Vancouver Canucks: For Brock

Sometimes, this game that can take your breath away in the best possible way, can be heartbreaking in the cruelest of ways. That happened last night as all of Canucks nation held their collective breath after seeing Brock Boeser sustain an injury late in their game versus the New York Islanders. Today, the Vancouver Canucks announced that Brock Boeser is likely out for the remainder of the season (4-6 weeks). And it’s no secret that prior to the injury, Brock Boeser was having a Canucks rookie season to remember with 29 goals, 26 assists (55 points) in 62 games.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see a player that’s been having a memorable season be forced to the sidelines due to injury. And while the season may not end in a Calder trophy for the rookie phenom, there are more important things than a trophy. As tough as this news is, it could be worse, and it’s absolutely the right decision that Boeser takes this time to recover fully so that he can come back to the game he loves for years to come The good news is that he will make a full recovery.

This post is for Brock.

Brock,

I can still remember the anticipation that followed when the Vancouver Canucks drafted you and excitement that stemmed when the team announced you made this season’s roster. This is not the ending that your rookie season was supposed to have. You were well on your way to setting a new Vancouver Canucks rookie season record. Today, having this news shared with the rest of the world must be one of the most difficult things you’ve been faced with early in your career, but taking this time to heal properly was the right decision. Some things are bigger than the game.

I hate that we were robbed of your 30th goal (some will point out you should proably be credited with 1 or 2 more in recent weeks!) and that we don’t a get a chance to see you surpass Pavel Bure’s rookie record. I hate that this season, we will not get to see any more of your signature snipes or impossible angle goals that often took opponents by surprise with their accuracy. I hate that we will not get to see you find that chemistry with no matter who you played with until next season. I hate that this is how the season most likely ends for you this season. I hate the unfairness of this outcome. I hate that after all the work you put in and that the rookie season that you were on pace for, that this is the ending. I hate that many on the outside don’t always see the value that you bring to the Canucks every single game.

As much as I hate this end to your incredible rookie season, 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 taking the time to heal properly and not risk further injury and allowing yourself a long-term future in the game. It may have only been your first full time season in the NHL and with the Vancouver Canucks, but you’ve already left an indelible mark on the franchise.

The ending to the season may have come much earlier than you desired but you DID IT. You’re living a dream come true in the NHL that while only one year in, is full of highlight reel moments: back to back rookie of the month honours, first career hat trick, goals that made many opponents ask “HOW?”, a possible Calder trophy candidate, NHL All-Star, All-Star MVP, Canucks All-Star. Those are some awesome early career moments. You are the type of player that fans hope their team drafts and love to see succeed when they make the big league.

It’s not the ending that your rookie season deserved. You gave this team, the fans and the league everything you had every single time you were on the ice. Never doubt for a second what you’ve accomplished this season. You gave it your all every single shift, playing with whoever coach put with you in the lineup. You always found a way to keep your game consistent. You may be one of the youngest players on the team, but I promise that you inspired your teammates, the fans and even opponents around the league. Your heart, determination, dedication and perseverance every game are something to be admired. Your tenacity will be missed by the team, opponents, and fans league wide down this final stretch.

Thank-you for one heck of a memorable rookie season with the team. You’ve brought an excitement to the team and united Canucks fans far and wide while we all rooted for the next FLOW highlight! Your season may have come to an abrupt end, but I hope you know that NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is disappointed in you. You’ve done nothing but make Canucks fans proud every single time you hit the ice. I hope that while you recover, you stay close to the team, you may not realize it yet what an inspiration your season has been to them. And maybe today, that seems impossible to comprehend, but it’s 100% true. Canucks nation is sending you all the best as you focus on your recovery! Take all the time you need, your health is the #1 priority.

Your season might have come to an early end but you took the pressure of an entire city and ignited a spark of hope for the season and the future as we all witnessed the initiation of the Brock star. One thing is certain, your teammates, fans, even your opponents are all rooting for you as you recover and look forward to your eventual return when you a ready. You have accomplished a lot in a short time this season. Remember this moment, a rookie season to remember that stole the hearts of Canucks fans far and wide, this is only the beginning and the best is still yet to come.

-Sarah E.L.

 

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Sedinery: The Beginning of the End?

