Sports Canucks at 50: Last hurrah for Sedins in Vancouver served up magic, memories
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There was something special about the final home game for Henrik and Daniel Sedin. They turned back the clock and gave the Vancouver Canucks fans yet another gift, like so many they’ve given them over the years. And the fans gave back. Here, we republish Jason Botchford’s game report — on our websites you will also find Jason’s Provies online game report published after this game:
There was only one star Thursday night.
One for Henrik Sedin shared with his brother Daniel.
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It’s the only way their NHL careers with the Vancouver Canucks should have ended, with a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, with the Sedins supplying the overtime magic.
Two stoic superstars saluting the city in which they made an extraordinary bond.
An emotional week ended in an exciting game that was filled heart, soul and the Sedins .
When it was over, the Canucks’ two greatest players of all time said thank you, their sticks held to the sky as they did their final laps on the Rogers Arena ice.
Their fans responded, expressing this with a long ovation: “ We love you. ”
The three stars announcement and an interview with Sportsnet from the bench made up a post-game scene that won’t ever be forgotten. It was a game in which the fans adoringly chanted “ one more year. ”
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If only that were possible. The game was marked by a string of wonderful tributes, featuring lots of footage of the early years, reminding everyone of just how far the Sedins have come.
This is what we learned:
THE PAST TWO GAMES HAVE BEEN AMONG THE BEST OF THE SEASON
The crowd was on fire and so were the Canucks. They fought back from two goals down in the third period and got it into overtime.
And then it happened. Daniel scored the game- winning goal 2:33 into overtime. It was destiny. It was beautiful . And it was assisted by his brother Henrik.
THE SEDINS HAVE ANOTHER GEAR
If there are any regrets it’s that in their final three seasons the Sedin twins never got into the playoffs.
They gave a glimpse of what that could have been when they exploded out of the starting blocks to begin Thursday’s game against the Coyotes. Maybe it was the adrenalin but the Sedins charged down the ice on their first shift like they were 27 years old and not 37. They nearly scored, too. Henrik shot one off the post and then swung his head back in frustration .
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Of course he did. The last time he scored a goal in Vancouver was 15 months ago in January 2017.
It’s difficult to believe but it also explains why there won’t be “ one more year ” for the Sedins .
THE SEDINS SCORED A THROWBACK GOAL
It was one more time and with feeling.
On the rush, the Sedins combined for a highlight-worthy goal that could have been pulled from the years they won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies.
Henrik made the play happen with some unexpected speed and some wicked edge work in the offensive zone. Alex Edler helped by making such a pretty play through the slot he brought the Coyotes’ star defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to his knees. Daniel finished the play, scoring his 22nd goal of the season. The best part? The goal was scored 33 seconds into the period. Some things happen for a reason. The winger wearing No. 22 scored his 22nd of the season at the 33-second mark, on a goal set up by Nos. 23 and 33.
Oh yes, that was some fun .
CROWD SAVED BIG OVATION FOR DORSETT
The Sedins weren’t the only ones being feted Thursday.
The Canucks handed out their year-end awards, voted on by their fans. Brock Boeser made an appearance winning the most exciting player and Alex Edler was named the team’s best defenceman. But Derek Dorsett, who was forced into retirement by injury, was announced the Canucks’ unsung hero and it brought the house down.
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VIRTANEN’S SPEED IS DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN
He grew up a Canucks’ fan, idolizing the Sedin twins.
It is fitting then on their home finale, Jake Virtanen scored. It was a rocket of a shot off a faceoff.
His speed looked dominant in the second half of Tuesday’s game against Vegas. It was the same story against Arizona.
He created his own partial breakaway, flying by defenders before trying to slide the puck into the net five-hole. It didn’t work but man it was some display of raw power and speed.
As the Canucks celebrate their 50th season, we’re looking back at the moments that stand out as the biggest in franchise history on the ice and off, good, and a few bad. We’re highlighting the top moments from the 1970s through November, the ’80s in December, the ’90s in January, the ’00s in February and the ’10s in March.
If you have any great memories of where you were when your favourite moments happened, or what they meant to you, send them to email@example.com
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