Vancouver Canucks: Season’s End.

Dear Canucks,

It’s hard to believe that the end of the 2016-2017 season has come and gone already. Where did the time go? Those looking from the outside could easily call the season a complete disaster and leave it at that. Some fans may even say the same but not this one. Yes, perhaps your stats were nowhere near ideal, a lot of things went wrong and the team had a lot of injuries but that doesn’t mean that I stopped supporting you. And yes, there were tough stretches, but the way I see it..it is during these tougher stretches that you need our support even more.

This year was my second season being a partial season ticket member along with my sister and personally it was another unforgettable year for us as fans. And yes while there were difficult moments, it doesn’t mean we loved the game or the team any less as the year went on. When it comes to hockey, even in the worst of seasons, I still feel the magic walking into the arena like I did the very first time that I saw a game played live in the arena.

From walking in the doors, to finding our seats, to the lights going down prior to anthems to the crowd singing in unison to puck drop to final buzzer, no matter the score, there is something completely magical about seeing the team play live.

There were definitely downs this season but there were also a lot of incredible things that happened.

Up: Starting the season with a win streak on home ice. As a fan, that was all kinds of awesome for us to see to start the year.

Down: being “shh-ed”  at a hockey game. How on earth is a person supposed to be completely quiet when watching a game in an arena with 18,000 other fans? Answer, it’s impossible, fact.

One of my favourite moments I was able to capture this season from #LightUpVancouver:

Up: Finding this sign outside of Rogers Arena shortly after that incident… #priceless

Down: This season was the first in a long time that more times than not, I was made to feel as though being a female hockey fan means that I am not a “real hockey fan”.

Up: All of those who reached out to me after each incident and made me feel validated as a hockey fan and especially those who shared their own stories with me. Thank-you.

Down: The injury bug hitting the team all season long.

Up: With the injury bug that paved the opportunity for young players to step up. Troy Stecher and Nikita Tryamkin helped to steady and anchor the blue line and becoming fan favourites as the season went on.

Up: Seeing the evolution of players like Bo Horvat, Markus Granlund and Sven Baertschi as they all had career years. Also seeing players like Nikolay Goldobin and Brock Boeser step up late in the season giving fans a glimpse of the future down the road was a welcome surprise.

Up: Seeing Henrik Sedin reach the 1000 NHL points milestone live. Sincerely that moment is one I will never forget. From the anticipation of the crowd leading up to the goal, to the play itself, to the entire team joining Henrik on the ice after the goal to the standing ovation, to the crowd singing “Don’t Stop Believing”, I can remember every detail of that night.  We look forward to seeing Daniel reach the same early next season!


Up: Having the opportunity to meet former and current Canucks players. 

Up: The opportunity to be back as partial season ticket holders with my sister. Hockey is one of the things that bonds us together and despite what a lot of media have written about there being NO excitement about you, we had A LOT of great moments this year thanks to you.

Thank-you for a truly unforgettable year of ups, downs and everything in between. And yes, the season may have been far from perfect but it still had a lot of magic. And just as I was a fan before this past season, I still am one today and will still be one for all my years to come. No stat, season record, or media outlet will ever change how or when I will support you.

And as we have the last two years, we will be back in the arena supporting you again next season, loud and proud every time you hit the ice!

Here’s to the future!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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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.

Vancouver Canucks: 7 down, 75 to go…

7 games down, 75 games to go for the Vancouver Canucks. Following back to back regulation losses has some in the fan base and media already pressing the panic button. Yes, it’s true the last two games have been far from their best. Yes, it’s true that the Canucks have struggled in their last three games in particular BUT it is hardly time to panic just yet. It’s hardly possible to predict exactly how this season will finish with so much time left in the regular season.

Many of the local media are continuing to tell myself and other Canucks fans that we have nothing to be excited about this season and that the team is nothing to shout about. Headlines like those are what made me unsubscribe from all of the local newspapers. Sure, the team may have a far from perfect season but that does not mean I will stop supporting them throughout the journey no matter how long or short it may be this season, if anything it means I will support them more.

Here’s a list of what I know to be fact so far from observing the 2016-17 regular season:

  • The Canucks opened the season with 4 straight wins and picked up points in 5 straight.
  • Through their first 7 games they had 2 back to back scenarios and picked up points in 3/4 of those games.
  • The Canucks have lost back to back games in regulation with two games remaining in October this upcoming weekend.
  • Bo Horvat and Henrik Sedin are leading the offensive pack with 3 goals apiece through 7 games.
  • Brandon Sutter has been a game changer and if he stays healthy, that will go a long way in helping the Canucks to find success.
  • The Hansen-Sutter-Granlund line has been an exciting line for the fans to see develop chemistry over the first 7 games. Every time they cycle the puck with their combined speed, good things happen.
  • Yes the Sedins are getting older, but they still make plays on the ice that still dazzle. One day they will retire and they give everything they have to this team so for now I will enjoy every game that they have left in them.
  • Ben Hutton has one heck of a laser when he utilizes it.
  • Troy Stecher made his NHL debut in front of the home crowd, and despite the outcome of the game, he had a strong performance.
  • 4-2-1 through 7 games is a respectable record to start the year with two more games left in October.

Yes, there have been glimpses of both great and terrible trends with the team so far, but again as it has only been 7 games, it is near impossible to say right now that this season is going to be a complete disaster. True the will be downs throughout the season but there will also be ups that we should be allowed to enjoy as they happen.

I know the season is a long haul and that on paper this team is not what many would call a contender but regardless of how the season goes, I will take in every moment as it comes. There will be ups, downs, heartbreak, unbelievable moments and learning curves along the way as the season progresses.

7 games down, 75 more to go.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

 

 

Vancouver Canucks: 3 down, 79 to go…

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E. L.

According to who?

According to who? The experts and media have all recently come out with their NHL predictions for the 2016-17 regular season. Nearly all of them have the Vancouver Canucks projected to be at or very near the bottom of the rankings. Is that a surprise? No, not in the least but what does surprise me is the so-called experts telling me that as a Canucks fan, I have nothing to be excited about aside from “at this point with no games played, they are undefeated”. Really? That’s the ONLY thing for me to be excited about for the 2016-17 NHL season?

Yes they might be right that the Vancouver Canucks might miss the playoffs, they might even end up being at the bottom of the standings. Perhaps a lot of their success this season will indeed hinge on many things going exactly right and for injuries not the stockpile. They may just get all of their predictions correct or maybe the team will surprise the league in a few categories or maybe they will be just above par. Time and how the team plays will tell just which outcome will be true at season’s end.

There is one thing for certain that the media is very wrong about: that fans have nothing to be excited about. The 82-game journey might be messy, it might be disaster, it might have incredible triumphs or heartbreak, it might be be extended into the post-season or it might be cut short for a myriad of reasons, but no matter where or how the season ends, I will enjoy every single step of the journey.

The season may be messy and imperfect but there will also be moments of pure magic along the way. I love everything about this game and I plan on supporting my team every single step of the way regardless of whether this season ends abruptly or they make the post-season.

And most certainly no matter the outcome, I am Vancouver Canucks fan today, will be one tomorrow, will be one at the season’s end and for all the season’s still to come. 24/7/365 and there is no changing my Canuck heart.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.