When people find out that I’m a hockey fan, and a Vancouver Canucks fan in particular it’s met with a myriad of responses. One of the most common is: “Really, you like hockey? And you root for the Canucks? Are you sure you are a hockey fan, you know they’ve never won the Stanley Cup, right? Sure, they had that great run in 2011, but they came up short, why keep supporting them? If you do, that must mean you’re on team tank, right?”
So, let me settle this once and for all. Am I aware of who I’m rooting for? Yes. Do I know that they’ve never won the cup before? Yes. And no, I don’t need you to tell me the stats of my team or attempt to talk me out of rooting for them. Yes. that 2011 run was absolute magic and I really thought that would be their year, when it wasn’t it broke my heart completely but it didn’t end my being a fan of the team. And whether or not they are in the playoff hunt now or in April, I will never EVER be on team tank, rooting against my team goes against the grain for me. That said, everyone defines for themselves what being a fan means, and having a different perspective doesn’t make either of us wrong.
Falling in love with the game was slow and sudden all at once. Before you knew it, I was learning not just the current stats and roster players but learning all I could about the team’s history and the game itself. It was seeing the return of Trevor Linden, the rise of the West Coast Express followed by the emergence of the Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Bieksa and the impeccable play of Roberto Luongo that completely captured my heart. From Naslund and Bertuzzi dominating to the Sedins making seamless plays that took the league by storm, there was no looking back.
I know that even so, many will point out that the Canucks have never won a cup and maybe even throw a few jabs at some former players. Trust me, I’ve heard all the insults/jabs/below the belt comments about my team, it’s nothing new. And no, while I haven’t been lucky enough to see my team hoist the Stanley Cup, just yet, I’ve still been pretty lucky to witness some incredible hockey moments and players over the years.
The West Coast Express of Naslund, Bertuzzi and Morrison helped launch this team into a competitive upswing that inspired players and fans. Every time they were on the ice, you could anticipate an exciting rush or play was upcoming, it was electric.
Alex Burrows, known to most around the league as a pest and agitator but in Vancouver, we defined him as the heart and soul of our team. His determination and tenacity was something truly special. He went from a fourth liner to his bond with Luc Bourdon to him honouring his friend with every goal he scored to eventually becoming an “honourary” triplet when playing on the top line with Henrik and Daniel. Never drafted, he defined what heart meant to this city with his knack for timely goals and will forever be our dragon slayer.
Kevin Bieksa may not get as much recognition because he never won the big NHL awards but he was a tenured blue liner for this team. He was loyal and fiercely competitive and his interviews were ALWAYS gold. Perhaps his biggest triumph is his fight for the importance of mental health awareness in honour of Rick Rypien and those who continue to battle their issues every day. Some things are bigger than hockey.
Ryan Kesler. Yes, these days he gets some of the loudest boos when hes in town but there was a time when he too was a part of the heart and soul on this team. He thrived on helping the team with some big goals while being a pest to his opponents and we all know he loved a good chirp. He may be seen as the enemy by many these days but there’s no denying that he did A LOT for this team while he was here.
Roberto Luongo. A player who often took the heat when it wasn’t always fair or deserved. He didn’t need people to tell him it was his fault on an off-game or series, he almost always took the blame even if it wasn’t always true. His on ice compete level is almost as impressive as his work off the ice in the community. He’s a fierce competitor that lead this team to the playoffs in 6 of his 8 seasons here, including that incredible 2011 run. Let’s not forget that he’s still the leader in most wins in Canucks history. His time here may have ended on a bit of a sour note, but regardless of what some will argue, he’s one of THE best goalies to have ever played for the Canucks
The Sedins, where do I even begin?! The Sedins gave EVERYTHING they had to this city for 18+ years. Sure their first couple of years were tough but they took it all in stride and will go down as two of the greatest players to ever suit up for the Canucks. To those on the outside, you never really got to fully appreciate what we saw on a daily basis, two brothers redefining hockey plays left and right. The way they could read each other on the ice was something truly amazing to witness. Back to back scoring titles, and each surpassing 1000 NHL points, along with their incredible community work, the Sedins left behind a legacy that will always be appreciated. A future call from the Hockey Hall of Fame seems to be not too far down the line for these two Swedish dynamos.
