7 Games Played, 75 more to go…

Seven games in and we have seen a little bit of everything from the 2014-2015 Vancouver Canucks from the fantastically wizardous sedinery to an improved power play to badly timed penalties to defensive slips to a soft goal and to some great saves. Through those seven games, the Canucks have amassed a 4-3-0 record and with it the question of whether or not this team has improved upon last season? Seven games in and you can feel the tensions starting to rise in the city as expectations begin to be adjusted.

May I remind everyone that we are only SEVEN games into the regular season. You have 75 more games to watch before all is said and done. Everything that happens in the first seven games in no way indicates HOW a team will finish when the final buzzer rings in game 82.

Let’s take a closer look at the first seven games of THIS season, the first seven games of the last few seasons and the team’s final results after game 82.

First seven games record in 2014-2015: (4-3-0). We have seen a little bit of everything in these first seven games, some great moments, some not so great moments and glimpses of what is to still come as the season progresses. The Sedins look to be near their 2010-2011 game form having combined for 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) giving the Canucks some very much needed offense.

Result after game 82: Still to be determined in the remaining 75 games.

First seven games record in 2013-2014: (4-3-0). If someone had told me after seven games last season that the Canucks would not be playoff bound or that the Sedins would have their worst season since the 2004-2005 lockout…I may have called them crazy.

Result after game 82: The team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Torts was relieved of his coaching duties after one season at the helm. Jim Benning was hired as the new GM by newly minted President Trevor Linden. Ryan Kesler said adios Vancouver and hello Anaheim. Willie Desjardins was hired as the new head coach and began developing a relationship with his players immediately.

First seven games record in 2012-2013: (3-2-2). Coming off back to back President’s Trophies expectations were once again high and with a shortened season anything was possible.

Result after game 48: The Canucks were swept in the opening round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks. Alain Vigneault was relieved of his coaching duties. Questions were asked about what changes needed to be made. John Tortorella was hired as the new head coach.

First seven games record in 2011-2012: (3-3-1). Was this the same team that just took the city on an epic four round playoff run? Could they repeat their success or would they suffer from shortened off-season? Looking at those first seven games it’s hard to imagine that they could were able to nearly duplicate their regular season success from the year before.

Result after game 82: After going to game SEVEN of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, the Canucks followed that up by once again being the best regular season team winning their second consecutive President’s Trophy. The team was eliminated in five games by the eventual cup winner, LA Kings in the opening round of the 2012 playoffs.

First seven games record in 2010-2011: (2-3-2). The first seven games showed the team was capable of greatness but also that they had some areas that needed a lot of work. No one could be sure that their season would turn out as epic as it did when all 82 games were over and the Canucks stood atop the league standings.

Result after game 82: The Canucks lead the league with 117 points as the top team heading into the post season. The Canucks began a playoff run that will long remain one of their best moments in franchise history.

Year in and year out, media and fans alike make endless predictions about all the ins and outs of the regular season. Sometimes we get those predictions right and sometimes they end up being far from what we could have possibly imagined.

So… will the Canucks be able to find their way back to the playoffs? With only seven games played, THAT is yet to be seen, but they have 75 games left to make their case as to why and if they should be in that sweet sixteen equation come April. Time will tell and I look forward to being there supporting them every step of the way whatever the journey may entail.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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December 2 Remember

Happy New Year hockey fans!

While we will all be keeping our eyes on the 2014 Winter Classic and the announcement of the USA Olympic hockey roster[Congratulations Ryan Kesler!], I will be taking a closer look at the December that was for the Canucks. Spoiler alert: it was fantastic!

November was NOT a good month for the Canucks as they could not solve the riddle of how to win back to back games no matter how good they played. November was the month they survived and December was the month they thrived.

In December the team posted an impressive 10-1-2 record picking up 22/26 points.December wasn’t exactly easy either as the team lost Burrows, Sestito, Edler, Stanton, Luongo and Alberts to various injuries throughout the month. Sestito is the only one to return to the line up so far.

