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.

Vancouver Canucks: An Ode to Elias #MVPetey

There’s no denying that, this season, Elias Pettersson has completely changed the story when it comes to the Vancouver Canucks. And as the season has continued, social media has exploded with every Pettersson highlight as he edges closer to tying/passing the Canucks rookie scoring record set by Pavel Bure.

So without further ado, this post is for Petey!

Elias,

What can I say to possibly properly convey just what you have done and meant to the Canucks this season?

What a season it has been for Canucks fans to see you elevate the game to an entirely  new level. The critics voiced their concern from the moment you were drafted and you seemed to tune it all out having a record setting season in Sweden last year. We had heard all about your incredible season last year but we still had no idea what to expect when you joined the Canucks full time.

Sure, we had high hopes and perhaps that was unfair to you as you hadn’t even had a chance to play a game at Rogers Arena yet. No one was sure if the hype of last season could possibly live up to reality and yet it has. It’s been even more than we could’ve possibly imagined.

From that very first shift, to that incredible shot, to that first goal on home ice that brought the crowd off our feet and the cheers raining down to your incredible consistency as the season has progressed. It’s been absolutely unreal. in the best way possible.

This season was supposed to be a disaster on every level but your confidence has completely changed the narrative. Your confidence raises your teammates confidence. Maybe not every night is perfect, but it’s always a battle and you never give up, always giving the team a chance to stay in a game or maybe even steal the game.

On behalf of Canucks nation, thank-you hardly seems enough for igniting new life into a new young Canucks core. You’ve changed the negative narrative into one that is full of hope for the future and whispers of #MVPetey growing ever louder as the season continues.

Here’s to a heck of a final stretch for you and the rest of the team! This is only the beginning and I can’t wait to see the rest of your career unfold!

Sarah.E.L.

 

Advertisements

Canucks Round Table (Vol.1)

Welcome to the first ever official Nucksaid: Canucks Round Table! As you know, if you’ve followed my blog for awhile, one of my absolute favourite things is to connect with fellow hockey fans and to share our stories together. This new series will be bringing Canucks fans together from near and far to discuss all things Canucks as the season progresses. There’s a lot to be said about the team, personally, I like to hear other fans perspectives, it helps me to see the team and the game in new ways. 

Hopefully you enjoy the ride with all of us! 

Shall we begin? Without further ado, I present to you the first edition of the Canucks Round Table feature on Nucksaid.

Question 1: What has been YOUR standout moment or player so far this season? Why?

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): There are two, but over time, being in the arena for Pettersson’s first goal will be outshone by some other spectacular thing he does. So I’ll have to with my first one– being at the Sedins’ last game. I cried. I changed with the crowd: “Hall of Fame!”. It was an emotional, pivotal moment in Canucks history. I fell deeply in love with hockey and the Canucks because of the twins. I didn’t grow up in a hockey watching family but in my little home town in Northern Ontario, when it’s -40 out, you spend your Saturday evenings watching CBC/HNIC or listening to it on the radio. Then I moved to Vancouver and almost instantly lived and breathed hockey. The Sedins humility, work ethic and leadership won me over. Big time.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): My biggest standout moment is the play of Elias Pettersson and him leading for the Calder trophy as top rookie.

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): My standout moment was the 7-6 game with Colorado. That game was fast, back and forth, and the young guns were scoring. Hockey was fun again. EP, Brock, Goldy and Bo were scoring. The last few seasons were slow and disappointing and difficult to find the positives as the Canucks struggled to score. As the season started, the big question was: “where would the goals come from?”. This game answered that question telling us that not only will the kids be scoring in the future but rather they are scoring NOW.

Josh Shettell(@shettell09): The standout of the season has definitely been Elias Pettersson no doubt about it, but I can’t shy away from the management following though and playing the kids this year!

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): For the first time in a LONG time, it is a TEAM answer and not looking to just one or two guys that are worth the price of my seasons tickets. There is clearly a maturing and winning culture evolving in the room. Anyone who has played any level of organized sports knows that you don’t need a letter on your jersey to be a leader in the room or on the ice. Pettersson. Horvat. Beagle. Boeser. Stecher. Guddy. Hutty. There are several names that are clearly having an impact and changing expectations. I also love how Green has everyone playing. It is the most exciting hockey that I’ve seen in our barn in a long time. I have “Bure” moments of excitement every single game. There is also fun developing and that is good to see again. Some smiles. Some jokes. Some playful ribbing. Reminds me of the Bieksa/Burrows/Kesler/Luongo days. We were spoiled with their fun and infectious personalities. I see some of this developing again and it is good to see. Having fun while pushing to win every night. That’s how you build humble swagger and a championship team.

Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): My standout moment so far this year was the November game against the Colorado Avalanche. The Canucks won in OT after trailing late, Pettersson had 5 points, Boeser had 4 points. It was such an entertaining game. It was a game where all of the young talent that we’ve been talking about put together an incredible win. There has been a lot of losing over the last 5 years, a lot of boring games, and Canucks fans have been talking about the rebuild, talking about playing the kids, developing the future. Well I think that was our first real look at how good this team can be, and how fun games will be to watch. It was the first time we saw how these first round picks will look together. The team and the young players all stood out on that night.

Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): My standout player this year would have to be Bo Hovat and Elias Pettersson. Bo, because he’s playing so good, his shots and play making is really on point this season! Elias because a rookie has never played this well before and I can’t wait to watch how he does for the remainder of his career.

canucklehead(@DougDdlee288): My stand out player is EP40. He can score from anywhere. Not afraid to get in dirty areas to score. Plays a complete game. Exciting to watch. Edge of the seat every time he touches the puck.

Jon K(EaglesNucksFan): Seems like the obvious choice here but for me it would have to be the emergence of Pettersson. The fans weren’t sure if he was going to start the season with the Canucks and he has taken us to another level. His presence has not only brought the fans together but the team is playing with heart again.

(@tams3333): So many! One of my favourite moments this year was watching a karmic moment! A puck had gotten stuck in the netting and a father lifted his child to try to reach the puck and the child was too short and couldn’t reach. From about ten rows back, another father with an old son came and did the same thing. The father held up his older son and they got the puck down and gave it to the kid who initially tried to get the puck and went back up to their seats. Later in the game, another puck got caught in the netting in the exact same place and the older kid who kindly gotten the original puck for the little guy went back over and got a puck of his own! Was great to see the good spirit and cheers in the arena! The good feels are back!

Oscar(@oscarcanucks): The most thrilling moments so far is my new favourite player, Elias Pettersson. It’s so great to see a player with so many skills on the ice with the Canucks in his rookie season. And with Elias Pettersson’s young age, I believe strongly that we as Canucks fans will see him have success in the future with the Canucks.

