Dear Concerned Canuck Fans

Dear Concerned Canuck Fans,

May I ask that you stop yourself from pressing that panic button so quickly when things are going your way? Yes the Canucks have gotten themselves into 0-2 comeback trail BUT it is not a completely impossible situation. Yes this happened last season but the end result does not have to be the same. Teams have comeback from the 2-0 deficit before: Detroit against the Canucks in the 2002 quarterfinals, Pittsburgh in the 2009 Stanley Cup finals, and of course the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals to name a few of the comeback kids. Does this mean the Canucks will win the series, no BUT it doesn’t mean they cannot win the series either. Would it hurt everyone to try to believe that it is possible?

Have you heard of this small thing called positivity and the fact that it can go a LONG way? Why not believe that they CAN win and build upon the positive things they did in game two [the beast known as KESLER, strong goal-tending, and most importantly they NEED to score GOALS!]

I have but ONE request for all you Canuck fans, DO NOT hit the panic button yet. When the boys hit the ice tonight instead of listening to ALL the negativity that has picked up speed with the help of social media, TRY cheering for our TEAM, you might be surprised by what you see. Do not give up on this team just yet, real fans do not walk away from their team when the going gets tough.

When the going gets tough, you do NOT give up on your team, you cheer LOUDER! #GOCANUCKGO

When the going gets tough, you do NOT give up on your team, you cheer LOUDER! #GOCANUCKGO

I hope that when the team hits the ice tonight, you will join ME in cheering for the Canucks! Game 3 starts just after 7:00 PM[pacific time!] and I hope you will be showing our team your support!

No matter what happens throughout the remainder of this series, I will now and always be through and through a #Canucklehead!

#GoCANUCKSGo

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

PLAYOFF Fever is catching, are you ready?

PLAYOFF  FEVER has hit! Has it taken over your life or the life someone you know? Prepare yourselves as tonight is only the beginning of a fantastic hockey tradition!

The 2013 QUEST for the Stanley Cup begins for 16 teams TODAY. In June ONE team will win this lengthly battle. The madness is only just beginning!!

The 2013 QUEST for the Stanley Cup begins for 16 teams TODAY. In June ONE team will win this lengthly battle. The madness is only just beginning!!

Round ONE of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin today!! Are you ready?!

The WESTERN Conference Quarterfinal Match-ups are set as follows:

1. The Chicago Blackhawks [36-7-5] vs. 8.The Minnesota Wild [26-19-3]. Game 1 April 30th 5:00:PM

As much as I hate to admit it, the Chicago Blackhawks have been dominant ALL season long from the start of this shortened season losing just an incredible 7 times in regulation. Their first half was particularly incredible as they posted a sparkling 21-0-3 record…24 straight games where they recorded atleast ONE point setting a new NHL record [meaning that in the second half they posted a 15-7-2 record…which is still very respectable but not nearly as dominant as their first half]. The year began with a question mark in regards to their goal-tending which was soundly dealt with in the form of their goalie tandem of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery. It also doesn’t hurt that Captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane seemed to find a new level of compete that carried throughout the season. With their early dominance, it was never a question of whether they would make the playoffs. Simply put, the Chicago Blackhawks were the best regular season team this year.  Even with their dominance they cannot take an 8th seeded team too lightly as everyone learned the hard way last year.

The Minnesota Wild started the year with A LOT of hype following the TWO biggest signings of the off-season of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They did not get off to the successful start that everyone expected from them. They showed sparks but they were very inconsistent throughout their season. Their playoff contention was in question until the final buzzer of the final game of the season. Had they lost that final game, it would be Columbus in their place, but they did what they had to in that last game. They snuck into the 8th seed of the playoffs and will have a massive challenge in having to face-off against the tough Chicago Blackhawks.

Prediction: Chicago in 6 games.

2. The Anaheim Ducks [30-12-6] vs. 7.The Detroit Red Wings [24-16-8]. Game 1: April 30th 7:30PM

No Anaheim did not set any NHL records, BUT they did play some incredible hockey this season. Did anyone actually doubt the talents of Teemu Selanne? This year we also saw Corey Perry lose his temper…A LOT and their goalie tandem of Hiller and Fasth was a pleasant surprise and helped this team post a very impressive record. Anaheim also has the added boost of Scott Neidermeyer as an assistant coach should they ever need a reminder of what it means to have playoff success.

