So, hockey is done. The team that deserved to win the Stanley Cup won the Stanley Cup and it was mostly very fun to watch. Ratings for the Finals were excellent in the states, and Gary Bettman is probably doing a little midget dance of joy because of it. The league still hates Jim Balsillie, and are dead set against him owning a team. This off season should be one of the most interesting ever for Canucks fans, and this has me feeling half exhilarated and half terrified.
I now have to think of ways to occupy my time until hockey starts again. Maybe I’ll start watching baseball. The Olympics are on, which should be pretty rad. It’s a good time to catch up on all the reading I never got around to while hockey was in full gear. I’m going to the draft in two weeks, which will be totally fun. I get to watch the rookie GM’s very first draft in person. This could be a completely delightful experience, or a completely horrifying one, so stay tuned for that. I’ll be posting here quite a bit. I want to finish my Reasons I Love Hockey series, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to whine about on free agency day. Now that the season has ended, here are the lessons I learned this year.
1. Matty Ohlund is definitely my favourite player. I know it’s hard to believe that this was ever in question, considering the love fest for Mr. Ohlund around here, but at the start of the season I wasn’t sure who my favourite player was. Nazzy, Trev Linden, and Kevin Bieksa were all in close consideration before it became obvious that Matty was my guy.
2. Ryan Kesler was worth his offer sheet. He just needed some time. I have a hard time imagining this team without him now, and hopefully he is in Vancouver for a long time.
3. It’s possible for me to love Red Wings. Lidstrom is amazing to watch, and I now have a full on crush on Zetterberg. He was completely deserving of the Conn Smythe, and I kind of love how he was so excited when he won it that he couldn’t put a coherent sentence together. It also didn’t hurt that he looked smoking at the victory parade, and was wearing the Conn Smythe as a hat.
4. The Canucks d-men should perhaps go about their daily activities in a protective bubble.
5. I still hate his team with a never ending passion, but Iginla is a classy guy. When he lined his team up at the end of Trev’s probable last game in the NHL to wish him well, it was hard to hate the guy.
6. The Canucks can make me drink vast amounts of alcohol, and I can still function. Although I don’t know if this is a good lesson. Perhaps I should forget I learned this one.
7. I love pests and I love fights that aren’t the awful, staged, enforcer fights. I could watch Alex Burrows do his thing all night, and when Mike Brown was called up, I adored watching him fight. I also learned that I apparently have a bloodthirsty side that I was previously unaware of.
8. I can end up having a hockey crush on a guy for a very silly reason. Maxime Talbot’s playoff beard, Nathan Paetsch from the Sabres because of his nickname “Patches”, Douglas Murray because he finances a keg company and his nickname is “Crankshaft”, Patrick Marleau because he’s from Saskatchewan, Pavel Datsyuk because of his accent.
9. The hockey blog scene is awesome. I’ve “met” so many cool people. I’ve learned so much more about hockey. I know things about other teams that I never would have if I didn’t read blogs by their fans. I’m fond of the Sabres, Devils, Sharks, and Stars now mostly because of their fans. I even read about the Wild, who I generally hate, because I enjoy reading Land of Lakes and Hockey by a Wild fan. When I started The Humming Giraffe, I figured I would write about five posts, and then get bored. But I haven’t. I’m still having fun.
10. Even though the Canucks were pretty much horribly awful this season, I love them, and I’m with them for the long hual.