Coming into December the Canucks had not posted back to back wins since October…which sounds pretty unbelievable YET it is very true. They knew they had to be better from top to bottom and it would require everyone to step up. Points are vital to divisional standings and the wildcard spots…and while they have not yet caught the leading Anaheim Ducks, they have closed the gap between themselves and LA and San Jose as they have stacked up some points.

Step up indeed they did. They opened December with 7 straight, yes you read that right…7 straight WINS including 5 straight at home and points in 8 straight over all.

During that 7-game win streak there were some stand out performances from a few players in particular. The line of Higgins-Kesler-Santorelli showcased some fantastic chemistry while the goal-tenders each posted shutouts.

The month opened with Ryan Kesler leading the charge with back to back 2-goal game performances against Carolina and Nashville.

The Canucks saw their 2-goal lead disappear very quickly when Carolina scored twice in 10 seconds early in the middle frame to tie the game. The team could have easily buckled in that moment BUT instead Ryan Kesler was quick to take back the lead for the Canucks.

Kesler put on a show in the third period against Nashville and made absolutely certain the team took two points home.

Phoenix came calling and the Canucks were trying to catch them in the division standings as the gap between the two was closing.

Now this game would end up going to overtime before the Canucks eventually won BUT this goal from Henrik is just ridiculous:

After Phoenix came the young Colorado Avalanche who have been aptly coached by the ever colorful Patrick Roy. The Canucks were in complete control of this game from the puck drop however as the Higgins-Kesler-Santorelli line took care of the offense while Luongo stood on his head to lead the team to a 3-1 victory.

The stand out in this game aside from Luongo’s stellar goal-tending was Mike Santorelli who has quickly become a fan favourite as he has been easily one of the most consistent players all season long.

Did I mention the BIG wins against Boston and Chicago? The atmosphere in Rogers Arena during the Boston game was electric, as loud as a playoff game. It was the first time the Bruins have played in Vancouver since June 15, 2011 and the while the stakes were not high, both teams wanted this victory. Both the Canucks and the fans were ready for this game…and the fans made sure to be heard all game long. Did I mention the unconventional time out called by Torts early in the 2nd period that turned the tide back to the Canucks and they never looked back.

Canucks went into the madhouse following a disappointing game in Dallas [their ONLY regulation loss in the month] and did not have the start they hoped for as the Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead. Cue the comeback kids…Daniel Sedin tied the game midway through the third period forcing this game to go to extra time. Over time did not solve the game although Santorelli came awfully close to tying the game with the clock winding down. Eddie Lack took part in his first NHL shootout…an 8 round shoot out in the mad house…and came out on the winning side stopping the likes of Kane, Toews & Hossa!

Have I mentioned the injury bug that bit the team in the very first game by taking away Burrows with a broken jaw. Alex Edler and Ryan Stanton were soon to follow…and left our defense seriously drained. Luongo’s injury came in late in the month against Winnipeg and was determined to be day-to-day and left Eddie Lack with the reigns to manage until such time that Luongo returns to the lineup. Lack has been more than capable in helping this team close out the month 2-0-1 picking up 5/6 points including posting his 2nd NHL shutout in his career and in the month. The latest injury came as the month drew to a close to Andrew Alberts, who suffered a concussion after taking a hit from Brian McGrattan early in the game against Calgary.

The injury bug hits every team (just look at Pittsburgh!) and if they want to have success they have to find ways to win despite missing key pieces. Injuries while frustrating, allow an opportunity for other players to step into a bigger role and bigger minutes as they help the team move forward. December is a month in which not every win was pretty but the team has had to redefine the ways in which they have won while different role players have stepped up as hero.