(@SGopes1): Definitely has to be Pettersson. His game this year has given me so much hope for this franchise and with him you can actually start believing that one we CAN win the cup!

(@Grampahockey1): My standout player has to be Elias Pettersson from being started at a center, a position he hadn’t played much and from a larger ice surface to a seamless first line center. Watched him score his first goal live to watching him score his OT hat trick winner in Ottawa. To mention only a few.

Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): I’m going to say 3 players: Boeser, Horvat and Pettersson. All 3 of these players are having an impact on the Canucks this season. We all know how Boeser and Pettersson are doing, but Horvat has quietly had a fantastic season. I’m interested to see how the 3 of them progress through the season.

(@JustinLai01): My standout player will have to be easily Elias Pettersson. I don’t think anyone of us fans expected him to take the league by storm and have such an impact as he had so far. We knew we had a great player but for him to transition in quickly and dominate like no rookie we’ve seen in a while, along with other great rookie seasons has been a joy to watch. I’m always so excited that this is just a taste of what’s to come with him being so young. My fave standout moment would have to be his first goal on his first career shot and his reaction to the chants and standing ovation immediately after. That was the highlight for me among many including the crazy Colorado game where we won and his five point nights and most recently his first career hat trick.

Jeff A.(@TheGamerJeff91): My standout of the moment this season so far was the 5 point night from Petey. I really like the Avanlanche’s team also,they are great for today’s NHL and I believe a future rival with the Canucks. The way we battled back and of course the developed chemistry with Boeser and Petey, that game held me on the edge of my seat. When Petey tied that game for his 4th point of the night, I was just in awe. I did think to myself, “If Petey gets the hat trick or his 5th point, what a moment it will be for the rookie”, I just again watched in awe of Petey get the assist for his 5th point of the game. That moment I also believe too helped with the growth of our team. It was just truly special to be to watch.

(@CanuckJordan): My standout moment for this season was the game on November 2nd against Colorado. Pettersson and Boeser had 12 shots combined and 9 points. They were buzzing all over the ice. There was the Boeser breakaway goal in the first minute and then Petey pulled a Henrik Sedin with his ridiculous bank pass to Boeser who would score again. Even when the Canucks gave up a goal in the final 2 minutes, there was a feeling in the air that they could still come back. It was magic. Seeing Petey’s excitement after tying the game personified the sheer emotion of the entire city. Yes, our team still has plenty of holes that need to be filled and we are probably not going to make the playoffs again this year but that night gave me a glimpse of something I have not felt as a Canuck fan in a years, hope. 

(@MikeCincoSays): The standout moment for me was the 2nd game of the season in Calgary. We saw what EP did in the season opener and while he razzled and dazzled us, there was still the question of can he do this on a consistent basis. I was lucky enough to watch this game live and the pure display of skill that EP showed in that game was amazing. As this was early on in the season not many outside Canucks nation knew who Dekey Pete was yet but there were a lot of folkds in that crowd who were impressed. To me that was the game that Dekey Pete, the elite hockey superstar emerged in my mind, not only because of the magic he pulled on the ice but what his emergence has done to my(and certainly other fans) perception of the Canucks. The Canucks lost that game 7-4 but that was the first time in 4 years where I attended a Canucks game and actually cared whether they won or lost, emotional investment was back in a big way! I was and in many ways still am a proponent of tanking as a means to win championships and in the dark pre-EP days, if you were a hardcore Canucks fan, tanking was the only solace you received from watching a night of what could at best be described as uninspired hockey and at worst, a boring and unmitigated mess of a team. EP and his magical skills have made watching the Canucks, FUN again, and cheering for his success is far more fun than hoping the Canucks don’t miraculously tie a game in the last minute. The attitude around the team and media has changed because of him and it started (for me atleast) in that 2nd game of the season. 

Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): What Elias Pettersson has done in half a season is nothign short of remarkable. He has almost single-handedly given the Canucks fans new hop and has sped up the rebuild by a year or two. January 2 was a day for the ages: Pettersson was named to the NHL All-Star Game, he was named Rookie of the Month for December, he recorded his first career hat trick, and he earned $425,000 in bonuses. Not bad for a day’s work. 

Me(@nucksaid): Standout moment has to be witnessing that first goal from Elias, the crowd was thunderous and his reaction was perfection. What he’s been able to accomplish in the games he has played is awe-inspiring, it’s not just how he plays with the puck, but without it too and no matter who he plays with he makes them better. Elias has been pure magic, plain and simple. One of my favourite things to see this season has been the evolution of the Bo Horvat from his rookie year to this year, quietly leading the way on and off the ice. 

Question 2: Elias Pettersson will make his NHL-Allstar debut this year. Will you watch the game to track his success or is there a new format that you’d like to see the NHL adapt to for the NHL-Allstar weekend? 

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): I’m not big into the All-Stars overall. I like that the players have fun. I liked it more once the fans voted in John Scott…and then last year watching Boeser<3. I’ll be watching this year to see Pettersson blow everyone away. The format doesn’t matter. He’ll win at any style of hockey. I’ll watch this year to count the jaws dropping…

SuleimanDamji(@SuleimanDamji): Yes, I will definitely be watching the All-Star game to see Pettersson’s success.

Eric Bailey (@EBailey16): For Christmas, I got the NHL subscription. I’ll be watching the all-star game. The all-star weekend/game is about fun and games. It doesn’t matter to me what they do with it. I loved watching Boeser last year and I look forward to seeing Pettersson play. His high end skill should be fun in 3-on-3.

Josh Shettell(@shettell09): I will be cheering on any Canucks who represent, hoping for a repeat of what Boeser did in 2018!

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): I will definitely watch and fingers are crossed for Boeser. Not just great hockey players but great people. Our city is spoiled and I love the success these gentlemen are seeing and the chemistry they are enjoying together. I’m not sure how to make the All-Star break work anymore. Too much money at stake for players to play in a way that risks injury, but the latest format feels a little “pick up hockey” or “shinny” and not in a good way. All-Star games when I was growing up were different as most players had longer runs with one team and seeing legends playing together was a rarity. We also saw less televised games and didn’t get as much exposure as we do now so it’s lost some of the shine. What would spice this up for me? Mic all of the players and get a little trash talk going. This would add a dimension that has not been seen yet. I’d also steal a page out of Netflix’s “Bandersnatch” and create a system that allows fans to use their remotes at home to select lines that go out next. Let us coach the all-star game. The technology is there and it would absolutely connect us like never before (Feel free to forward this last suggestion directly to Gary Bettman LOL).

Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): Yes, I’ll watch the All Star game, I’m even considering going down to San Jose to watch it. Last year, it was Brock playing his first All Star game, and the year before that it was Bo. I like seeing out young talent getting to know the best players in today’s game, sharing the bench and dressing room with them, and feeling what it’s like to be with the top players in the NHL. I remember watching Boeser and Crosby having a conversation on the ice together after he won the Shot Accuracy competition. I’m interested to see who Elias talks with, and how well he does.

Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): I will for sure be watching his NHL All star debut, but not sure much to keep track of his success. I’ll be watching to see how plays with other “Big” stars! And no new format, I like the format the way it is.

canucklehead(@DougDdlee288): Hope to be on night shift to watch the All Star game. Will be great to see him perform with other great players.

Jon K(EaglesNucksFan): Hoping to hear the MRI results came back with no major concerns(**Update: Pettersson was diagnosed with a slight MCL sprain). I don’t really watch the All Star game to be honest but would like them to make it like the MLB where they actually play for something.

(@tams3333): I will watch the game, it was fun to watch last year. I honestly do find it a little boring in it’s current format but I think it is great for the kids.

Oscar(@oscarcanucks): I will definitely follow Elias Pettersson during the NHL All-Star weekend to see his success, hopefully he can still be a part of it after his injury in the game against the Canadiens. And of course, I will watch the All-Star weekend game, when it’s in the night time in Europe, it’s no problem.

(@SGopes1): I’m old school so yes, I like watching the all star game and wouldn’t change it. Definitely yes, I will be watching Pettersson.

(@Grampahockey1): Not a fan of the All-Star game but will definitely watch as Pettersson is playing. Would like it to mean something rather than being a score fest, a little defense would be nice.

Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): I only watch the skills competition. I find it more exciting than the actual game. I haven’t watched an all star game in a while. I’m not a fan of the current format. I liked East vs. West and I hope they bring back that format.

(@JustinLai01): Being a fan of the sport, I’ll still tune in to watch the festivities but honestly I’d like to see the All-Star game take on some significance in some way shape or form. It’s great to showcase the game and the sport but often at times during this game, defense isn’t really a priority and to me defense is part of the game, so maybe a different format or some sort of incentive for teams to win that could have implications on the playoffs would entice more fans to be engaged in it rather than see it as a waste of time.

Jeff A.(@TheGamerJeff91): I do have a lot to say about the All Star game format and such. I would like to see more player involvement when it comes to the skills competition, I would like to see them do something else with the format though we can go on forever about this one. I will definitely be catching the game and the skills to see how our Petey does. If you ask me who my favourite is for the MVP of the game? Without bias, it’s Petey.

(@CanuckJordan): Yes, I will definitely want to see how Pettersson makes out while not having to worry about other teams’ morons trying to hurt him. My prediction is he will win the MVP. As for the format, I also don’t mind it at all. The new 3-on-3 is incredibly entertaining. So much better than when they had 5-on-5. You can tell there is a little more pride around being the best division and donating to a charity of their choice. 

(@MikeCincoSays): I think I will watch if Dekey Pete is healthy. The interesting thing for me about this event is that EP is such a student of the game and giving him access to the game’s very best can only help him become a better player in the long run. Have him study McDavid’s stride or how Ovi releases his own one-timer, Dekey Pete is sure to pick up a trick or two that weekend. 

Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): Yes, I’ll be watching the game…LIVE! I’ll be in San Jose for All-Star weekend and I’m so excited. I’ll be traveling down there with a priest friend of mine and I also plan to vlog my entire experience. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing both Pettersson AND Brock Boeser in the game. I’m fine with the format as you can’t expect these players to go all out and risk injury. The 3-on-3 games are very exciting and give the stars a chance to show their stuff. The weekend is not about intense games or fierce board battles. Rather it’s for the fans, the sponsors, and the younger players to rub shoulders with the older players. 

Me(@nucksaid): Will I watch the All-Star game? Yes. While it may not be my favourite in the current format, I do genuinely enjoy seeing rival players from around the league have a chance to play together, plus I want to see how Pettersson does. Brock had one heck of a time last year, so this will be fun to see how Pettersson follows that up! (I think experiencing the All-Star game live would be one heck of fun experience, if Vancouver ever hosted, I’d be there in a heartbeat. 

Question 3: Elias Pettersson is leading the NHL Calder Trophy talk as the NHL’s top rookie. Do you think he could also potentially be considered for team MVP? #MVPetey. 

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): I’m writing this after he got his first hat trick AND won the game in OT. Yup, he can win both!

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): Yes, definitely he should be included in the MVP discussions.

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): The team MVP is currently a two man race. Pettersson is top but Bo is right behind as he is doing so much and on a 30-goal pace. Markstrom is quietly making a case for himself too.

Josh Shettell(@shettell09): I believe with how Elias is playing this year, how can he not be, he is in all aspects leading this team not just in points but the way he defends, sets up plays and his energy, besides he is scoring MVP of the Canucks and depending on the results of the season votes for the NHL MVP.

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): 100% He’ll get the obligatory nod as he epitomizes what many consider the MVP role –he makes those around him better. Look at anyone who plays on his line. Instant bump in points and street cred. That being said, many still consider the MVP something based on who is the best player –my vote is still Crosby. He does both. He is amazing and makes those around him amazing. Elias is definitely in this conversation. If you wer to offer me McDavid for Petey straight up, I don’t think I’d take it. McJesus is amazing, but the Alien makes everyone around him better too and is equally exciting and effective in my opinion.

Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): I think all Canucks fans would love to see Elias win the Hart Trophy. We all took notice when the Hockey Night in Canada panel started discussing our guy and the possibility of him getting MVP consideration. But we should keep in mind that they said that if the Canucks made the playoffs, he would get some votes. He would then be considered. It’s great to hear that because it tells you what kind of talent he is, and it gives us so much hope for the future. I also think it’s important to remember that the season is far from over. The game tightens up in the second half down the stretch. The experiences veteran teams start to build momentum for a playoff run. That’s where you’ll see how this young rookie really handles this league. He’ll get involved in more competitive battles, games will be more intense, and we’ll see how he handles the pressure. If he can withstand all of that, and the team makes the playoffs, and he continues with his production, then YES, he should be considered for the Hart.I hope that happens, but it would be a lot to ask for a 20 year old rookie. There is a reason why the NHL is the best league in the world, it has the best players in the world. Good luck to Elias, it would be something very special to see him with the Hart.

Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): YES!

canucklehead(@DougDdlee288): Definitely believe he should be in the talk for MVP due to his contributions to the team and how much better the team is then expected. Also think he is bringing fans to more games. Not just in Vancouver, but wherever he plays. Love hearing the hype from other team broadcasters.

Jon K(EaglesNucksFan): Trying not to be biased but I really do. He has changed the whole dynamic of the team. I won’t get my hopes up but he should at least be in the discussion.

