To Whom It May Concern…

To whom it may concern,

Recently when I was attending a Vancouver Canucks game I had an experience that both frustrated and slightly rattled me as a hockey fan that happens to be a female.

Apparently I needed to be informed that I was at a hockey game and be told when and how to cheer for MY team by an opposing team’s fan. Yep, because apparently being at the game with my sister geared out in our Canucks gear meant we had no clue where we were or how to cheer for OUR team. Apparently being a female fan to this particular individual meant that we had no idea about the ins and outs of the game. The presumption being that we were only there to look at the players on the ice. Instead of being allowed to enjoy the game, it felt like I was being judged the entire time for everything I said or did for the duration of the game.

1617game2Yes it is true that I am a woman and I was at a hockey game. Yes, it is true that I am a woman and enjoy sports, especially hockey. Yes, it is true that I actually do know a little about the game and do not need the game explained to me. And while I do love learning new things about the game that does not mean I need a person to “dumb it down” or talk to me in condescending tones about the game. The truth is I have been a fan of this game since I was 17 and have spent a long time learning as much about it as possible about not just my team but the other 29 teams in the NHL, and minor leagues too. Truthfully, I love talking about the game at every level with other fans, truly I do. What I do not enjoy is being talked down to and belittled.

And yes, it is true that sometimes when I admit how much I love this game that I get given looks of derision that I cannot possibly comprehend what it is I am talking about. When it is confirmed that I do know the sport, these individuals then treat me as though they still don’t trust me even if what I am saying is true and attack my loyalty to my team or why I love this game. Truthfully these experiences leave me feeling as though perhaps I do not deserve to enjoy this incredible sport and then I remember the incredible these individuals who make female fans feel this unwelcome DO NOT represent the entirety of the hockey community.

And to those of you who have had similar experiences, I want you to know that you are not alone. Perhaps it has also happened more then once to you but let’s not allow these moments to take away the game we love from us. We should all be allowed to enjoy the game we love without having to feel as though we are being judged or to feel bad when we do. Hockey is more than just a game, it is a community that most of the time is very welcoming and hopefully one day some will no longer judge others.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Vancouver Canucks: 7 down, 75 to go…

7 games down, 75 games to go for the Vancouver Canucks. Following back to back regulation losses has some in the fan base and media already pressing the panic button. Yes, it’s true the last two games have been far from their best. Yes, it’s true that the Canucks have struggled in their last three games in particular BUT it is hardly time to panic just yet. It’s hardly possible to predict exactly how this season will finish with so much time left in the regular season.

Many of the local media are continuing to tell myself and other Canucks fans that we have nothing to be excited about this season and that the team is nothing to shout about. Headlines like those are what made me unsubscribe from all of the local newspapers. Sure, the team may have a far from perfect season but that does not mean I will stop supporting them throughout the journey no matter how long or short it may be this season, if anything it means I will support them more.

Here’s a list of what I know to be fact so far from observing the 2016-17 regular season:

  • The Canucks opened the season with 4 straight wins and picked up points in 5 straight.
  • Through their first 7 games they had 2 back to back scenarios and picked up points in 3/4 of those games.
  • The Canucks have lost back to back games in regulation with two games remaining in October this upcoming weekend.
  • Bo Horvat and Henrik Sedin are leading the offensive pack with 3 goals apiece through 7 games.
  • Brandon Sutter has been a game changer and if he stays healthy, that will go a long way in helping the Canucks to find success.
  • The Hansen-Sutter-Granlund line has been an exciting line for the fans to see develop chemistry over the first 7 games. Every time they cycle the puck with their combined speed, good things happen.
  • Yes the Sedins are getting older, but they still make plays on the ice that still dazzle. One day they will retire and they give everything they have to this team so for now I will enjoy every game that they have left in them.
  • Ben Hutton has one heck of a laser when he utilizes it.
  • Troy Stecher made his NHL debut in front of the home crowd, and despite the outcome of the game, he had a strong performance.
  • 4-2-1 through 7 games is a respectable record to start the year with two more games left in October.