The Detroit Red Wings began their year without former Captain Niklas Lidstrom and it was very evident from the get go that they were missing his skill set. Their game seemed to be missing something at times and then in other games they played to their strengths. The Red Wings have qualified for the playoffs 22 straight seasons and this year that impressive streak was nearly stopped but as is the Detroit way, they found a way to get it done. They will need Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Howard to play at the tops of their games if they want to go beyond the first round. This team has a history of being an extremely dangerous team in the playoffs and this year could see them activate that veteran beast mode. Look out Anaheim!

Prediction: Detroit in 7 games.

3. The Vancouver Canucks [26-15-7] vs. 6.The San Jose Sharks [25-16-7]. Game 1: May1st 7:30PM

The Canucks like most teams had ups and downs throughout the year. There were moments when they played their best games and their worst games. The goalie tandem of Schneider and Luongo proved to be a part of the team’s success. Ryan Kesler came back to the line-up only to be forced out with a broken foot BUT when he came back the second time he came back with a fire in his eyes and looks like he’s ready to activate that thing we call beast mode. The Canucks will need a 100% healthy Kesler to alleviate the pressure that is sure to surround the Sedins as it always does during the playoffs. Jason Garrison will be making his HOMETOWN playoff debut in Game 1. For the 2013 playoffs, the Canucks have recalled the following players from Chicago: Jordan Schroeder, Nicklas Jensen, Darren Archibald, Kellan Lain, Alexandre Mallet, Jim Vandermeer, Peter Andersson and Eddie Lack.

The San Jose Sharks like the Canucks, had both good and bad streaks throughout the season. Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, and Antti Niemi will be looking to lead the Sharks past the first round. Marleau was unstoppable in the first few weeks of the season but his goal production slowed and the rest of the team had to find ways to score when he struggled. The Sharks will be hoping that their regular season record against the Canucks will help them succeed in the post-season, but they have to remember those games do not necessarily affect the post-season games at all. This will be a re-match [albeit in the first round] for these two teams who met in the Conference Finals two years ago. The Sharks will be looking for revenge and the Canucks will looking to take advantage of their home ice. It will be a very interesting series as these two teams renew their rivalry!

Prediction: Vancouver in 6 games.

4. The St.Louis Blues [29-17-2] vs. 5.The LA Kings [27-16-5]. Game 1: April 30th 5:00PM

Last year, no one properly anticipated the talent that LA possessed until they saw for themselves as LA dominated everyone in the playoffs. Last year LA swept the heavily favoured St.Louis Blues who definitely will want to change their fate this season. The newly acquired Jay Bouwmeester will be making his LONG anticipated playoff debut with his new St.Louis team. St.Louis strengthened their blue line and have been getting some solid goal-tending from Brian Elliot down the stretch. They will need use their defensive strengths and also score goals. They will be hoping to have forward T.J. Oshie back for game 1. LA will be looking to remind St.Louis that the road to the Stanley Cup goes through them and they are not looking to let it be taken from them easily.

Prediction: St.Louis in 7 games.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-ups also look to have some interesting storylines and I thought I’d make a few more predictions. Predictions for the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:

1.Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 8. New York Islanders. Pittsburgh will hoping to get the boost of their Captain Sidney Crosby to help them get past the first round for the first time since the 2010 playoffs. The Islanders while not the obvious choice should not be taken lightly as they make their first trip to the post-season since 2007 and oh yeah, they have this guy name John Tavares who has been very clutch for the Islanders this season! Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6 games.

2.Montreal Canadiens vs. 7.Ottawa Senators. An all-Canadian match-up. Can it get any better for fans back East? The Canadiens have greatly benefited from a coaching change and a new team identity this season. Anyone seen that guy they call P.K. on the point? Look out for his shot! The Senators have played a very decent season despite a very depleted line-up and they got a huge boost at the end of the season when Erik Karlsson returned.  Prediction: Montreal in 7 games.

