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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Perfection

The Rundown

I’ve been crying for the majority of the night, so try to bear with me. Something tells me if you’re reading this, you’re similarly afflicted with all the best sports emotions imaginable.

Tonight’s game against the Arizona Coyotes would be the Sedins last at Rogers Arena. It was one last chance for Vancouver to see the two best hockey players, and people, to ever grace this great city. A final sendoff.

What happened will go down as one of if not the single best hockey game in the history of the Canucks franchise. It couldn’t have gone any better. From start to finish, it was perfect. A night I’ll never forget.

Let’s get into it on the other side of the break.

Puck Drop

The Sedins skated out slightly ahead of their teammates before puck drop, and the crowd was raucous. By the time the announcer had read their names as part of the Canucks starting lineup, they were deafening. And at puck drop, the roof just about came off the place.

Coyotes forward Christian Fischer did his best to silence the crowd, breaking the scoring just under four minutes into the game after intercepting a Nikolay Goldobin pass and scoring on the rush to give Arizona the one-goal lead.

If not for that rush, though, it’s hard to imagine the Coyotes finding the back of the net in the first. It was all Canucks. By the end of the first frame, Vancouver had 24 shot attempts at 5-on-5 to Arizona’s 10.

Eventually, the Canucks broke though. It was destiny, it seems. At the 33 second mark of the second period, Daniel Sedin scored his 22nd goal of the season, assisted by Daniel Sedin and Alexander Edler. It was vintage Sedinery, and a city collectively wept.

By the end of the second frame, though, the Coyotes regained the lead and doubled it at that. Goals from Derek Stepan and Dylan Strome put the Coyotes up 3-1 by the second intermission.

The Canucks had a tall task ahead of them in the third period. Things started off with a Viking Clap, led by Johnny Canuck, so they had the fans behind them. Just two nights prior they came back from a three-goal deficit to force overtime against the Vegas Golden Knights, so two goals seemed doable.

Little over a minute in, Jake Virtanen started the comeback by ripping a shot past Coyotes netminder Darcy Kuemper right off the faceoff. I looked down for a second, and then boom! The Canucks had cut the deficit in half.

Moments later, Brendan Leipsic, who had been buzzing for much of the night, scored a goal on the rush that was reminiscent of an all-time great that Daniel Sedin scored. It was a spin-o-rama for the ages!

Like Tuesday’s game, this one went to overtime. This time, though, there were different results in the cards.

Michael Del Zotto drew a penalty in the Coyotes zone, and that set the stage for the perfect ending to the perfect night. The Sedins went right over the boards as soon as Richard Panik went to the penalty box, and magic followed. Daniel Sedin scored the game-winning goal, 2:33 into the extra frame, setup again by Henrik Sedin and Alexander Edler. Then the Canucks bench swarmed the Sedins to celebrate.

Sheer perfection.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • Stay tuned for Jason Hamilton’s post-game article on the Sedins! That’s a collection of CanucksArmy’s greatest hits on the two best players to ever wear a Canucks uniform, and it even includes a couple of notes from the staff on why the Sedins are so damn special to them. I even contributed a little bit of a blurb.
  • At some point, I’m going to settle down, stop weeping like a helpless infant, and I’ll have something to write on the Sedins. Right now, I’m speechless. Tonight was one of the best sports experiences in my entire life. Hell, this was one of the best nights of my life period. I cried when the anthem started; I cried when the Sedins scored; I downright had a meltdown when the Sedins shook the Coyotes hands and did one final lap.
  • The Sedins are the two best athletes this city will ever know, and perhaps it’s best people, too. I just think so, so highly of them, and you should too. I’m so happy that they got to have this moment, and that we got to share in it. They deserve a send-off like tonight’s.
  • It’s so, so good that Henrik Sedin and Alexander Edler each played a part in Daniel’s goals.

  • The Sedins are first ballot hall of famers, full stop.
  • All my best hockey memories were made possible by the Sedin twins. Their era of Canucks hockey is the only one I’ve ever known. The amount of joy I’ve been able to share courtesy their contributions on and off the ice in this city are immeasurable. We’ll never have another two athletes like them in this city. I feel so absolutely blessed to have had the privilege to see them their entire careers.

#ThankYouSedins

  • truthseeker

    Perfect is right. So beautiful. Had me in tears with that OT goal and I am one who’s not really all that nostalgic about sports.

    I’d give up Dahlin, McDavid, Matthews…whatever… one hundred times over just to have a moment like that. That ending to their careers at home is far more important to me than any first round pick could ever be.

    And the cherry on top was the effect that playing in such a meaningful game had on the young guys. Sure mistakes were made but Jake, Stetch, Goldy, Leipsic, and even Hutton, were all engaged and playing with passion. Love it. I hope it helps them understand.

    • catsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      Well said. 30+ years cheering for Canucks and this is the first time I’ve been in tears watching a game. I consider myself lucky to have had the chance to watch these guys over their careers and am so happy they were able to finish up like this at home. I’ve been getting goosebumps all day thinking about this game! While I’m sad to see them go, I’m even more grateful for having had the opportunity to watch them all these years.

