Vancouver Canucks: FAN Favourite Moments.

When it comes to the Vancouver Canucks there’s a lot of negative headlines out there about the team and their current season BUT today, we are stepping away from that to take a look back at some all-time great Canucks moments. As a fan, there are moments or milestones over the years that stand the test of time and some moments that define when we became fans of the game. Some moments that we can remember down the very last detail from the players on the ice to every word of the play by play call. Some are moments that go way back and others are more recent.

I asked you to share YOUR all-time favourite Vancouver Canucks moments over the last few days and you delivered sending me an impeccable list of moments from over the years. This post is for all of you, so without further ado, here we go:

The very first game, marking the beginning of the franchise: October 9, 1970. It also marked the very first goal in franchise history from Barry Wilkins.

1980s and a signature goal celebration were defined by Tiger Williams.

Pavel Bure. Russian Rocket. 1994. Game 7. Double OT. Need I say more?:

Or this other incredible 1994 playoff moment: “Babych, long shot. Potvin has trouble with it. Adams shoots, SCORES! Greg Adams! The Vancouver Canucks are going to the Stanley Cup Final!”:

Penalty Shot. Gino Odjick. GOAL. GINO, GINO, GINO!

Jim Robson’s call in game 6 vs. NYR in 1994: “Linden chopped down…he’ll play, you know he’ll play…and he’ll play at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night..”

Trevor Linden’s career synonymous with the 1994 run as well as THIS memorable hit:

2004. Game 7. Down by 1. Matt Cooke. 5.7 seconds left. TIED GAME. Pandemonium.

The early 2000’s are significant in many Canucks fans memories due to the rise of the West Coast Express (Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison & Todd Bertuzzi)

Goals like these fueled why so many Canucks fans had high expectations of former Canuck, Cody Hodgson:

Just as there are moments of triumph there will inevitably be moments of loss and heartbreak. Loss and heartbreak will either break a team a part or pull them together bringing out the best in them. It still breaks my heart to know that we will never see Luc Bourdon or Rick Rypien play hockey again. Yet seeing how the team came together both times for the families, each other, the fans and the community was something incredible to witness.

We still miss you, Luc.

And sometimes that unbearable loss brings to light issues that once went unseen and inspires raising much needed awareness all year round. The loss of Rick Rypien illuminated to the importance of raising mental health awareness and inspired the creation of Mindcheck. Wish you could see the awareness and bravery that you have inspired, Ryp.

Heartbreak hit Canuck nation once again when the news broke that former Canuck, Gino Odjick was suffering from a rare heart disease. The team came together again to support him but it was seeing the community come together to rally for Gino one more time when he was in the hospital that was absolutely incredible. GINO, GINO, GINO!

Alex Burrows. The underdog, the one who was never supposed to make it to the NHL, let alone carve out a career as a franchise player over 12 years.

OT series winning goal in St.Louis in 2009 celebrated with a tribute to Luc.

Or perhaps his even bigger OT series winning goal vs. Chicago. Game 7. A cheer heard province wide and the beginning of an epic playoff run. It was a moment 3 years in the making and one that will long be remembered by Canucks fans.

And as was a habit of his, he loved breaking streaks. Whether that was breaking Detroit’s 23-game home ice winning streak:

OR if it was ending the Canucks lengthly regular season skid with a timely short-handed goal vs. Carolina in February that changed the course of the 2008/2009 Canucks season:

So you see, Burrows, we will not forget you. You defied the odds and left an indelible mark on the Vancouver Canucks.

OT forced with 15 seconds left on the clock in regulation in game 5. Kevin Bieksa will always be synonymous with this moment in the 2011 Conference Finals. Double overtime. OFF THE STANCHIONS TO KEVIN BIEKSA to the back of the net! “We’re going to the CUP!!!”. A goal that was 17 years in the making.

