History Has Already Been Made

by Ed Lau on June 13, 2011

I know I don’t usually talk Canucks here but one win away from a Stanley Cup, I can’t resist. This is also posted over at Canucks Hockey Blog, where I usually talk hockey.

The commercials may say otherwise but in reality, history has already been made. I’m not sure how many of us have stopped to think about it but we are witnessing an important point in time. Regardless of whether we win or lose, this magical playoff run of the 2010/2011 Vancouver Canucks will be spoken of for generations. I can see myself now, an old man chatting with my equally old friends, telling our grandchildren of this illustrious time of our youth.

“Where were you when Burr gloved that puck down and scored to beat the Hawks?”

“You remember when Juice was the only one in Rogers Arena that knew where that bouncing puck off the glass was and sent us to the Stanley Cup Finals?”

“Game 1 was a thriller where Raffi Torres scored with 18 seconds left and Lu shut the Bruins out!”

“11 seconds! That was all it took for Burr to win us game 2!”

“Man, how awesome was Luongo when he bounced back after two awful games with a shutout in game 5?”

This will be especially true for those of us who weren’t born in ’82 and were a little too young to fully comprehend how important ’94 was. I was 11 at the time and while I followed the whole ’94 run and idolize guys like Linden, Bure, and McLean, I’d be lying if I said my memories weren’t hazy and greatly supplemented by highlights in the 17 years since. I remember the way I felt, I remember that our boys gave it their all and came a goal post away from sending that epic series into overtime, but specifics about the times or where my life was? That’s all a little much for my 11 year old brain to remember.

But this time is different. I can tell you exactly where I was for almost every goal. I can tell you things I said at specific times.

I could tell you that I called Chris Higgins (I call him “Chiggins”…) to score the double overtime goal in game 5 against the Sharks and swore at the very moment that he got on that breakaway that if he scored, I would run outside and buy a jersey with his name across my back.

I can tell you I actually jumped for joy when I watched Burr pot that 11 second overtime wraparound, spilling my beer and immediately high-fiving any and all around me, including several other bloggers here at Canucks Hockey Blog…most of which I met in person for the first time.

I can tell you I did not see the twins before a friend said “Wait a minute…” and pressed rewind. No, I am not talking about the Sedins.

Just like I can tell you where I was when we won gold in ’02 and when Crosby scored The Golden Goal. I’m sure I’m not the only one that will remember where I was not only in terms of location but where I was in life at this particular moment in time. If that isn’t making history, then someone needs to bring me a dictionary. I know it’s recent but there are things you don’t forget. For me, that’s things like this…and the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Will we win? Let me be the first to tell you that winning when we’ve come so far together…it isn’t irrelevant but it isn’t everything. This is a very results-orientated business and a highly critical city but here on the cusp of something so great, we really should remember what we love about our team.

While bandwagoners and naysayers will only look at results, what most true Canucks fans want is to see is a real effort. Real fans are different in that way. I won’t say it’s a uniquely Canadian quality or unique to hockey. It’s something about sport and true fans of it. We want to see our team give it their all, to leave every last bit of themselves on the ice, to show us what they’re really made of. If they give us that, then a positive result is a bonus. A huge bonus but a bonus. We remember and revere ’94 and ’82 because that’s what we got from our team, an effort.

We love Roger Neilson because he would never surrender. We love Kirk McLean because we could count on him to make that save. We love Pavel Bure because we could count on him to score. We love Trevor Linden because even if it was on crutches…we knew he would play.

Look at our franchise’s greatest heroes. Not a Stanley Cup ring among them…at least not while they were on our team. If the Canucks win it all this year, will we forget about Stan Smyl? Gino Odjick? Geoff Courtnall? Cliff Ronning? No…because they’re not heroes because they won. Their bodies were bruised and perhaps a few bones were broken but their hearts would never give up. They are our heroes because they littered the ice with their sweat, tears and Canuck-colored blood.

A loss would hurt. No one would think otherwise. I mean, have you heard this city? It erupts when we score. You can hear all of Vancouver telling the refs they suck. We are invested. A loss would in all likelihood would end with me in the back of a police car or so drunk out of my mind, I will actually appear in The Hangover 3 despite not being cast in the movie. But after the alcoholism and buffoonery stop, we can’t help but look back fondly on the days we supported our team for over two months after the last regular season game. Oh, how long and awful those scraggly playoff beards were on our otherwise handsome face-parts, we will say. Even bad memories will eventually get a laugh or two. Have you heard anyone speak of Nathan Lafayette in anger? Probably not. It isn’t as if he didn’t try. He just missed. Even Gretzky can miss. People are probably more pissed at the post…that bastard.

