The weekend is over and I’m still basking in being fortunate enough to attend Saturday night’s tilt between the Vancouver Canucks and the Detroit Red Wings. Obvious to anyone watching, it wasn’t the best played game though it was highly entertaining and, in the end, the home team came out on top. Now the team heads out on their big east coast road trip where players like Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, and Roberto Luongo get to play in front of their friends and family. I was pleased to witness their sixth straight win against a very good Red Wings team but now look forward to the challenges of a long road trip.
After watching the Canucks play for over 30 years I’m still just as excited to see them win as I was when I’d go to the games with my dad as a kid. I grew up like most other Canadian kids playing road hockey with my neighborhood buddies and idolizing the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. The late 70’s and 80’s weren’t particulaly kind to Canuck fans in terms of on-ice success but it only took attending one live NHL game to hook me for life on this great game called hockey.
While the 82 and 94 playoff runs provided Canuck fans with some great hockey memories, I can’t help but wonder when we’re going to stop referring to those bitter defeats as our greatest moments. I guess not until we win the cup. All in all, our team hasn’t given us many parades down Robson Street, but I believe this year’s edition of the Vancouver Canucks are a team poised on the precipice of greatness.
To me, we finally left behind the mediocrity of the mid to late 90’s in the 2001-2002 season with the forming of the West Coast Express. This infamous line took the Canucks out of the darkest period in their much-maligned history and brought back excitement and hope to their loyal fans. They didn’t win us a cup but for a brief time they were the highest scoring line in the NHL, a glorious first for the Vancouver Canucks. More recently Hart and Art Ross trophy-winner, Henrik Sedin, has given us something to be proud of and has even got hardened critics praising the team.
As you can see, I’m a Canuck Fanatic and I always will be. I want the Canucks to win the cup this season but if it takes a few more tries I’ll remain inspired to keep following my home team, just like I have for the past 30 years.
The Vancouver Canucks — get into it.