in the twitterverse, @hosea24hours asked us all if we would consider the season a failure if the Canucks were to be eliminated in the second round. Now I’m not about to put the cart before the horse and believe the Canucks are done, but felt strongly enough that I needed to reply. Like many fans, I feel the Canucks should advance beyond the Blackhawks for this post-season to be considered a success, but is it really fair for me to do so? This is a team that many thought would have difficulty making the post-season. Furthermore, this is a team that many had written off as all but dead once Luongo went down. And yet here they play as the Northwest Division Champions in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

So how is it fair that we consider them to be a failure? If you had asked me before the season what I was hoping for, I would have simply said getting into the post-season would be good. True, by getting into the post-season I was thinking that anything could happen, but I would likely have not been upset with a first round eviction back then. So is it then right for me to change these expectations based on the late season play of the team and the fact they surpassed Calgary to take first in the divison? I’m not too sure it is.

I believe the season should be considered a success. The emergence of Burrows and Kesler show that the team is heading in the right direction. Although nearly laughed out of town with Happy Meal in hand, Wellwood has been a pleasant surprise as a dependable two-way player as the season progressed. Luongo has shown that he is able to bounce back from a major injury (his first one ever, if memory serves me correct) and will likely look to prove himself further next year. So when we weigh and measure the year fairly, the team has done itself proud.

But don’t panic. The post-season is not over. The Blackhawks are only up by one game and if there is anything this Canucks team has shown us this year is they can comeback from a deficit. We just need to continue to believe in blue, remain calm, and approach Game Six in an orderly fashion.

Nazzy’s Nineteen Flying High?

With a year left on his contract with the New York Rangers, Markus Naslund announced his retirement today. And with the announcement, the discussion began as to whether or not Nazzy should have his jersey retired in Vancouver.

Vancouver Canucks Unveil New Sweaters

Markus Naslund – courtesy of Stephen Dyrgas

Much like his (in my strong opinion, wrongly maligned) career here in Vancouver, the debate on whether or not the Canucks should send the number 19 up to join 12 and 16 is split right down the middle. There are those that state that Nazzy has no business joining TL or the Steamer in the rafters due to his lack of playoff success. Others say that he wasn’t a true leader and should have never received the captaincy, therefore spoiling the good name of the captains that preceded him. More often or not, these people also felt that Naslund was never a true Canuck, with some even hoping that he would be driven to the airport a la Trent Klatt .

Then there are those like me who see no reason why the man who happens to be the all-time points leader for the franchise, let alone the owner of single season records for goals, assists, and points by a left winger having any reason to prove anything more. True he was never the type of player who wore his emotions on his sleeve, but he went about his business and did his job well – in fact did his job extremely well regardless of the abnormally high expectations placed upon him.

What’s that you say? Where was his success in the post-season when it counted?

Well I ask you this, why did we not retire Kirk McLean’s number then? Up until Louie arrived, we never had a keeper like Captain Kirk – if it wasn’t for the “save” against Calgary in Game 7, the run in 1994 would have been nothing more than a false start. If we simply measured a player by his role with the team, contribution come playoff time, and how he excelled in his particular position, Kirk would have been in the same category as Trevor. But he is not and that’s not a knock against Kirk. He was good, but not “that” good.

Having survived the Keenan years (I hear that medieval serfs got it easier than he did), he began to flourish under the Crawford system of “we’ll score more goals than the other team does” and benefited from players who complemented his style of play. After the organization found that it was far more difficult to score more goals than the opposition in the postseason, especially when the opposition was putting them in from centre ice, they committed themselves to a defensive system that would make Jacques Lemaire smile, but would reduce Nazzy’s ability to contribute. His stats began to tail off and the phone lines on talk radio throughout Vancouver lit up. Trade him some would shout! Send him to the minors others would exclaim! Yet through this, Markus simply plugged away and contributed offensively to a defensive minded team.

And here you tell me, the guy wasn’t worth the hockey tape he put on the blade of his stick. Give me a freaking break (and I’m not talking about a Kit Kat Bar).

So here I proclaim, rightly or wrongly, that Nazzy should be given the same honour and decorum that Trevor and Stan have received. We should see 19 rise up with all the glory that 16 and 12 were provided and we as Canucks fans should be proud. Although it may not happen next year or the year after that, it should happen – if only to honour a man who has contributed much to the team and re-written the record books in ways that many of those who had preceded him could not.

Okay, I feel better now.

Slash rant.

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