Milestone DANNY.

I have said it many times, a hockey career can be broken down into numbers. From the number a player was or was not drafted to the goals scored or points amassed. A player’s jersey number. The number of minutes a player spends on the ice per game, or the number of penalty minutes amassed over their career. The number of playoff games a player has played in and the number of playoff points accumulated in those games. The number of teams a player has played for and the number of games a player has played over their career.

On November 23, 2014, Vancouver Canucks assistant Captain, Daniel Sedin reached a milestone among the numbers that make up an NHL career: 1000 games played.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers that make up Daniel Sedin’s career.

(Spoiler alert: Just as with Henrik’s 1000th game milestone post: “Milestone HANK”, though this is dedicated to Daniel’s accomplishment, his brother will be mentioned a time or two as their careers go together like two peas in a pod. It is near impossible to mention one without the other.)

IMG_09821000 games played is a milestone in many an NHL career, but having played all 1000 games for ONE team is an even tougher feat to complete. Daniel Sedin has followed in the steps of his twin brother Henrik, yet AGAIN on THIS latest milestone. Welcome to the 1000 games played for ONE team club, Danny!

Sedin was drafted 2nd overall at the 1999 NHL draft right ahead of brother, Henrik by the Vancouver Canucks. His NHL debut was the start of the 2000-2001 season, on October 5, 2000 and he scored his first goal October 8, 2000. His NHL debut was delayed because him and Henrik had committed to play one more year with MODO (in the Swedish Elite League) before making their names known at an NHL level.

It was not until after the 2004-2005 lockout that fans and media fully realized the star potential that Daniel and Henrik were capable of on the ice. In the 686 games that Daniel has played in since the start of the 2005-2006 season, he has posted 674 points (250 goals, 424 assists).

Vancouver Canucks fans have been incredibly lucky to have seen both of the Sedins develop from promising rookies drafted in the first round of the 1999 NHL draft into the elite players that they have become today.

During the their 15-year journey, the twins have witnessed two lockouts and accomplished many feats. During the 2004-2005 full season lockout, they played for MODO in the Swedish Elite League. In 2006 they won Olympic Gold for Sweden, they helped lead Sweden to GOLD at the 2013 World Championship and in Sochi, Daniel picked up Olympic Silver in 2014. In 2010, Henrik won the Art Ross Trophy and in 2011, Daniel did the same. In February 2013, Henrik passed Markus Naslund’s 756 franchise points record, Daniel did the same in April of that year officially ranking them #1 & #2 in the Canucks record books. Last season saw Henrik celebrated the 1000 games played milestone, this season was Daniel’s turn. Daniel may have developed a knack for following in Henrik’s steps in the record books BUT he has more than made his own mark in NHL history.

This season marks Daniel’s 14th NHL season. In 1001 regular season games, Daniel has been assessed 424 penalty minutes and amassed 825 points (311 Goals…69 of which have been game winning goals + 514 Assists). Of his 311 goals, 112 have been scored on the power play. Impressive to say the least considering that early on despite all of his potential there was the question of whether he and his brother would have staying power in the NHL. Could they reach that elite level? It may have taken some adjusting but the twins have more than answered any lingering questions about their abilities over the last 15 years.

There are MANY moments to choose from and many more to come, but here are a few memorable Daniel Sedin moments:

From his very first NHL goal:

To some of the most ridiculous Sedinery moments like these:

Or THIS recent OT game winning goal, from what looked like a near impossible angle:

It is very rare to see ONE player, let alone TWO players TOGETHER play 1000 GAMES for the SAME team. Sedinery will NEVER go out of style. As a Canuck fan, I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to watch Daniel Sedin from early in his career to maturing into an elite player and now seeing him rediscover his Sedinery magic with Henrik this season.

A handful of brothers have played together in the NHL before but none have played their entire careers together from day one and the natural chemistry that the Sedins have. They seem to simply anticipate where the other is without even looking at times when making a play…and 95% of the time they are right. The twins have been there for nearly every milestone that the other has reached but THIS one moment just like for Henrik is Daniel’s to enjoy as his own. Unlike Henrik’s 1000th game when Daniel was out with an injury, this time BOTH twins were 100% healthy and Daniel celebrated THIS milestone with Henrik by his side.

Daniel10002It is an incredible milestone in many NHL players’ careers to reach the 1000 game mark but it is rare to see a player play 1000 games with ONE franchise, but that is exactly the case for Daniel Sedin. Just like his brother, he has played EVERY game of his career for the Vancouver Canucks. Just THREE players have suited up for 1000+ career games with the Vancouver Canucks: Trevor Linden, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin.