  • jklooker

    Maybe this is better for another, later posting – “Why the Sedin’s are First Ballot Hall-of-famers”, and I love my Canucks…but…Jagr is taking up 1 of the only 4 spots in 3 years time, Iggy has 1300 points and an MVP/Art Ross of his own, Chara is slowing down, not sure of Dasuyk’s eligibility and one best hopes that Joe Thorton doesn’t retire this offseason. I think Brodeur, St.Louis, Roenick and (maybe?) Alfredson go in this year (with the Twins being vastly better than at least the latter), but, could one see a scenario whereby the Twins need to go in different years? I would assume Henrik first?

    • TD

      Jagr will obviously be one, Iggy and Datsuyk should already be in as they are first ballot guys as well. Chara just signed another contract. They can’t go in during different years. Lets hope its Jagr, the Sedins with room for one more.

  • Rodeobill

    I was pretty blubbery all game too. The coyotes look like they really need a higher pick and stink even more than us (no shots in the third). Oh well, we didn’t pick first last year, but depending on how Peterson turns out, we still may have won that draft. I don’t have “heroes” anymore in my life at this age, but the Sedins come as close to fitting the bill as I can think. Hopefully they stay part of the organization in some capacity, or who knows, maybe they will just become the best in the world at something completely different.

  • LTFan

    Wow!! What an ending. I don’t think even Hollywood could have scripted that ending. Thank you Henrik and Daniel for 17 wonderful years. Wishing you success in the years ahead in whatever you choose to do.

  • speering major

    You couldn’t script it any better. Simply amazing

    That said, it also had a shocking impact on the tank. The win moved the team up 3 spots. That’s hard to do. Add in lottery equity and that is an enormous move. I’m not saying I’d change anything but looking at the standings this morning was an eye opener

  • canuckfan

    Glad that Goldobin wasn’t ripped for that pass that ended up being a goal for the Coyotes he played well with energy but the two times he made half ass plays the team was scored upon. Good lessons for him not to ever let up and think before you make a blind pass.
    I think the Sedins can see the promise in the team and the prospects coming into the organization and decided that now was the time to retire and announcing their retirement created a buzz for the team and an atmosphere where the sell out crowd was full of energy and loud. Another great lesson for the younger player of how things can be when you go out and give it your all. I am sure every player that dressed tonight for the Canucks is going to go into the summer and train hard so that they can sell tickets and bring Rogers Arena back to life.
    The only thing that would top last nights hysteria would have the Canucks win the lottery and select first overall this year. The fans and the team would lose that feeling the team is cursed and we can start a new era of success.
    The Sedins will now take their rolls with the team from the sidelines giving the upcoming prospects all the support they will need. Looking forward to next season and watching the new group grow I have been disappointed in Goldy this year but think he is now going to e the player we saw in his first game as a Canuck it’s all up to him to train his butt off this summer and unleash his potential.

  • Dirty30

    JD — if you really want to honour the Sedins, the Canucks and the fans, get rid of the trolls.

    Not once, not half-heartedly, not with a ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’, but once and for all.

    Because every sentiment you wrote is a crock when you facilitate trolls who disparage the Sedins, the team, management and the fans here.

  • Kootenaydude

    Couldn’t have written it better. Loved watching the Sedinery. They did everyone a favour by giving us a few games notice of their retirement. We got to watch and appreciate their final games. Over half a million dollars for 50/50 charity. The owner had his rink filled twice, just like they made the playoffs. Amazing game. I loved the one more year cheers!! End of an era. Thanks guys!! On another note. I know these writers don’t believe in winning face offs. Perhaps you should take note of Virtanens goal. This is why you try to win faceoffs!!

  • Holly Wood

    What an awesome way to end their home ice career. Two’s and three’s were wild all night. Daniel scores his 22nd from Henrik at 33 seconds. That’s like out of a movie script. The numbers appeared once again on the winner. 22, from 33 and 23 at 2:33. I am buying some lotto tickets today

  • Holly Wood

    I now understand how the rest of the roster came alive a couple weeks back when they started winning all those game. Respect for Daniel and Henrik boosted the their performance when the twins shared their plans internally.

    • BR(j)ED

      As much as I respected the Sedins watching them throughout their careers, I have to admit that deep down I felt like they didn’t give all they had in 2011. Couldn’t find a way to elevate their game.

      After watching this season I learned different. Hank and Danny give all they have all the time. They don’t save anything for next game.

      I used to be upset that they didn’t bring Vancouver the Cup, but now I see that they gave us something more important. They (along with Roberto) gave us the stature of having true HOF players and becoming a franchise with actual legacy, like Detroit, Chicago or Boston and their great franchise players. This was glimpsed at in the past with Bure, Linden, Nazzy and Burt, but never realized until now. Until the moment the twins decided, “we aren’t chasing a Cup, it’s more important to retire as Canucks” .

      I have no doubt that Vancouver will soon win a Cup, and it will always be sad that Hank and Danny couldn’t do it, but they gave us something better.