About sarahlaug

Belief in God & the bible are truths that I will never question. I love watching hockey & talking to people who actually understand the rules & how each player can impact the game in a different way. Vancouver Canucks are my team...I only bleed blue & green.

Welcome to the Club: DANIEL

They said it was impossible. They said the twins would never be in Hockey Hall of Fame discussions. First, they said Henrik couldn’t achieve the feat and then he did. Then they said that Daniel couldn’t either. Now, Daniel has once again followed Henrik’s name into the history books. They said him and his brother didn’t have what it takes to make it long term in the NHL. They have spent years berating him and Henrik for everything they do on and off the ice. They have no idea just how valuable these two players have been to the Vancouver Canucks organization, fans and the city of Vancouver. 18 years of nothing but all class from their humble beginnings to their now storied careers.

Daniel Sedin deserves all kinds of respect in the hockey world despite the arguments from those on the outside that suggest otherwise. They can keep telling us all the insults, there is not one negative thing that Canucks fans haven’t heard over the years about the Sedins. The Sedins will just keep proving why they ARE deserving of being inducted into the hall of fame, one day down the road.

From a rookie searching for his game to a now seasoned veteran leading the way on and off the ice. Thursday night was all kinds of incredible for Canucks fans to witness as Daniel Sedin had another night following Henrik into the Canucks record books. For Henrik, fans were lucky to witness the feat on home ice, but for Daniel this milestone came on the road in Bridgestone Arena.

Sitting just 14 points away from the milestone at the start of the season, you could feel the energy building up among Canucks fans as Daniel edged ever closer to the milestone moment one game at a time. Heading into the game against the Nashville Predators, you could feel the anticipation in the air. There was a buzz among fans and the media as we were ready to witness Daniel Sedin reach yet another milestone. Heading into the game against Nashville, the Canucks were coming off of a tough stretch in recent games with some tough losses followed by the devastating news about Derek Dorsett, the team needed a boost. Daniel was sitting at 998 NHL/Canucks points before the puck dropped. From the start of the game, Daniel and Henrik were buzzing, you could almost feel the sedinery that was about to unfold.

Sometimes hockey is pure magic and if you’re really lucky you will get to witness a player hit a milestone that anyone and everyone said was impossible from day one of his career. Daniel scored a goal assisted by his brother to notch his 1000th NHL point against one of the best active NHL goalies, Pekka Rinne. Heading into the last few games, every Canucks fan knew the possibility of what we might witness from a far and were hoping it would be more than an assist or an empty net goal, and boy did Daniel ever choose the perfect moment to deliver his 1000th point in style.

Daniel was just two points away from the milestone. A scoreless first period was followed by a back and forth second period that saw the Predators holding a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. With the Canucks down 3-2 to start the third period, Daniel led the charge with scoring the game tying goal from Brock Boeser and Henrik on the power play. The ONLY downside to Daniel’s milestone 1000th NHL point is the fact that it happened on the road instead of on home ice.

My favourite part of the moment, was seeing the ever legendary magic of Sedinery aided by the ever growing magic that is the FLOW, Brock Boeser.

Welcome to 1000 points club, DANNY!

In case you weren’t lucky enough to witness the moment live in Nashville, on live TV due to a power outage, in all it’s glory, here it is:

WHAT A MOMENT! 1000 points is an incredible feat for any player to have in their career, even more incredible when it happens entirely with one organization. Daniel is the SECOND player ever in franchise history to amass 1000 points with the Vancouver Canucks. And yes, there has been a ton of buzz about the rise of rookie Brock Boeser making a race for the Calder, but yesterday was about Daniel Sedin. Daniel was looking like a determined player ready to have one of his best games of the season. He got 999 points on an assist, but that didn’t stop him, he went on to get that milestone 1000th point and his 1001st!

After such a milestone night, Daniel was ever the humble one, acknowledging that as big a moment as 1000 points in the NHL is, he was happy with how the team came back to win this one for Derek Dorsett. He was happy to get milestone, to see players like Brock and Loui have success, even happier that the team picked up a big two points regulation rallying for Derek who could not be in the lineup. Isn’t that just like Daniel, that rather than being consumed by his own milestone, he put his team first? Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The Sedins while deserving of immense respect do not go out looking for special recognition, they simply go out setting an example of what giving their best looks like every single shift.

Last season, Henrik reached the 1000 points milestone with his brother not too far behind him in the hunt for the very same feat. This season, Daniel Sedin with a 3-point performance in Nashville, has joined his brother in the 1000 points club. Will we see another Sedin milestone this season or maybe early next season? One thing is certain, whether it occurs this year or next season, Canucks fans are incredibly lucky to get to witness both milestones.