(@tams3333): I think that when he wins the Calder he will have to be considered, he doesn’t even just make other players around him better, he is just unstoppable at times which I only remember seeing in Gretzky. I think as the team develops, he will win MVP but with us being on the bare cusp of the playoffs, it won’t happen this year.

Oscar(@oscarcanucks): I think surely Elias Pettersson can be team MVP and NHL Calder Trophy candidates. It would be absolutely amazing to get both trophies in his first rookie season.

(@SGopes1): Just these last two games shows how much of an impact he is for our team. He makes everyone better in their position when he’s playing. If the Canucks make the playoffs he definitely has to be considered for MVP.

(@Grampahockey1): Absolutely, just look at the games he’s not in.

Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): YES. I would also put him in the conversation for NHL MVP. I haven’t seen a player impact a team like this in a very long time. The Canucks honestly live and die by him.

(@JustinLai01): A lot has to go right for Pettersson to garner MVP talks with so m any other stars in the league having tremendous years but with that being said, if the Canucks make the playoffs in a rebuilding year with a first year rookie leading the charge and they make some noise in the playoffs he definitely should be considered in the running. Even with his injuries and missed games if all the above happens and he still plays at the pace he does now, that’s truly valuable to his team success and will and should be included in the discussions.

Jeff A.(@TheGameJeff91): Absolutely, Petey definitely deserves a lot of league MVP discussions. The Canucks, I believe have really excelled and prove so many doubters wrong this season(and I am loving every second of it). He’s been either exceeding or on par with the franchise elite’s in their rookie seasons. The Canucks and Petey are battling for a playoff spot and if that can’t get fans excited, then I’m not sure what will. They recently compared him to McDavid; he helped lead the Oilers to the playoffs, I admit it was fun to see from a hockey fan standpoint. He won league MVP and I couldn’t have agreed more. Even if the Canucks don’t secure a playoff spot, it’s still been a very great fun and super exciting season. With the help of Brock, Bo, Jake, etc; Petey has helped propel the Canucks into a contender. If that doesn’t spell league MVP, then I’m not sure what can top that!

(@CanuckJordan): The way the NHL weighs the MVP vote seems to solely depend on if one player’s efforts were instrumental in getting the team in the playoffs, not necessarily the best player in the league(regardless if they get destroyed in the first round). Jeff Veillette(@JeffVeillette) made a solid case the McDavid should have won last year given his impact on his team’s output when he was on the ice versus when he was off of it. The numbers were staggering. The league saw it otherwise though. So as much as I would agree that Pettersson is an unreal talent and the Canucks MVP without a doubt, I do not see him winning the MVP. There is just no way the Canucks make the playoffs this year. IF I am wrong, Petey can laugh in my face in Las Vegas when he is holding the Hart Trophy. 

(@MikeCincoSays): The NHL has a lot of unwritten rules about the awards and one of them is that the Hart cannot go to a player whose team did not qualify for the playoffs. Were that not a requirement, I think you could make a solid argument using counting stats, analytics and the good ol’ eye test to say he and McDavid are by far that most valuable members of their franchises. Alas, this is not Petey’s year for the Hart which actually may benefit the Canucks in the long run, him winning a Hart Trophy in his rookie season would make his first post-ELC contract even more daunting. 

Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): Yes, he will get some consideration IF the Canucks make the playoffs. Even so, he will be hard pressed to win it given the outstanding seasons of other players like Nikita Kucherov, Nathan MacKinnon, and others. But, he is obviously very valuable to the Canucks in the same way that Connor McDavid is to the Oilers. My gut feeling is that Pettersson will win the Calder but not the Hart. He has plenty of years to win that one. 

Me(@nucksaid): I think whether he ends up in the discussion for the Hart or not, he’s definitely one of the Canucks MVPs this season. His pure unabated confidence each time he steps on the ice, gives the rest of the team a boost too, they all seem to play with more confidence and more cohesively when he is in the lineup. It’s pretty incredible to see a rookie(even if with the incredible season he had last year in Sweden), step into the NHL so seamlessly. Canucks fans were ecstatic to see him play so well last year but none of us could have imagined his seamless transition. If you haven’t had the chance to see him play live, DO IT, it’s truly something to behold.

Question 4: For years, Canucks fans have wanted to see a youth movement in Vancouver. This season, the kids have been leading the way. Which prospect/young player (outside of Pettersson), are you most excited about progressing? 

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Quinn Hughes is obviously going to be great to watch. His skating is sick.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): I’m really looking forward to seeing Quinn Hughes in our lineup very soon. 

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): I was about to say Dahlen when I suddenly remembered Hughes. There are probably 4 guys right now that I’m excited to see: Dahlen, Hughes, Demko and Juolevi. Hughes will probably be the biggest impact but it’s Dahlem that I’m excited to see next.

Josh Shettell(@shettell09): Lots of people will say Quinn Hughes as he’s dynamic but for me I really think Zack McEwen will turn a lot of heads as that power forward that the Canucks haven’t had since Todd Bertuzzi.

Michael Coleman(@1Michael Coleman): Sooooo many. Dahlen is top of my list though. I want to see him with Elias and Brock as the eventual top line. That being said, Quinn Hughes is the likely best dman we’ve ever had and he hasn’t even played a game yet. Goldy is worth staying the course with here. He has to learn the 200ft game but I can’t help but think playing with Pettersson is the best way to learn by being “in it”. Virtanen is becoming everything we hoped and I suspect he has more in him. Would love to know what he works on this Summer to come back even better than he is now(which is impressive). Palmu deserved a better sniff in Utica. He is tenacious and knows how to find the back of the net. I’d love to see him play with Roussel and Sutter(or Gaudette). The Nilsson trade means we finally get to see what Demko can do. And with Markstrom finally in a groove, we may have found the tandem we’ve missed since Luongo and Schneider. Honourable mentions go to Lind, Gadjovich, Madden, Dipietro, Juolevi and Woo. I’m happy Archibald is getting a fresh look. I’ve always liked that guy and hope he gets a real chance to play.

Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): I’m looking forward to seeing Quinn Hughes. When he was drafted, Jim Benning and his staff said that we’ve hit a home run, and they’re absolutely right. Quinn Hughes is so dynamic with his skating, puck control and offensive ability. If you put him on a team which already has Pettersson, Boeser, and Horvat; then I think Canuck fans are going to see one of the best team’s in the city’s history. We have to give him some time, playing defense in the NHL is extremely difficult, but he held his own at last year’s World Championship, and he’s doing an amazing job World Juniors again this year. The sky is the limit for this guy.

Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): Brock Boeser! I love the way he plays! He’s actually one of my favourite Canucks at the moment.

canucklehead(@DougDdlee288): Virtanen has definitely got my attention. He has really been figuring out his game. Using his power and speed. Getting more mop time. Also seeing him start off OT is really showing that he has coaches believing in him.

Jon K(EaglesNucksFan): I’ve been a Jake Virtanen fan even before we drafted him. To see him play through adversity and slowly find his game has been a treat to watch. I don’t think this slow learning curve is a bad thing at all. Sometimes it just takes some patience.

(@tams3333): So many! I’m actually quite excited about Michael DiPietro. In the prospects games, he was letting kids take selfies with him through the glass. The fans already love him (as they do Woo). I think he has the potential to be a huge fan favourite along with Jett Woo.

Oscar(@oscarcanucks): I have something special with goalies, I truly believe in Canucks goalie prospect, Michael DiPietro. He’s let us see that he can do a lot over his journey so far, and I saw his journey with team Canada during the 2019 IIHF World Juniors.

(@SGopes1): I really liked what Gaudette did with his time here. Next year, I think he’ll definitely be a full time NHL-er. Also that will make one of our centres expendable. I think Sutter or defnitely Granlund could get traded to make room for him.

(@Hockeygrampa1): Quinn Hughes, but Jett Woo and others; thanks to great drafting by Jim, we have NEVER been so deep.

Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): I’m a fan of Kole Lind. I’ve seen him play in Kelowna and he was a fantastic player on that team. I know he’s been injured this season a lot but I can’t wait to see what he’s like healthy. I think he will make the Canucks in the near future.

(@JustinLai01): Other than Pettersson, I’m excited for Hughes and Demko to develop among some the other prospects in the system. Youth like Gaudette and even Virtanen continuing to have great years is something I’m excited to see.

Jeff A.(@TheGamerJeff91): I’m giving this one to Jake Virtanen. He’s been the subject of a lot of being labeled as a bad draft pick and so on. Like myself, the Canucks stayed patient and believe in him. Jake has been progressing real well and become a very good player with our team. Virtanen has real great speed and he drives hard to make that play to score. That makes me real excited. I’m giving an honourable mention to Ben Hutton here, he didn’t have the best season last year, though every player has that down year. Just like Virtanen, Hutton went right at it working hard in the off-season and it’s paying off big time.

(@CanuckJordan): The player I was starting to be the most excited about was Juolevi. It was such a bummer that he got hurt. maybe I have a soft spot for him because I feel for the guy as it appears that a majority of Canucks fans are already calling him a bust. I will admit that his injury luck is not helping his case either but it not his fault the Canucks drafted him when they did. We need to let go of the fact that we didn’t get Tkachuk and embrace him for the solid puck moving defenseman that he is shaping up to be. He is going to be good. Maybe not ELITE but good. You just don’t win every draft. To get Pettersson and Hughes back to back was an insane haul for us as a team. 

(@MikeCincoSays): There is no question that the greatest organizational need the Canucks currently face is the D-core. Luckily the Canucks seem to have a really dynamic player in Quinn Hughes coming down the pipeline. Would be interested in seeing him, if not at the end of this season, then at least at the start of the 2019-20 seaosn. He can be a game changer for the power play. Aside from Hughes; Juolevi, Rathbone, Brassard and Woo make that list for me. The Canucks can also use some more scoring outside of Bo, Brock and EP, so I would love to see Lind, Dahlen or Gaudette to show some flashes of offensive prowess but I am thinking this is what the 2019 first round pick will be focused on. 

Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): I love Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser. And I’ve always been a big Jake Virtanen fan. But the one player that I’m most excited about is Quinn Hughes. We need some new blood on the blue line and he has everything that we’ve been lacking back there: offensive flair, outstanding skating, and creativity. I’m looking forward to him debuting in March. He will be the #1 d-man and powerplay quarterback that we’ve been hoping for. 

Me(@nucksaid): Jake Virtanen. I’ve been rooting for him since HIS draft and it has been an absolute delight to see him thrive this season. He’s had a ton of critics from day one and to see him take it all in stride, working hard in the off season, putting in the work consistently and leaving it all on the ice, he’s come a LONG way. Just over half way through the season and he’s on pace for a new career high in points. I’m also pretty excited to see how Demko will do with his latest call up and to get a chance to see how his game translates to the NHL after his stellar performances in Utica and his official debut last season. I’m also beyond excited to see what Hughes can do when he gets the nod on the blue line. This is first time in VERY long time that team has had such prospect depth. 

Question 5: Future Captain Bo? Seems to be the natural choice. Agree/Disagree. 

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Agree. Calm, well spoken.

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): I agree. I think Bo will make an excellent captain, he is ready. 

Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): Bo is the most obvious choice. I remember when Linden became captain. Bo reminds me of that time period. There are other good choices BUT Bo seems like the best choice.

Josh Shettell(@shettell09): No doubt that Bo Horvat is my future captain,  he’s the heart of this team on and off of the ice.

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): Agree.Lots of leadership on this team but he’s clearly “the guy”. Elias is a leader but doesn’t need a letter. Same with a few others. I may give the C to Bo and have Beagle take an “A” as well as Quinn Hughes.

Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): I agree, Bo Horvat will be named Captain next season, and he’ll do a great job. No matter role this guy has played since joining the Canucks, he’s done an excellent job. He seems to have been forever, and he’s only 23. He’s responsible at both ends of the ice, he elevates his game at key moments of the game, and he already carries himself as a leader. I think most Canucks fans agree that it belongs to him.

Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): Agree. 100%.

canucklehead(@DougDdlee288): Bo has definitely proven to me that that he will make a great captain. He has really worked on having a complete game. And has lead the team through some difficult stretches.

Jon K(EaglesNucksFan): Absolutely! Bo is the definition of a captain for me. Heart, hockey IQ & a great face of the team on and off of the ice.

(@tams3333): I’ve thought yes to Bo. I had a couple of thoughts regarding this. It reminds me of Kesler being touted as the next captain and it never coming to fruition. I don’t want that to happen to Bo, he clearly cares to be captain and a life long Canuck. I also think he the guy who will take a cross check to the face to score a playoff series winning goal. He reminds me of Linden and Steamer that “He will play! He will play on crutches!” quality.

Oscar(@oscarcanucks): Bo Horvat is a good choice as captain but Brock Boeser is also a good candidate to be the new captain for the Canucks. Let’s see what our Canucks coach Travis Green and team decide moving forward.

(@SGopes1): This is simple: AGREE!

(@Grampahockey1): I’m going to say, probably Bo but the way that Pettersson is playing and carrying himself, he can’t be taken out of the conversation.

Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): I agree. He’s a natural born leader. He is so good with the media and just has that personality for it. Part of me will be sad if he doesn’t get named captain.

