It’s tough to look fondly back on a season that ended in such disappointment (and destruction), but it would be a disservice to a year chock-a-block with great moments if we didn’t make the attempt. Truth is, apart from that unfortunate losing streak to close out the season — the one that gave Boston their first Stanley Cup in nearly four decades — almost everything went Vancouver’s way this year. In short, if you overlook that final flameout (rather than allowing it to overshadow everything else), the recent past is a pretty happy place.
In my experience, the trick to being a hockey fan is finding joy in the small moments that have nothing to do with winning the championship. Chances are that your team isn’t going to win it, anyway; why stake all your enjoyment on it? Instead, I root for the singular moments that could happen at any time, on or off the ice. That makes every moment of being a fan potentially the most meaningful of the year. It’s a Hell of a lot more rewarding. With that in mind, here are my favourite on- and off-ice moments from the season that was.
On Ice: Lee Sweatt’s first career goal
Called up from the farm during the Great Defenseman Famine of January, Lee Sweatt played three games with the Canucks before falling victim to the injury bug himself. His first game was definitely his best. Though Rudy only played nine minutes, his final shift of the game was a pivotal one, as he stepped across the blueline just in time to receive an obscene Daniel Sedin pass and beat Pekka Rinne for the game-winner. The goal itself is lovely, but it’s Sweatt’s stony celebration afterward that really makes this moment. It wasn’t my favourite goal of the year (that achievement goes to Henrik and Kesler’s skee-ball goal versus Philadelphia), and it wasn’t my favourite goal celebration of the year (winner: Mikael Samuellson’s Dance of the Uncool Dad), but, all told, Sweatt’s moment was simply my favourite moment.
Honourable mention: Aaron Rome’s empty-net goal, the entire season series versus Dallas.
Off Ice: The Tanner Glass Scrabble Challenge
Even if I hadn’t been at the center of this thing, it would have been a pretty neat story. Think about it: a Vancouver Canucks’ enforcer with plenty of better things to do agrees to play a game of Scrabble with a snot-nosed blogger for charity. How cool is that? I would have been onboard if PITB hadn’t been involved, but then you add the fact that I was that snot-nosed blogger (and that I totally won), and the best off-ice moment of the season is a no-brainer.
Here’s a video that talks about and shows footage from the event. Daniel and I made it way back then with Roderick Fung at Fotowok and then never released it, largely because we’re irresponsible.
What are your favourite moments from this past season? Let us know in the comments.Tags: Aaron Rome, Canucks, featured, Henrik, Kesler, Lee Sweatt, Scrabble Me Tanner, singular moments