Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: hockey fans
After some thought about how Roberto Luongo is likely to be handling the pressures of game 7, given the highs and lows he’s gone through in this series, my final estimation is that he’s probably not even thinking about the past games of this Stanley Cup Final series anymore. (Or I should say, if it was me, I wouldn’t be thinking about them anymore.)
Because for Luongo, this is much like a 2010 redux for the Gold Medal, one game takes all. And given how that turned out for him, on his own home ice no less, it’s probably a pretty inspiring way to approach game 7.
Furthermore, judging by his record on home ice during these 2011 Playoffs, home is a great place to be. Let’s consider the numbers:
- —In 13 home games, Luongo has allowed 23 goals. That’s 1.77 goals per game.
- —Luongo has had all 4 shutouts on home ice, including two against Boston
- —Luongo has recorded a .978 SV% against the Bruins on home ice.
So, my little poll last night shows about 80% of respondents favoring Vancouver to win the series… but I suppose the opposite results are appearing on some Boston dude’s blog today, too. I haven’t looked around the ‘net yet, but “unbiased” probably doesn’t apply to any of us.
Still, Boston fans are feeling seriously confident.
The video below is from NESN, and catches the excitement in Boston after their big win last night. (Not to mention, a whole lot of Bruins fans making some big predictions about kicking some Vancouver butt…)
Missing the playoffs last year was a nightmare, but there’s one thing to be said for it: at least we weren’t in a constant state of fear anymore. Our suffering was already over.
But this year we’re “lucky”—playoff action for all. Tons of fun! Except when it’s terrifying.
Fortunately, some Port McNeil school kids are doing their part to cheer the team on, and it’s a proven fact: cute kids doing cute things to support our team is good for our stress levels. The Hockey Gods might hate the Canucks (and Canucks fans) but surely they can’t hate cute kids?
Well, personally, I’m a pushover for them. I first heard this on CBC Radio One a couple days ago, and today the Times-Colonist here on Vancouver Island tells more details about the arrangement here. Sunset Elementary was once home to Willie Mitchell, and that’s where the video below was shot. The lyrics are below as well.
A week ago, the Canucks announced their plan to hike ticket prices for next season. The amount isn’t much (up to 3.3% for a certain percentage of tickets) but the decision to follow through on this raise is significant. In an economy such as this one, with so many people being laid-off or seeing their job otherwise downsized, this isn’t a very sound PR move.
Canucks’ chief operating officer Victor de Bonis argues that “the 2009/2010 price hike is the lowest since the team moved to GM Place in 1995”, presumably believing this shouldn’t be a significant issue for consumers. Further, he feels the team is justified in its inflation:
“We’re not isolated from the economic issue but the product is very good and the team is right there so the fan base continues to be very strong and supportive.”
Random, post- All Star weekend thoughts on a variety of topics—some serious, most not.
- Watching Gary Bettman and Ron MacLean chatting at the ASG, I was struck by Bettman’s demeanor. He seemed to be almost vibrating throughout that interview and it led me to wonder if he has some mild neurological disorder developing that’s been unreported. (Note: I’m not in any way making a joke here. Hopefully I was just imagining things. But he seemed really jittery…). You can compare this year’s conversation with his time talking to MacLean at last year’s ASG. Bettman seemed—to me—to be much more ‘wired’ yesterday. Is there some mysterious illness at work, or was it just a sign of too much espresso? (Update: alternate theories from readers added below…)
Geez. I swear (swear!) I’m as excited as the next dude about having the Swedish Meatball (term of endearment, honest) debut for the Canucks tonight, but surely this city is losing its head. Mats Sundin’s highly-anticipated game in Edmonton has all the hallmarks of a religious event.
Here are some stray signs that Vancouverites are losing their minds:
This isn’t your standard tug-the-heart-strings Happy Hockey Day story, but it is the one that’s given me the biggest laugh in all my years of hockey blogging. (Just be warned: it’s a bit perverse!)
Back in October of 2003 when I started my first blog, women hockey-fan-bloggers were a rarity. In fact it was quite some time before I knew of any others out there, and this often made for some unique experiences. And sometimes unpleasant, too.
It’s an All Star Throwdown: The Canadien-Stars versus everyone else. And I’ll echo Mother Pucker’s thoughts this morning, who said:
I’m no rocket appliance when it comes to figuring out how someone may have hacked this voting system, but I will declare right now that something is up.
Indeed. First, let’s look at the Eastern Conference, where the current All Star fan voting indicates that those Canadiens fans have got this internet-voting-thingy down to a fine art form:
Press release via Marketwire:
The Vancouver Canucks and Direct Energy announce the return of Direct Energy’s “You Call the Shots Contest,” where one lucky fan will experience what it is like to be General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks for a day. Direct Energy’s “You Call the Shots Contest” will award one fortunate fan and three friends a rare hockey prize package that will allow the group to experience a day in the life of an NHL General Manager.