3.Washington Capitals vs. 6. New York Rangers. At the beginning of the year everyone thought New York would finish at the top in the East, and while that did not happen they did show what they are capable of with the talent in their line-up. Lunqvist may have struggled at times during the season but he got scary good down the stretch. The Rangers made some big splashes in the summer and at tht deadline acquiring Nash, Brassard, Clowe, and a few others. Washington was a major question mark in the first half leaving many people to wonder where oh where did Ovechkin go? That question was answered in the second half when the Captials were lead by #8 from the bottom of the East to the top 3. Ovechkin found his scoring touch and looks dangerous heading into the post-season. This will be a re-match of last year’s semi-final. The Capitals will be looking for a different finish. Prediction: Washington in 7 games.

4.Boston Bruins vs. 5.Toronto Maple Leafs. Prediction: Boston in 6 games. Two original 6 teams meeting in the post-season and two teams with very rabid fan bases. It will be interesting to see how the Maple Leafs handle the Bruins style of post-season hockey in their first trip back to the playoffs in nine years. It will be a series to keep an eye on.

*Some of these predictions may differ from yours or be similar, but they are just meant to be that. You may or may not agree with my predictions but that’s okay, you do not have to agree with me. As we all know, predictions made during the playoffs do not always work out the way we expect or want them to but it’s part of the tradition that is playoff hockey! [Feel free to share your own predictions in the comments!]

In a year when everyone told me that there would be no NHL season, I will simply enjoy getting to enjoy my spring tradition of 2 months of great hockey! Enjoy whatever these next two months bring, the madness is sett to begin TONIGHT!

PLAYOFFS ARE HERE! Are you ready? Where will you be watching Game 1 from? I will be watching my Canucks LIVE at Rogers Arena tomorrow and in case you missed it, I am beyond excited! It feels like Christmas Eve as tomorrow is GAME DAY for my Canucks and their playoff journey begins. Mind you it is only round one, but getting that elusive 16th victory in the finals begins with success in round one. 16 teams are fighting the same battle this week and in two weeks only 8 teams will remain in the quest for the Stanley Cup. Like I said, the madness is just beginning and no one knows what will happen.

The playoffs are when players and teams alike surprise you and sometimes it is a player or team that you did not anticipate, but that is what makes this time of year so exciting!!  I love playoff hockey, there is nothing quite like it! #GoCanucksGo!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Lucky Numbers: #22 #33 #756 #905

Daniel & Henrik Sedin constantly committing acts of #sedinery on the ice.

Daniel & Henrik Sedin guilty of constantly committing acts of #sedinery on the ice.

From Henrik to Daniel, from Daniel to Henrik, from Sedin to Sedin, or from Sedin to his brother…these have been common phrases used by sportscasters on a typical #sedinery play during many games. These two are so similar in their careers that is a little frightening at times. Needless to say the Canucks have had some incredible moments with the Sedin twins in the line up, especially in the last 4 seasons.

Since the twins re-signed with the Canucks in the 2009 off-season, the team has posted a 180-83-30 record in 293 regular season games. In those 293 games, Henrik has amassed 332 points [73 goals, 259 assists]. Daniel did miss 29 of those games BUT in the 264 games he has played in, he has amassed 296 points [112 goals, 184 assists]. It should also be noted that they BOTH had separate 100+ point seasons[the only other Canucks to do that were Pavel Bure and Markus Naslund] in the last 4 years.  Combined they have won TWO Art Ross Trophies, 1 Ted Lindsay Trophy and 1 Hart Trophy for the Canucks organization. They have solidified themselves in the Canuck history books by BOTH surpassing former Captain Markus Naslund on the all-time points list where they now sit in the #1 and #2 positions.

This year they BOTH surpassed Naslund’s 756 points at home in front of their fans in each of their 905th games. Of course it took them the same amount of games to achieve that milestone. Henrik surpassed the record when the Canucks hosted the Dallas Stars and Daniel became number two all-time behind Henrik in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

So…with all of their incredible accomplishments are you glad we kept the Sedins? Do you remember that it was at the very last second prior to the July 2009 free agency madness that rumors were swirling that they would test the free agency waters? You also remember there was A LOT of hype about Toronto tampering with the idea that they could get the twins to sign with them? Can you imagine that outcome if it had come true [if they were now sporting that blue maple leaf]? I, for one do NOT enjoy thinking of what could have happened if they had left…it just makes me irritable.