Torts has made it clear since day one that shot blocking and special teams would be vital to his team’s success. Special teams will be key as they always are moving forward and the Canucks will look to keep improving their power play and penalty kill teams. Shot blocking is expected of each and every player in every situation [5-on-5, 5-on-4 or 5-on-3]. If I have mentioned their power play once, I’ve mentioned it 100 times…it is no secret they struggled with the man advantage early but it has most definitely improved as of late [6 power play goals in their first 20 games, 13 PPG in their last 21 games]. Special teams may not win you every game BUT success long term is much easier attained when your special teams are successful. The Canucks have relied heavily on their strong penalty kill and slowly their power play is catching up as December closed and the season progresses. **Did I mention they have the league’s number ONE ranked penalty kill?

It truly was a December to remember,

As 2014 begins, January will see the return of Luongo, Burrows and potentially Edler. There is no sense in rushing Luongo with Lack’s steady play, but the belief is that Luongo will be back in the lineup by the weekend road trip in California. Alex Burrows will be a spark plug as he always is when he is in the lineup when he makes his comeback. Burrows does more than just score goals, he does all the little things and is a huge asset to our penalty kill unit. Alex Edler will be a welcome addition back to the backend as the defense has taken a few hits thanks to various injuries. Lucky for the Canucks, they have been able to rely on Hamhuis and some unexpected depth but they will gladly welcome back some regulars as the season moves forward. A healthy line up will be key to having success down the stretch and into the playoffs.

41 games in, we are officially at the halfway point in the season, can you believe it? 41 more games remain during which we will see an Olympic break as the Sochi games take the world captive. 41 more games before the playoff madness of a new playoff format will unfold and the wildcards are determined. 41 games before the real work begins for all the playoff contenders.

The Canucks closed 2013 with an impeccable 10-1-2 December and an overall 23-11-7 record in the first half of the season. Here’s to a great 2014 for the Canucks and all the teams in the NHL. It’s going to be a wild ride to the finish and we are lucky to be able to watch as it unfolds.

December to remember indeed as the Vancouver Canucks posted a 10-1-2 record. (Eerily similar to their December 2010 when they posted a 11-1-2 record)

Here’s December 2013 at glance! December to remember indeed as the Vancouver Canucks posted a 10-1-2 record. (Eerily similar to their December 2010 when they posted a 11-1-2 record)

October was the month that the Canucks surprised a lot people as they adjusted to Torts’ style. November was the month that the Canucks survived. December was the month that the Canucks thrived and will be looking to build upon that success as they open 2014 with a New Year’s Day game against Tampa Bay [yes I know, not quite as big as the Winter Classic BUT the 2 points that come with it are vital with the ever tight in the Pacific Division].

***The Team Canada Men’s hockey team Olympic roster will be announced January 7, 2014. [& I expect one or two Canucks to be named to that roster..see what I did there?].

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Western Conference Quarter Season Facts

The 2012-2013 NHL season was shortened [due to Bettman’s 3rd lockout] to 48 games.  12 games in marks the quarter mark of the season [All teams have played 11-14 games].

Here’s an overview of the Western Conference thus far into the 2013 season[with a slightly more extensive look at my #Canucks]:

1. Chicago Blackhawks [10-0-3 –23 points] As much as it pains me to say this….they are playing some incredible hockey so far. They remain the only team to be undefeated in regulation this year. Their offense is firing on all cylinders and Corey Crawford has been lights out in the net. It pains me even more to type this next sentence….the Chicago Blackhawks are being led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane & company towards a possibly lengthly playoff run. It’s not easy to play so many early games on the road, but the Blackhawks are finding the answers, picking up points in every single game they have played in. They are playing some unbelievable hockey.

2. Anaheim Ducks [9-2-1 –19 points] The Ducks ruined the Canucks home opener and the Canucks ruined their home opener. While Jonas Hiller has struggled in the net, his team has helped with offense to help win games. It doesn’t hurt that his backup Victor Fasth is undefeated in his NHL experience! Has anyone mentioned the age of Teemu Selanne affecting his play? No they have not because this guy is still putting up points and making ridiculously awesome plays despite his age.

