I've been sitting here for awhile thinking about what I want my first post for this contest to be. Should I write about the Booth trade? Nope. Roughly 400 Vancouver sports journalists already beat me to that. How about I write about Kesler's naked picture? Nope. The less said about that the better ( There are muscles where there shouldn't be muscles. I swear he has an alien chestbuster running around inside his thigh muscle. Like in that movie..."Alien"). I'm not gonna post the picture, but he should know he is on "Stage 3 Ripley Watch".
I know! Maybe I'll shock the world and set myself apart by writing about Roberto Luongo and how he "kind of under performs occasionally"?
*6 seconds of Internet research*
Okay, so that topic has been flogged to death. So much so, the word "beaten" doesn't quite do it justice. I had to bust out "flog".
Well to kick this off I'm just going to keep things simple, honest and genuine (again, that will NOT be a theme here over the next few weeks) and write about the Canucks moments I've experienced recently that have continued my lifelong fandom. I will of course be starting with something Luongo related.
5. Luongo Trade Lights Up The Orpheum
The night Luongo was traded here I was at a concert at the Orpheum. It had been rumoured for a while that we would make a deal to get him from Florida, but at that point it was still just one of those things that was just talked about. The Canucks had been a "goalie graveyard" for years and the mere notion of us getting one of the league's budding superstars was more than enough reason to be excited.
Halfway through the concert, I got a text message and checked my phone. It simply said "We just traded for Luongo". I showed the person I was with and she didn't really see what the big deal was. I told her "He's a franchise goalie. He is the one who will finally get us to Game 7 of the Cup finals then lose". Okay, I'll admit I didn't have THAT much foresight, but I was excited and she didn't understand.
I then noticed that all around the Orpheum, cell phones were lighting up and people were sharing the news next to them the news. There were high fives and fist pumps and it had nothing to do with the concert. We got to see a lot of that crowd reaction from our crappy balcony seats, which made them totally worth it.
4. Sedin Twins Douse Flames, Henrik gets the Art Ross
I honestly never thought I'd see a Canuck player capture the Art Ross trophy and be declared "NHL Scoring Champion". Aside from brief flashes with Pavel Bure and Markus Naslund, I never really felt we had "showy" enough players. I have trouble considering any of our guys "league wide superstars". While we have had solid players, I felt that Naslund may be the closest we would come to the Art Ross.
But during Naslund's tenure, Daniel and Henrik Sedin got quietly scary as offensive threats and when #19 moved on to... "Ranger-er pastures", the ginger twins stepped up their game, BIG TIME. While Daniel missed a considerable amount of games with an injury, Henrik didn't miss a beat. Late in the season, he was in the top 3 in league scoring with Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin (see "showy" player reference earlier). They each had 1 game left to make their mark, by which point Daniel had returned to the Canucks lineup and was able to help Henrik get 4 assists and extend his lead in the point race, which was enough. "Counting the touches" every time Henrik passed the puck off made the game on 4/10/10 exciting and unforgettable for Canuck fans everywhere.
Talking about it ain't enough. Gotta go video.
3. Henrik Sedin's 78th Minute Dagger
The game that just... would... not... end. I'm sure we all remember it. 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, Round 1 Game 1 against the Dallas Stars. It took nearly 8 periods of hockey to settle this one, and I felt each and every one of them.
I was at my favourite Canuck game watching bar. My friend and I, excited for the playoffs, made a pact that we would each drink a pitcher of... I'll just say "raspberry juice" for each period of the game. We thought that it might go to an overtime, but not four. That is way too much... "raspberry juice".
When Henrik Sedin finally scored just before the end of the 4th overtime, I was one of the happiest people in the world. The game was finally over, as were any foolish pacts that went along with it. I cried that night. Manly hockey tears though.
I got home at like 4 am (you gotta have post game conversations, no matter how late they go. There was a lot to discuss about 7 periods of hockey) and I somehow managed to drag myself to work the next morning. I was 10 minutes late but my boss was totally understanding. He should've been, he was two hours late and he sauntered in smelling like he bathed in "raspberry juice".
2. Trevor Linden Calls "Forever Dibs" on #16
I'm going to say something bold and controversial in my first post:
Trevor Linden is my all time favorite Canuck.
(I will now permit you a moment to pick your jaws up off the floor)
This was a special night for anyone who has ever cheered on the Canucks. I'm not going to gush about TL for several paragraphs, just know that I could... and I want to. It was a great ceremony, brought tears to eyes and it was awesome seeing some of the old school '94 team in attendance. Linden gave a great speech AND they played the "Jurassic Park" theme when they raised his number to the rafters. However a moment that flies under the radar is the rampant fear that took hold of the Edmonton Oilers that night when they looked across the ice during the warm up and thought they had to play an entire team of Trevor Lindens.
1. Burrows Slays the Dragon
Apologies to the rest of the 2011 Stanley Cup Run, but when I look back on it years down the line, this is the #1 moment I will remember (it's hard to get romantic about a lucky bounce in the Western Conference finals). The storyline behind this moment doesn't need to be explained. I will never forget the feeling of dread I had when Toews scored shorthanded obscenely late in the game and sent it to OT. We were so close to having our best season ever ripped from us by a team that did it to us the last two years.
Enter Burrows. Enter Canuck lore.
Why is it my #1 favourite modern Canuck moment? I still get goosebumps from watching that video. Burrows is a made man in the town forever after that. It was just the beginning of an incredible but heartbreaking run. The goal was EPIC. His post goal celebration however was pretty classless.
Well that's it for post #1. Hopefully some of you who have never heard of me (by that I mean "everyone") has a better understanding of my appreciation for the Canucks and why I'm in this contest. There were probably some of your favourite moments that I missed, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Thanks for Reading
I am on twitter (@jbowmancouver). So is The Rock. That is pretty much where the similarities between us end.