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.

Honourable mention: Any extended Keith Ballard interview (especially the Fountain Tire bit), Manny Malhotra’s return for the Presidents’ Trophy ceremony, Roberto Luongo’s poetry.

 

What are your favourite moments from this past season? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

17 comments

  1. BECanucks
    June 21, 2011

    Yann Sauvé working his *ss off to make that pass to Daniel Sedin… Another great rookie moment

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Shawn R
    June 21, 2011

    “[...] the trick to being a hockey fan is finding joy in the small moments that have nothing to do with winning the championship.” So true. There is a reason why teams celebrate each win, clinching a playoff spot, winning a round in the playoffs – because if they didn’t, 29 clubs and their collective fanbases would be massive failures.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. C
    June 21, 2011

    Kes-lurking!!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. chloe
    June 21, 2011

    Sami Salo saying “It’s been a long time off for me, so I’m just warming up” after clocking 101.5 to win the hardest shot at Canucks Superskills.

    All the rookies who stepped in and stepped up for the team.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. anon
    June 21, 2011

    Just when it looked like PiTB had squeezed out all it could from the Scrabble Challenge….an eight-minute recap video! Please let me know when the commemorative plate set comes out as I would like to purchase.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Harrison Mooney
      June 21, 2011

      Plates are on back order, unfortunately.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • anon
        June 21, 2011

        Really? You guys “invisibled” that? Was it that mean?

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        • beninvictoria
          June 22, 2011

          was is?
          it goes invisible when other people down-vote it. Pass it to Bulis doesn’t do it, we do.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
          • anon
            June 22, 2011

            yeah, no, i know how it gets invisibled, i just can’t believe 11 people found the comment to be so offensive they felt it necessary to eliminate altogether. like i said, i thought it was kinda funny. plus harrison responded so i thought it was all to the good.

            VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        • Daniel Wagner
          June 22, 2011

          I thought it was funny.

          VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. John Pettifor
    June 21, 2011

    The whole season was just a pleasure to watch, I honestly could not of asked for any more.

    Highlights for me include: The president’s trophy wining game against LA, the dramatic OT win against the blackhawks & Kevin Bieksa as a whole.

    Great team, great year, great blog. Here is to the 2011-2012 season, i’ll see you then.

    As of right now I can finally enjoy summer!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  7. beninvictoria
    June 21, 2011

    the entire season series versus Dallas has been seconded

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  8. DavidRThomson
    June 21, 2011

    Now I feel a bit better and I realize of course this season was a success regardless….Game 7 of the SCF is a huge accomplishment!!! And HAHAHAHA at Keith Ballard! On not falling down: “Thats the definition of clutch!” XDDD

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  9. eric blacha
    June 21, 2011

    I thought this video would have had some actual play of scrabbling. But was interesting still, just slightly less interesting.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  10. far_raf
    June 22, 2011

    Thank you PITB for a great blog. I will look you up again next year, be well and enjoy the off season.

    far_raf

    :P

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  11. Gabrielle
    June 22, 2011

    I was there when Lee Sweatt scored, it was my first Canucks game. When he scored I was so excited, then like 10 minutes later I asked my dad, “Wait, who actually scored?” And he told me that it was Lee Sweatt.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  12. DubiousRhino
    June 22, 2011

    If I had to pick one moment from the regular season, it was the game against the Oilers on Boxing day. Mostly because I was there. When the winning goal with about 1:30 left was waved off, then with 30 seconds left the ‘Nucks scored again. Showed the dominance they had at one point.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)