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.
Nominations (and wins TBD) out the ying-yang: Hart, Vezina, Selke, Adams, Lindsay, Foundation & GM.
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.