VK Basketball

Today, we talk about basketball, yes basketball. Specifically we are looking deeper into the incredible work that is the non-profit organization: VK Basketball. What exactly is the VK Basketball program? They work to create accessible basketball programs to kids and young athletes at no cost, and are looking to expand their program. It is admirable to see an organization put the dreams and needs of children first.

Let me share a glimpse into their incredible work:

In their own words: “We have created VK Basketball, a not-for-profit organization that provides athletes with an opportunity to play basketball during the spring and summer. Our mission is to give back to the community through accessible programs while creating a culture of excellence executed through basketball.

Our programs started in March of 2016 and in our first year we had 56 athletes from the Greater Vancouver area. We decided to start our program with girls varying in age from ages 10-17, but we hope to include a boys program in the near future. Our athletes attended camps and tournaments in BC, Washington, Oregon, and California.”

Wouldn’t it be amazing if both girls and boys across BC and beyond had access to this program or more programs like it? Programs like this that work to help both the child succeed and put no extra financial stress on the parents, are incredibly special. Kids should not have to worry about the cost but rather actually enjoy being a part of a team and programs like this one. In order for programs like this one to succeed, they need the help of the public

You can help with their aim at expanding their program to reach even more kids heading into this new year. Click the link below to find out how you can help them reach more kids and have a chance to win a one of a kind Vancouver Canucks experience on the road!

VK Basketball Auction

** The auction goes through October 7th. Signing up for the auction does not obligate you in any way, but by signing up you will be helping great cause in VK Basketball while also helping kids be healthy and have fun in safe environment.

IF you win the auction, you win the following Road Game Experience:

Two (2) Lower Bowl Tickets to the Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks game — Saturday, January 7th @ the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Flight From Vancouver to Calgary for Two (2).

Dinner in the Chrysler Club.

Two (2) jerseys (choice of Flames or Canucks jerseys).

Morning skate viewing (subject to discretion by either team).

Hotel stay for one (1) night at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel.

Click the links below to see the work they do in action:

VKB North Shore News story.

U13 Video

U17 Video

Please take a few minutes to visit their website (vkbasketball.com) and/or follow their journey on twitter (@VKBasketball). Thank-you, VK Basketball for the work you are doing with youth throughout the province! Here’s to growing your program and many more years of success!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L

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TRUE BLUE 2015

cropped-canucksbanner.jpgCalling all Canucks fans, it’s that time again…time for a summer of True Blue stories!

In the Summer of 2014, I began a series on Nucksaid called “True Blue” that featured THE best part of Vancouver Canucks hockey, YOU the fans and YOUR stories. This year I would love to do the very same and invite any and ALL of you who would like to share your Canucks AND/OR your Utica Comets stories to take part in True Blue 2015!  Whether you took part in the series LAST year or are participating for the first time, I would love to hear your stories and be able to share them with others. Whether you are from BC, across Canada or from across the globe, your stories are unique and make you a part of Canucks nation or Comets Army or BOTH.  Those who participated last year made this an incredible series to be a part of and proved that this game that binds us all together is so much more than a game.

If you ARE interested in taking part in the True Blue 2015 series send me an email to nucksaid@gmail.com with the subject line:TRUE BLUE 2015 for more details on how to take part in the summer series. Let’s make this another summer all about YOU and YOUR hockey/Canucks/Comets stories as we count down to the new season in the fall! Here’s making this another summer to remember!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

PQ3: Forever a Canuck

PatQuinn2“Follow your dreams. Listen to your heart and obey your passions.” -Pat Quinn

PatQuinnThe hockey world is a little less bright with the news of the passing of Pat Quinn. He lived and breathed the game with an integrity that never wavered.

Pat Quinn left an indelible mark on the Vancouver Canucks organization. He changed the way that Vancouver viewed the Vancouver Canucks and the way that they were viewed across the league. As a player and later a coach and GM, he became the backbone of this franchise making hockey exciting for the team and the fans again. He was relevant in EVERY aspect of the game.