The goal was simply, BIEKSALLENT. That goal will long live on in Vancouver Canucks history but more important than any goal, assist or fight on the ice was the one Bieksa helped fight off the ice: helping to raise awareness on the importance of mental health and spear heading the creation of Mind Check and leading the way during the league wide hockey talks initiatives.

SEDINERY never gets old and it is hard to comprehend that one day these two players will retire but it is not that day yet! From rookies developing their game to now seasoned veterans, the Sedins have led the way for the Canucks defining what it means to be a Canuck on and off of the ice.

Early Sedinery. 1 Game. 4 goals from Daniel Sedin.

Game 7. 2007. Home ice. Quadruple overtime. HENRIK SEDIN WINS IT!

From playing their entire careers together to back to back Art Ross trophies. Twintuition indeed with Henrik winning the Art Ross in 2010 and Daniel in 2011.  Despite each having career years, it was not a guarantee that either would win it with players like Crosby and Ovechkin keeping the race close both years.

A ridiculous goal from Daniel set up by Hank that helped to secure the Art Ross for Henrik in 2010:

Many people have questioned the Sedins longevity over the years but it is Henrik Sedin that holds the 7th longest iron man streak of 679 consecutive NHL games played.

Or a more recent favourite memory. #HENR1K. Oh captain, my captain. It seems only fitting that his 1000th point came on home ice on a goal assisted by his brother. HENRIK! HENRIK! HENRIK!

I remember every single thing about witnessing that moment in the arena and always will. From the atmosphere in the arena, to the goal itself to the team celebrating with Hank on the ice. Where will you be when Daniel hits the milestone?

The list is long and I know that there are a lot more that did not make it onto this list and there are even more still to come as the years go on. Sometimes it’s nice to look back at the moments that remind you of why and when this game and team completely captured you.

If there’s an all-time favourite of yours that didn’t make the post, leave it in the comments below or tweet me (@nucksaid). Those “extra” moments just may inspire another post ;)!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Vancouver Canucks: The Good in the Bad.

It’s easy to look at the Vancouver Canucks season and completely write it off as a disaster. And yes it is true that this is hardly their best season on record and that the team will most likely miss the playoffs BUT despite all of the negatives surrounding their season, there is still a lot of good when you look back behind the layers. And as you know, with me, if you follow my blog or my social media that I will ALWAYS find a silver lining when it comes to my Canucks.

So instead of focusing on all of the negative narratives out there, today let’s take a look at the GOOD that DOES exist within this season for the Vancouver Canucks:

Mattias Ohlund being inducted into the Canucks Ring of Honour before a loud home crowd and a winning effort on home ice. MATTIAS, MATTIAS, MATTIAS! A fan favourite when he played for the team and still even now.

The hockey talks initiatives that took place in February as well as continuing everyday with the Vancouver Canucks to continue the conversation on the importance of mental health awareness.

The 4-game win streak to start the season or their great run after Christmas while they may not have lasted, were both incredibly fun to watch.

Troy Stecher. Etch a stech. The home grown talent that was never supposed to make the roster but due to his strong play early in training camp and injuries that hit the blue line, he quickly became a Canucks roster staple. Did anyone believe prior to the season that Stetcher would become one of the Canucks most reliable blue line members?

Or how about Nikita Tryamkin? Who doesn’t love seeing a good Tryamkin smash in a game? There was a lot of uncertainties with the BFG early in the season when he refused to be sent down and there was not a spot…but he proved he was more than ready to be an anchor on an NHL blueline.

Markus Granlund and Sven Baertschi have continued to evolve amassing 19 goals and 16 goals respectively. Bo Horvat continues to grow his game and his impact on the community. He’s hit new career highs in points and goals during a season but also surpassed the 100 NHL points milestone! The first 20-goal season for Horvat is in the books! Did you think that the points leader on the Canucks roster this season would be Bo? And with 13 games remaining on the season, he’s still got time to add to those points totals!