And now, we are getting a glimpse at the future with a new young core is emerging. Bo Horvat, as the (unofficial) team captain seems to have picked up where the Sedins left off with being a leader on and off of the ice. He spent the last four seasons being mentored by the Sedins and it’s showing in his play, his dealing with the media daily, his interactions with the fans and his work within the community. And if you somehow haven’t yet seen the Brock and Petey show on display this season, let me enlighten you. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson have reignited a fire in Canucks fans this season with their dynamic play and Sedin-like vision on the ice when playing together. And can we talk about the pure magic that is Elias Pettersson’s rookie season?!
Yes, it’s true that this season hasn’t been perfect BUT that in no way means that I’ll stop supporting them this season or beyond. They’ve got my heart 24/7/365. And I know that may make me seem a little crazy to some or naive but I assure you it doesn’t. I’m more than aware of the current state of my team and their stats, all it means is that we may have a different perspective on them and the game itself.
I can still remember what it was like to be in the arena for the first time, from anthems to puck drop to the final buzzer, I remember it all; it was magic. I can honestly say, that I still feel that same magic every time I’m at the rink.
Welcome to the latest edition of the 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 2nd edition of the Canucks Round Table feature on Nucksaid.
1) There’s no denying that’s incredibly fun to see players develop chemistry playing together over time through their careers. That said, did you think that we would see such an immediate chemistry develop between Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser?
Marc Josef(@marc_josef): Yes, absolutely! Talented players just find a way to bring the best out of their teammates and we are truly blessed to have two very talented, hardworking players that are still in the growth stage of their careers. They seem to be developing a great friendship off of the ice as well so that will only translate well on the ice for the rest of their Canucks careers.
Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr):To be honest, I didn’t! I was thinking that it was gonna take a couple months or this season, but I’m SO happy about it! I’m excited to see more bank passes and unreal setups in the future.
Josh Shettell(@shettell09): Pettersson has just wowed Canucks fans everywhere. It seems that his talent just keeps us on the edge of our seats every game. The chemistry between them is like two peas in a pod on the ice and off. Usually new talent is moved around trying to find that fit, but Green hit the jackpot with these two together, definitely a surprise to me.
(@deku_pete): No, mostly because of how well they played together last year, that I thought Boeser and Bo Ho would stay together for longer and that they’d find options for Pettersson. Been a helluva nice surprise though!
Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): Yes, I did think Boeser and Pettersson would make great chemistry together, both of them have been great together!
Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): Absolutely. I have watched Pettersson for a few years now and had zero doubt coming into the season as to his ability to be a play making centre on a top line. Much like Henrik Sedin developed into a few years into his career. And Brock was clearly a top line sniper after only a few games last season. While the dynamic is different from Henrik and Daniel in terms of their play was truly symbiotic, these latest two superstars have the potential to be the greatest two Canucks to ever put on the jersey! (And I believe Horvat is a considerabler step above what Kesler was in his prime. With Quinn Hughes possibly coming in as our best dman ever and solid options in net for years to come, we may have the core pieces to the cup we’ve always wanted!).
Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): I did not expect to see Brock play with Petey. I had him and Horvat glued together and never remotely considered them being a line. From what I’ve seen, Travis Green doesn’t really believe in lines but he does seem to prefer Brock and Petey together(as we all do, now). The only problem created with those two together is it shows our lack of depth.
Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout):I had no expectations as I knew Pettersson would be good, BUT C’MON! The Alien is really out of this world! I love the chemistry that he has with Boeser, and almost more so with Goldy. (I like Goldy and want him to stay a Canuck). I hope the times he’s on Pettersson’s line has and will help his game enough. Honestly, who doesn’t Pettersson have chemistry with? I gotta say, I think the biggest chemistry he has is with the fans!<3
(@tams3333): I did not, to be honest. Generally, I am of the opinion that players that play a similar style have more chemistry and I liked that chemistry of Brock and Bo. Brock has an elite shot and his offensive positioning is stellar but I see Petey as a much better skater and he is so uniquely creative that I thought the Canucks may have trouble finding truly matched line mates to bring out the full potential of the damage Petey can do.
(@Grampahockey1): No, I didn’t see the chemistry between the two but I don’t think anyone did. I knew we were getting a very good player in Elias, but not what he is becoming. I don’t think we have seen the best between Brock and Elias yet by far. Just wait until Dahlen joins the pair, it’s going to be exciting.
Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1):I knew that Elias Pettersson would be a top prospect for the Canucks, but I never thought he would have immediate chemistry with Brock, and I didn’t think that Elias would be the best player on the team at age 19/20 as a rookie. And just remember that it’s just a start, as the years go by, they will continue to build chemistry and develop as the core. As long as contract issues don’t get in the way, they will have elite level success together. Plus, just wait until Quinn Hughes arrives. He’s going to get these guys the puck and quarterback the power play.
Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): No! In the beginning of the season, I had no idea how their chemistry would be. Just so glad that it’s working out the way it is.
Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay):No, I didn’t anticipate the instant chemistry between Boeser and Pettersson. I think all Canucks fans were hoping for it, but even at the start of the season, we didn’t know if Boeser would play with Horvat(who he had success with last season) or Pettersson. I think it speaks to how talented each of them are. They’ve been able to learn each other’s games very quickly, and we see them getting better and better together. When I went to a Canucks practice last week, I noticed how much they were goofing around with each other during drills. And they seem to spend a lot of time together away from the rink as well. One funny story from All-Star Weekend in San Jose: Upper Deck had Pettersson in to sign some hockey cards. When Pettersson asked what type of “tagline” he should include, the Upper Deck employees almost convinced him to write out “Better Than Brock!”, in the end Pettersson decided not to, haha.
Me(@nucksaid):Did I expect it? No. Did I hope to see it? Yes, and even so, their chemistry has exceeded everything I could’ve imagined. Every time they’re on the ice together, there always seems to be a highlight. The way they’ve been able to read each other, communicating on the ice has been something really special to witness this season.
2) Any predictions for the final stretch of the season?
Marc Josef(@marc_josef):Making the playoffs and slotted in the 2nd wild card spot.
Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): Playoffs! When the season started, I “was told” by the media and some fans that this team wasn’t going to be good and that the postseason was just a dream. Now seeing this team fight for a playoff spot, I am wanting it to happen so bad! Even if they didn’t, it’s nice to see this team can compete with the top teams.
Josh Shettell(@shettell09): I predict that if the Canucks stay and get healthy, they sneak into the playoffs by a couple of points. However the season ends, it’s been exciting win or lose.
(@deku_pete): If I had to put money on it, I’d say that we’re going to scrape into the playoffs, mostly on the backs of Pettersson and the stellar play from Marky(Dec.-now), where he has really made a case to not rush Demko, but the injury to Edler has made me worry about that, but of course mostly I just hope he fully recovers as that was terrifying.
Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): I think that the Canucks will push hard to make the final wild card spot and hopefully get in!
Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): I believe we will unfortunately miss the playoffs yet again, BUT I believe this is the last time in a long time, if the off-season is properly managed. I am confident in our goal-tending and believe we have some of the D and F required to compete but we are missing two or three crucial pieces that could sincerely ramp our timeline on this rebuild. One more legit sniper in the top six to play with Elias and Brock…is it Dahlen? One more to play with Sven and Bo…is it Goldy or Jake? And then we need one more top end d man on the back end. With Edler/Tanev as the 3/4 and Stecher/Hutton as 5/6, I believe Hughes can pair up with a proper 1/2 defenseman and give us a chance to compete in the post-season.
Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): I might lose my #GLCPC membership for this but I expect that we will see a slide soon(or we are into it right now) where we fall out of the playoff race. It’s been a fun ride and there is a little bit of hope still in me but Bo looks off, Boeser is on and off. And we just lack the depth we need to really push this year. I’m going to enjoy the games and the try in these guys but I don’t see it lasting right now.
Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): The injury plague continues. However, if Stecher, Hutton continue their strong play, and Markstrom keeps being as good as he has, the much needed defense and goal-tending might be enough. It’s so important during playoffs and we could make it to at least round 1 of the playoffs. Pettersson, Boeser, Horvat, Beagle…can I use the *heart* symbol again? Would that be too much?
(@tams3333): I think with major injuries our boys may struggle to make the playoffs but are going to be absolutely fired up to take a large step forward next season. I cannot wait to see Quinn Hughes but regardless if he joins the team, he’ll have a learning curve. I think we will be picking top 8 in the draft.
