The year was 2005. We had just lost a whole season to labour insanity, but the Canucks were still reigning Northwest Division Champs, with consecutive 100+ point seasons in their back pocket. I was so psyched for the new season, thinking “This could very well be the year the Canucks finally bring the Cup to Vancouver!” I even set out to burn the highlights of every game onto DVDs so that if they did indeed win the Cup, I would have a whole-season chronicle of the journey.
As we all know, it wasn’t to be. They stumbled badly down the stretch and ended up missing the final playoff spot by 3 points. Sure, it was disappointing, but my optimism wasn’t crushed. During the preseason of the 2006-07 season, when hockey debates were dominated by the question of whether the Canucks would make the playoffs, I was thinking “People, give your heads a shake! Roberto Luongo is now in the fold, so making the playoffs is a foregone conclusion!” And I boldly predicted to anyone who would listen that the Canucks were going to win the Northwest Division. . .and would even be contenders for the Stanley Cup. So, I again set out to collect every game’s highlights on DVD, just in case that did actually happen.
Well, the Canucks did regain the Northwest Division title as predicted, and Luongo did provide them with at least a fighting chance in the playoffs, sporting an impressive .941 save percentage. But the season ended a couple of rounds earlier than I had hoped. . .with Luongo’s infamous gaffe in double-overtime of game 6 against the Ducks. So, another set of DVDs that didn’t conclude with a Stanley Cup.
Actually, even if the Canucks had won the Cup in either of those two years, I would not have had a complete chronicle of the magical season, for I had managed to miss a game or two of highlights in each season. And being the superstitious guy I am, I began to wonder, “If I could finally succeed in collecting a complete set of game highlights for an entire season, maybe then the Canucks would finally win the Cup.”
In the seasons that followed, I tried to put together that complete set, but I got thwarted year after year. Sometimes, it was simply due to my own lack of diligence–like, simply forgetting to program the PVR to pick up a highlight package, or remembering to program the PVR but entering the wrong start/stop times.
Even when I was totally diligent, things seemed to conspire against me–like the time I programmed the correct start/stop times, but the TV network made a last-minute change in their programming to insert something else into that time slot. One season, I even missed a highlight package as the result of a federal election, with the extended coverage running into the time slot I had programmed for the sports news! So, when the Canucks failed to win the Cup each of those years, I was disappointed. . .but not entirely surprised.
But this year is different. This season, for the first time, the Canucks enter the playoffs with my collection of highlights totally complete. The regular-season stage of chronicle is totally unblemished! And I am going to be especially diligent in my PVR programming of the highlight packages of each playoff game. I have two trips planned during the next month, and I plan to record the highlight package for each game while away in two (perhaps even three) different time slots, to guard against being thwarted by changes in programming. . .or even extended election coverage. And I am fully expecting that the last shot of the last disc of game highlights will feature Henrik hoisting the Stanley Cup!