Stopping the West Coast Express wasn’t an option, slowing it down barely was, and if regrettable circumstances hadn’t gotten in the way of its production and chemistry, 2002-03 would have just been the tip of the iceberg
Lots of people have scolded me over the past two years because I completely stopped watching Canucks hockey since my beloved team fell apart. That team…the West Coast Express era…were the past, and our team now is great.
WCE is the past, Echo. You gotta let it go. You can’t just give up on the game you love to watch. You’re the only one who’s never fallen off the wagon.
Well, I’ve never been on a wagon…I’ve watched them since day one in Canada…I watched them as I learned English at the Pacific Coliseum. I watched with so my anticipation, excitement, and eventually in tears as their 93 Stanley Cup run ended in disappointment. I watched through the Keanan reign of terror…with a broken heart as they traded our Linden. I watched as slowly, they rebuilt it into the first class Canucks team that was led by Nazzy.
I watched the Sedins grow from silly bunnies to a formidible second line…to being our 2 for 1 captain.
I watched Matt Cooke score…two veryvery fantastic goals…2 seconds to go, how do you beat that? with a 1.2 second goal. I watched as I choked on the apple I was eating, tripping over my blanket, and received txt after txt after call from my friends congratulating my boy.
I watched the West Coast Express soar. Shorty said to hang on tight, because it’s going to be a heck of a ride. It was one freakin ride. Bert, Nazzy, and the always under-appreciated Mo. Jovo, Ohlie, Malik, Salo…Cookie…Cass…
I watched as year after year, Clouts ruined Nazzy.
I watched as Vancouver fell off the bandwagon one by one…as Bert defended our captain. As we sent them both off…without a big hug and eternal thanks.
When you recognize 20+ guys by their stride…by their eyes…it was no longer just a hockey team. Those were memories, that was pride. It was family.
It’s difficult to say good bye to family.
Tonight wasn’t goodbye. It was a reunion. It was to welcome our Naslund home, because we didn’t give him the proper send off the first time around. (Nor did we recognize the efforts of Morrison…but that’s another story)
Welcome home, Nazzy. I’ll always miss you.