(@JustinLai01): Before the season began, I absolutely believe that Bo is being groomed to be the next captain. He’s not necessarily the flashiest player but his skill and heart along with being a core piece of our future aids him well for being the captain. The captain of a team, isn’t always the player that scores the most points but brings about the professionalism, leadership and role model on and off the ice that translates to more than just goals and assists.

Jeff A.(@TheGamerJeff91): The growth in Bo Horvat’s game definitely makes him a lock for the captaincy. Work ethic and leading by example are some of the qualities he possesses.

(@CanuckJordan): Petey is the MVP but Horvat is the beating heart of this team. Period. Mentored by the Sedins, there is no one else that comes even close in my book. 

(@MikeCincoSays): If not Bo, then who? It’s pretty clear that Bo wants the job, from the way he acts during games and the way he conducts himself with the media, he is pretty much(in my eyes) acting as the defacto captain.

Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): Without a doubt. He is among our hardest working players, he is very comfortable with the media, and most importantly: he wants to be the captain. He wants the responsibility and he is not afraid to be accountable. He is an outstanding leader both on and off the ice. And he was shown great improvement in his game from season to season. I’ve admired Bo ever since my son, Sean, got to caddy for him in the annual Jake Milford golf tournament back in 2015. Bo even let Sean drive the golf cart. Thankfully he didn’t crash it. #53HorvatMagic

Me(@nucksaid): Simply put, YES! Bo has become the face of the franchise over the last few years following in the foot steps of the Sedins on the ice but also off of it in the community. He’s really embraced that leadership role even more so now that the twins have retired. He’s poised and well spoken on any given day with the media (win or lose), he takes it all in stride. His composure and etiquette are exactly what you look for in a team captain. To me, he’s the natural choice. Yes, Brock and Petey are incredible, establishing themselves as franchise players but Bo is the heart of the team.

Question 6: Social media has become a place to engage with fellow hockey fans, your favourite players, voices of the game, and even your favourite teams. Canucks fans have adopted some memorable hastags: #BoKnows, #Scorevat, #TheFlow, #WalkWithElias, #MVPetey. Are there any more that Canucks fans should be adopting? 

Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): My fave for teams that face Pettersson: #PeteySD. Maybe this one’s not so politically correct? But after seeing what he did against Ottawa…

Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): I can’t think of any to add to the list. 

Eric Bailey(@Bailey16): I’m not big at using the hashtags. Perhaps we need more fans claiming #GLCPC!

Josh Shettell(@shettell09): #Green4Jack deserves the coach of the year for the biggest turnaround of a franchise win or lose, he’s earned the respect of the players and most important, the fan base.

Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): These are all great! I’m personally not a big fan of #WeAreAllCanucks. I bring my skates and gear to every home game and have never been asked to skate a shift. Clearly some Canucks are more Canucks than others. How “Animal Farm” of you Canucks! LOL

Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): Those are all good hashtags, I’ve seen some good ones. I really just use #Canucks, but it’s a good way to see what fans, media and players have to say about the game.

Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): I don’t really know as I don’t use hashtags like that on twitter! I would have to start!

canucklehead(@DougDdlee288): I don’t use a lot of hashtags though I think that I will use some of these going forward. 

Jon K(EaglesNucksFan): #BrockStar, #BrocketLauncher, #JakeNBake, haha that’s all I got.

(@tams3333): I can’t take credit, as my partner @kathleenwong ages ago said, “I guess we’ll be seeing a lot of #Boesersson.”

Oscar(@oscarcanucks): I think you have most of the hashtags from social media about the Canucks. The only one I use the most is: #GoCanucks.

(@SGopes1): I think there are certain people on Twitter bringing a lot of negativity to Canucks management for the moves they make. Yes, no general manager is perfect and some acquisitions haven’t worked out yet. Also with the draft they question this team. It’s not his fault that Juolevi got hurt. I think that Benning has done a great job and I for one will starting using the hashtag: #ThanksBenning to counter the negativity from these people!

(@Grampahockey1): Just going with the Flow, no pun intended(well…maybe a little).

Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): I think each player should have a hashtag or something that we can use during games.

(@JustinLai01): I’ve definitely enjoyed seeing the various sayings and trends on social media regarding this team and I have used some of the mentioned myself. I love when fans get creative and bring about new ones for fans to rally behind. I have one for the future when Quinn Hughes and the Canucks become a major force to contend with in the league. #HughestopByDemko #HughestonWeHaveAProblem. Bit cheesy now but the future is bright. Go Canucks Go!

(@TheGamerJeff91): I definitely love the #MVPetey and I hope to hear some cheers of #MVPetey in the crowd! I really like #BreakoutJake for Jake Virtanen, he was actually my pick for breakout player of the year and he’s certainly worthy of that!

(@CanuckJordan): Here would be my submissions(some are obviously already in circulation but not on the above list): #shotgunjake, #jakenbake, #dekeypete, #doyourdekes, and #simplytheboest.

(@MikeCincoSays): Those are certainly better than #Lose4Hughes and #playWacko4Kakko, so I’m all in for hashtags that actually support the team.

Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): Absolutely. #GLCPC which stands for the Good Looking Canucks Positivity Club. I am the founder of this growing club, and Sarah is one of our lifelong members. There is no membership fee and no application process. All you need to be is good looking and positive. Now, I realize that both are subjective, and I know what your readers are thinking: at least Clay has the positive part down pat. In all seriousness, one of the drawbacks of Canucks Twitter is the amount of negativity. There are many people who like to criticize the players, coaches and management. Now tehre is nothing wrong with expressing your opinion. And I appreciate passion and zeal of most Canucks fans. But I think often times people are being negative for the sake of being negative. Or they don’t come up with their own informed opinions, rather they blindly follow and/or retweet popular media figures and personalities. My positivity isn’t a schtick…it’s who I am. Not just with the Canucks, but in life in general. The GLCPC has grown tremendously over the past few months. And it will only continue to grow as the Canucks continue to add more pieces. 

Me(@nucksaid): Even during the tough stretches, I’ll always find the silver lining in hockey and the Canucks. I tend to stay away from the negative hashtags but I’ve got a pretty long list of favourites to support the team, so I’ll add a few more: #RespectYourEdlers, #BoHeart, #BrockThisWay, #BrockStar, and #EtchAStech. 

That’s it for this edition of the Canucks Round Table! If you’d like to take part next time or down the road, OR if you have a question that you’d like included in the NEXT round table; find me on twitter(@nucksaid) or send me an e-mail(nucksaid@gmail.com). Special THANK-YOU to each and every person that took the time to be a part of this Round Table! [And if you’re not already following this group on twitter, please find their twitter handles above!]

As always, until next time nuck said. 

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: Adios 2018!