Thank-you for everything you did for the game, Pat. The hockey world is a better place for having had you in it and you will never be forgotten. Your legacy will live on through the players you coached and the many players that you inspired to play the game.

Rest in peace, Pat. Say hello to Luc and Ryp for us!

RK17 Returns…

For the first time in his NHL career, when Ryan Kesler hits the ice in Rogers Arena on November 20, 2014…it will not be for the home side. It is his second game facing his former team but first at the arena that he once called home. How will the crowd respond to his return to Vancouver? Will there be cheers to welcome back a former franchise player who gave this city some incredible memories for over ten years or will he be met with boos to acknowledge the way in which he left?

KeslerDucksFlashback to last season when the rumor mills spun out of control that Ryan Kesler wanted out of Vancouver. Follow up that memory with the incessant denial on the part of Ryan Kesler, that of course those were only rumors and he wanted to finish his career as a Canuck. And then came that fateful day in June at the 2014 NHL draft when rumor became fact and Kesler had been traded to the Anaheim Ducks.

Love him or hate him, there is NO changing the fact that Kesler was a HUGE part of the Vancouver Canucks success in recent history. He may not have left in the best possible way BUT prior to his feisty exit, he gave this city and this team some incredible franchise moments. More than ten years of history that will in no way be changed, no matter what the final outcome is when Kesler returns to the arena he once called home with his new team. Ryan Kesler has moved on. The Vancouver Canucks have moved on. BOTH sides have moved on and BOTH sides being in the same division will have their paths cross multiple times during a season.

I always loved Kesler’s tenacity on the ice and ability as a two-way forward but I was definitely disappointed in the way he left. I have no doubt that he will have success with Anaheim and that the Canucks will have their own success moving forward. When the puck finally drops between the Canucks and the Ducks in Rogers Arena, the dust will settle and one team will walk away with two points. No matter which way the crowd views Kesler when he skates out with his new team, there is no changing the history he gave this city and there is no erasing his new chapter with Anaheim.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

It isn’t easy being GREEN.

TheGreenMenLove them or hate them, Vancouver’s Green Men stole the hearts of Canucks fans for the last five years with their dedication and in-game antics for their love of the sport and their team over the years. On November 7, 2014, they announced that the 2014-2015 NHL season will be their last season of suiting up as the Green Men.

December 22, 2009 may have seemed like any other game for other fans but I will forever remember THAT game because of two fans in bright green full body suits near the penalty box that somehow were able to entrance the entire arena with their support for the team. They made the in-game atmosphere even more electric and the crowd was that much louder. Many games have been played since that fateful game and nearly five years later these two are still rocking the green suits while cheering on the Canucks. Their appearances grew more frequent as did their fan following in the years that followed.

Thank-you for giving this team and this city so many great memories that we will never forget! Some may have thought you were crazy when you first started out on this journey, but this kid always thought you guys were pretty awesome!

TheGreenMen2How much more epic could this moment be? Celebrating a massive game (54 saves from LU) that sent the team to the Finals for the first time since 1994?

TheGreenMen3You never lacked creativity when it came to trying to get in the heads of the Canucks opponents (all in good humor) in the penalty box.

TheGreenMen4Meeting these two A-list stars, looked like a pretty awesome moment from those looking in from the outside!

TheGreenMen5Ah yes, how can we forget about your love for making all things Vince Vaughn in Canucks colours.

But perhaps my most favourite Green Men moment was my own encounter when I finally met the infamous duo at the 2014 Heritage Classic:

IMG_0582I absolutely loved every moment that came before this farewell season news and I look forward to the moments still to come in this final countdown of your Green Men journey. My favourite characteristic of you as the Green Men is how committed you were to supporting the team and how welcoming you were to other fans in the sport. Thank-you, Force and Sully for many unforgettable moments over the years and I wish you the best of luck in your very bright future as you move forward!

