Thursday, June 16, 2011


There is a lot to write about, and I simply don't have time.  So I'm swinging in very close to point form here...

Hockey is over for the season... if you aren't one of those people who like me pretty much feverishly follow the summer-long sequence of NHL Awards, Rookie Draft, Free Agent Signings, Training Camp, Pre-Season...and we are right back to the beginning again without there ever being any real break from hockey.

Lost game 1 (to LA) on my birthday - familiar territory.  Canucks lost their very first NHL game on my 1st birthday.
And it all got progressively better from there.
President's Trophy, bitches.

Chicago - monkey off our back... and boy was it exciting what a squeaker that was.  I dropped my beer in the Cambie floor when Burrows sunk that puck.  UNFUCKINGBELIEVEABLEGOALIE #1 - Corey Crawford.
Nashville - probably the series that actually did us in.  Too many games.  Too much overtime.  Too much hard work.  But we prevailed and slayed UNFUCKINGBELIEVEABLEGOALIE #2 - Pekka Reinne.
San Jose - How many ways can you say "out-classed"?  They are a good team.  But they play our game, and we simply play it WAY better. UNFUCKINGBELIEVEABLEGOALIE #3 (the remaining piece of the Chicago demon) - Antti Niemi.

A solid start, but in the end it is all about UNFUCKINGBELIEVEABLEGOALIE #4 - A.K.A. Tim Thomas. I hate that, but I respect it. He tallied a very serious contender for the greatest season any goalie has ever had and beating us in seven games raised the performance to even greater heights.  If he were playing any other team I'd have been saying his name in awe instead of as if it were an epithet.
...and the refi-ing seemed a bit lop-sided.
Game 3: 8-1... yeah that sucked.  But there was a lot of fluke in those 8 goals... even if you take those flukes out, we still lost by a good margin.
Game 4: 4-0 (Mark-I) Thomas.  That's all there is to say.  Tim Thomas.
Game 6: My now the ref-ing was feeling lop-sided.  (Though it never reached the absurdity of game 6 v. Chicago.)  And the Canucks kind of beat themselves on this one.  Two goals could have been enough...if Boston scored four less.

The fairest game of the whole series and we lost it fair and square.  I am surprizingly comfortable with that.  Disappointed?  Yeah, sure.  But game 7 was a pretty clean loss... which despite the fact that we shouldn't have ever got to game 7 acutally made losing it somehow more palatable. 
I had plans as to how I was personally going to make "THIS IS STANLEY-TOWN!!!" a local meme.  I guess I'll save it for next year.  Speaking of which, one thing that will not happen next year... this morning I shaved off my first and only playoff beard.  Damned thing drove me nuts towards the end.

Much has been said.  They were Canucks fans.  They weren't Canucks fans.  It is a sign of the times not a sign of hockey or our city.  It was the Black Bloc.  It was several dozen guys plus on-lookers.  It was thousands.  They were planning it all along - win or lose.  It was mostly 20 something guys from the 'outlying municipalities... or not.  Well whatever, it happened.  We lost the game, and we lost our dignity.
Quietest night on my street since May.  That was nice.  So was the "kissing couple."

I sat at home in front of the computer participating as best I could with the on-line Citizen policing efforts which continue today.  Damn some of those guys are dumb.  They are getting what they deserve.
I was ultimately more actual use I think in the morning when Jodie and December and I went out and joined in the clean up.  We were there before most people got to work and already the lion's share had been done.  We still got our part in, and I got lots of pictures.  I hope the world recognizes this part of the story as clearly as the riot.  Most of us here are disgusted and mad, but very happy to be a part of the spirit that responded to last night's stupidity.

We are going to bring home a lot of hardware at the NHL awards.
NEVER in Canucks history has "there's always next year" held so much real currency.
Start naming skilled teams who failed to win the cup one year but came back for righteous revenge the next year.  Here's the answers from my lifetime: Edmonton (83-84), Detroit (94-95), Pittsburgh (08-09) I think we have the raw materials to be one of those teams.

If the only thing that matters is the Stanley Cup, then our season was no better than the worst team in the league (cough - Edmonton - cough). I beg to differ.
Art Ross.
Nominations (and wins TBD) out the ying-yang: Hart, Vezina, Selke, Adams, Lindsay, Foundation & GM.
President's Trophy.
Western Conference Champions.
Highest goals for.
Lowest goals against.
Best power play.
#1 & 5 assist scorers league wide.
#1 & 4 point scorers league wide.
#2 +/- player league wide.
#1 Powerplay scorer.
#1 Shooting percentage (that is a bit of a joke - Mario Bliznak had one shot and he scored on it.)
It has been one awesome season of hockey.

See you on Granville Mall.

One Exhausting Step Away

(Hmmm... for some reason this didn't post four days ago when I thought I had.... probably mental exhaustion.  I could pretend I never wrote it now that the Canucks have failed to win the Stanley Cup... but that would be disingenuous.)

I haven't played 24 high stakes games of one of the most physically punishing games on earth over the past two months, and I am exhausted.
For reasons not entirely divorced from the Stanley Cup playoffs I am approaching the limits of my endurance. This is in turn has burned my emotional state down to the ragged end of the wick. I wouldn't want to exist in this state for much longer, but for the moment it is exhilarating.
We live downtown - close enough to the arena that when we lived on the other side of the building, games on TV were spoiled by the noise from the arena. Stupid TV delay.
Now, every few nights, we host a raucous celebration eight floors below our bedroom. I'm not complaining. I've celebrated too, I am over the moon, so are 100000 other fans downtown creating our own Blue Mile. I would never take this away from them.
On top of that I am working two jobs, producing a DVD, planning a DVD release party, had a piece of titanium inserted in my jaw last week, out of necessity rode my bike up hill for an hour and a half (no exaggeration) yesterday (first ride in months), and on top of it all I still have no idea how to sanely schedule my life around being a parent.  I am wiped out.

Every year as the playoffs begin I allow myself several moments of imagination, thinking about what it would be like to watch the Canucks hoist the Stanley Cup. And every year the dame thing happens. I experience a moment of overwhelming emotion which I quell - disallowing myself the full faux experience - only to later experience the all too familiar hollow feeling of yet another year of disappointment.

But this year we just keep going.  It's fucking glorious. But it is getting a bit embarrassing.  As we step closer and closer to winning - now closer than we have ever been - and as my fatigue makes my emotional state increasingly prone to fragility I find it harder and harder to control those fleeting moments where I seriously consider the possibility of the Canucks as Stanley Cup champions.
I have to concentrate at work today to keep from thinking momentary thoughts that are betrayed in my voice.

I'm not ashamed of feeling this way. Indeed, I am revelling in it. Should tonight we unite Stanley's Cup with his park, or should it be Wednesday, it will never feel like this again. Not in my lifetime. No matter how many times we win. So I may as well be experiencing this from a position of scant emotional control - to go all the way.

As it is said. History will be made.

See you on Granville Mall.