This post goes out to all Canucks fans as we say good-bye to 2018 and hello 2019!

Can you believe that we’re already half way through the 2018-19 season?! How the heck did that happen? Feels like just yesterday when we all wondered if Elias Pettersson could possibly live up to the hype after his incredible season last year in Sweden. End of December and we can all agree that Elias has more than lived up to the hype. As we edge ever closer to the beginning of the second half of the season, I thought that it’d be fun to take a look back at some of the highlights from the first half; so here we go!

OCTOBER: October was an entertaining month of highlights. Have I mentioned that first NHL goal from Pettersson? Being in Rogers Arena for that moment was truly something spectacular, the roar from the crowd was thunderous. And his reaction to the crowd was priceless.

Easily one of my favourite moments from October will be taking my grandpa to his first ever Canucks game and seeing them get an OT win versus the Boston Bruins. Taking in the atmosphere from the anthems to puck drop to that final buzzer was something that’ll long stay with me.

Or how about Jake Virtanen having his first 2-goal game against long-time rival Chicago? It’s been a season highlight to see him having success and on track to hit career highs (*already has a new high in goals), with half the season still to be played.

One last highlight was finally seeing the team beat Las Vegas for the first time. It took awhile but it was so great to see!

NOVEMBER: Yes, this was the month where simply getting a win felt impossible most nights BUT there were also still some incredible moments in there. The first being that 9-point night from Pettersson and Boeser, what a game THAT was!

The next being that 8-goal outburst in Boston! It’s been a LONG time since the team last put up 8-goals in a game.

Or how about Adam Gaudette scoring his first ever career goal as the Canucks ended a an extended losing streak?

DECEMBER: December has seen a bit of a turnaround for the team after a tough November. They have gone 8-3-1 in their last 12 games and 8-5-1 overall the month of December to close out 2018.

December also saw us all mesmerized by a SECOND 5-point outing from Elias Pettersson and a SECOND hat trick for Boeser. Can we take a minute to really appreciate the chemistry they have developed over the first half of the season?

Or can we take a moment to appreciate the brilliance that was Pettersson’s first ever penalty shot turned goal? It looked impossible but was perfectly timed and met with a thunderous roar from the Rogers Arena crowd.

Or should we talk about their come from behind regulation victory against Columbus? Down 2-1 with less than 5 minutes left, it didn’t seem possible and then the ever determined and never one to give up, Pettersson made sure the Canucks tied the game; paving the way for Virtanen to score the go ahead goal.

Or how about we talk about Boeser hitting his stride with 8 goals and Pettersson continuing to take the league by storm with 17 points in 14 games over the course of December. Their developing on ice chemistry is all kinds of awesome for Canucks fans to see come to fruition.

Pettersson’s 39 points in 36 games is putting him on track to crush, Pavel Bure’s 60 point rookie campaign and the early favourite in the Calder trophy race.

Sure, the season hasn’t been perfect and has even featured some tough stretches BUT they’ve also been more competitive and entertaining than they’ve been in recent years. Stay tuned in 2019, as I’ll be starting a CANUCKS ROUND TABLE featuring fellow Canucks fans! Is there something else you’d like to see discussed on the blog in 2019? Leave a comment below or send me an email (nucksaid@gmail.com).

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: A Look Towards the Bright Side

The 2018-2019 season is well under way, so let’s take a closer look at some Vancouver Canucks season so far. If you were just to look solely at their overall standings, you would think the season was not so great, especially if you only saw their recent stretch of hockey BUT you would also be missing out on a lot of good things actually occurring within that tough stretch. I could write about those stats and the ‘negative’ results but there’s enough of those pieces already written, and you know me, I love to take a look at the bright side, always.

The kids are getting time to play and scoring goals. The younger players are getting a chance to play bigger minutes and bigger roles, something that Canucks fans have really wanted to see the team embrace that last few seasons.

The talk of the town through the first quarter has been the electric play of Elias Pettersson for good reason, he’s been an absolute sensation every time he’s on the ice. He brings the arena to their feet and gets the fans buzzing all over social media.

It’s not just his shot which is insanely accurate, it’s his creativity with and without the puck.He’s always ready for the next play, and always anticipating not just his own spot on the ice, but anticipating where his line mates will be. He gives fans goosebumps with his moves on the ice and echoes plays made by the Sedins all the while paving his own path.

There’s are a few other Vancouver Canuck that have been quietly having an incredible start to the season, and one of them is Bo Horvat. The Sedins leaving left a leadership void and a scoring void. Bo has been leading the way behind the scenes and on the ice. While many eyes have been poised on the impressive debut of Pettersson, Horvat has been quietly putting up some impressive and consistent numbers (12 goals, 13 assists). He said he wanted to be a leader and appears to be the natural choice as the next Vancouver Canucks captain when the time comes as he leads the way on and off of the ice.

Jake Virtanen, the 2014 draft pick that MANY said was a bust before he even played a game and then wrote him off when he struggled his first two years. Last season, under Travis Green after having spent part of the 2016-17 season in Utica, he began to show glimpses of the player that the Canucks hoped he could be. This season, Jake is off to his best start as a Canuck, giving fans a glimpse of the player they all hope he can be.

Adam Gaudette fresh off scoring his first ever NHL goal is getting better and better with the every game that he plays. As the season has gone on, he’s adapting more and more to the NHL style and in all areas of his game.

Ben Hutton. It’s no secret that he struggled to find his footing and consistency all of last season. So far, this season he’s been one of the Canucks most solid blue liners. He’s come a long way from his constant days of being scratched last season, to his days of now being reliable.

Troy Stecher has also been establishing himself on the blue line a little bit more this season and endearing himself to Canucks fans.

Sure the season hasn’t been anywhere near perfect and the team has struggled of late BUT there’s been a lot of good mixed in. Each loss, and every win is a learning curve for this group, they can take a lesson from every situation as the season moves along.

And Canucks fans, prepare yourselves for many more Bo, Brock and Petey moments still to come as the season continues!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: Shades of Sedinery.

Elias Pettersson. No words…well that’s a lie, I have all the words. It’s only been 9 games, and yet he’s already silencing any and all critics who said the Canucks were wrong to draft 5th overall in 2017.

Last year, Canucks fans were treated to all the highlights of Pettersson’s remarkable season in the SHL playing among grown men as he set records and won all kinds of awards for his season. It was remarkable and it gave Canucks fans something to be excited about moving forward. His season led to him getting hyped before he’d played an NHL game and many wondered if he could possibly live up to the hype. How would his game translate to the NHL?

There’s no doubt in that he’s talented and the anticipation for him to be successful was through the roof before the start of the year. No, he’s not McDavid, he’s not Crosby, he’s not Gretzky and no one expects him to be. He’s his own player and that’s still to be defined.