The day will come down the road, when the Sedins retire, but until that day comes, we should savour every moment of Sedinery that happens. Thank-you, Henrik and Daniel for 18 years and counting of incredible moments that will live long in the history of the Vancouver Canucks organization.

Tomorrow, Canucks fans, we will celebrate Daniel, let’s make it THUNDEROUSLY loud in Rogers Arena when the puck drops and all game long. Go Canucks Go!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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Vancouver Canucks: For Derek.

Sometimes, this game that can take your breath away in the best possible way, can be heartbreaking in the cruelest of ways. Today, Derek Dorsett was forced to face the reality that the injury he had fought so hard to overcome for nearly a year, had made it’s way back to take away the game he loves. Life after hockey became today instead of years away.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see a player forced to hang up the skates due to an injury or circumstances out of their control. It’s also incredible that despite the heartbreak of walking away from the game, that Dorsett was able to make this difficult decision BEFORE the injury got to the point where he was unable to walk away or worse, taking more than just the game he loves. Some things are bigger than the game. 

This post is for Derek.

Dorse,

This is not the ending that your career was supposed to have. Your life after hockey was supposed to still be a few years away, not today. Today, sharing this news with the rest of the world must have been one of the most difficult things you’ve ever had to do, but it was the right decision. Some things are bigger than the game.

I hate that we will no longer get to see your signature goals that came in the best way, and often took opponents by surprise. I hate that we will no longer get to see you battle on game days. I hate that this is how it ends. I hate the unfairness of this outcome. I hate that after all the work you put in and the career highs season you were on pace for, that this is the ending. I hate that many didn’t always see the intangibles you brought to the game or the difference maker that you were for the Canucks.

As much as I hate this end, I understand that this decision was about more than the game. Life is about much more than hockey and you put your health first. Not an easy decision, but absolutely the correct one. You are giving yourself an incredible future with your family. I will never forget what you’ve done during your time with the Vancouver Canucks, you’ve left an indelible mark on the franchise.

The ending may have come much earlier than you desired but you DID IT. You lived the dream and played for 10+ years in the NHL. That’s a pretty incredible feat that NO ONE can ever take away from you. You were the type of player that fans loved to hate if you were on the opposition and loved to have at the heart of their team.

It’s not the ending you or your career deserved. You left everything on the ice. You gave it your all every single shift, playing wherever coach put you in the lineup. You always had your teammates backs, never backed away from a challenge. You were a leader to the younger players, a friend to all, a pillar in the community and always made time for the fans. Your heart, determination, dedication and perseverance inspired so many to see the power of never giving up and achieving your dreams. You will be missed by the team, opponents, and fans league wide. 

Thank-you for everything. Thank-you for everything that you did for the team, the organization, the community and the fans. Your playing days may be over now, but I hope that somehow, not too far down the road, that you are able to stay a part of the game that has shaped you. And maybe today, that seems impossible to comprehend, but there are a lot of areas, that you’d be amazing. Maybe behind the scenes, whether that’s coaching/development/scouting OR even giving colour commentary a shot(I think a lot of people would enjoy hearing your take on the game!).

All the best as you move forward and navigate the next step on this journey! One thing is certain, wherever you go, whatever the next step becomes, you have all of Canucks nation supporting you. And know that to this fan, you’ll always be a Canuck.

-Sarah E.L.

 

Vancouver Canucks: From the Russian Rocket to the BROCKET.

Sometimes, it’s difficult being a Canucks fan, not because of the team but because of the lack of National coverage when it comes to the team. Rookies come and go in the league, it’s the nature of the game. And in Vancouver, it has been a long while since we’ve had a rookie that could score with a flourish(think Pavel Bure aka the Russian Rocket). In Toronto, they have Auston Matthews and many more young players as part of their current core. I know that the East Coast loves Auston Matthews and rightly so, he’s an incredible player and will be for many years to come, but that doesn’t mean that the only coverage that fans of hockey want to see is purely Toronto highlights. On the West Coast, we have a player that has been quietly excelling this season that is not getting the same amount of coverage as Matthews but continues making waves with his emergence every single game; Brock Boeser. As it stands, he currently sits at 26 points and counting in his first 28 career games.

The Canucks have had some good and bad games this season BUT on the nights when they’ve had good games that Boeser has been at the center of, on the west coast, we do not get the coverage you’d expect. Most nights, it’s minimum highlights if any followed by extended highlights of Auston Matthews and Toronto. I understand that Matthews is an incredible player, BUT when the late game in Vancouver ends and it’s 1AM on the East Coast, you’d expect fans on the West Coast to get to see extended highlights from the game that just finished not one that ended 5 hours prior.