3. Vancouver Canucks [8-2-2 –18 points] After 12 games the Canucks who are perennially slow starters are off to a 8-2-2 start. The Canucks were without Ryan Kesler and David Booth to start the season, but have found a way to win games. Zack Kassian has been a pleasant surprise to Canuck fans this season finding an offensive spark, even earning playing time with the twins. Mason Raymond looks like he has finally found his speedy stride again posting 8 points[4 goals, 4 assists] in 12 games. The Canucks are getting secondary scoring from their defense, 2nd, and 3rd lines which is extremely important in a shortened season and building towards a playoff run. A closer look at the defense reveals the Canuck defense has contributed 27 points [9 goals, 18 assists] through 12 games, that is comparable to the triplets [the Sedins & Burrows] posting 24 points[6 goals, 18 assists]. Did I mention Alex Edler is leading the rear guard with 9 points? Henrik Sedin may not have a goal [yet, its coming, SOON!] but he is just ONE point behind Markus Naslund on the all-time points leader of the franchise{fun fact:Daniel is just 27 points behind Hank and looks to be passing Nazzy soon as well}.The Canucks are currently on a six-game WIN streak. Rumors are swirling that Ryan Kesler and David Booth are nearing their return to the lineup within the next games. The question remains with both presumably back sooner rather than later what will become of rookie Jordan Schroeder? The kid has been incredibly solid and scored his 1st two NHL goals in one game in front of a crazed home crowd….not too mention a shootout winner against Chicago!!! Speaking of rumors…can we let the goalie controversy crap end please? Relax. In a shortened season such as the current one have TWO incredibly goalies is an incredible gift and fans should appreciate this luxury. It’s funny that all those fans who said they wanted Luongo gone are suddenly singing his praises. The guy never stopped being a #1…he simply has stepped his game up to a new level….and his numbers have him sitting #2 behind Ottawa’s Anderson. Luongo has posted a 1.45 GAA and 0.943 save percentage. Luongo is undefeated in regulation yet thus far….his current run is reminding me of a 16-0-5 run he helped lead the team on back in the 2010-2011 season. Cory Schneider has been solid in his recent games…bringing his numbers to a respectable 2.36 GAA and 0.921 save %. With so many teams having lost their #1 goalies to injuries, the Canucks are extremely lucky to have not just one #1 but two goalies capable of giving the team a chance to win every game. Every game and every point matters in a shortened season.

4. San Jose Sharks [7-3-3 –17 points] The San Jose Sharks were off to an incredible start this season…a franchise best even going 7-0-0. January was incredible for their big name players, particularly for Patrick Marleau. February has been a much different story as they have yet to register one win, the Sharks are 0-3-3 in 6 games. They will to need to go back to finding the offense[hello Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, Couture…where did you go?] that won them all their January games before they find themselves in an irreversible rut.

5. Detroit Red Wings [7-4-2 –16 points] Following a disappointing 6-0 opening loss to the St.Louis Blues, the Red Wing have been extremely solid. Henrik Zetterberg was name captain following the retirement of Niklas Lidstrom and is off to a great start…including a hat trick! The Red Wings have been a cornerstone of the West for the last two decades, and all signs point to them continuing their dominance as they find their stride. Detroit has a great history of developing amazing players through their organization and this year is not different with the emergence of rookie Damien Brunner.

6. Nashville Predators [6-3-4 –16 points] The Predators lost Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild in the off-season to the tune of a $98 million contract and followed up that loss by locking Shea Weber into their own ridiculous long-term deal. Weber has yet to register a goal, however the Predators have been able to rely on the consistent play of goalie Pekka Rinne to keep them in reach of the division lead.