Sign me up for team Goldy! What a debut for him, it may have been limited minutes but what a preview of things to come with his highlight reel breakaway goal.

I suppose that’s the long winded way of me saying that it’s been incredible to see the maturing of the younger players on the team. It’s fun to see the potential of the future of this team.

Not to be overlooked is the veteran leadership on the team. Players like Alex Edler and Chris Tanev have been mentoring the youth on the back end. Ryan Miller has been a steadying force in the crease while mentoring and welcoming players to the roster. The Sedins are at the heart of this team in the way they play on the ice and set an example off of the ice.

Speaking of the Sedins, they are still doing sedinery things. And yes they may not be producing their normal numbers but how lucky are we to have witnessed not one but TWO franchise leaders for the entirety of their careers from draft year to NOW. And by early next season we will have witnessed BOTH reach the 1000 points milestone. It seems incredibly fitting that Henrik’s 1000th point came on a goal assisted by his brother. As long as I live, I will long remember being there in the arena the moment Hank got that milestone 1000th point. Seeing that goal happen right in front of our seats followed by the entire team coming down the ice to celebrate with him will long be an all-time favourite moment for this kid.

And yes I know that these moments may not seem like a lot when you focus on all of the things that have gone wrong over the season or the negative headlines BUT they are still a part of the fabric that is this season. It’s true that I could simply spout all of those negative truths as well but you already know all of those and you might just miss out on some of the magic that has happened this season. Sometimes, it’s good to step back from the constant negatives and see that amidst all of the havoc that has been this season, there were still some great moments and still remain to be a few before the season is over.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

THANK-YOU, JANNIK.

Dear Jannik Hansen,

Here we go again. The winds of change. I was at the game last night, saw you in the warm ups and when it was announced that you were a late scratch, you could feel something was brewing behind the scenes. Thank-you, hardly seems enough for what you gave this team and this city for 10+ years, but I’m going to try. First things first, please know that you never once for a second ever let me down.

Fans from across the league never really knew just how lucky Vancouver Canucks fans were to have you as a part of the team. The road wasn’t any easy one, but you have stayed the path. From one of a few players drafted from Denmark, to developing your game to the AHL and then to the NHL. From a rookie looking to make his mark to a seasoned veteran and leader, you did it all and you did it with incredible grace.

In 565 games over the last 10 years in Vancouver, you have embodied everything that it meant to have the heart of a Canuck. On and off the ice you found your place in Vancouver and forever left your mark.

At the beginning no one was sure of what kind of impact you could or would go on to have in an NHL lineup. You brought speed, determination and compete every single shift, every single game. No one knew what to expect but your versatility to play anywhere in the lineup and in any situation quickly won you over with the coaches, your teammates and the fans. And the rest as they say, is history. He was right, they were wrong, and you continued to prove all your critics wrong every single day.

And the critics came after you a lot over the years but you never let the negativity in. You rose above it all, every step of the way. You always did whatever was asked of you by the coaches or management. You were and are the consummate professional on and off of the ice. And when called upon to be a pillar in the community and be a part of helping make a difference for the community or helping to raise awareness about the importance of mental health, you were there. You gave everything you had with every shift on the ice and every moment you gave to the community in your tenure with the Vancouver Canucks.

And yes that magical run in 2011 will forever be cemented in part of your tenure in Vancouver, as will so many more on ice moments. Seeing you get your first goal, or you getting the Canucks first 3-on-3 OT goal or earlier this season when we witnessed your 100th NHL goal but for me, my all-time favourite moment happened just last season. It was an honour to meet you and talk all things hockey for a few moments. It meant more than you will ever know, thank-you.

jannikhansen2

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you and thank-you again for more than 10 incredible years of memories on and off of the ice and, the ever persistent pursuit of your dreams, and inspiring so many more to keep pursuing their dreams. I wish you all the best in San Jose, but remember, that you will always be the Canucks, honey badger. You made your coaches proud. You made your teammates proud. You made this city and Canucks fans around the globe proud.

