I honestly never thought I would be a huge hockey fan. I would sort of pay attention to how the Vancouver Canucks were doing and would watch the occasional game but wasn’t an avid fan of the game. I don’t think it would surprise people that I fell for the game, after falling for a guy (falling might be too strong of word for the guy but not for the game). He was an Oilers fan (yes…I know). He loved the game and loved his team. This was the year they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. With all the excitement he had for the team, I caught the bug BUT when they lost I couldn’t understand why he was SO depressed. Well, I soon learned the next year.
The next season, I began watching all the Canucks games. I rarely missed one. And then we made it to the playoffs….SO EXCITING! So many highlights: the marathon OT in game 1 of the Dallas series and in Game 7 Trevor Linden’s go ahead goal was unbelievable! I will never forget the feeling in GM Place that night. It is nothing I have ever seen or felt before. I was so lucky to have been able to be at the game that night. There was celebrating for sure that night! Tequila? Why, yes please!!!
Going into Round 2, I knew it was going to be a long shot but there is always hope right? I remember in game 5, when the Canucks skated onto the ice for the 3rd period and almost fell off my chair…where was Luongo? There was a look of horror on people faces around the bar I was at that night. I think maybe that same look of horror was on Sabourin’s face as he knew our playoff hopes were in his hands until Luongo could, well, get off the can! He did great though making 5 huge save before Luongo returned…. only to lose. Playoff hopes dashed. I distinctly recall turning to my friend and saying “Now what?” and “I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do now”. That feeling of excitement, deflated in a split second. I felt so empty. I finally got why he was so depressed after Edmonton lost and we had only made it to the second round!
Not making it to the playoffs last season was tough to watch but I let it go and looked forward to this season. New GM, new team, new direction? There were certainly some amazing stories to come out of this season. Kesler’s rise to MVP. Burrows getting paired with the Sedins and exceeding everyones expectations. Sundin….??? There some horrific times…January anyone? where I turned off Team 1040 giving the Canucks a “time out” hoping they would get their act together. They turned it around and here we are again….back in the playoffs with a Northwest Division title! And so it begins tonight. I feel it in the city. There is a buzz about it. We are ready!!!
Whatever the playoffs bring this year, I believe and I will forever be a Canuck fan!
GO CANUCKS GO!