(@Grampahockey1):I like the fact that we are close to the playoffs. It’s good to have everyone engages and working hard, good for the young players. I think as time goes on, we will fall out of a playoff spot but as long as we don’t suffer anymore injuries, we will be close.
Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): The opportunity is there to make the playoffs, and a lot of teams are struggling in the West. No matter what happens, this year has been such a great building block for the Canucks. They will all learn so much from this year and they will be stronger for it in years to come. They are still playing meaningful games, they are learning what it takes to win, and how to pay the price for success in the NHL. First you learn to play, then you learn to score, now they’re learning to win. Winning is the hardest, that’s why it gets so much respect. Winning is what you look at when you’re finished your career and see what’s really accomplished. My prediction is they will find a way to make the playoffs. The Canucks have a good young team, but they have players who have won at different levels.
Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): I hope we can make it to the playoffs. If not, they had a better run than anyone expected them to have. They will come out better next season!
Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay):Unfortunately, I think this latest run of injuries will ultimately cost the Canucks a playoff spot. You simply can’t make up for long-term losses of quality players like Tanev, Virtanen, Baertschi and Sutter. I predict that the Canucks will finish 10th in the Western Conference, although I’d be elated if they fought their way into the playoffs.
Me(@nucksaid): I’d be ecstatic if they made the playoffs this season to give players like Boeser and Pettersson a chance to experience that post-season rush. Realistically, I think they’ll definitely compete the rest of the way for the wildcard, whether they make it to the post-season or not, this season has still been a win. This year for the first time in a long time, the Canucks are competitive being driven by a young core. The recent injuries may factor into how they finish the year, but that won’t undo the success they’ve had this season, it will only motivate them further for next season and beyond.
3) What is your BEST all-time hockey memory that you either witness in person OR simply watched in absolute awe?
Marc Josef(@marc_josef): Definitely the Sedin twins’ final home game with Daniel getting the OT winner versus the Arizona Coyotes!
Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr):I have two moments! First, the Sedins last home game. You couldn’t have written a better script. It was everything that I wanted it to be and so much more. It was one of those moments that I will never forget. Second, the Golden Goal. I remember being curled up in a ball on my couch, watching the overtime between my fingers, and screaming when that puck went in!
Josh Shettell(@shettell09): Living in Edmonton, sheltered from Canucks games BUT every time, they are here, I’m always there cheering them on. My best moment was being at the Sedins final game in Edmonton. The cheers from both sides of fans was something special to witness.
(@deku_pete): There’s a few moments that I’m in awe of, most recently, I went to the 2nd last home game of the Sedins career, the Tuesday. Before that I went to the playoffs vs Calgary, the game we won here; before that was in house to see Bo Ho score his first ever goal. And of course, there was the dragon slaying goal. Of courwse, the first ever thing that I remember at all in my life is my dad screaming “Go Canuckleheads!” during the ’94 playoffs!
Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji):I think it would have to be Pettersson’s first career hat trick and Marky’s recent play, he’s been great this season.
Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): Winning the first games in the final round of the 2011 playoffs. I was stunned. I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, with needing to only win 2 of the next 5, that we were going to finally raise Stanley’s coveted Cup as last. (Coincidentally, this was quickly followed by my worst memory– losing in game 7–again).
Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): I scored my on and only goal on Feb.2, 1988. The 11th goal of a meaningless game in a midget hockey game. I still get messages about it, it is called Eric Bailey day now for my friends.
My favourite NHL memory has to be attending the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals game 2 with my little boy. We flew from Kenora, Ontario to Vancouver earlier in the morning. Walked around downtown. Bought him a jersey to wear. He even made a sign.
We watched the game. Saw Manny return to the lineup. And went crazy with Burr’s overtime winner. Then my son and I headed back to to the airport where we slept on benches overnight and flew home the next morning. We left Vancouver thinking 2011 was the year of destiny. What a crazy trip. What a crazy year.
Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): I have a few, how lucky am I? Pettersson’s first goal, Sedin’s last game, and the last two games of the Stanley Cup run in 2011. Over time, it’s really narrowed down to game 5 of the 2011 playoff run. It was more exciting than anything else I’ve experienced. The energy was crazy lilt, the sound was so loud, you couldn’t take it all in. I’d relive that game in a heartbeat. I’m sure this will be replaced as my fave until Pettersson and these young guns bring us the cup!