7. St.Louis Blues [7-5-1 –15 points] The St.Louis Blue opened the season by beating the Detroit 6-0, picking up right where they left off last season. Since that game however, they have not been able to find that same consistency. Brian Elliot is still searching for his form from last year while his goalie partner Jaroslav Halak is out injured. Last year the Blues led the league with fewest allowed goals. The brightest spot on the Blues this season is their rookie Tarasenko who has made a name for himself in St.Louis just 13 games into his career.

8. Dallas Stars [7-6-1 –15 points] The Dallas Stars have been up and down. Jaromir Jagr has found his offensive spark once more despite his age. Offense has been good despite the delay in the re-signing of Jamie Benn who has helped lift this team over .500 level hockey and start a 5 game win streak that came to a halt in Calgary.

9. Phoenix Coyotes [6-5-2- 14 points] Shane Doan played coy during the off-season until re-signing with the team he has ever played for. They have had some good moments giving fans a glimpse of the team that went to the conference finals last season. The Coyotes have considerably well despite the continued issue of uncertainty regarding their ownership.

10. Minnesota Wild [6-6-1 –13 points] This is the team that spent nearly $200 million signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the off-season. Those two signings were supposed to catapult the Wild into a high scoring team, but it just has not happened yet. Parise has found some offense, the same cannot be said of Ryan Suter who has yet find the back of the net. The Wild are barely above 0.500 and are beginning to look the way they did the in second half of last season when everything fell apart for them. They need to find their balance offensively and play the way they did at the beginning of last season….and get their two newest Wild members to play the way they have been known to in the past. Rumor has it that the head coach Mike Yeo is on the chopping block.

11. Edmonton Oilers [5-5-3 –13 points] The Edmonton Oilers won the Justin Schultz lottery and he has been a major asset to them on the blue line 13 games in. The Oilers are stacked with young talent, but have faced the trouble of inconsistent play and injuries costing them important points. If they tighten up defensively and add some consistency to their game, they will turn it around. Their young core definitely has a bright future.

12. Calgary Flames [4-4-3 –11points] The Calgary Flames have picked up right where they left off the last few seasons…in a disappointing fashion. They have yet to find their scoring niche. They say as Iginla goes so do the Flames….and he is not yet at the top of his game. Iginla and the Flames are typically slow starters but in a short season the entire team needs to pick up their game with more efforts like the game against the Stars.

13. LA Kings [4-5-2 –10 points] The LA Kings have hardly looked like the dominant team that won last year’s championship. They are without Mitchell and Greene to help solidify their defensive play. Jonathan Quick has also not played to his full capacity just yet, but he definitely is more than qualified. The Kings still have most of their championship core in place, but they need to find that drive that catapulted them to the Stanley Cup last season if they are looking to repeat.

14. Columbus Blue Jackets [4-7-2 –10 points] The Columbus Blue Jackets were faced with beginning the year without the former face of the franchise Rick Nash[he is now a New York Ranger]. They have begun slowly losing some important games while showing some great moments in their few wins. They need to find secondary scoring as they can no longer depend on Rick Nash scoring their goals. In the latest news the Blue Jackets fired GM Howson following their 13th game.

15. Colorado Avalanche [4-6-1 –9 points] The Colorado Avalanche are just in a string of bad luck…with injuries to everyone from their Captain Gabriel Ladeskog and Eric Jonhson and losing games they need to win. Not too mention all the drama with last year’s scoring leader Ryan O’Reilly still unsigned. Initially the Avs said they were working to re-sign the forward…and than talks broke off and rumors have begun to swirl that he will either be traded or sit out for the entire season before being signed. The Avs could really use a player like O’Reilly to help them get back their scoring touch. Head Coach Joe Sacco will have to find a new approach to snap Colorado out of their skid.