And to THIS fan, you will always and forever be a Canuck. Thank-you doesn’t seem quite enough but it’s what I have to offer. Thank-you for everything, Jannik.

Sarah E.L.

THANK-YOU, BURR.

Dear Alexandre Burrows,

Thank-you, hardly seems enough for what you gave this city for 12+ years, but I’m going to try. First things first, please know that you never once for a second ever let me down.

Fans from across the league never really knew just how lucky Vancouver Canucks fans were to have you as a part of the team. The road wasn’t any easy one, but you stayed the path. From a ball hockey champion, to the Quebec Major Junior League, to the AHL to the NHL. From a rookie looking to make his mark to a seasoned veteran, you did it all and you did it with incredible grace.

822 games over the last 12 years in Vancouver, you have embodied everything that it meant to have the heart of a Canuck. You were never meant to make it to the NHL, let alone play on the top line for an extended period or score a franchise dragon slaying goal or become a pillar within the community and mentor for the younger players.

At the beginning no one was sure of what kind of impact you could or would go on to have in an NHL lineup. Most people saw you as tenacious with innate ability to get under the skin of your opponent and didn’t see the potential beyond that. Somehow, I think both Marc Crawford and Alain Vigneault always knew, and when AV made that seemingly crazy decision one fateful February day, to put you on a line with the Sedins, it gave people pause. And the rest as they say, is history. He was right, they were wrong, and you continued to prove all your critics wrong every single day.

You never let the negativity in. You rose above it all, every step of the way. You always did whatever was asked of you by the coaches or management. You were and are the consummate professional on and off of the ice. And when called upon to help carry on Rick Rypien’s legacy with mindcheck and help raise awareness about the importance of mental health, you were there. You gave everything you had with every shift on the ice and every moment you gave to the community in your tenure with the Vancouver Canucks.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you and thank-you again for 12 incredible years of dragon slaying, the ever persistent pursuit of your dreams, and inspiring so many more to never give up. I wish you all the best in Ottawa, but remember, that you will always be our dragon slayer. You made Luc Bourdon proud. You made your coaches proud. You made your teammates proud. You made this city and Canucks fans around the globe proud.

And to THIS fan, you will always and forever be a Canuck. When I have felt like giving up, all I have had to do was think of how you always kept pushing forward despite the odds and I would be reminded that when you tune out the negativity, anything is possible. Thank-you doesn’t seem quite enough but it’s what I have to offer. Thank-you for everything, BURR.

Sarah E.L.

SHH…it’s a hockey game.

Saturday night was a tale of three periods on the ice, but also for me in the stands while attending the Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames game at Rogers arena.

The first period was all kinds of entertainment. The anthem was top notch as always when led by Mark Donnelly. We were in a great section with fans cheering for the team straight from puck drop. I love it when the arena is loud and completely in unison showing support for the team and grief for the refs. Our section felt like it was completely in sync(or so I thought, more on that later). The goal from Eagle may not have been how the team drew it up and yes most nights a shot from centre ice does not end up in the back of the net, but it got the arena up on their feet and the opening goal for the home team.

And then as enjoyable as the game began, it was suddenly not at all. It went slightly downhill during the first intermission when a fan in front of me turned around to let me know how to showcase proper etiquette: “Shh…it’s a hockey game. Please do not cheer so loudly, we are watching the game. Thank-you.”

Umm…no, why thank-you, I was not aware that this was a hockey game or that nearly 18,000 fans were meant to be silent. I was unaware that we were watching two different games. Or more accurately, I was unaware that I am not allowed to cheer for my team in their own arena along with the other fans in our shared section. Suddenly this game went from fun to being silenced in the stands. Ryan Miller made save after save and I was forced to merely observe, not allowed to actively participate in any of the activity that makes hockey games an experience. I was present but it felt as though I was  And you know what, watching the game in silence, not being a part of the voices ringing out in the arena is no fun whatsoever.