The rumour mills are in full swing as the 2017-18 NHL season edges ever closer. The latest whispers getting louder out there right now being the possibility that THIS is the Sedins last season playing in the NHL. Is this the end, or perhaps the beginning of the end of the phenomenon that is Sedinery? Just writing and even considering the truth in those questions hurts to think about. The day the Sedins stop playing hockey will be a hard day.

What is Sedinery, you ask? It is the pure magic that has occurred when Henrik and Daniel Sedin have showcased their skill sets on the ice over the years throughout their careers. The Sedins have been a part of the fabric of the Vancouver Canucks since June 1999. In fact, it is impossible or very near impossible to envision the team when they are no longer on the roster.

IF this is in fact their last season, from the day they were drafted (2nd and 3rd overall in ’99) to their veteran days, they have left an indelible mark on the Vancouver Canucks.

From the outside, the Sedins are seen as “soft”, called “sisters”, and in general are viewed as players who are not elite. From the outside, because they have not won the Stanley Cup, often they are not considered worthy to be a part of that discussion. That’s the view from the outside.

From the inside, as a fan who has witnessed their entire career from the beginning, those on the outside do not understand just how elite these two players are.

In Vancouver, they are so much more that just two hockey players. They personify everything that it means to be a Canuck. They are brothers, they are leaders on the ice, they are leaders off the ice, they are resilient, they are well spoken, and they are pillars within the community. They didn’t have an easy path to success, they struggled early in their careers, and some wondered if they would ever make it. They have always been their own worst critics, and despite what so many on the outside have said or speculated, they always rose above it.

I cannot tell you how many times over the years, even when they had their record breaking seasons (including back to back Art Ross trophies), that I read reports from both sides of the hockey world, that often many “experts” missed the truth of who the Sedins are. Yes, they would talk about the facts but they never quite understood the awesome that is seeing the Sedins play the game. The way they read off one another during a game, from shift to shift, on and off the ice, it is beyond magic. They seem to anticipate where the other is, often without even looking up, and making a play that to the outside would seem odd, but if you’ve been paying attention, you knew that some how that puck would find the other Sedin. Just as they always have, they’ve reached record after record in Vancouver, one after the other.

It’s not often ONE player, let alone TWO on the same team will amass more than 1000 points. Only 86 NHL players including, Henrik have joined the 1000 points club. By season’s end, Daniel will once again follow his brother’s foot steps further into the Canucks history books when he scores his 1000th regular season point.

Is it fair that they do not want to be traded and desire to retire as Canucks? ABSOLUTELY, they have more than earned that right to that decision. They have played the entirety of their careers in Vancouver, a place that has been where they’ve played hockey and a place that has become their second home. They have been a part of the team since their draft day. They have seen Vancouver through all kinds of seasons on the spectrum from terrible to record breaking, never wavering on their loyalty to the team or the city.

Truthfully, in Vancouver, we do not deserve the Sedins, but we DO owe them the same loyalty and respect that they have always shown Vancouver. IF this is in fact their last season playing in the NHL, I plan on savouring every last moment of Sedinery as it plays out.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: 3 down, 79 to go…

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E. L.

Off-Season Overview

Ahh can you hear that sound? No, it’s not October yet, but I can almost hear the echoes just around the bend. I can also hear the buzz of rumour filled activity surrounding the Vancouver Canucks as the off-season is in full swing.

Here’s an overview of the Canucks off-season so far:

There was the will they or won’t they buy out Alex Burrows saga.

For all those who were calling for the Vancouver Canucks to either buy out or trade Alexandre Burrows this summer. Allow me to present the case for why he should STAY.

The whirlwind that is known as the rumour mill is nothing new to Alex Burrows in regards to his career. It’s a phenomenon that has surrounded him since the moment he entered his pro hockey career. Spanning from the ECHL, the AHL and the NHL; Burrows has surpassed the 1000 pro games played benchmark.

He was never supposed to make it in the NHL, let alone play with elite players like the Sedins. Truth be told, I’m not sure many of the experts ever had him slotted to play on an NHL roster let alone find himself on a line with two of the best players in the Canucks franchise or playoff hero. When I think of Burrows and his pro hockey career, I think of pure determination. He brings the intangibles of heart, persistence and an incredible work ethic that is admirable to his game every single day.