Everyday, in Vancouver the legend of Brock Boeser continues to grow. He is exceeding any and all expectations that the media and fans alike had for him heading into this season. We all knew he had talent and one heck of a shot but aside from a handful of NHL games last year, could he possibly live up the hype that had been written? We saw glimpses of the possiblities throughout the pre-season but still there was an uncertainty if Brock Boeser could produce when it came to the NHL style. Could he bring his game into another gear? Would he settle into the lineup and be assigned the right line mates, able to find a chemistry with other young Canucks players?

Yes, yes he could and since drawing back into the lineup in the 3rd game of the season, he was been quite a story to witness. He has amassed 21 points in 19 games and counting this season. Coach Green has put Boeser on a line with Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat. As a line they have a combined: 54 points (Boeser: 21, Baertschi: 17, Horvat: 16) over the first quarter of the Canucks season. Not bad, not bad at all.

And in case you haven’t had a chance to see some of the early magic that has been Brock Boeser’s rookie season, here are a few highlights:

Instead of wondering if he is capable of succeeding in the NHL, new questions are popping up. How long can he keep up his near point per game pace up? Can he break Pavel Bure’s rookie record of 60 points(34 goals, 26 assists) in 65 games? In 19 games, Boeser has 21 points and counting on the season, if he keeps up this pace, it is certainly possible that he could surpass the Canucks rookie record set by Pavel Bure.

One thing is certain, whether you are on the East Coast or the West Coast, Boeser mania is in full effect in Vancouver and looks to be around for many years to come.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Hockey is for everyone, or IS IT?

Here we go again. It’s 2017 and yet here I am re-living a nightmare from last season and no I don’t mean the Vancouver Canucks. No, I mean being a hockey fan who happens to be a girl. This whole being a hockey fan that also happens to be a girl is not always a fun journey.

Let’s be honest, there’s often a whole different set of rules and beliefs when it comes to girls who love hockey. If you are a guy and say you love hockey, you are in the club. If you are a girl, you have to constantly prove your fandom and knowledge of the game. If we know the game, then we must have heard it somewhere else, we couldn’t possibly have learned it on our own. If we don’t know something it’s because it’s yet another reason of why girls can’t know this game properly or love it. Or there’s the notion that we merely watch the game to check out the players or love the jersey colours/designs.

OR there’s reality that is often overlooked in which we women can actually LOVE the game itself just as much as any man. It’s no secret that I love the game and everything about it from the good to the bad and everything in between. Heck, I write a blog about hockey. I don’t claim to be an expert on all facets of the game and I love learning NEW things about this crazy game all the time.

This season, my sister and I were ecstatic to be able to up our support from quarter season members to half-season members for this season. Twice as many times to support our team? To say we were excited is an understatement. We also moved from the lower bowl to the upper bowl which up until our most recent game had been an impeccable experience. I love the experience of being in the arena from the quiet preparation before the chaos, to the warmups, to the anthems, to puck drop and the end to end plays on the ice to the final buzzer.

Yes, we are girls, and yes we love hockey but that does NOT mean that we deserve to be treated as though we can’t possibly understand the game or be talked down to or attacked for our jersey of choice to support our team. And many thanks for the ever subtle reminders that we were at a hockey game but I think our jerseys & being decked out from head to toe in our team’s colours made it abundantly clear we were in the right place. And yet while in that right place, my most favourite place, there was pit in my stomach acknowledging that we were not welcome on this night. At final buzzer, my disappointment was not from the scoreboard but from the sheer shock of how some fans turned a place that is a safe place into one that was unwelcoming.

And once again, that was beyond unsettling. We were made to feel as though we could not cheer for our team and also were judged for every ounce of support that we did show or vocalize. I’m all for opposition fans supporting their own team BUT I draw the line at attacking the integrity of franchise players, and then turning those insults towards fans of the home team. I can fully accept that we may root for different teams and I respect that. I may not agree with their view all the time, but I respect it and would never spend the duration of the game berating the fans of another team.

For the most part, I love talking about the game with Canucks fans and fans of any team, man or woman, any time. What I do not enjoy, is being talked down to and belittled. And yes, it is unfortunately still 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 that these individuals who make female fans feel this unwelcome DO NOT represent the entirety of the hockey community.

