Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Canucks Love Fest

Last night the Vancouver Canucks won the Western Conference Finals of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. They won in Double Overtime exactly 17 years to the day they won last time. I want to write an insightful, quote worthy blog about this but.... to be honest I am still pretty overcome with emotion and I'm drowning in my fangirlness. I don't care about being impartial or insightful.

Blue Believes In Blue
I'm proud of so many things about the vancouver Canucks right now. It's been a long, sometimes tough journey and even when I started to doubt them - Round 1 against the Blackhawks - they didn't doubt themselves. This I honestly believe made all the difference. They KNOW they can do this.

Eat Your Words Wellwood, Not Cheeseburgers

Maybe Wellwood (or as Bieksa called him The Weasel) was right. Maybe when he was on the team we were afraid to lose. But this year the Canucks didn't treat a single game like it was anything more than a single game. Kesler repeated this to the media a lot - they weren't thinking about the Cup or the Western Conference Finals, just about the game at hand. And it worked. Here we are, Western Conference Champions.

From Princess to King
Kesler last year was one of my least favorite Canucks. I am not going to lie, the proof was in the blogging. I called him Princess Kesler. I couldn't stand all his whining and his diving and his Olympic bitching. I love yappy players but only when they have the skill to back it up - re: Burrows. Last year and previous years Kesler, IMO, was more talk than walk. He was the King of Near Misses not goals. This year... he's not a princess he is a KING. He's still the most passioante player on the ice but he's channelled that passion into determination, drive and skill. He is the heart and the backbone of the Vancouver Canucks.

The Brains
If Ryan Kesler is the heart and backbone of the team the Sedin Twins are the brains. And in previous playoffs - and even the beginning of the 2011 playoffs - they've been MIA. But in Round 2 they started to wake up. By Round 3 against the San Jose Sharks the twins were back to playing like it was just another game in February. In other words, they were spectacular. This is the best thing that could ever happen to the Canucks. They are now a full functioning high performance machine. The twins don't get a lot of credit because they aren't flashy players. They don't give high-profile quotes off the ice and they don't score those crazy Bieksa Bounce goals or hand out Ballard Hip Checks on the ice. But their subtly is what makes them brilliant and breath-taking. That pass from Henrik to Burrows through the five-hole of Niemi will forever be etched in my brain as one of the most amazing hockey plays I have ever seen.

There Is No "I" In Team Or the Word "Canucks"
Last night the Hockey Night In Canada Announcers were waxing poetic about Joe Thornton and his injury. Essentially they were eulogizing him and the Sharks. His injury was - according to them - a devastating loss for the Sharks, one that basically put the nail in their coffin. And that's when I realized that yes, the Canucks have some key players - Kesler and the twins. But they aren't the only players that show up. They aren't the only ones that produce. We're deep. We're resilient. I think we're very blessed that Kesler, Daniel and Henrik have remained relatively intact through the playoffs but I also believe with every fiber of my being that if - Hockey Gods forbid - something took one of them out, our team overcome. Bieksa, Burrows, Higgins, Lapierre, Tanev, Hansen, Tambellini, Raymond - you name the guy he has or will step up in a time of need. We are a team of hard working, skilled players. We are not a couple of stars carrying the hopes and dreams of all. I believe in every single one of our players.

We Are Not All Canucks, But Who Cares?
They naysayers are still running rampant. One of the more ridiculous statements on Twitter - "Canucks only got here because of bad reffing calls" (and they don't mean all those bad calls we perservered through). Luongo still "gets Lucky" and the Sedin twins are still "Useless" to some even though Lu made 54 saves in the last game and Henrik leads the playoffs in points. To all of you who hate us I say - so be it. I have no urge to make the Canucks Canada's team or the West's Team. Vancouver fans have stuck with them thru thick and thin - we shouldn't have to share them now anyway. I'm perfectly happy keeping the pride, love and triumph all to myself.

In The Words Of Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You
I truly, totally and utterly believe that the Vancouver Canucks will win the Stanley Cup. But no matter the end result, I just want to say here and now that I will always be proud of this season. I will always be grateful to every member of the 2010-2011 Vancouver Canucks roster for their heart and their drive and their accomplishments. I am so happy and proud to be your fan.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much Canucks.

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