It isn’t easy being green, but you sure made it look seamless!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Road Trip #1: Part ONE

Stop ONE: It’s always sunny of Philadelphia or so they say. The atmosphere in Philadelphia has changed drastically since the loss of former captain Chris Pronger from the lineup who has not played since suffering a concussion in 2011. Things have been tough going in Philadelphia the last two seasons. This season has hardly been a sunny one for the Flyers just 8 games into their season. From Laviolette being fired 3 games into the new season and just 1 victory, it has not been easy going. Struggling teams are the teams that most take for granted and expect an easy win BUT the struggling teams also tend to put good teams to the test.

Game 7: Philadelphia vs. Vancouver

Game 7: The Philadelphia Flyers vs. The Vancouver Canucks

A road trip can be a great building block and a good bonding experience for a team that is adapting to new systems.The Canucks match up with the Flyers came following back to back losses at home in Vancouver. Both teams needed to put better games on the ice.

Both teams had struggled offensively heading into this game and were looking to change that fact. The Flyers struck first to grab a 1-0 lead BUT just 10 seconds later and fortuitous bounce in front of the Flyers net to Kesler, this game was tied up 1-1.

A tough early goal in the second period as the result of a hand pass [uncalled! but alas I digress!] put the Flyers up 2-1.

Once again the Canucks put themselves on the comeback trail heading into the third period…a pattern that has become WAY too common this season! Cue the #Torts strategy that WON him the Calgary game: a split of the Sedin twins & creating what I call a #SwedeAmerican line [Henrik, Kesler & Higgins]. Just over 7 minutes into the final frame, a beauty of a pass from Henrik to a wide open Higgins saw this game once again all tied up!

The game looked as though it would need overtime UNTIL a certain Ryan Kesler scored the go ahead goal with 2:25 remaining in the game. In the final minutes there was a Flyer scramble in Luongo’s crease but Philly couldn’t get the tying goal to force extra time. A win in the books for the Canucks to start their road trip on the right note.

Stop TWO: “Buffalo Bill won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight…”

The majority of last season and the first 9 games of this season has been somewhat of a nightmare for the Buffalo Sabres who have just one win. Rumors are continuously spinning that Miller and possibly Vanek are on the trading block before the season ends.

Heading into this game Buffalo was looking to build upon their first win of the year and Vancouver wanted to build upon their Philadelphia victory.

The Canucks set a dominant the pace in the first period as soon as the puck dropped, peppering 19 shots at Miller and only allowing 7 shots on Luongo. The Canucks eventually grabbed a 1-0 lead thanks a goal from Higgins nearly 15 minutes into that first period and kept the Sabres to minimal chances.

The second period has not been the Canucks forte as of late…the pattern has been the give up the lead and as we all know: NO leads are safe in any game. The pace slowed a little in the second period with not as many shots getting through BUT the Canucks were able to do something they have only done once this season: grab a 2 goal lead! The second goal came from Brad Richardson while the Canucks were shorthanded. Despite being down 2-0, the Sabres were still in this one thanks to Ryan Miller.

This was the first time since the Edmonton game that Vancouver was beginning a third period with a 2 goal lead, it was refreshing to see! Buffalo started the third period with a little more jump and early in the period it looked like they had comeback within ONE. That is until the play was reviewed showing that while the puck did beat Luongo, it hit the crossbar going along the goal line BUT never crossed the goal line: NO GOAL. Tough break for the Sabres[every hockey fan can relate!] The third period was Luongo’s toughest with the Sabres out-shooting the Canucks 11-6 BUT it was Vancouver that provided the offense. Ryan Stanton who has played solid defensively since joining the Canucks was the benefactor of a #sedinery play and made NO mistake putting the puck past Miller for the 3-0 lead. Congratulations Stanton, on scoring not only your first Canuck goal, but also your first NHL goal!

Roberto Luongo

LUUUUUUU making ONE of 25 saves in his 63rd CAREER shutout vs. the Sabres.

The final score: Canucks 3-0 Sabres. Roberto Luongo earned his 63rd career shutout moving him up to 15th on the all-time record list [just 4 more shutouts and he will surpass Patrick Roy!]. Congratulations Roberto! Luongo finished the game with 25 saves with a little help from the team who blocked 17 shots. This was a full 60 minute effort from the team…now to work on that power play!