So, while you belittled us and attacked our love of the game, you did not destroy it. You tried and while yes it took me aback, nothing that was said to us or directed to us will take away my love for this team or this game. 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, no one will be made to feel like an outsider.  I’ve said a lot in the last year but, it’s 2017 and I sincerely wish that the sentiment that “hockey is for everyone” was actually true. One day, maybe.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Vancouver Canucks: 5 games in & it begins again…

Here we go again and all it took was 5 games into the season before a few headlines made me near livid. All it took was 5 games before the Vancouver sports media began their “we have a goalie controversy” frenzy. Markstrom vs. Nilsson.

Listen, there’s no denying that Anders Nilsson was brilliant against Ottawa or that Jacob Markstrom struggled in the previous two games despite playing brilliantly in his first two starts. Does it make sense to start Nilsson against Boston? Probably but that doesn’t mean that Markstrom’s season is over or that he won’t get a chance to redeem himself or that Nilsson will have a tough game or two down the road.

It’s no secret that from the start of the season that both goalies were going to split the net and that they’d compete for playing time. Does that mean that from the start we’ve had a goalie controversy? No. Does it mean we have two competitive players that given the chance will push each other to up their game? Yes.

It’s been 5 games. FIVE, not 82, so how’s about we wait before we drag these names through the mud? Wouldn’t be something if we instead of creating drama like what happened with Luongo and Schneider, we did pit the goalies against one another but actually supported BOTH of them?

Remember what happened with Luongo and Schneider? How suddenly the city turned it’s back on their franchise goalie and rather than support him during the tough times, they begged for Schneider to be given the net. Suddenly you were either Luongo supporter or a Schneider supporter. The worst part was that even if Luongo had a good game during that time, he was never given the benefit of the doubt despite his history with the team, any error in his play was berated while the praises kept piling up for Schneider. I’m not saying that Schneider didn’t deserve the praise in that moment, but Luongo did not deserve the treatment he received during that time.

That was then, and it blew up over two seasons. This is now and we are already talking about a goalie controversy FIVE games into the season! So, please media, fans, and “experts”, how’s about we leave that goalie controversy talk on the back burner and perhaps drop it completely? Let’s not go back to the way that we made it unbearable for Luongo or the way we thrust Schneider into the spot light. Let’s turn a page and actually support BOTH goalies. Tough games will happen but that doesn’t mean you stop supporting them, you stand by them through thick and thin. It shouldn’t matter which one is the net, we should support both them from puck drop to final buzzer because they are both Canucks. It would be a different approach, but a refreshing one to see.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Heart of a Canuck

If you were to look up the definition of what it means to have the heart of a Canuck, it would be a pretty long description of numerous virtues embodied by players of the Vancouver Canucks past or present that outside of their fan base, are not always seen by those on the outside.

A small sample of those descriptors: Determination. Sacrifice. Motivation. Driven. Perseverance. Leadership. Dedication. Mentor. And the list goes on, but these are indicative of not just how the player is on the ice but also off of the ice within the community.

Some players exhibit one or many of these qualities throughout their time with the team and beyond. And then there are some that embody everything that having a heart of a Canuck means from the moment they join the team to the time when they retire or are traded to join another team. Players that have embodied this quality over time include: Orland Kurtenbach, Pat Quinn, Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund and yes the Sedins. One that to the outsiders was always and still at times seen as pest to his opponents but to Canucks fans will always be on that list is: Alex Burrows.

Alex Burrows was an absolute class act in his time here. From the outside, that side of Burrows was not always seen. His name was synonymous with pestering his opponents. In Vancouver he is synonymous with constantly proving his critics wrong, playing any spot in the lineup that coach put him, breaking streaks, becoming the third Sedin, slaying dragons, and helping to end the stigmas surrounding mental health. He gave his all for his teammates, every single game, every single shift and off of the ice as well. He gave everything to this city.

This past week when Alex Burrows returned, Vancouver had a chance to express our thanks to a player who always has and always will embody what it means to have a heart of a Canuck.

He’s with the Senators now, but even in his leaving, he made sure that Vancouver also benefited from the trade. His last act was one in which once again he put his team first, as he always has done from day one. From undrafted to becoming the heart of a team and turning an entire city into believing that dragons were meant to be slayed.

Burrows was not the first player to have these qualities and as he grew into the inspiration that he has become, he had some incredible mentors in the Sedins and Trevor Linden. He also over time became a mentor to the younger players coming into the Canucks system and paved the road for what it means to be a professional on and off of the ice.

This year the Canucks have some veterans and some great young players on the team. Some of those players spent a lot of time mentoring Burrows, being mentored by him, learning from him and some never played one game with him, but they all know of him or have heard his story from him or his former teammates. His story is one that anyone can relate to, undrafted, too old, never meant to make it or have any sort of longevity and yet here we are more than 12 years later talking about his continuous legacy.