The post lockout issue between the NHL and NHLPA is the ‘Re-Alignment’. Have you heard about the re-alignment? Do you even care? The details at this point are limited as it is still in the discussion process. Here are the basics: The NHL wants to realign the league to 4 conferences [instead of the current two conference and 6 division split]. The league was looking to pass the realignment last season but it fell flat when the NHLPA voted against the notion in December 2011. The two sides are in renewed talks about this proposal and the owners are expected to vote on it, if approved by them, the vote would then go to the players. If this newest proposal gets approved by all parties the realignment would go into effect next season. One of the issues with this 4 conference format was the fact that there were no clear lines regarding playoff qualification as the West would have had two 8 team conferences whereas the East would have had two 7 team conferences. We shall see what the two sides come up with should they address all the issues.

It is only the quarter mark of the season and already so many stand out moments have occurred [From Chicago’s ridiculous point streak, teams winning/losing streaks, to goalie controversies and media speculated rumors]. Streaks good and bad have begun and will continue to occur throughout the remainder of the season. Players will be injured forcing teams to respond and others will return from injury giving teams a boost. We will have to wait and see what both the conference and the league look like at the halfway mark.

As always until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

A day in the life…

A day in the life of a crazed hockey fan begins almost always the same. There is an air of excitement that can be felt across the city throughout the day. The city turns blue and green everywhere you look. Game day has over taken the city. Jerseys and teams colours are being worn by everyone. Local media from the radio, to the newspapers are making predictions for the big game and the production of certain players beyond the coming evening’s game. Fans all around the city are buzzing with excitement as they make their own predictions over the impending game and their favourite players. Every where you go people are discussing not just the game but the season to come. All around town whether it is at home, on the bus, walking down the street, at work or out for a bite…the game is being discussed. Some people cannot wait while others find the whole sport and the insanity it brings, ridiculous. Pre-game shows begin on the radio and T.V. to further analyze the game that has yet to happen and any incidents or story lines they think might relate to the impending game. [Personally, I like to skip pre-game shows as they usually make me irritable with their inane commentaries.] Game time dawns but that doesn’t mean the puck drops right away. There is the pre-game warm-ups for both teams and all the fans racing for the best spot closest to the ice to view their favourite players.

Then, there are the anthems and any previously scheduled pre-game ceremonies that take place. The lights go out in the arena and suddenly the team logo on the ice is in the spotlight. The horn goes off as the players are announced and skate onto the ice for the anthems and ceremonial puck drop.The entire arena is engulfed in silence as the crowd anticipates the coming anthem and outcome of the game. The anthems begin and an echo of the entire crowd singing in unison gets louder with each line. The excitement is palpable. The puck drops. The home team wins the draw. The crowd begins to cheer as one as the players race down the ice. The whistle blows. The puck is offside. Play begins again and there rushes back and forth as the crowd oohs and aahs. Close calls on both sides. Just as it looks like the home team might score, the whistle blows again. A penalty is being called against the home team. The crowd sends out a round of boos to very loudly to let the refs know they got the call wrong[even if they were right…!]. The crowd is on the edge of their seats as the visiting team spends an entire two minutes of the powerplay in the offensive zone swarming for that elusive first goal only to be denied by impeccable goal-tending and defensive maneuvers by the penalty killers. Each save and block is met with loud cheers for the home team. The home team kills the penalty and the cheers are deafening as the penalized player exits the penalty box and steals the puck for a breakaway. SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goal celebrations ensue on the ice and those deafening cheers…well lets just say they reach a whole new level. Lines change and the resumes. Action goes back and forth amid cheers from the home crowd or boos when the opposition gets near the puck. The opposing team ties the game….met with a round of ‘terrible goal’ comments and boos from the crowd. The pace picks up as the clock winds down and the game could go either way. ONE minute left in the third period and the game is still tied. Over time seems inevitable. The away team ices the puck…play moves into their end for one last draw….the puck drops and the home team wins the draw back to the point. The defenseman on the point passes cross ice down to the winger on the side of the net who fakes a shot and blindly passes the puck to the forward screening the front of the net who with a quick backhand dekes it in the net just as the buzzer sounds….SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PANDEMONIUM ensues as the the crowd jumps from their seats erupting in cheers and applause as the team leaps from the bench surrounding the goal scorer. The away team skates away heads hung low in disbelief at the over time opportunity lost at final seconds. The home team celebrates the winning goal…three stars are named…the goalie, a very appreciated offensive defensive forward and the game winning hero. The crowd waits to file out as the players are interviewed. After the interviews are over the crowd files out of their seats and make their way through the arena…the home victory is feeding everyone’s mood…people are high-fiving all the way to their cars and public transit and everyone cannot stop talking about that last second goal.The feeling of victory is felt all throughout the city. The day in the life of one crazed hockey fan is one full of endless possibilities. Win or lose this fan will always support her team.

