Hug a Leafs fan today. They’ve been through a lot. Yes, I know about Toronto Maple Leafs fans. They’re rude, they’re cocky. They’re all of that. But you know what? So are a lot of Canucks fans. And that’s why I think I feel for the Leafs fans today. They remind me of Canucks fans.
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.
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!
The biggest game the Canucks franchise has played since game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup finals did not disappoint on Tuesday night. It wasn’t easy, but the Canucks finally got their revenge over their arch rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks. It took good goaltending from Roberto Luongo, a smart defensive corps and a gritty effort by their forwards to edge the Blackhawks, 2-1 in overtime.
For the first time in the Canucks-Blackhawks Trilogy, we will have a game 7. And it will happen in the most improbable way. As you must know by now, the Canucks have squandered a 3-0 series lead and now face elimination on Tuesday night.
Frankly, I’m amazed at the amount of debate over which goalie should start in game 7 for the Canucks-Blackhawks series. Currently on the Team 1040 website, their poll shows 53% in favour of Luongo, 47% in favour of Schneider.
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