Friday, October 10, 2008

Separated at birth?

First of all. Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen last night’s Canucks game yet.

Wow! WHAT a START to the season!

It’s a lovely feeling to be PROUD to be a Canucks fan for a change, knowing that my team has truly impressed out there, rather than mildly apologetic :)

And I for one am not at all surprised that Roberto and Burr played out of their skins after their central part in Luc Bordon’s very moving tribute – they did it for Luc. And what a way to honour him!

But the point of this particular post isn’t to “whoooooooooooooooot” for my Nucks (you can assume that I am doing one big “whoooooooooooooooooooot” all day in the background though)

It’s more to document, while it’s fresh in my head, something that struck me as I was driving into work this morning.

This is a long post and will be of *zero* interest to anyone who isn’t a fan of both the Vancouver Canucks and the Swindon Wildcats. And I’m pretty sure that this particular cross section of the population is a sample of precisely one :) So , basically, if you’re not me, stop reading now!

What it was that struck me, is that, just as most women have a “type” when it comes to men (you tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine :)) – I also seem to have a “type” of hockey team.

You could argue that I didn’t really “choose” either of my teams. I inherited the Canucks from my Vancouver-crazy best mate and her hubby, and Swindon by geographical accident. But, again, just like with a man, having fallen so hard in love with these two teams, I can’t imagine choosing any other even if I could go back and start with a completely clean slate.

Comparing the two teams, literally leagues apart, feels a little like pitting a minor actor who just got their first walk on part in Holby City up against Johnny Depp. But my struggling actor and my movie star are so similar in personality, I don’t know how I didn’t notice it sooner:

Both teams......

  1. Have a miracle worker between the pipes. Luongo. Kudrna. Yes, I know they are at very different levels in the game, but I will stick my neck out and say that both are the best in their league. Neither are likely to be sitting out many games (you gotta feel sorry for Curtis and Oli). Both can pull off impossible saves. Both want to WIN and neither is averse to back chatting the ref! (Captain Lu of course is now almost allowed to)

  2. Have added a LOT of grit this year to address softness issues. You will remember that awful game last season where the Flyers came to GM place, beat us 8-2, and beat us up physically too. There was nobody to stand up for Kesler when he took that vicious cross check to the face from spit Boulerice spit.
    The twins and Lu got pushed around too. We were like a class full of 5 year olds attacked by teenage bullies. It was absolutely horrible.
    Swindon’s equivalent could well be the game away in Essex last year which left us down two of our best players, Kaminskas went out to injure us and there was barely a big or willing body to stop him doing just that.
    Contrast that to last night’s Canucks game – not only have we added a traditional enforcer to the roster in the shape of Darcy Hordichuk, but also the toughness vibe seems to be rubbing off across the whole team. Bernier took on Phaneuf when Dion pushed Hank about a bit – when is the last time you saw someone really standing up for the Sedins?? Think of the freedom to produce that protection will give them!!! And Hansen responding to the shove on Luongo? Go Jannik!!! Kes and Burr were in everyone’s faces and still found the time to pop a couple of goals past Kipper. Are you getting the message Western Conference? You can’t just bulldoze through us any more.
    And as for Swindon – Braiths can’t be on the ice for every shift, but finally he doesn’t need to be. We have added so much physicality this season, it makes me go weak at the knees :) First up – the psycho twins – as long as we can keep the Watts under an element of control, I think they are an excellent addition to the line up. Can you imagine someone taking liberties with, say, Joel, and the Watt bros letting them get away with it? Nah, nor me :) Then you have Sitko. I’m going to restrain from making comments about what it would feel like to look up (from the puck! the puck!) and see him bearing down on you (on skates! across the ice!) :D But – seriously – you get ridden into the boards by this guy, you’re going to be in a world of hurt. Even some of our carry overs from last season have bulked up – I barely recognised Jamie Hayes. And we have kept hold of the other members of our squad who are happy to rough it up from time to time – Wheats, Moore etc. Someone on THF said something about us going from a total soft touch to the “Swindon Wildgoons”. We haven’t gone that far, and we won’t, the difference in the team’s attitude on the ice since the Telford debacle is evidence of that, but we sure are going to be harder to play against this year.

  3. Have a history of struggling offensively, and have won more games by stopping the opposition scoring than by getting lots of pucks in the net ourselves. But *touch wood* both squads are addressing that problem. Swindon by getting Joel back AGAIN and also making other good additions to the team who can chip them in. Or in Sitko’s case, slap ‘em in from the blue line. (You know even THAT looks like a double entendre to me lol). And Vancouver – yes, maybe it's too early to tell – but it looks like we might have FINALLY found a good linemate for the twins! (and if Bernier doesn’t work out is it too late to get Anson Carter back??). Add that to the return of serious secondary scoring from our D, and the Kes-Burr-Hansen line on pace for a stellar season. Even our 4th line guys can score – even short handed – take that!!! I’m yet to be 100% convinced by line 2 but on paper they look good, and we’re only 1 game in to the season, I am hopeful….

  4. Are going to turn heads this year, I can feel it in my water

  5. Rock. My. World!!!!!!

I love my teams.

I love my game.

This is going to be a good year.

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