By the time, the second intermission hit, I was completely out of sorts. This was not how the game was supposed to go. Attending a hockey game is not supposed to make me feel like an outsider unwelcome.

Cue the third period and overtime. By the start of the third period, I was feeling a little lost being a place that has always felt like home but on this night was made to feel like a bit of an outsider. Just when I was beginning to wonder if maybe the problem was me and my cheering for the team, a fellow female fan sitting next to us turned and started talking to us about the game. A life long Canucks fan, but this was her first game in nearly 3 years and she told us that our cheering was not a disturbance but rather helped make her feel like she did when she came games when she was a kid. Pretty soon we were talking about all things hockey and Canucks. Together, we cheered loud for the rest of the game and yes when that buzzer beater went it to the send the game to overtime, we were in a state of slight disbelief and annoyance and excitement for the impending overtime. This was also the first time that she had ever witnessed the craziness that is 3-on-3 overtime and what a game for Chris Tanev to score that game winning goal.

To the fellow kindred spirit who shared the third period with us supporting the team, thank-you for completely turning the night around and turning the hostile environment back into the one that felt like home. It made all the difference and really helped make the night memorable for all of the right reasons. So glad that you got to see a home win! Thank-you again and welcome back to the rink, I hope you guys get to make it to more games now!

And to the stranger who felt the need to try to teach me the proper etiquette of attending a hockey game, guess what? You’re right that we were indeed at a hockey game but that does not give you the right to tell me or any other fan how and when to cheer for THEIR team. And perhaps you enjoy watching the game in silence, but for me that’s not in my nature to be silent especially when it comes to watching hockey live. I will not apologize for showing support for my team while in their arena and I will no longer be silenced or made to feel uncomfortable. I guess you missed the memo that hockey is for everyone.

Perhaps next season, I will have to make sure to be in that newly minted supporter’s section for all of the games that I attend?

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E L.

BURR Is The Word.

He’s a pest. He’s an agitator. He’s a fourth liner. He’s a penalty killer. He’s a grinder. He’s spent time as the third Sedin. He’s loyal. He’s a leader on and off the ice for his teammates. He irritates his opponents and drives opposing fans crazy. He’s stolen the hearts of Vancouver Canucks fans near and far. He’s the dragon slayer. He’s Alex Burrows.

Is this the end? Going back to mid-season last year, countless media and “experts” have either been calling for an Alex Burrows trade or announcing that his career is near it’s end. To be completely truthful, most never thought he would make it this far: 817 games in, 384 NHL points and all with the Vancouver Canucks.

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 24: The Edmonton Oilers play the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena January 24, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Vancouver Canucks photo)

VANCOUVER, CANADA – JANUARY 24: The Edmonton Oilers play the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena January 24, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Vancouver Canucks photo)

Undrafted, ball hockey champion and a near unmatched absolute determination paved the way for a hockey career that no one could have predicted. From his willingness to play wherever called upon in the lineup to his tenacity to his timely goals to his determination every step of his career thus far, he has cemented himself in the Vancouver Canucks history books.

His determination to keep pursuing his dream is part of what drew me to loving this team and this game. Those who don’t follow the Canucks regularly do not fully understand Alex Burrows.

And last night in Buffalo, he reminded everyone league wide just how influential he can be in the lineup for his team. He led the charge getting under the skin of his opponents, spearheading the French connection and getting the game winning goal. It was vintage Burrows, playing like it was 2010 or 2011.

I know just how real the possibility is that he could be traded this year or moves on to join another team in the off-season. I know that hockey trades happen every year and are a part of the business side of the game.

Yes, he may very well end his career on another team but right now, he is still very much a part of the Vancouver Canucks. And I plan on enjoying every moment that he has left with Vancouver whether that means up to the deadline, the end of the season or a different day. These may be the final days of his time with the Vancouver Canucks but that will not deter me from supporting him every step wherever his career leads him.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Vancouver Canucks: Don’t Stop Believing.