Players like Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen, Sven Baertschi, Brock Boeser can all look to the example of Alex Burrows if they ever need inspiration of what it looks like to give your everything to the sport, their team and the city. They can look back at Burrows, and up to players like the Sedins to know that while it’s not an easy road, if they commit to it, they will inspire more people than they could possibly imagine possible.

To have a heart of Canuck, it’s not always an easy path, but it is one that will always inspire others. And if you see this Burr, this is just a reminder that to Canucks nation, you will ALWAYS be a Canuck. Thank-you endlessly for everything you did during your time here and still continue to do as you keep playing.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

THANK-YOU, HANK & DANNY.

Dear Henrik & Daniel,

Thank-you, hardly seems close to enough for what you have given this city for 17+ years, but I’m going to try. First things first, please know that neither one of you have ever once for a second ever let me or this city down.

Fans from around the league have never really understood just how lucky Vancouver Canucks fans have been to have witnessed the entirety of your NHL careers. The road to success wasn’t any easy one, but you both persevered through it all. From playing the Swedish Elite League, to the NHL draft, to a tough start in the NHL, to the 2004-05 lockout, to Olympic Gold medals to pure dominance of Sedinery that led to back to back Art Ross Trophies to accumulating endless franchise records. From rookies to seasoned veteran leaders, you have both exuded professionalism on and off the ice and you have done it with incredible grace.

More than 1200 games each over the last 17 years in Vancouver, you have embodied everything that it meant to have the heart of a Canuck. You were never meant to have success in the NHL, let alone play your entire careers together, lead the top line for an extended period or score many franchise goals or become inspiring pillars within the community or leaders on and off of the ice.

The 1999 NHL draft forever changed not just the league but the fate of the Vancouver Canucks franchise. That day, no one could have predicted that the next 18 years would unfold in such a whirlwind of memorable moments. At the beginning no one was sure of what kind of impact you could or would go on to have in an NHL lineup. There was the constantly mentioned potential but until you both started playing, no one really knew what to expect. Most saw the underlying skill sets that were there but as is the way with a hockey market, when there were growing pains in the early days, quick judgments and assumptions were made. For a while, it seemed like maybe they had all missed the bigger picture and to tell you the truth, in those early days, I had to stop reading the newspapers.

Most people wanted to see what I saw, the potential of what could be beyond those early days, but they also wanted to see the increased numbers and stats right away. It took some time, as is the case with any career, there were some growing pains as you navigated the waters on the way to success. It started slowly, and then suddenly all at once before all the “experts” could complete their critiques, the ever evolving Sedins were flourishing and leading the way.

Through 17+ years, you have seen your fair share of coaches come and go but there were two in particular who saw and helped shape you to be the players you’ve both become. Marc Crawford and Alain Vigneault. Crow & AV always recognized your full potential and yes even made some unconventional choices like putting a pesky Burrows on a line with you one fateful February day that spurred a shift that season and a inspired a few seasons worth of highlights. The critics never stopped with their critiques but you both always found a way to respond with grace and constantly prove them wrong.

You never let the negativity in. You always rose above it all, every step of the way. You have always done whatever was asked of you by the coaches and management. Every day, you were and are consummate professionals on and off of the ice. And when called upon to help within the community with Canucks For Kids, Canucks Autism Network, the BC Children’s Hospital or a myriad of other charities, you are always there. You give everything you have with every shift on the ice and every moment you are constantly giving to the community throughout your continued tenure with the Vancouver Canucks.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you and thank-you again for 17+ incredible years of defying the odds, the ever persistent pursuit of your dreams, and inspiring so many more to never give up. I wish you knew just how big of an impact you’ve made on the team, on the franchise, on this city, on this province, and on the fans. You made your coaches proud. You made your teammates proud. You made this city proud. And you’ve made Canucks fans around the globe proud.

IF this is it, IF this is the final hurrah, the final season of your career or IF you keep playing for another year or two, I am going to savour every single moment of Sedinery yet to come. And Henrik, when Daniel joins you, in the 1000 points club this season, we will cheer just as loud, or maybe louder because that means there are now TWO Canucks legends on the roster.

And to THIS fan, no matter what happens at the end of this season or when the day comes that you decide to hang up your skates, you will always and forever be Canucks. When things get tough, all I have had to do was think of how you both always kept pushing forward despite the odds and I am reminded that when you tune out the negative, anything is possible. Thank-you doesn’t seem even close to enough but it’s what I have to offer. Henrik, and Daniel, THANK-YOU, for everything.

Sarah E.L.