I was a senior in high school, my third last day ever to be exact. Usually, the last week of high school is usually reserved for Year Books being signed, final hugs being given to classmates and the last minute thank you's to your favorite teachers.
However, my last week of high school will be remembered by hockey talk, stress and one last uncompleted wish that still hasn't been accomplished yet.
In 2011, the Vancouver Canucks had a magical Stanley Cup Final run that took the long suffering fans to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals before falling to the Boston Bruins 4-0 on June 15th, 2011.
I honestly can remember everything about that day. To say I was anxious would have been a major understatement. I was anxious, worried, scared, excited and overwhelmed all at the same time. It didn't feel real. As a sports fan, you dream of your favorite team winning a Championship but you just don't know when it will happen or if they will ever get close. When they do, it never seems how you would have imagined it. I think this is because I had always hoped for a Cup but never really hosting a Game 7.
This day in 2011 felt weird. North American sports fans would have their eyes on Vancouver. I'm too young to remember 1994 and the Canucks Game 7 loss at Madison Square Garden but this time the Canucks were in the spot the Rangers were in.
What freaked me out most was how bullied the Canucks were getting and how Game 7's in the SCF are usually the first team to score first wins. This was not good news for Vancouver as they were offensively challenged the whole series.
I spent a couple of hours at the local Elementary school that I did a work experience in that semester. Even the little kids knew there was something big happening that day. After lunch, it was on to my final two classes. Marketing and Math but there was no way any work was getting accomplished. My Marketing teacher, was a season ticket holder and left at lunch. Leaving 5 hours for a drive that usually would take you an hour. The last two blocks we talked hockey and counted down the seconds. I'm still surprised I made it through school that day without fainting.
The feeling that I was experiencing was something I could have never predicted. Despite being the favorite, it felt like the Canucks were major underdogs. With all that said, the Canucks were one defining moment away from making history in a year that they had dominated at home.
After school I was thankful that the game was at 5. I couldn't wait any longer. The anticipation was killing me. Canucks fans have always been known as banwagoners and such and that day everyone was on board. None hockey fans were in the Canucks spirit. That day me and a few friends watched the game at Boston Pizza, not even joking but the popular family sports bar was renamed Vancouver Pizza for the entirety of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
After the Canucks went down 1-0, I knew it was lithely over. The 4-0 scoreline at the end of the game wasn't a good indicator at all as I believe the Canucks gave it their all. I was too sad to be frustrated or angry after the game. Unfortunately, what happened outside the arena after the game made me infuriated. The senseless acts of the 2011 Vancouver riots were out of control. Cars on fire and people using downtown Vancouver which was set for a party zone was briskly being turned into a garbage dumb by the second.
I'm still not even close to getting over this day six years ago. I never will. I wish I was born in a sports metropolitan area where my city had four pro sports teams. I love my other three favorite teams but the Canucks are just special.
They lost that day because their team wasn't built to withstand a brutal seven game series like the one they endured. People blame former GM Mike Gillis at the time for not acquiring a player like Rick Nash but the trade was never done neither do I think Vancouver wanted to offer Columbus' asking price.