The Canucks played thier first game on my first birthday. They lost.
Canucks fans - the long term, well studied ones - can lay out a long history of might have beens that begin with not quite making the cut for the orginal expansion, and then losing first draft pick two years later (Gilbert Perrault) on a coin flip to the Buffalo Sabres. The list goes on and on - Cam Neely, Nathan Lafayette and the cross-bar, that whiny punk Pavel Bure (which started well if you recall - and if you look at the eventual trade, did work out in Canuck's favour), the Messier years (also a lot of up-side which we are witnessing now.) The Steve Moore hit... oh that fucking Steve Moore hit - arguably cost us a cup... see, I'm not immune! In our best years the Canucks have been a team that has been over achieveing.
But damn we are a good team this year. Tonight we clinched the President's Cup. Not barely. Decisively.
Sure we did it at the expense of the rest of our division. Calgary hasn't mathematically been eliminated from the playoffs yet, but it isn't looking good, even if they are the only real remaining candidate. We have decimated our four most immediate rivals. Soundly. Two of them sit at the bottom of the entire league. (No hard feelings Edmonton, but this is what the mid-eighties felt like.)
The 2011 Vancouver Canucks are a really good team. And it's not just the Sedins (who are collectively going to win two Art Rosses in two years (Squee!)) and Luongo (probable Vezina candidate.) The rest of the team is as solid a supporting cast as any team realistically needs these days. It is a beautiful thing. And it has been creeping up on us for a few years - even most of a decade if you look closely.
I'm not pretending that the President's Trophy is as important as winning the Stanley Cup - no way. But hey - we just won the President's Trophy tonight with five games to go. Five games wherein most of the team can relax a bit. Daniel still needs to keep scoring a point a game for a three or so tilts to be secure with the scoring title, but if anyone is disappointed with this season they haven't been paying attention, or they are nothing more than fair weather playoff-fans.
Forty years coming. And yeah, so many times in the past this would have felt like an April Fools' joke, but...
You can not take this away from me.