We are very lucky to have been able to watch the Sedins grow throughout their career and watch the work they put into their game and the community. The Sedins are a HUGE part of the Canucks success and will be looking to help the Canucks finish their final game of this shortened season in style and help the team get primed for playoffs.

Heading into the final two days of the regular season all 8 seeds are claimed in the Eastern Conference…except the final order has yet to be determined with many teams still having a game or two left to play. In the Western Conference much like the Eastern Conference, only the top 3 seeds are locked down with the final order still to be determined.There are still 2 seeds left to be claimed in the Western Conference playoff race, although in 9th, Columbus is just ONE point behind Detroit[currently in 7th] and TIED with Minnesota[currently in 8th] and all three teams have ONE game left that will make for a very dramatic finish. When the final standings are in we will take a closer look at the Canucks and their first round opponent.

Just two days remain in this shortened regular season and we are in for a dramatic close before the playoff excitement takes over 16 cities! Are you ready? The madness is nearly here!

Share your playoff traditions[if any] below in the comments!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah.E.L.

Moving forward…

The trade deadline is over. How did other fans fare today?  Did your team make any bold moves or stand pat today? Were you disappointed or excited by the results? Did any moves shock you?[The move that shocked me most of all was Tampa’s trade of Cory Conacher!!!! I know they needed a goalie but really that was quite the gamble trading away potentially the rookie of the year.]

Well now that the trade deadline has come and gone, can we please stop commenting on Luongo’s contract and his position with the team? He is officially a part of the team for the remainder of the season, accept that reality. I am more than happy to see LOU still with the Canucks and I think it provides stability having BOTH him & Schneids playing down the stretch. I doubt anyone will complain about having two elite goal-tenders IF the Canucks play deep into June. Next, stop complaining about moves Gillis did not make and instead think of the potential in the move that he did make in acquiring Derek Roy. Do not worry about his rental status or potential to re-sign with the team moving forward but rather the impact he can have with the team NOW and in the playoffs.

Roberto Luongo and Derek Roy will both have an impact on the team moving forward. Let’s enjoy getting to have them as a part of our team whether it is just the remainder of this season or beyond to next season. They both will do their best to help the Canucks to achieve their primary goal of an extended playoff run. Maybe the Canucks did not make the moves people expected them to BUT remember the Canucks have help coming with Kesler, Raymond, Kassian & Weise returning to the line up this week.  Perhaps Roy will be exactly the spark that will aid our ailing powerplay and turn Kesler back into his unstoppable #beastmode self. Roy will provide some stability to the 2nd/3rd lines that has been lacking this season with both Kesler and Malhotra being out of the line up.

The stretch drive begins NOW, most teams [Canucks included] have just 12 games left to secure playoff positioning. Some teams will surprise us and some will disappoint and some will be completely unpredictable. The playoffs are just around the corner and as we all know: ANYTHING can happen once the playoffs begin. The best is yet to come, are you prepared? Here is a little treat to get you pumped for the impending playoffs[there’s a little shout out to most teams]:

Next up, the Canucks will host the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night and will look to exact a little revenge for the way that the Oilers stomped on them the last time these two met. Tomorrow will also mark the Annual Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon, all the proceeds will go their various children’s charities. Click to link to donate: https://canuckplace.helpforcharities.com/

Trades are said and done. Whatever the results, it is time to move on and accept whatever moves were or were not made. Enjoy the remainder of the season as it comes! It’s an exciting time of year to watch hockey as things tighten up in each conference and teams just outside the top 8 attempt to push themselves into the playoff contention. Enjoy these next 4 weeks before playoffs begin, the final standings and playoff match ups are still to be determined. The trade deadline has come and gone, rosters are locked and the drive to the playoffs is just beginning. Can you feel the excitement beginning to take over in some cities?

Whatever moves your team made or did not make, do not focus on what you expected or did not expect but rather just enjoy the remainder of the season, it is nearly over!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.