Yes, there have been glimpses of both great and terrible trends with the team so far, but again as it has only been 7 games, it is near impossible to say right now that this season is going to be a complete disaster. True the will be downs throughout the season but there will also be ups that we should be allowed to enjoy as they happen.

I know the season is a long haul and that on paper this team is not what many would call a contender but regardless of how the season goes, I will take in every moment as it comes. There will be ups, downs, heartbreak, unbelievable moments and learning curves along the way as the season progresses.

7 games down, 75 more to go.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

 

 

Vancouver Canucks: 3 down, 79 to go…

The season is officially in full swing league wide! Three games are officially in the books for the Vancouver Canucks. Be honest, when the Canucks scored on themselves on a delayed penalty to open the season it gave you pause? And when they fell down 3-0 in the second game it possibly made you cringe? And when it looked possible that they would be shut out by the Blues again, you were not surprised, right?

Perhaps, even more more surprising was the fact that in EACH of those scenarios, despite the odds, the Canucks found a way to tie the game AND win all three games. Yep, you read that right, they won ALL three games despite falling behind and never leading until the game winning goals.

And yes, I am more than aware that getting behind is not a trend that they should carry along with them the whole season. I know they will have to start playing with a lead but you know what this team has shown in these first three games? Resiliency. A resiliency that was absent far too many times the last few years, a belief that even when they are down, as a team they can come back in any situation. That resiliency leads to confidence in each other and can go a long way down the road. And so far, that resiliency has led to three wins.

And yes before you accuse me of saying this team is a contender or not, I know that three games do not define the season. I am not saying that they will win the Stanley Cup or even be playoff bound come April, but I am also not saying that they will not be. No matter how many predictions that the experts and fans make, how and when the season ends will be determined by how the Canucks play on the ice.

Regardless of how well or bad this season ends, I will be supporting the team every step of the way. There will be triumphs. There will be heartbreaks. There will be milestones. There may even be more incredible comebacks and probably a few losses that will drive us all crazy. There may perhaps even be a few surprises along the way.

Three games down, 79 games to go before all is said and done. Playoffs or no playoffs, I will be along for every step that will be the Vancouver Canucks 2016-17 season journey. It may not be perfect and it may even be messy but it will also be pure magic.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E. L.

According to who?

According to who? The experts and media have all recently come out with their NHL predictions for the 2016-17 regular season. Nearly all of them have the Vancouver Canucks projected to be at or very near the bottom of the rankings. Is that a surprise? No, not in the least but what does surprise me is the so-called experts telling me that as a Canucks fan, I have nothing to be excited about aside from “at this point with no games played, they are undefeated”. Really? That’s the ONLY thing for me to be excited about for the 2016-17 NHL season?

Yes they might be right that the Vancouver Canucks might miss the playoffs, they might even end up being at the bottom of the standings. Perhaps a lot of their success this season will indeed hinge on many things going exactly right and for injuries not the stockpile. They may just get all of their predictions correct or maybe the team will surprise the league in a few categories or maybe they will be just above par. Time and how the team plays will tell just which outcome will be true at season’s end.

There is one thing for certain that the media is very wrong about: that fans have nothing to be excited about. The 82-game journey might be messy, it might be disaster, it might have incredible triumphs or heartbreak, it might be be extended into the post-season or it might be cut short for a myriad of reasons, but no matter where or how the season ends, I will enjoy every single step of the journey.

The season may be messy and imperfect but there will also be moments of pure magic along the way. I love everything about this game and I plan on supporting my team every single step of the way regardless of whether this season ends abruptly or they make the post-season.

And most certainly no matter the outcome, I am Vancouver Canucks fan today, will be one tomorrow, will be one at the season’s end and for all the season’s still to come. 24/7/365 and there is no changing my Canuck heart.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.