If this, then, is how Vancouver speaks of those who haven’t brought home the big prize, then what sort of praise do our boys deserve if they do? To be honest, I have no idea. Congratulations sound empty. Clapping or cheering seems unworthy. I wouldn’t even know what to say if the Canucks get their name engraved on that trophy and in turn, engrave themselves into the memories of millions of us Canucks around the planet. It would be part of our city as I’m sure a day, park, statue, bridge or whatever else we can find will be named in their honor. Minstrels will write songs in their praise…well, more of them anyways. It wouldn’t be enough. As those would have won before will tell you, there are no words.

I would tell the players to make Vancouver proud but the reality is…we are already proud. Proud that we’ve made it this far. Proud that the Canucks wear our city’s name on your chests like Supermans (…Supermen?) and that we can proudly wear their names on our backs.

Thank you, Canucks. Thank you for this historic season. Thank you for being our team. Our Canucks.

It seems like the cool thing to do these days is to claim that what you’ve written is unbiased and objective. I, instead, will claim the exact opposite. Alright, boys…we got a Cup to win.

Go Canucks go!

in Current Events,Sports and Health

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Phanyxx June 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

Great post, Ed. Much needed perspective after being furious with the Canucks’ poor showing tonight. I’m hoping they can seal the deal on Wednesday, but if not, it’s been one hell of a journey!

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Vandana Bra June 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

Thank you for this post – very nicely put!! Go Canucks Go!!!!

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Bruce Ng June 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

thanks for this post Ed – sums up how the majority of actual hockey fans in this town will feel.

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peanutflower June 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Wonderful. I wasn’t sure if I was too angry at what is passing for a hockey game to be depressed, or more depressed at what should have been to be angry, if that makes sense. This article is really uplifting and thanks for that. I am proud of our team. I hope they win, though.

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Frank June 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

This post was written by someone who likes to settle for second place and is setting themselves up to not be let down if the Canucks don’t win the cup. Sad.

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Ed Lau June 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Call it what you want. This is written by someone who has been a fan for nearly two decades and recognizes that greatness isn’t only defined by championships. If it was, Trevor Linden’s number would’ve never made it in the rafters. Try telling Canucks fans you want to take it down because he’s a loser and only came in second. If I wanted to not be let down, I would’ve called Bruins in 6 before the Finals started or put a few grand on Boston. No, if we’re not holding that Cup tomorrow, I will be devastated…but a few months from now? Who won’t remember the fun we had?

You can always tell who the real fans are. Bandwagoners are the ones leaving Rogers Arena when the Canucks are down, because they want to beat traffic. The real fans are the ones that stick around and support their team to the last second. There are those of us who will stand by our team and recognize that winning isn’t easy. We are all Canucks. We win together and we lose together.

Or maybe I’m wrong and have just watched too many sports movies. Don’t get me wrong, I not only believe they will win tomorrow but I expect them to win tomorrow.

I guess I’m not ragging on your way of thinking. That’s a fine way to enjoy sports. It just tells me you’re not as emotionally invested as I or many other Canucks fans are. We are the ones that have taken “We Are All Canucks” as our mantra…that we are a team and we’re going to be a team no matter what. It’s a dangerous game we play. Bandwagoners can shrug off a loss and go back to work. Fans are going to feel it for days, weeks or months…but at the same time, when the Canucks win, it’s going to be all that much sweeter for us. All I know is…either way, I’m having more fun than you.

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Andy June 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I went to game 5 against Nashville on May 7th. We lost, but it was my first live NHL game and being amongst 18,000 other people all cheering on my team was amazing. It cost more than I could comfortably afford, but I wanted to make the trip to support my team.

I really hope we win tomorrow, and I too will be devastated if we lose, but I have solace in that the guy I sit next to at work is a big fan too and we talk it all over, so at least I will have company.

As you say above, Win or Lose, it has been a hell of a ride and I’m proud of the boys for getting this far.

I am, and we all are, Canucks

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Ivy June 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Loved this post. He’s so right… Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

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Ed Lau June 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Glad so many people enjoyed this.

Go Canucks go!

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JR June 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Thank you! Got a little teary. Love our boys no matter what but this year we will be number 1 in the end and bring the Cup home. Tomorrow is our time to shine.

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Rose June 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm

This is a fabulous post. Thank you! Canuck fans are the best fans…..we will all raise a glass to the players tomorrow evening no matter what happens, but we all know, because we can feel it!!

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Kevin June 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Thanks Ed, good read and sums up what I feel too.

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Cindy June 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm

This post definitely gave me my recommended dose of awesome – thanks! I was feeling pretty stressed out about this whole Game 7 business, but your post gave me some much needed perspective. Our boys are awesome no matter what happens, and I greatly enjoyed watching them throughout the playoffs. Go Canucks Go!

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pinkbuggy June 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Great post Ed! Game time tomorrow. Looking forward to your post after game 7! :D

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Rob Beer June 18, 2011 at 5:59 am

Great post. I haven’t been able to get to any games for awhile, but hopefully I will be able to change that soon.

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Online Education Consultation July 19, 2012 at 3:36 am

I love to read such a nice posts.Thanks for the post as well as for this stuff.

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