All eyes were on Elias as he made his NHL debut in October, hopeful that his play in the SHL would translate to NHL success. All doubt was cast aside when he scored the first of his highlight reel goals:

There’s a lot of time left between now and the end of the season, but his 15 points in 9 games has him in the lead as the early Calder trophy favourite. Yes, you read that right, 15 points in NINE games! That’s some kind of incredible. He’s giving Canucks fans flashbacks to Pavel Bure, and brings the crowd off their feet every time he’s got the puck at Rogers Arena. It’s something amazing to see, truly.

It’s not just how he plays with the puck, it’s how he plays without the puck…no matter where he is on the ice, he is always ready to make a play. And then, there’s his determination to keep improving even after he has a memorable moment or highlight. He’s a team player, always looking to help keep the team in a game. Perfect example, his 5 point effort against the Avalanche, every time the team was down, he was quick to lead the charge of helping the team tie the game and eventually win the game. His vision and creativity with the puck are all kinds of incredible.

Can we talk about that SEDIN like bank pass off the boards to Boeser against the Colorado Avalanche?! Serious shades of sedinery:

Brock This Way With Elias! OH yes, I can definitely get used to highlights that feature those two players. Their recent chemistry is something truly magical to behold, especially if you get the chance to see them play live.

And yes it’s still early in the season, but the whispers about the talent of Elias Pettersson are getting louder outside of Vancouver. Elias is playing his game and it’s getting others talking and taking notice. Soon, everyone will know his name.

I’ve said it many times, but if you have a chance to see Pettersson play live, take it, it really is something special to see in person.

Breathe easy, Canucks fans, Elias Pettersson is a Vancouver Canuck and THIS is just the beginning. The best is yet to come.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: First Game Magic

Some hockey nights are more special than others, sometimes it’s about more than the game itself but rather the people who are with you. This one in particular will always be on that stands out. This past weekend, we took my 90-years young Grandpa to his first ever Vancouver Canucks game.

When he planned his visit a few months back, he said that it would be really fun to attend a hockey game together while he was here. And you know me, there was no convincing need on my part! So we took a look at the team’s schedule to plan out which game to attend together. We gave him the choice of games that would be available to him during his stay: Boston, Washington and Pittsburgh.

He chose Boston, as they are an original six franchise. And as you can imagine, as a Canucks fan, it may not have been my first choice of rivals to watch BUT it was not about my choice. It was his choice. And it was a great choice in the end but more on that later.

First things first, once the he made his choice we had to find tickets for the four of us that would be attending the game: my Grandpa, my dad, my sister and myself. Once we secured the four tickets, the next step was making sure he would be properly outfitted in Canucks attire for the game.

Up next was the long awaited game day! We made the trek to the arena all geared up and ready to take in all the sights and sounds, ready cheer on the home team!

It’s no secret that I’m ALWAYS going to root for the Canucks despite whatever the odds may tell me prior to any given game. This game was no different, I was told many times that this may not be best the game to bring Grandpa to as many did not expect the Canucks to put up much of a fight against a resilient Boston Bruins team. The expectation from them was a guaranteed loss with little or no push back. I learned long ago, that just because there is an expectation or certain odds, when it comes to hockey(and most sports), you can’t always go by the odds. Sometimes the odds go to the wayside and that team that everyone wrote off, just happens to surprise you.

The lights went down, the arena began to fill and the magic was just about upon us. Anthems were song and the puck dropped and the cheers began. Amidst our cheering, we talked about the team, the game progressing pretty well on both sides and taking in the sheer magic that is 18.000+ fans all taking in the moment together.

There’s the pure joy of opening the scoring early in the game. There’s the annoyance in unison at the refs/linesmen in the game. There’s the intensity of the game back and forth as the Canucks tried to seal it and the Bruins relentlessly not giving up. There was the unexpected fight from Bo Horvat that only had fans convinced even more so that he’s potential captain material. There was the moment Boston’s relentlessness paid off as they tied to game. There was the moment late in the final frame that Markstrom made a glove save out of the air to keep the game tied, and made for an exhilarating frenzied finish to regulation.

As overtime was about to begin, all I could think about was how much I really didn’t want to witness a shootout not because I thought either team was more favoured in that contest but because if passed regulation, I’d rather watch continuous overtime over a shootout any day. There’s a certain intensity that comes with 3-on-3 OT and overtime in general that just cannot be matched in a shootout.

And just as I was having those ‘please no shootout’ thoughts without taking my eyes off of the ice, it happened almost in slow motion and then all at once. Brock Boeser stole the puck, had a give and go with Bo Horvat ending with a perfectly placed Horvat shot for the game winning goal. The crowd went wild and we left the arena with an everlasting family hockey memory.

Sometimes hockey is about more than just the game itself, it’s about the people. It’s making memories of a lifetime that will long live on. And just in case there’s any doubt, Grandpa has officially dubbed himself a Vancouver Canucks fan.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver, You Are Better Than THIS.

Truthfully, I was in the middle of writing a completely different post but had to stop because I saw this tweet emerge on my timeline:

It broke my heart a little AND this needed to be said.

Vancouver, you and me, we are better than this. We are better than sending harassing messages to an opposing player and his family. Yes, we all hated the hit and ensuing injury to Elias Pettersson but that does NOT in any way justify the treatment that has been directed towards Matheson and his family. It also does NOT in any way justify the hate that has also been slung towards Canucks players by “fans” of the team for their response or lack of response to the aforementioned hit depending on how you look at the situation. Either way, those messages of hate and death threats being directed at Matheson and Canucks players are all kinds of wrong.

We are better than sending harassing messages and threats to players on an opposing team and we are better than sending harassing messages to players on our own team. That is a whole new level of wrong that I cannot even begin to fathom. It’s heartbreaking.

Social media can be a great tool for fans of the game to connect with each other and share that bond. It’s also a great tool that can connect fans with their team and players from their team. But that fun is gone instantly when someone takes it too far sending threats and continual harassment that can cause real harm. It affects more than those who send the tweet and those who receive the tweet/messages, and very quickly can spiral farther than ever intended. Words are a powerful thing and can leave an indelible mark.

Do we want that mark from fans in Vancouver to be one that drives players away from ever wanting to play here knowing that the fans will treat them this way? Or do we want that mark to one to be one that creates a bond between the fans and the team that is strong, drawing players to want to be here? I know which one I’m aiming for.

I’m going to say this plain and simple: harassing ANYONE online let alone a hockey player is NEVER a good idea. And I get that there will be chirping back and forth but taking it the level of death threats and sending harassing messages is not chirping or in good fun.

Vancouver, you are better than this. We are better than this.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.