Daniel1000May I ask yet AGAIN: how incredible has it been to watch Daniel’s career develop from a young rookie to the veteran leader that he has become over the last 15 years? The Sedins have had the fans and media critique them every step of the way but I ask you, Vancouver, do you realize how lucky we have been to witness the careers of these two? There will never be another pair like these two with their incredibly accurate no-look passes that turn little innocent looking plays into absolute magic not to be repeated goals.

There is NO doubt in my mind, that one day both #33 and #22 will be up in the rafters at Rogers Arena. One day, when the twins retire, it will be beyond strange, to not see the Sedins on the ice, but perhaps by then we will finally be able to fully appreciate just what these two mean to the franchise. It is not just their amazing abilities on the ice, but also the work they do off the ice with the Canucks charities and in the community that will make them irreplaceable.

Here’s to you, Daniel Sedin for 14 incredible seasons both on & off the ice. Here’s to you and Hank leading Vancouver all the way! Here’s to everything you have done in the past, the present and the future still yet to come. #DANKYOUVERYMUCH

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

PQ3: Forever a Canuck

PatQuinn2“Follow your dreams. Listen to your heart and obey your passions.” -Pat Quinn

PatQuinnThe hockey world is a little less bright with the news of the passing of Pat Quinn. He lived and breathed the game with an integrity that never wavered.

Pat Quinn left an indelible mark on the Vancouver Canucks organization. He changed the way that Vancouver viewed the Vancouver Canucks and the way that they were viewed across the league. As a player and later a coach and GM, he became the backbone of this franchise making hockey exciting for the team and the fans again. He was relevant in EVERY aspect of the game.

Thank-you for everything you did for the game, Pat. The hockey world is a better place for having had you in it and you will never be forgotten. Your legacy will live on through the players you coached and the many players that you inspired to play the game.

Rest in peace, Pat. Say hello to Luc and Ryp for us!

RK17 Returns…

For the first time in his NHL career, when Ryan Kesler hits the ice in Rogers Arena on November 20, 2014…it will not be for the home side. It is his second game facing his former team but first at the arena that he once called home. How will the crowd respond to his return to Vancouver? Will there be cheers to welcome back a former franchise player who gave this city some incredible memories for over ten years or will he be met with boos to acknowledge the way in which he left?

KeslerDucksFlashback to last season when the rumor mills spun out of control that Ryan Kesler wanted out of Vancouver. Follow up that memory with the incessant denial on the part of Ryan Kesler, that of course those were only rumors and he wanted to finish his career as a Canuck. And then came that fateful day in June at the 2014 NHL draft when rumor became fact and Kesler had been traded to the Anaheim Ducks.

Love him or hate him, there is NO changing the fact that Kesler was a HUGE part of the Vancouver Canucks success in recent history. He may not have left in the best possible way BUT prior to his feisty exit, he gave this city and this team some incredible franchise moments. More than ten years of history that will in no way be changed, no matter what the final outcome is when Kesler returns to the arena he once called home with his new team. Ryan Kesler has moved on. The Vancouver Canucks have moved on. BOTH sides have moved on and BOTH sides being in the same division will have their paths cross multiple times during a season.

I always loved Kesler’s tenacity on the ice and ability as a two-way forward but I was definitely disappointed in the way he left. I have no doubt that he will have success with Anaheim and that the Canucks will have their own success moving forward. When the puck finally drops between the Canucks and the Ducks in Rogers Arena, the dust will settle and one team will walk away with two points. No matter which way the crowd views Kesler when he skates out with his new team, there is no changing the history he gave this city and there is no erasing his new chapter with Anaheim.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Talk Hockey to Me…

HockeyISI love everything about this game called hockey with the exception of maybe the shoot out…and most of all I love talking hockey with other fans. Every day, my path crosses with hockey fans of all kinds and while it is no secret the the Canucks are my favourite team, I have a deep respect for every team in the league and will gladly discuss all the teams across the board. I may not know every stat about each team like I do with Vancouver, but I like to be informed and keep tabs on how each of the other 29 teams in the league are doing.

I love talking hockey, just ask my family, who I know, that I can drive crazy at times with all my hockey talk every day. I have crossed paths with amazing fans from ALL 30 NHL teams in real life and on social media. Yes, it is true there are AMAZING fans for EVERY team and I will not take that statement back. No matter where a team is currently in the NHL standings or where they will finish after game 82, all 30 teams have some incredible fanbases and I love discussing anything and everything hockey with all of you.

