I’m going to be straight up honest here. This season has been bizarre for me. Like any good red blooded Canucks fan, the majority of my fandom has been spent in misery and alcohol fueled depression. There were a few bright spots, like the run to the playoffs in 07 and high fiving strangers in packed bars in downtown Vancouver, but ultimately the general feeling was sadness and depression and occasionally an immense anger that by a quirk of geography the Canucks ended up as my team. This feeling became comfortable if not enjoyable and I went along my merry way.
Now the Canucks have really thrown me for a loop and decided to play their cute little asses off and compete with anyone in the damn league. This is not the team of the past that was cruising along just because Lui stood on his well coiffed Italian head. This team is talented, has depth on defence and forward, and is tough as hell. They’re fun to watch, are well coached, and have fantastic team chemistry that is visibly bubbling over every game. I’m sure as hell not complaining, but it has confused me a little. It goes against everything I know as a Canucks fan.
Some of my very favourite posts that I wrote last season were when the Canucks had hit rock bottom and I was completely miserable. I think being an emotional wreck just might be when I’m the funniest. Blogging this season has been different. It’s OK though, Canucks. I can adjust! Just keep on doing what you’re doing.
This year’s team is the version of the Canucks that has most felt like “my” team since I’ve been a fan. Obviously I loved the other rosters, but this one feels extra special to me. Their personality jumps out at you. Watching Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond and Alex Edler grow as players has been a real treat. I’ve been fascinated recently with the fan relationship with their team and by extension their city. That’s a huge reason why I enjoy reading blogs of other teams. The best ones describe this relationship with every word. Even living away from Vancouver, I get the feeling that Vancouver embraces this Canucks team more than they have in several years. It also seems like this Canucks team has the attitude to deal with the pressure down the stretch more than Canucks teams of the last few years. Only time will tell if the latter is true or not but I’m looking forward to finding out.
I haven’t fully embraced this amazing stretch because there’s been a part of me that was guarding against the Canucks breaking my heart again, but I’ve decided it’s time to just let go and enjoy it and spread the love. So, here’s some little things I completely adore about the Canucks right now.
AV hasn’t shuffled the lines in ages. He got his 500th coaching win last night and he joked with the media last night in his press conference that he should give them first star for pissing Lui off so much.
Lui finally had a game after the return from his injury where he said “Look bitches, I’m stealing this one no matter what the rest of my team does. Thanks for coming out”
The Canucks FanZone liveblog. There are fans hanging out there from all over the world and everyone is funny and smart. I’m telling you, Canucks fans are some of the sweetest people around.
Demo playing last night even though that little rat Ott messed up his knee in the Dallas game. This is while also having a broken finger already. I always got the impression that Demo was a little bit of a wimp before he came to Vancouver, but that’s obviously not the case when he enjoys where he plays.
Mason Raymond’s improved play recently finally paying off with his first goal in 27 games. He looked like he might actually make out with the posts of the goal.
Kes’ sick, sick pass on Raymond’s goal.
Burr’s “slump” lasting one game. 23 goals.
Lady BaBa’s new mask. Metallica, Harold Snepts, Johnny Canuck, AND that classic picture of Kirk McLean and Trevor Linden? BAD ASS.
The dangles Danny and Hank are trying recently.
Willie Mitchell’s +30. That’s just disgusting. Go Willie go.
The much improved penalty kill. While it would be nice if they just stopped taking so many penalties, it’s reassuring to know the PK is getting tuned up before the playoffs.
Every goal celebration. The guys just smile ear to ear.
Big Bear’s really strong play recently. When his hands catch up to the rest of his game he’ll have 40 goals. Kyle Wellwood, Big Bear, and Mason Raymond were the best line on the ice last night. Imagine when they actually start cashing in on those premium scoring chances regularly. That’s three lines to roll in the playoffs, baby. And the Canucks are suddenly a lot harder to defend.
Matty Ohlund hitting guys all over the ice. I wish I had enough money to bid on his game worn sweater…
The boys are on the road again in Phoenix tomorrow for an epic 6 game trip. Hopefully their lust worthy home record transfers to the road.