You and me? Calling the shots? Well, hell, I’m in. What kind of stuff is involved?
Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun:
They’ve made you laugh and made you cry, given you hope and left you despondent, enraged and uplifted you. You love them. You hate them, but never for long. You could probably live without them but can’t imagine the deprivation.
The Vancouver Canucks are the longest-running melodrama in our city, as indispensible as they are exasperating. Next Monday, after 38 years, the Canucks take their story - your story - to the big screen at theatres around B.C.
The National Hockey League team is releasing a feature-length documentary entitled Forever Faithful - The Canucks Movie.
Movie trailer and more below:
You’d think winning 4-0—especially after coming off a cold streak like the Canucks have been going through—would be uber-gratifying. But watching them smoke a team playing as self-destructively as the Kings were last night, I was a bit underwhelmed.
Still, congrats to Roberto Luongo for the shutout, to Taylor Pyatt for looking more like a hockey player again the last couple games, and to the Sedins who are finally out of their black hole. (More on the game at Canuck Nation.)
But while the Canucks held their own on the ice, their fans took a beating from the LA Kings mascot and his giant bag of popcorn last night.
The video below, which happens to be featured on the front page of Canucks.com at the moment, poses this text:
-Who else suffered rejection for an NHL franchise, but never quit?
-Who else survived the insults of the Flying “V”, the Plate of Spaghetti and the Skate going down?
-Who else turned a symbol of surrender into a passionate tradition copied all across sports?
-October 25th, 2008 General Motors Place
Here’s the video, then I’ll give you the answer.
Hockey Lollapalooza* or “Super Saturday” as the NHL is calling it, takes place this weekend. For the second time in history (the first being October 5th, 2005) all thirty NHL teams will be playing games on the same day.
From the NHL, here’s a hodgepodge of trivia that will never show up on Jeopardy but that you’ll probably memorize like the lunatic hockey fan you are, anyway:
- 275,000 fans will flock to arenas throughout North America Saturday to watch 600 players compete in 15 games
- With the drop of the puck at the Pepsi Center in Colorado at 9:08 PM ET, 12 NHL games will be in progress simultaneously.
“We’d also heard mention of it, but we decided that it would only be worse if we went out and told the fans they were absolutely not allowed to throw dildos on the ice,” said AIK club head Mats Hedenstrom to the newspaper.
—from The Local in Sweden (*photos might be NSFW)
Now there’s a line you don’t hear every day. For more on an awesome story, Puck Daddy tells the whole tale.
It’s not often that one needs to tag a hockey story as NSFW, but I suppose there are people bound to find this one offensive. (Not me, however—I think it’s hilarious. But I can be incredibly immature…)
I first started hockey blogging in October 2003, and did so for two reasons: (1) an aversion to hockey message boards and the many jerks that populated them. (i.e. those snotty little beggars for whom the catch-phrase “I live in Mom’s basement” was destined to be their mantra for the next 37 years); and (2) my interest in politics—once a great preoccupation and the only other topic I could imagine writing about—spiraled downwards at the exact rate at which the number of people blogging about politics increased (*political blogs of any partisanship give me a bigger headache than Wings fans).
So in nearly 5 years, I’ve only ever had one firm rule: never mix politics and hockey. But today presents a good reason to break that rule, if only to prove why it exists.
It is the case of John McCain, his love of #99, and the weird way that ventriloquism skills must be valued in political circles.
Mike Ulmer of MapleLeafs.com is using his column this week to—theoretically—write about the wedding of coach Ron Wilson’s daughter. But Ulmer has been inspired by the wedding in unexpected ways. He’s explored everything from the joy of weddings (breakneck conga lines! and “bridesmaids, draped in exotic, impermeable fabrics”!) to the strange value differences between Canadians and Americans.
And on that topic, here’s some of what he’s come up with:
Americans like to call each other “Baby” when they’re in love. “That’s the thing about Americans. Not the only thing, just one thing.” (Yes. There are other things.)
Americans have ‘zero gravity lawn chairs’ and are adept at building tiny “invigorating” springs into your shoes. (Wow. So futuristic down there…!)
Americans allow you to use paper towels in public washrooms. Canadians, apparently, force you to use electric hand dryers.
Vancouver is hosting their annual State of the Franchise event tonight—a joyous occasion in that it’s one of the few Canucks gatherings that doesn’t appear to make money off anyone. (Though I suppose this week’s money train has already been taken care of.) Anyway, the event itself will be broadcast online at the Canucks TV portal, starting at 6:30pm PT.