I love how passionate fans are for their teams and I respect that EACH fan of EVERY team has their own opinions and we may not always agree on everything. I accept that we may not be on the same side for every game. I accept that our differences are what make hockey rivalries some of the best in sports. I accept that each and every fan is determined to believe that their team is capable of being the best. I accept that fans unite on the same side sometimes if it means a victory is plausible against a common rival. I accept that there will be highs and lows that align with the highs and lows of how your team is doing as the season progresses.

I do not accept being treated as less than someone else. I do not accept being told that my team is not a real team. I do not accept that some fans are better than other fans. I do not accept that being a Canucks fan makes me a less informed hockey fan. I do accept fans insulting fans of other teams. I do not accept being treated with disrespect by other fans.

What is the point of this post? Let me tell you a story that occurred just the other day when I was at work.

It was a conversation that was struck up all because I was wearing a Canucks shirt as I do on most game days. The individual noted that they felt sorry for me because I was a lowly Vancouver Canucks fan and how tragic that fate was. This individual then followed up his sympathy with the suggestion that I ought to jump ship and become a fan of a REAL team like the Boston Bruins. He was a Boston Bruins fan and that is perfectly acceptable.

My response to my tragic fate was this:

I have absolutely no qualms if you support the Boston Bruins or any team of your choosing. I have the utmost respect for the Boston Bruins and while it broke my heart when they won the cup in 2011, I know that they earned their victory. I have met some incredible Bruins fans and would never lump them in the same category as this person that crossed my path the other day. Yes, the Bruins are a great team when healthy and yes they were victorious over my Canucks in 2011, I respect that truth. Yes, the Bruins are a real team but guess what? My Canucks are a real team too and I accept that they are not everyone’s cup of tea. The Boston Bruins are not my cup of tea but I respect them as a team, their talent and their fans. I applaud any and all fans passion for their respective team.

As dedicated as this person was to his Bruins, I am just as dedicated to my Vancouver Canucks and there is no changing my ways. No matter the result this season or the next, I will be there to support them from start to finish every year. I accept that fans will not always agree, but I do not accept fans telling other fans HOW to be a proper hockey fan. Hockey fans come in all shapes and sizes and of all kinds. You do not have to be fans of the same team to have a great hockey discussion or appreciate this incredible game. You do not have to have all the answers and you can ask as many questions as you want…I love talking hockey. Most of all, I love talking hockey to fans of ALL teams while bonding over our love of this game that is so much more than just a game.

I will not judge you or the team that you choose to support. I will not belittle you or the team or its roster because of where it is in the standings or if it is struggling. I will not insult your team. I will simply show you the same respect you show me. I will not ask you to jump ship or switch sides. It does not matter to me which team you support or which player is your favourite, I would love to hear about ALL of it! As I said in the start of this post, I love talking hockey with the best fans in sports, so…talk hockey to me!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

It isn’t easy being GREEN.

TheGreenMenLove them or hate them, Vancouver’s Green Men stole the hearts of Canucks fans for the last five years with their dedication and in-game antics for their love of the sport and their team over the years. On November 7, 2014, they announced that the 2014-2015 NHL season will be their last season of suiting up as the Green Men.

December 22, 2009 may have seemed like any other game for other fans but I will forever remember THAT game because of two fans in bright green full body suits near the penalty box that somehow were able to entrance the entire arena with their support for the team. They made the in-game atmosphere even more electric and the crowd was that much louder. Many games have been played since that fateful game and nearly five years later these two are still rocking the green suits while cheering on the Canucks. Their appearances grew more frequent as did their fan following in the years that followed.

Thank-you for giving this team and this city so many great memories that we will never forget! Some may have thought you were crazy when you first started out on this journey, but this kid always thought you guys were pretty awesome!

TheGreenMen2How much more epic could this moment be? Celebrating a massive game (54 saves from LU) that sent the team to the Finals for the first time since 1994?

TheGreenMen3You never lacked creativity when it came to trying to get in the heads of the Canucks opponents (all in good humor) in the penalty box.

TheGreenMen4Meeting these two A-list stars, looked like a pretty awesome moment from those looking in from the outside!

TheGreenMen5Ah yes, how can we forget about your love for making all things Vince Vaughn in Canucks colours.

But perhaps my most favourite Green Men moment was my own encounter when I finally met the infamous duo at the 2014 Heritage Classic:

IMG_0582I absolutely loved every moment that came before this farewell season news and I look forward to the moments still to come in this final countdown of your Green Men journey. My favourite characteristic of you as the Green Men is how committed you were to supporting the team and how welcoming you were to other fans in the sport. Thank-you, Force and Sully for many unforgettable moments over the years and I wish you the best of luck in your very bright future as you move forward!

