Amidst all the Captain Morgan's and the hype around this game I had forgotten about this moment, which someone posted at CDC:
What a game. What a night. I too am glad it's over.
Great piece by Bill Lankhof at the Toronto Sun today:
History has not been kind to departing captains. Darryl Sittler had the "C" ripped off his sweater. Rob Ramage, like Sundin, was blamed for failing to bring a Stanley Cup, Dave Keon still holds a 40-year grudge. Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark left with happy thoughts but made second debuts that ended with futility. Rick Vaive had the captaincy taken from him.
Sundin had his leadership questioned. He was criticized for failing to waive his no-trade clause.
"I understand why he wanted to stay at the deadline," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "He thought his team had a shot at the playoffs. It was simple and it was honest."
Sundin admitted yesterday that being labelled as disloyal hurt him and last night the fans still were divided in how to react to him. They loved him when the video played during the first period. They rose. Cheered. Sundin waved from the bench. When he moved to the faceoff circle, Matt Stajan backed out and linesman Derek Amell held the puck for two minutes as the fans took the hint and said "Thank you!"
It was as close to tears the normally stoic Sundin said he has ever come in a hockey game. The rest of the game they booed and whistled every time he touched the puck. So he remains an enigma --viewed with both love and revulsion. Last night, both were in evidence.
Then, slowly circling centre for what would be the last shot, the ACC filled with cacophony. He cut across the crease, hitting the net as his fellow Canucks spilled on to the ice in glee.
"It was an emotional week but it had a great ending," said Sundin, who saluted and bowed to fans as the game's first star. "It ranks right up there. It has been a buildup of 13 years of ups and downs, of highs and lows ... 13 years of emotions here. It's a nice way for it to go. Very special."