(@tams3333):SO many. I’ll share a couple. One was watching Burrows slay the dragon in a pub in NY. We were so excited, I flipped out! There were Chicago fans in the pub and that made it more sweet! Another favourite memory was, I loved Jim Sandluk. When I was a kid, I picked the number 33 because I loved him so much. One time, I was at the coliseum and I believe it was a practice day and the worker let me come under near the dressing rooms and Jim was there with half his gear on, and had to come out and say hi to me! Another was pitching to Gino Odjick in my baseball league. The first hit, he hit it a mile but foul ball! I eventually struck him out and he was so kind, he signed the ball for me. I have endless hockey stories! I’ll tell you my saddest memory. I worked security at the airport when Trevor Linden first got traded. Me and some other workers told him we were sad to see him go and he stopped for a bit before going through U.S. customs. He cried and said he didn’t want to leave. My heart broke for him and I will always love him as a Canuck. He’s a legend and it’s amazing that he still cares so much after how he was treated with giving up his Captaincy and getting traded.
(@Grampahockey1): My best memory is sitting in the stands watching Pavel Bure playing. He was so eclectic every time he touched the puck, the crowd would be on the edge of their seats, ready to explode.
Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): I was at Trevor Linden’s final game. It was such an amazing atmosphere. As he was skating around the ice, waving and acknowledging the fans, many people in the crowd were crying. I met so many fans that night who were sharing stories about Trevor’s community work, times were he had taken the time to give a kid a special moment at the hospital, and what a quality person he is. It was such an incredible night. Trevor’s leadership and value to the province was fare more significant than anything within the game of hockey. I think so many fans had seen Trevor grow up in Vancouver since he was an 18-year old kid and this was the night where his playing career came to an end.
Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): Game 7. Overtime. Alex Burrows, dragon slaying goal.
Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): I have 2 favourite all-time hockey memories. One of them was the game 7 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The way the entire series went was nuts. And the sold-out crowd sat in stunned silence in the intermission between the third period and overtime. We were all so scared! My other favourite memory was being at Rogers Arena for the Sedins’ final home game of their careers. Prior to the game, my son Sean and I got to go down to the tunnel and fist-bump the Canucks players as they made their way to the ice. And to see Daniel score the game-winning goal assisted by Henrik was absolutely magical.
Me(@nucksaid): I have a few. First: game seven, overtime, Alex Burrows, DRAGON SLAYED, need I say more? It’s been a tradition of mine to go the Canucks game on/closest to my birthday. In 2013, the Canucks played on my birthday, they won the game but the highlight was seeing Henrik Sedin score a beauty on a penalty shot. Being in the arena to to see Henrik score his 1000th NHL point on home ice vs. Luongo was a moment I’ll never forget. Most recently however was being in house to see the Sedins final home game. My sister and I had seats behind the glass, the arena was thunderous with #HallOfFame and #ThankYouSedin cheers. I was on my feet for the entire game, and jumped pretty high when Daniel scored that OT goal assisted by Henrik right in front of us. It was a perfect storybook ending that you couldn’t have written any better if you tried.
4) The 2019 NHL Draft is taking place in Rogers Arena, will you be attending to see all the draft craziness unfold in person?
Marc Josef(@marc_josef):Yes! It will be a great experience for all Vancouver hockey fans.
Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr):YES! I’m ready to be a part of the craziness!
Josh Shettell(@shettell09): I would love to see how everything pans out.
(@deku_pete): I wish, but unfortunately, I don’t think so, barring some unforeseen windfall.
Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): Would like to attend the Draft this year and see all of the craziness unfold and so much more.
Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): No. I believe an event like this is best seen from home where you can get the added coverage of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): I live in Saskatchewan, so I don’t see myself attending the draft. I might listen or watch somewhere if I can but I’m unlikely to attend.
Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Oh yeah. I’m going. I hope I get a pair of tickets for it as part of my season ticket membership but will buy tickets if I don’t. (@Canucks –do full season ticket members get tickets?) I’d like to watch the young draftees faces when they get picked, their families being caught up in the emotion – I’m sure that emotion, it will be palatable live – to see which GM’s are talking to who…
(@tams3333): If I can, absolutely!