Next Stop: TODAY at the Igloo! aka Pittsburgh and a very tough Penguin team being led by the very talented Crosby. It will be an early matinee game for those back east and a mid morning game for us on the west coast! It will not be easy to shut down Crosby and company, the Canucks will have their best effort and special teams are sure to be a game changer on both sides.

Here’s to a great game on both ends of the ice! #GoCanucksGo

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Game 4 Recap: Canucks vs. Devils

Vancouver Canucks vs. New Jersey Devils.

Game 4 Recap: Vancouver Canucks vs. New Jersey Devils.

Cory Schneider returned to Vancouver for the first time since the unexpected trade and the long winded goalie controversy came to an end. Every sports broadcaster dubbed the game “Luongo vs. Schneider” as if to spark a new controversy. Both Luongo and Schneider spoke very highly of each other leading up to this game and acknowledged it was a strange position to be in. It was definitely strange to see Schneids on the opposition.

All eyes were on the two goal-tenders from the morning media scrum to the final buzzer. Two incredible athletes who promised to put their best game on the ice for their respective teams.

The first period saw chances on both sides and both goalies made some great saves. Momentum shifted from Vancouver to New Jersey when the ever reliable Jaromir Jagr opened the scoring late in the first period to make the score 1-0. Regardless of his age [43] you cannot deny the guy’s skill set.

The second period began with once again chances on both sides. New Jersey scored again to take a 2-0 lead. Some may complain about that goal as it first hit the refs skate BUT regardless the goal gave the Devils a two goal lead. No lead is ever safe in hockey and no team knows that better than New Jersey this year. Cue Torts making line changes! Vancouver pushed back and just 1:28 later had pulled within one thanks to a goal from Daniel Sedin. The Canucks seemed to carry a little momentum on their side following that goal out-shooting the Devils 14-7 and eventually tying the game 2-2. The tying goal came on a great play by who else…the Sedins who dished it to a rushing Edler for his first goal of the year.

The third period came with no answers found other than each goal-tender keeping their teams in the game and hoping to secure two points. This was a disciplined effort as there were only 3 penalties called between the two teams. Both teams were secured a point with overtime looming for the second straight game. This is one game I really didn’t want to see in a shootout but it seemed like it might be destined to end in one. A point shot from Garrison hit SANTORELLI in front 2:18 into OT saved everyone from the shootout and secured the two points for Vancouver. For the second straight game, the comeback was complete in OT.

All eyes were on Luongo and Schneider from the morning media scrum to the final buzzer and despite the media’s pushing they only had nice things to say about the other. Here’s a few quotes from the two who were most scrutinized in this game thanks to the media and the last two years:

To quote Luongo: “Schneids kept them in it, made some big saves throughout the whole game. It was fun, it was nice to battle it out. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose. We both got at least a point for our teams.”

To quote Schneids: “With Louie at the other end, you have to match him save for save because he’s not going to give you much. It was fun playing against Luongo, he’s a great goalie, I have always said that. I’ve learned a lot from him and he’s been put through a lot but his resiliency and how hard he’s worked through it. I think he deserves everything he gets. It was fun seeing him at the other end for the first time.”

All in all it was a good game by both Luongo and Schneider and BOTH deserve success this season. I’m happy Luongo got the win and I really do wish all the best to Schneids except of course when he plays the Canucks!

Game at a glance!

Game at a glance!

Next up for the Canucks, will be quite the challenge as they meet the as of yet undefeated San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are coming off a BIG 9-2 win against the Rangers in large part due to rookie Hertl’s 4 goal performance. San Jose has outscored their opposition 17-9 in three games. San Jose has presented a challenge for the Canucks in recent history and they will be looking to change that when the puck drops tomorrow night. The Canucks will need play a disciplined game and stay out of the box, tighten up defensively and support Luongo by providing some offense. Hopefully they rise to the challenge and surprise a few people. Best of luck tomorrow boys!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.