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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Special Player, A Special Night

"When I took the warmup and saw how many people were down in our end, I kind of had that feeling. As the game went on, it was quite overwhelming. You think of all the tremendous athletes that have played their respective sports, for me to receive that response is incredible. It's very special."

- via Jim Jamieson (Vancouver Province)

Forget the fact that the Canucks ended the season with a 7-1 blowout loss to the Flames. Forget that, in the last two weeks, they lost seven of their last eight games when all they needed was three more points to make the playoffs. On Saturday night, those were irrelevant. Some people said Saturday was a mean-nothing game. This may have been true standings-wise, but for the fans, this game meant a lot of things.

For me - and obviously a lot of Canucks fans - it meant a chance to say thank you and farewell to Trevor Linden, and even, Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison. Though with all due respect to Naslund and Morrison, the night was undoubtedly about Trevor.

It definitely was a special night. The fans gave Trevor many standing ovations: one when he started the game with Kesler and Naslund and again; another when he started the third period; another during his final shift with a minute left in the game; another after the game was over and his teammates congratulated him; another as the Flames, one by one, came back on the ice and shook his hand (pure class by Jarome Iginla, Robin Regehr and the rest of the Flames); another as CBC, ceremoniously, named him the game's first star and he skated around the rink; and yet another when he gave the jersey off his back to a lucky fan.

In case you missed it, here is the video of his final skate around GM Place:



As long as I've followed the Canucks, and with the exception of those dark years in the late '90s, Trevor has been part of this team. Like every other Canucks fan, a lot of my memories of the team includes him. He was the captain the first time I ever watched a Canucks game on TV. He scored the OT game-winner the second game I ever saw live (1994, game 6 vs. Calgary). I remember the '94 run, the 1998 Olympics, his hit on Jeff Norton, game 7 vs. St. Louis and game 7 vs. Dallas. There are many more, of course. While I agree that it's time for Trevor to walk away, at the same time it's hard to envision a Canucks game without number 16.

His on-ice accomplishments were only a small part of what he's meant to this team and this community. He's always made himself available to many charities. He's a fixture at Canucks Place and BC Children's Hospital. He's a spokesperson for the Canadian Cancer Society. We don't usually hear about these instances, but that's because he never draws any attention to them. The NHL noticed and awarded him the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1997. So did the Government of BC which awarded him the Order of British Columbia in 2003.

"You know, sometimes I ask myself that because I'm overwhelmed. I'm flattered. I feel extremely fortunate, blessed, the way things have gone. But I have to be honest with you: I ask myself that, too. Sometimes I almost feel kind of like: Who deserves this? I can't begin to say the effect it had on me. I'm a guy from Medicine Hat who played a game he loved, and to get that kind of response was really amazing."

- via Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun)

Trevor's response to Saturday's events is all you need to know about his character. He is a celebrity and a hero in this province, yet always humble. He is a tireless warrior, but respected even by his biggest opponents. He is a fierce leader and role model to every player that's ever donned the Canucks jersey not named Messier. In other words, he's embodied everything we've ever wanted a Canuck to be.

Trevor said he's fortunate and blessed and that's true. But so were we, Canucks fans, to have been witness to his career.

More tributes for Trevor from John Bollwitt, Joe Pelletier, Jes Golbez and Mike the Yankee Canuck.

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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

One More Time With Feeling


Tonight, I hope the fans give Trevor Linden one, good, final hurrah (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun). And if it happens to be the last time we see Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison and Tommy Larscheid, one for each of them too.

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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oilers 2 Canucks 1

Consider this an open post.

If you're a Canucks fan, feel free to rant. If you're a fan of another team, feel free to gloat.

I'm still going to the game on Saturday which, in all likelihood, is Trevor Linden's final game. I'll be back with a post-mortem on this team shortly after that.

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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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Game Day Post: Oilers at Canucks

The Edmonton Oilers are playing for pride (Joanne Ireland, Edmonton Journal). If the Canucks have any, they'll do the same and take advantage of an Ales Hemsky-less Oilers squad. Regardless of how the Flames' and Predators' games end.

All the cliches have been exhausted and I don't really have that much more to say about tonight's game. I'm just hoping it's not the last game I go to this season that has any significance.

Go Canucks! Go Blues! Go Wild!

From the MSM:
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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:13 AM | permalink/comments (7) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Avalanche 4 Canucks 2

In the Canucks' defense-first approach, it's no surprise that they're 30-8-4 when they score the first goal in a hockey game and 18-6-2 when they have the lead after the first period. Here's the problem. Since the trade deadline, those records have been a lot more mediocre. The Canucks are only 3-3-1 when they score first and 5-3-1 when they have the lead going into the first intermission.

Once again, they blew a decent start and pissed away two points. It's the third time they've done that in the last week and pretty much explains the position they're in now - ninth place in the Western Conference and needing to win both of their remaining games and hoping for the Nashville Predators to lose at least one of theirs.

And it's not just the fact that the Canucks are losing games, it's how they're losing them. Lately, they've allowed doubt and panic to seep into their games. One goal against is usually followed by another and sometimes another. Consider these numbers from their last four losses:

  • March 25th vs. Calgary - They allowed two goals in 41 seconds in the third period.
  • March 26th vs. Colorado - In the second period, they allowed two goals in 73 seconds and then another two goals in 62 seconds. Those four goals came in a span of only 6:47.
  • March 28th vs. Minnesota - They allowed two goals in 5:44 in the first period and another two goals in 5:00 in the second period.
  • April 1st vs. Colorado - They allowed three goals in 5:19.
In the game against Calgary and in both games against Colorado, they had the lead when they allowed those quick goals.

What happened to defense-first?

More from the MSM:

About the game around the blogosphere:


Next game:

Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Game Day Post: Avalanche at Canucks

The second of the Canucks' four must-win games is tonight and it comes against the Colorado Avalanche, a team they've had trouble beating recently (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province). The last time they played the Avs, they were slaughtered 6-3 in Denver. The last time they played the Avs at GM Place, they gave up the tying goal with 15 seconds left in regulation and then lost in the shootout.

The recipe to reverse this trend should be simple. Just play like they did on Sunday.

It's funny what a win can do. Before beating the Calgary Flames, the Canucks looked like they couldn't win a game against the Quad City Flames. Afterwards, they proved that, as long as they work hard, hit hard, go into the dirty areas and win the many little battles - in other words, as long as they're willing to play playoff hockey to make the playoffs - then they can beat anyone.

Because stats at this time of year are pointless:
  • The Canucks have won four of their last five at home.
  • The Canucks have failed to gain at least a point in only one of their last twelve home games.
  • The Avalanche have lost four straight games on the road, and since beating the Canucks at GM Place on February 27th, have lost five of six road games.
  • At 18-10-2, the Avalanche have the best intra-divisional record in the Northwest Division.
  • Despite averaging only 12 minutes of ice-time, Marek Svatos has eight points (5G-3A) and a +5 rating in five games against the Canucks this season.
  • The other Canuck-killer, Milan Hejduk has four goals and six points in seven games against them.
  • Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin lead the Canucks in scoring against the Avs this season. They have nine (3G-6A) and eight (3G-5A) points respectively.
  • Taylor Pyatt is the only Canuck with a plus-rating (+3) against the Avs. He also has five points (2G-3A) in seven games against them.
  • Last Sunday's heroes, Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden has had a terrible time against Colorado this season. In seven games each, Naslund has three points (0G-3A) and a minus-4 rating and Linden has zero points and a minus-6 rating.
Previews from the MSM:
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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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