Meanwhile, here are some opinions on the state of this franchise from a few C&B readers in the last week…
HOME: Latest news from Canucks & Beyond.
Busted Coverage comes across a new art form:
We’re not sure how Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter’s jersey was selected to grace the naked body of this model. It doesn’t really matter.
The most important nugget here, brahs, is that naked body painting has now invaded the sports world…
Naked Body Art + Flyers Fan = ??
Photos of one serious Jeff Carter fan…
Baroque—who contributes her entertaining genius frequently to the comments of this website, as well as her own posts at HockeyTownTodd—made a comment on this post yesterday that stuck in my head. She said, “It’s funny how people fall for hockey that you wouldn’t expect to.”
Earlier today I was sorting through the piles of junk on my hard drive and I came across this article I’d kept handy from the LA Daily News. Written by Tom Hoffarth, it was originally published in January of this year.
I think it’s a great story and it relates to Baroque’s remark rather well so I thought I’d point to it now. Enjoy.
Noted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
When the Penguins lost to Detroit, so did Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers. He made a bet with Detroit Free Press cartoonist Mike Thompson that he’d don a Red Wings jersey if the Pens went down. Today, Rob made good on his wager.
Go here to see the video.
A warning in advance—this post is more personal than hockey-ish. But that seems appropriate today.
When the news came in about Luc Bourdon’s death this morning, I had been idly writing a post I’d been pondering over the last few days. I’d been thinking on the subject of how hockey fans might sometimes benefit from a perspective served by less “analysis” and more “passion.”
I think that hockey fans—while blessed with a remarkable depth of media coverage (particularly online) of their favorite sport—also lose something with all that exposure. That after a point, perhaps the endless analysis and critique makes us cold to the emotional connection and passion we once had for the game.
And so hockey becomes something which is no longer about our childhood heroes and their beautiful, skillful plays. Instead we become preoccupied with the most finite statistics and breakdowns, and occasionally mean-spirited (rather than useful) criticism.
Den Cotton at the National Sports Review is having some fun… although maybe a bit more than that:
Perhaps I’ve been drinking too much of the Colin Cowherd Kool-aid, but I’ve realized female sports fans are messing with the natural order of things — and that is turning me into a chauvinistic, repressive fool.
As I recall, Colin has spoken about the upsides — a requirement even — of having a relationship with a girl who doesn’t love sports. Now I don’t want to get Colin in too much trouble because he has a lot of smart female fans who call into his show. But I don’t want to date them, no matter how hot they are.
And for bonus points:
But the economics of technological change is reviving my love of hockey. When we moved back into our renovated house at the end of March, we also bought ... a 40” LCD 1080p high-definition TV. We hooked it up on a Sunday, and what was the first thing we saw when we turned it on? A Penguins-Rangers game. In Pittsburgh. And the Pens won.
All I can say is this: woof. Hockey is fabulous in HD. Of course I’m watching my Penguins (and I got home from my woolly weekend in enough time yesterday to see them win the series against the Rangers in overtime, yay!), but I’m also watching the other series. Because it just looks so freaking awesome in HD.
In ESPN The Magazine they’ve taken 122 sports franchises (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL) and had 80,000 fans rank their favorite team by a variety of measures. (Check out all the rankings, or your own favorite team, here).
Looking at Vancouver, fans’ dissatisfaction is seen in ranking their team at 91st place—meaning fans of 90 other teams were happier with their organization than Canuck fans are. (Of all the Canadian teams, only Toronto fans were more disgusted with their club, ranking at 121st place).
Which prompted this quick assessment from ESPN’s Brian Kamenetzky:
Toronto fans: Are you looking for a team to make it through the long, cold nights ahead? William Houston at the Globe & Mail inspired me tonight when he questioned: Whatever will CBC do without Toronto on the schedule? And it’s coming.
Despite the cheery optimism of Mats Sundin & Co., the Toronto Maple Leafs are unlikely to make the playoffs.
Still, the conversation on the most recent Hockey Night focused almost entirely on the Leafs, 12th in the Eastern Conference.
The national hockey media’s preoccupation with the Leafs is hardly news, but it does encourage me to extend an olive branch to Leafs fans.
Like nearly everyone else lately, I’ve had the urge to window shop around the internet for hockey-related gift ideas one might stumble across.
I started out by thinking about what we, as fans, could give our favorite teams this year. But nothing they need is all that easy to find (*or Vancouver would have picked up a couple of scoring forwards by now); and besides, they can afford their own presents. (I did manage to find a nice personal gift for Kirk Maltby however, which I’ll share later.)
Meanwhile, I wandered through some major retailers to find some unique hockey items for fans.* (Of course “unique” generally just means odd.)