“How disappointed are you by the Vancouver Canucks this season?”, is the most common question I have heard since before the puck even dropped on the season. Nearly every single day, without fail, someone asks me that same question. Do you want to know the truth?  I’m disappointed that some of these moments feel like I am being attacked for choosing to support my team through the good, the bad and everything in between. The truth is that no I am not disappointed in the team. Yes, sure I’d love if they had a few more wins and less losses on the season but their record does not and will not dictate when or how I will show my support.

The disappointment for me this season has not come from the Vancouver Canucks but rather the local media covering the team. Yes, it is their job to write about the facts but it is not their job to dictate how or when the fans should support the team. There is more happening than just the negativity that they seem intent on focusing on for every single headline.

Yes, it is true that this is hardly their best season on record but it is also hardly their worst. And yes they need to start picking up more wins on the road if they want to be playoff bound come April. Do I wish they had less injuries? Of course, but injuries happen to every single team league wide.

Do you know what I have noticed? That yes, while there are A LOT of negatives out there, there are also A LOT of positives out there as well.

Yes their road record definitely needs some work especially if they hope to be playoff bound, but their improved home ice play this season has been fun to see develop.

As of late, as a team, they have been playing some pretty solid hockey, picking up points in 15 of their last 20 games and posting a 11-5-4 record in that span.

Ryan Miller has stepped up his game of late and in 11-game stretch since Christmas he has posted a 7-2-2 record that includes two shutouts. It’s no secret that Miller was struggling at the start of the season with his combined October + November record being a less than stellar: 4-8-0. Since that struggling start, Miller has been impressive to say the least posting a 10-4-3 record in the 17 games that have followed. His season’s average save percentage of 0.920 is his best since joining the Vancouver Canucks.

Bo Horvat continues to evolve into future captain material as he follows the leadership example of Henrik Sedin both on and off the ice. His first NHL all-star game appearance was just the beginning, stay tuned Canucks fans, the future is just around the corner.

Troy Stecher came into training camp with one goal in mind: make the team. His impression from the start forced the team to take a long look before sending him to Utica. Injuries hit the blue line and Stecher found himself being called up and quickly earning a permanent roster spot with his strong play on the ice. Local kid makes good.

Nikita Tryamkin was the conundrum that no one could solve at the beginning of the season. He refused to be sent down and there was not yet a spot in the lineup, but he held his ground that he was going to stay. Just when some were ready to give up on whether or not Tryamkin could be a difference maker, opportunity knocked as injuries began to take a toll on the Canucks blue line.

There have been learning curves along the way but each game both Stecher and Tryamkin continue to grow, proving why they deserve roster spots helping to stablilize the Canucks on the back end.

Henrik Sedin hitting his incredible feat on home ice was a moment Canucks fans will never forget. That game, the arena was insanely electric from start to finish and as a fan, it made me love this game even more. We could potentially see another milestone Sedinery moment before season’s end or in the very least very early into next season when Daniel hits 1000 points.

32 games remain in the 2016-17 season and the team sits just 1-point out of a playoff position. There is no easy way to get into the playoffs and the Canucks have a long way to go if they want to be post-season bound come April. It’s never an easy grind but if they continue on their recent improved play they’ve had since Christmas, they definitely have a shot at getting there. It may be a slim chance and the odds may be stacked against them, but it’s still a chance. Playoffs or no playoffs, win or lose, this team is still my team.

So if you ask me how disappointed I am in my Vancouver Canucks, be prepared to hear that while I am aware of the season at hand, that does not now, nor will it ever dictate how or when I will support my team.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

P.S. Anyone have any advice for someone considering starting a podcast? (leave a comment, send me a tweet (@nucksaid) or an email (nucksaid@gmail.com).