The final horn on Saturday night was not only a metaphor for the 2017-18 Vancouver Canucks season, but also the last call for two of the greatest players in NHL history.
Somebody pass the tissues, please.
The Sedins, in true superstar fashion, put a wonderful bow on an otherwise lousy season. Even though the team couldn’t cap the twins’ careers with a victory in Edmonton, and the Canucks will finish with only the sixth best odds in the upcoming Draft Lottery, there’s been a lot of good stories to tell this year.
Brock Boeser gave fans a reason to believe again. Bo Horvat continued to lead by example and might be rewarded in the offseason for it by earning a certain team role. Just about every young player in the Canucks lineup took big strides forward this season, especially guys like Jake Virtanen, Nikolay Goldobin and Derrick Pouliot. Travis Green didn’t have a perfect first campaign as head coach, but he did pretty well with the roster he had.
Saying goodbye to this season won’t be too difficult, but there were still lots of great moments to look back on. With the Sedins taking their final bow last night, we also say goodbye to one of the greatest eras in Canucks history. But thanks to names like Boeser, Pettersson and Horvat, a brand new amazing era in Vancouver is only just beginning.
I voted for the Canucks team awards last week, and while my choices won’t exactly light the internet on fire, I did want to go over them for transparency’s sake. Hey, if the PHWA is doing it, then shouldn’t I follow suit?
First up, the obvious winner of both the Most Valuable Player and Most Exciting Player awards; the Flow himself, Brock Boeser.
Let’s be honest. Not giving Brock both of these awards would’ve been a federal offense, especially since he’s been out of the lineup for almost a month and it took until Game 81 for Daniel Sedin to tie his 55 points.
For Defensemen of the Year I went with Troy Stecher, who got thrust into a much larger role than expected thanks to all the injuries on the blue line. There’s room for improvement, but he’s become a first pairing defender in just his second full season.
And finally for the Unsung Player of the Year award, I chose the people’s hero Derek Dorsett. Remember how he picked up nine points in 20 games before injuries ended his career? It seems like ages ago now, but maybe he’ll be able to add the Masterton Trophy to his cabinet in June too.
Around the Rinks
– Adam Gaudette may have played his first five NHL games in the last couple weeks, but the biggest moment he had this week was winning the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s best player. Gaudette becomes the first Canucks prospect to ever win the award, and it’s a huge accomplishment for a guy who’s beaten all the odds in his young career. Stick taps for you, Adam.
— Northeastern MHKY (@GoNUmhockey) April 6, 2018
– By now we’ve all heard the incredibly sad story regarding the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, in which 15 people lost their lives and 14 more were injured. The players, families and friends involved definitely need our thoughts right now, but if you have a little extra income please consider donating to the Broncos’ GoFundMe page, which has already raised $4.6 million in aid. Sometimes the hockey world is an absolutely wonderful and kind place to be, and those donation totals prove that. I wish you all the best, Humboldt.
LITC Update: Playoff Fun and Thank You!
Let’s start with the bad news; this’ll be the final Sunday Crease of the season.
While there’s obviously still lots of hockey on the way, this weekly column has always been, first and foremost, a Canucks column. The point of this project has always been to not only strengthen my writing skills, but to work on one of my more glaring inefficiencies; my ability to meet a hard weekly deadline.
It hasn’t always been smooth (you can just look at the gaps in November, December and February for proof of that), but there’s that old saying “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish”, and I’m finishing with my seventh straight on-time article. For some people that’s might not sound impressive, but for me it’s a major step in the right direction.
Much like the current Canucks, my journalism skills are a work in progress, but finishing this project for the season feels like a fantastic accomplishment, and I can’t wait to do it all over again in September.
Now onto the fun stuff! First of all, I’ve created an NHL Bracket Challenge League for you guys to join, just click the link above and use the password BoesersFlow to enter your bracket. May the luckiest player win!
While The Sunday Crease might be pulling a Green Day, I definitely won’t be! Working on a weekly column meant far less time working on long reads and in-depth stories, so I’m hoping to get few of those done during the playoffs, both on the Canucks and the clubs fighting for Lord Stanley’s Mug. I’ll also be working on some early project prep for next season, especially since I already have some pretty cool plans in the pipeline for 2018-19. (Hint: I’m sure you’ll hear an announcement sometime soon.)
Okay, that should just about do it for now. I’d like to take this final opportunity to thank everybody who’s read and shared my work this season. I’ve had so much fun putting these together every week, and I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with the NHL Draft Simulator for the next three weeks.
Thanks for reading! What was your favourite Sedin memory? Leave a comment below!