Early on, he was known to be a pest of his opposition and timely penalty kill minutes. He did the little things right and kept working to improve his game in all areas and it paid off over the years. He still does the little things right. He has become a leader and an inspiring example on this team.

Management and his teammates believe in him. It’s time for the fans to also show him that same respect, he’s more than earned it.

There was the will they or won’t they let Willie Desjardins go saga.

After a season that saw the Canucks struggle in just about every category, many fans and media members were quick to call for Willie Desjardins to be let go. It is often the easiest path when things go wrong on a team to put the blame on one person such as the coach rather than address the entire problem.

Yes, the season was far from perfection but that is not all on the coach. As far as imperfect seasons go, there were a variety of factors that led to the Canucks struggles throughout the year from a mass of injuries to missed opportunities. Yes, it’s easy to say that the coach should be held responsible to every decision he makes and he is but that does not mean he shoulders all the blame when things go awry.

The management made it very clear that they are not ready to give up on Willie Desjardins moving forward much to the chagrin of many “experts”. The upcoming season will be an opportunity for Desjardins to prove his critics wrong as he works to find a balance between the young and veteran players. The clock begins when the season starts October 15.

There was the echo of disappointment when the Canucks dropped to 5th in the draft followed by the belief that they should trade that same pick.

Admit it, you were among those who hoped that with all the bad the luck the team had face all year, that they would have a little luck and be awarded a top three draft pick. They dropped to 5th and sparked a rumour frenzy to trade that pick or hold onto it. Any potential trade up or down in the draft could have ended up being too costly for the Canucks in the long run.

The team kept the pick which led to a slight social media uproar as everyone from the media and fandom expressed “expert” opinions. Not only did they keep the pick, but they picked up defenceman, Olli Juolevi. Perhaps, not the player that many fans had speculated the team might choose, but a player with great potential down the road.

There was the Lucic sighting in town that sparked a media frenzy ahead of the July 1st Free Agent Frenzy.

Sure, it’s true that Milan Lucic came to town and met with the team and sparked a massive media/fan frenzy with the possibility that he would play for his home team. We all know what happened, he ultimately decided to sign long-term with the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks opted to sign a different former Boston Bruin. Loui Eriksson was signed to a six-year contract.

Eriksson more than likely will be playing on a line with the Sedins come October when the Canucks open their season. They already have formed a previous chemistry on Team Sweden in international competition; tournaments that take place over a few weeks…imagine that chemistry over an entire season. Eriksson with the Sedins will provide a consistency most games for that line.

The ever continuous they’ve made moves but will they make more before training camp saga.

The Canucks have been making moves since the off-season began. They traded McCann to acquire Gudbranson. Sven Baertschi and Emerson Etem re-signed. The team bought out Chris Higgins and opted to keep Alex Burrows. Philip Larsen was signed. Yannick Weber and Dan Hamhuis signed elsewhere. They signed Eriksson and a few young depth players for Utica.

The question remains, how many more moves if any will be made? Stay tuned, Canucks fans…we are in for an interesting ride heading into the upcoming season. It’s October yet, but the echoes around the bend are getting louder with each passing day.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Great (Low) Expectations?

54 games down, 28 games remaining and expectations: low.

It is no secret that the Vancouver Canucks have A LOT of work cut out for them if they would like to be playoff bound come April. So, yes perhaps the expectations for the Canucks are incredibly low moving towards the finish line of the 2015-16 season but perhaps that’s for the best. Low expectations leave little room for disappointment and instead leave open the opportunity to enjoy every moment as it comes.

I’ve never been a huge believer that everything comes down to the odds. Yes, the odds are factors that will and do influence parts of a season but they do not tell the entire story. If you were to ask any of the experts right now, if they thought the Canucks had a chance for the playoffs, most would say not even close.

28 games remain on the regular season schedule. 28 chances to change their fate to that of which many do not think possible. 28 opportunities to make the unpredictable possible. How they play these final 28 games will be up to them every time they step on the ice for a shift. Perhaps they can use their recent road trip success with their mothers in attendance as their inspiration for these final 28 games.

54 games down, 28 games to go and expectations low. Anything can happen, are you ready for whatever that might be? Here’s to wherever these final 28 games lead the Canucks down the final stretch drive of the season!

