As I sit in the comfort of my own living room, watching drunken hooligans ransack downtown stores, I was finally able to relax myself enough to type this up. I, like most of you, truly believed this was THE year. A President’s Trophy, a Clarence Campbell Bowl, a franchise record for points in a season, a William M. Jennings Trophy, an Art Ross Trophy, and Hart, Selke, Vezina, and Adams Trophy nominations. The highest scoring team in the regular season. The highest scoring defensive corps in the regular season. Let’s not forget that home teams in Game 7s of the finals were 12-3, and the whole trend of Stanley Cup wins after hosting Olympics in Canada. But quite simply put, it was not meant to be.
I’m not one to use Canucks marketing campaign slogans on a regular basis (I’ve never said that ‘we are all Canucks’), but never has ‘this is what we live for’ been more true. Game 7, Stanley Cup Final, at home. This IS what we live for. It’s what the players live for, it’s what the fans live for. Quite simply stated, it’s the biggest game in Canucks history. It’s bigger than 1994. There will probably never be a bigger game for this franchise. This is their time. They will become legends if they win, or be labeled as chokers should they come up short.
Late last night I received an email from my friend Darin. Darin is a die hard Canucks fan, about as die hard as you can get. He watches every game, analyzes every play. He loves the Canucks. But he also takes losing pretty hard. He last ranted this hard during the Chicago series last year. He was remarkably quiet during the first round this year, but after last night, he needed to rant.
The NHL ruled on the Aaron Rome hit today, giving him a four game suspension. It’s the longest suspension in NHL Stanley Cup Final history and one of the longest in NHL playoff history. I was extremely surprised with the decision, because it lacks precedent. In my mind, it warranted a two game suspension.
I’m not sure if Alex Burrows has a widely used nickname yet, but I think we should call him “Big Goal Burrows”. Other players score more goals, but no other Canuck has as much flare for the dramatic, scoring big goals when his team needs it the most. His biggest goals are some of the biggest in franchise history!
Manny Malhotra was back on the ice practicing with the Canucks on Friday, doing line rushes with Victor Oreskovich and Jeff Tambellini. He has been cleared to play, so presumably he will play in game 2. We have seen this movie before of course, when Malhotra was cleared to play, but didn’t in game 1. But assuming that Malhotra doesn’t experience a setback between now and the pre-game skate, we will see him in the lineup for game 2.
The Stanley Cup freaking final is about to start and you’ve heard all the background stories by now, so I’m going to take a different approach to get you ready for the series. Enjoy five videos that will get you pumped up:
With a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night, the Canucks found out their opponent for the Stanley Cup Final. That opponent, of course, are the big bad Boston Bruins. While the Lightning probably have more star power, I think this matchup will provide a little more sizzle given that the Bruins are an original 6 franchise.
I was twelve years old when Jim Robson famously called “the Vancouver Canucks are going to the Stanley Cup FINAL!” after Greg Adams’ famous goal in 1994. And now 17 years later, a new generation has a iconic call of their own (give kudos to John Shorthouse, he wasn’t fooled). It wasn’t pretty, but the Canucks were the best team in this series versus the Sharks, and deserve it. This team keeps winning, and they keep doing it in different ways. Lets review how it all went down last night:
The 1994 Vancouver Canucks had a reunion on Monday, with the likes of Linden, McLean, Courtnall, Adams and others on hand. It will be 17 years ago to the day on Wednesday that Greg Adams scored in double overtime in game 5 of the conference finals at home to send the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final. Tuesday night, the Canucks get a chance to match that feat and the whole city of Vancouver is ready to party.