It isn’t easy being green, but you sure made it look seamless!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

October Close Up

Heading into October 2014, the questions surrounding the Canucks were endless after a long off-season. Would this team be competitive or would this team be in a rebuild mode? Would the Sedins be able to rebound? Would Bonino and company find their place in the lineup?

Yes it has only been ONE month and counting in the 2014-2015 regular season BUT they have skated themselves into an impressive 7-3-0 record amassing 14 points in the standings along the way. Yes there is still a LONG way to go before all is said and done, BUT no matter what happens the rest of the way, this team already has a much more determined mindset than they did all of last season. It has been refreshing.

IMG_0951October 2014 has shown us a little bit of everything from the good to the bad, to the wizardry to the “how could THAT happen” moments.

The UGLY:

The Canucks opened a three game road-trip in Dallas looking the ever tired team falling behind 5-0 early in the middle frame leading to Ryan Miller being pulled. The team did manage to score 3 goals but it was not enough to come all the way back.

That same three-game road trip was closed out with an ugly 7-3 loss in Colorado. Eddie Lack was strong in the first half but did not receive any offensive help from his defense or forwards as the team’s tiredness playing their third game in four nights became more evident as the game wore on. For the Avs, they finally found the scoring they desperately needed and for the Canucks they could not catch up before the game was out of their hands.

Alex Burrows received a 3-game suspension for a hit on Alexei Emelin during the game against Montreal.

The GOOD:

The question of whether or not the Sedins and Radim Vrbata would find a spark or any sign of some chemistry was answered emphatically in the first ten games. The trio, “Vrdinery” if you will, has combined for 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) and creating magic moments left and right to the delight of the fans. Yes, it is true that they struggled as the season wore on last year, BUT they are making a case so far to prove that they STILL have what it takes to be point-per-game players.

Speaking of those ridiculously amazing SEDINERY moments, how about this overtime winner vs. Montreal to close out a memorable October?

Last season, it took Alex Burrows 36 GAMES (yes 36 games!) to score his first goal of the year, THIS year he opened the scoring for the Canucks season with the team’s FIRST goal of the year:

Remember the conundrum that was the ability to score an empty net goal last season? It was near impossible with the team only managing 2 through 82 games! THIS year in the 10 games in October, they already scored FIVE of those once near impossible goals and that twist of fate began with THIS most epic empty net goal from Hank:

The power-play through ten games in October struck the net, NINE times while working at a 23.7% success rate. I should mention that THREE of those nine PPG’s came from rookie Linden Vey who has been rewarded for being in the right place at the right time combined with a great wrist shot.

Ryan Miller while adjusting to a new team and new system has been quietly having an impressive start to the 2014-2015 regular season. He has led the team with an impressive 7-1-0 record, a respectable 2.27 GAA, a 0.917 save percentage and earned his first shutout in a Canuck uniform. Also included in his early stats, that shutout was the 30th of his career AND his 300th career win. Most impressive, perhaps his COMEBACK game in St.Louis after being pulled in Dallas making 31 stops including 15 in the third! An impressive outing for Millsy in his first game versus his former team.

Do you like quick starts that include scoring the first goal of a game? The Canucks have adopted that habit more than once this season, including this quick score by Chris Higgins in the aforementioned St.Louis game:

Nick Bonino will probably always be unfairly compared to Ryan Kesler as long he remains a Canuck due to the trade in which he was acquired. If he keeps scoring goals like these, perhaps people will stop comparing the two and simply focus on how awesome these goals are:

Fingers crossed we get to see many more goals just like those!

Conclusion:

Ahh yes, I know October was merely only the beginning of the 82-game trek that is the regular season but in those ten games we saw more heart and fight to play for one another in the lineup than in the entirety of the season last year. It has been refreshing to see THIS team play each and every game, with a united determination to play their best as a TEAM. This group is finding its groove again under the leadership of new coach Willie Desjardins who seems to have instilled EACH player with the mindset that if they give their all in every game, ANYTHING is possible.

From an impressive October, here’s to whatever the month of November and beyond MAY hold for the Vancouver Canucks as the season continues. The Canucks will face an big test on their upcoming road trip as they take on the California trifecta that is the LA Kings, San Jose Sharks and Kesler’s Anaheim Ducks. Last season those three teams, caused the Canucks trouble and cost some timely points in the standings, a result they would like to fix THIS year. No one said the Pacific Division would be easy, but it is a challenge the team looks forward to taking head on as the season progresses.

I am sure there will be some more bumps in the road but there will also be some incredible moments and I look forward to being on sidelines of each and every moment along the way.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.