Fun fact: Did you know that after playing in his 1140th NHL game in Arizona on February 10, Henrik Sedin has tied Trevor Linden for most games played in a Canucks uniform. He will become the all-time leader in games played for the franchise on February 13 when the Canucks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. If you ask me, that sounds like the PERFECT evening for Sedinery to be on display.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

What are the Odds?

WeAreAllCanucksIt has been a while since my last post, but guess who’s back? Yep, you got it, ME.

This post goes out to all Canucks fans,

We all share a common bond, a passion for the game and a passion for this team. We are a passionate bunch, no matter if we are new fans, or if we have been fans for many years. We have seen it all from terrible seasons to near perfect seasons that were ONE game from perfection and everything in between. We feel the anticipation of every game, every goal, and every save. We feel the excitement from every win and the disappointment from every loss. In the span of one season or even within one game we can go from absolutely heartbroken to overjoyed and vice versa dependent on the outcome. We feel every emotion good or bad that comes with being a hockey fan and we would not want it any other way.

This season is one that has been far from perfect thus far but it also has not been as bad as some have suggested. According to some, the Canucks should pack it in now and go for the TANK in order to acquire a high draft pick come June. Why would anyone encourage their team to NOT play their best regardless of how the season might end? Why not hope for the best for each game rather than expect the worst? Should they strive to be the worst or is it better for them to thrive to be their best despite what the outsiders say? No one said the 82-game journey would be an easy one or a fun one all the time. It’s a battle from start to finish with 29 other teams all vying for the same thing. The odds are that despite all the predictions made one way or another, some will be proven right and some will be proven wrong. Why not enjoy every step of the journey, wherever it leads despite the odds?

Odds are a funny thing that most often are unpredictable, no matter how much math becomes involved. Every season all the experts, bloggers, stats gatherers, and fans calculate the odds that their favourite team and players will have a good or bad season. Sometimes the odds are easy to predict. Star players will put on a show and other star players will struggle before finding their groove. Predicting where a team will finish based on prior performance should be simple enough BUT when every team in one division struggles out of the gate, it changes the odds game. Look at the how Pacific Division was dominated in every way by Anaheim last season and YET this season that is not the case. Every team in the Pacific has struggled at various points this season with only ONE team(LA) having a positive goal differential at the midway mark of the season.

Lots of hockey remains to be played and the divisional standings are anyone’s guess for how they will look at season’s end in the Pacific. Toss the odds out the window and hold on folks, we are in for a wild ride to the finish whether you are rooting for a tank or a triumph…things are about to get interesting as the trade deadline looms around the bend. Are you ready?

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Nov-SEDINERY-ember.

The Sedins are old. The Sedins play making days are long behind them. The Sedins are on the cusp of the end of their respective careers. The Sedins should pack it in and retire or request a trade out of Vancouver. Canucks fans have heard it all. Maybe some of them even started to believe it to be true that this is the beginning of the end and maybe it is exactly that. Maybe these are the twilight years of their respective careers, but who says they have to take the decline route? The Sedins may be thirty-five but that does not mean they are finished.

Sure, November was not exactly the most memorable month for the Vancouver Canucks in the win column, BUT Sedinery had it’s mark in nearly every game. The twins put on a showcase all month long, amassing a combined thirty-five points over fourteen games.

Henrik: 6 goals, 11 assists (17 points)

Daniel: 8 goals, 10 assists (18 points)

Here’s a few examples of the artistry that was November Sedinery:

Some kind of pass from Daniel to set up Hansen:

Just when you thought the Blackhawks were going to break our hearts on home ice, the twins took over the game, scoring the first of three late insurance goals:

Game tying goal versus Torts:

Or back to the Chicago game…when Daniel notched his 900th career point as he set up his brother for the first tying goal of the game:

Nov-Sedinery-ember was fun to witness and gave rise to hope that the twins are not done yet. Thirty-five years old and they still continue to take the hockey world by surprise. They may be approaching the tail end of their careers but they are doing so in style and and adding to their one day legendary status. The day will come when the Sedins decide to hang up their skates and Canucks fans will never be the same having witnessed the entire career of two incredibly uniquely gifted players. For now, I say, let’s enjoy every moment of Sedinery that was, and is yet to be.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.