(@Grampahockey1): I will definitely be there. I was there the first time and will definitely be there this time. We have for the first time in our history, the best scouting staff. Should be fun.
Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1):Yes, I think it would be great to go to the draft. Over the last few years when the Canucks were not winning, I would need to keep my interest in hockey by following the draft prospects. It’s been interesting to see who’s available, what teams are picking up and then making predictions to see who goes where. Then after that, following their early careers. The draft will be fun. I’ll try to get tickets.
Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): Nope. Not really into watching the NHL Draft.
Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): Yes, I am planning to attend the 2019 NHL Draft in person. I believe that as a season-ticket member, I may get first dibs at tickets but I’m not sure. Regardless, I plan on going as a birthday gift to myself; my birthday is on June 22(the 2nd day of the draft)
Me(@nucksaid):YES. I’m definitely planning on being there and seeing all of the behind the scenes madness that is the draft. And who knows, you may just see me post a few updates and more on the blog when the draft happens…stay tuned!
5) Who is your all-time favourite Canucks player? Who is your current favourite Canucks player?
Marc Josef(@marc_josef): All-time favourite Canucks Player: Alex “Dragon Slayer” Burrows. Current favourite Canucks Player: Elias “Dekey Pete” Pettersson.
Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): All-time favourite Canucks is actually 2. When I first started watching hockey, it was Markus Naslung. Then in 2007, it became Henrik Sedin, he had been my favourite until his retirement. These days, it’s Brock Boeser(Petey is a close second).
Josh Shettell(@shettell09): All time favourite Canuck, the Russian rocket! Current favourite player is Brock Boeser, but “Petey” is creeping up with him.
(@deku_pete): For me, it’s gotta be Cliff Ronning for all time, though Henrik and Daniel both have spots at the top of my list as well, as does Burr. Current favourite is Pettzky, but I have a ton of time for Boeser, BoHo, Roussel and Hutton too.
Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): Favourite current player is Pettersson. Past favourite was the Sedin twins.
Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman): Henrik Sedin. Henrik Sedin.
Eric Bailey(@EBailey16):My all-time favourite player is Trevor Linden. Bure was a close second tied with the twins. I was already a Canucks fan before he joined the team but they drafted him the same year I turned 18. He wore my hockey number(16), played for my team. Played wind and centre like myself. And to top it all off, his birthday is only a few days before mine. I lived my NHL dream vicariously through him. Nothing will take that away from me. My favourite current player is shifting around at this point. The big three are tops for me. I enjoy some of the other good stories like Hutton, Stecher, or even Roussel. I love to watch Petey’s skill and creativity, Bo’s drive is so incredible and I think Brock’s “nice guy” character(even though some stories have been told) is totally underrated. I like those three best at this point.
Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): I gotta go with Pettersson. I had been reading about him before the draft. I was surprised and happy that we got him, and he has exceeded any and all expectations. We’ve all gushed about him. His slapshot. His playmaking. What I like most about him is how he uses his intuition physically; meaning he sees a spot to squeeze into or a way to get around a defenseman…his spatial knowledge of where he is on the ice, how to get around obstacles, how to create plays in the time and space that he has. Literally our of this world!
(@tams3333):All-time, that is too hard! It’s more like by generation, like I love Toni Tanti, Stan Smyl, Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden, Jovo, Bertuzzi, the Sedins, Bo Horvat. All the guys who love being in our city and are proud to be life long Canucks, who make sacrifices to win. Guys who are generous with fans.
(@Grampahockey1): Has to be Orland Kurtenbach, our first Captain, a hard nosed leader who almost took us to the playoffs in our first year, until a Toronto Maple Leaf(Bobby Bond) took him out with a dirty check. My current favourite has to be Petty, we have never had a game changer like him. Game winners overtime and shootout goals, he puts the team on his back, just about every night.
Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): My favourite player was Trevor Linden, and my favourite current player is Pettersson.
Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): All-time would have to be Markus Naslund. Current would have to be Brock Boeser.
Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): My all-time favourite Canucks player is Roberto Luongo. He played his heart out for us and led us to a memorable Stanley Cup Final. He back-stopped Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. And he thanked us on Twitter for doing our farewell song to him when he got traded, haha. He wasn’t afraid to show his emotions or express his feelings; it made him seem human(along with being a professional athlete). He was a class act here and has continued to be one in Florida. Linden and the Sedins are also favourites of mine. Currently, my favourite player is Bo Horvat. I’ve liked him ever since we drafted him, and my son Sean son caddied for him back in September 2015 at the Jake Milford golf tournament. I’ve met Bo a few times since then and we’ve even chuckled about the 53 Horvat Magic song that we did for him. He’s a strong leader both on and off the ice and he’ll likely be the next captain. He may not be as naturally talented as Pettersson and Boeser, but he complements them very well. Speaking of Pettersson and Boeser, they are my favourite players behind Horvat…along with Jake Virtanen.
Me(@nucksaid):All-time for me, is tough but I’ll say Luongo, Burrows and the Sedins. Luongo and Burrows pure determination with their heart & soul dedication to the game every single time they play(ed), always made them stand out for me. Luongo never got the credit he deserved, but always remained a class act. Burrows while a pest to his opponents, persevered through all the critics, and scored many a memorable goal. The Sedins gave everything to this team and this city for their entire careers, and Canucks fans were incredibly lucky to witness every moment of their legacy. Current is Bo Horvat who I’ve been rooting for since his draft in 2013. He’s set a precedent for the team, stepping up, following in the Sedins footsteps on and off of the ice. (Brock and Petey are right up there on the current list!).
6) A lot of former players go into broadcasting after their on ice careers come to a close. Which former Canuck(s) would you like to see make a guest appearance or two on a hockey panel/guest commentary role for a Canucks game?
Marc Josef(@marc_josef): Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler. (All at once!)
Brieann Knorr(@BrieannKnorr): After the All-Star game, I want to see Bieksa do some more commentary. I also want to see the Sedins!
Josh Shettell(@shettell09): After his short stint at the All-Star game, I would love to see Kevin Bieksa make a run at it. The man speaks his mind and is honest, which a lot of people would respect.
(@deku_pete): Other than the obvious answers of Burrows and Bieksa? I think the Sedins could be really good with their levelheadedness and insight, also Derek Dorsett would be great. And, hmm…maybe Lapierre? Hasn’t he done it before?
Suleiman Damji(@SuleimanDamji): Would love to see Boeser or Petty!
Michael Coleman(@1MichaelColeman):Kevin Bieksa, without question.
Eric Bailey(@EBailey16): The more I think and think through the many players who have come and gone, many are doing it already. Two guys that I’d like to hear from and watch them have fun and bring their knowledge to the TV are: Cory Schneider and Eddie Lack. Neither are even retired yet but I think from past interviews that they’d have good insight and information to share, and they can both be characters when give the chance.
Jenny Canuck(@getthepuckuout): Bieksa. We’ve all known that he’s meant for broadcasting to be his second career. His comfort in front of the camera, his humour, his digs…we never stopped loving Bieksa and this would bring him back to us.
(@tams3333): For sure, Kevin Bieksa, Tiger Williams, Craig Coxe, Derek Dorsett, Harold Snepts, Todd Bertuzzi, Jason King.
(@Grampahockey1): It has to be Kevin Bieksa, always like him as a guest being interviewed.
Paul Banwait(@PaulBanwait1): I think Roberto Luongo would make a great TV commentator. Goalies always seem to do well analyzing the game and giving their points of view. Roberto has shown that he’s funny, witty, smart and he’s performed at a high level. His personality changed after leaving Vancouver. It would be cool to hear his perspective on games.
Artisia Wong(@artisia_wong): Kevin Bieksa.
Clay Imoo(@CanuckClay): Two former Canucks players who I think would do a great job as broadcasters or analysts are Roberto Luongo and Alex Burrows. Luongo has a playful side to him and I could see him being a relaxed and relatable colour guy. As for Burrows, his intelligence and knowledge of the game is well-documented, and he seems like he’d be a natural coach and/or colour guy. He can also be sarcastic and witty at times.
Me(@nucksaid): Kevin Bieksa, is always a great interview with great insight; I think that would translate perfectly to doing commentary/hockey panel. Derek Dorsett could also be a good fit in this type of role. Other former Canucks that I’d like to hear on the commentary/hockey panel include Alex Burrows, Roberto Luongo, the Sedins, Mattias Ohlund and Markus Naslund.
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(firstname.lastname@example.org). 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!]
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!
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!
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(email@example.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!]
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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!
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.