Game days ending in victory or even those ending in a loss are a part of the journey when you follow any sport…but in the this current lockout through today the NHL has taken away all league wide regular season games through Nov.1st robbing the fans of any possibilities that could have been. The players and owners may be stuck at a stand still…but the fans deserve better…please, let’s get that new CBA signed & sealed so that we can all go back to our crazy game day routines!

This crazed hockey fan just wants to hear that that lockout is over! #endthelockout #enoughisenough #thefansdeservebetter

As always, until next time nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

#BlackThursday

Hello & good-bye to what was supposed to be. Today is October 11th. Today marks what should be the start of the regular season in the NHL. Today should be the day that I begin all my crazed hockey rituals that drive my family insane. Today is supposed to game day. Game day means team colors all day long paired with my jersey! Today the entire city should be taken over by team colors…and local media looking to predict how each player will perform. The city should be basking in the excitement that comes with the opening day of the season! Opening day brings hope for every fan that their team has the potential to go all the way. The first game of the season means anything is possible. Today my #Canucks and five other teams were supposed to be starting their season -including the Stanley Cup winning Kings…who were supposed hang their championship banner as is tradition. Today was supposed to mark the beginning of another incredible season yet to come with the ending unknown. Yes the season’s ending is still unknown…but the certainty of the season taking place still hangs in the balance. Today is not supposed to be a day of cancelled games…today is supposed to be the start the wonderful unpredictability that is the regular season in the NHL. Today is being called ‘Black Thursday’ by the sports media to describe the feeling around the league in regards to what were supposed to be tonight’s games.  Instead of players discussing their excitement at tonight’s prospects and the long haul that is regular season…they all seem to be looking at a shortened season & the Winter Classic puck drop as the starting point. #BlackThursday is not a trend that is making any one happy…especially the fans. Yes the players and league executives are disappointed about the lost games…but until BOTH sides can see beyond the numbers and into a REAL discussion, they cannot move forward.

Yesterday the NHL and the NHLPA met for 5 hours and are meeting again this morning. Rumor has that while there has been little or no progress in the 3 + weeks since the lockout was enforced…that the NHLPA will be the one to blink first as they are reportedly  preparing to make yet another proposal. We’ll have to wait and see as negotiations continue to drone on as to just who really wants the game back….because while they all might say they want to see the game back on there is ONE group that certainly wants the game back sooner than later. The FANS of course! The fans deserve better. The fans deserve to not endure any more lost games. Give the fans back the regular season after the 24th…!

#EndtheLockout #gettheseasonBACKonTRACK

Today was supposed to be the beginning but thanks to an announcement by GB it is not. Please tell me that REAL progress occurs during this latest round of meetings! Lets cross our fingers and hope that both sides can come together in the next few weeks and make some REAL progress in the new CBA before more games are lost. #82isenough…let’s get the season started again! #nomoreBlackThursday!

I don’t know about the rest of the fans out there…but I am tired of both sides fighting over words and policies….I just miss the game we all love. I am tired of this horrible lockout state. I miss hockey, bring it back. The  only ones who can grant this wish are the ones disagreeing over who is right. #timeforrealconversations today! As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.