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Getting hooked on Vancouver Canucks

05:30 PM June 14, 2011

I have never been an avid sports fan.  I can never sit and watch any game whether it be basketball, tennis or hockey.  I get edgy on my seat especially if the game is coming to its end and both teams are competing neck to neck.  I remember back in Manila, I have always rooted for the Toyota Tamaraws and am a big admirer of the Big J but I can never get myself to sit and watch the entire game.  I am also an avid follower of Roger Federer and even if Rafael Nadal seems like a pretty nice guy, I have always cheered for Roger.

When I came to Canada, I was introduced to hockey which is a big thing here and considered the national sport.  The National Hockey League (NHL) is the equivalent of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) we have back home.  The NHL is composed of 30 teams and is divided into two conferences – the Eastern and Western Conferences.  Teams composing the eastern conference compete against each other as well as the teams belonging to the western conference.  Whoever emerges the winner in each will compete for the Stanley Cup, the major title of the NHL.  The Montreal Canadiens is considered the top team having won the Stanley Cup the most.

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My husband and kids immediately got hooked to it and learned the rules of the game.  I enjoyed watching from the sidelights taking a peek once in a while doing the household chores.  Little by little I got to know the players of the home team, the Vancouver Canucks.

The team did not have good standing from the time we came here.  They have not won a Stanley Cup and have only been close to winning it twice since the NHL started.  However, this year the team has done so well and had won the Western Conference and advanced to the finals.  They are presently playing against the Boston Bruins to win the cup in a best- of- seven game.

Because of this, the spirit of the city is alive once again and the excitement the Vancouverites had during the Winter Olympics in 2010 has been relived.  If during the Olympics it was a sea of red and white, this time you can see green and blue colors everywhere.  Everything with the Canucks logo is flying off the shelves – jerseys, t-shirts, towels, flags, etc.  Of course, the manufacturers of these items are enjoying it because of the impact it has on their businesses.  I remember buying a Canuck shirt some two years ago for $10 but this time you can never find one below $15.  Every game day, you can see lots of people wearing their jerseys and t-shirts to work or school.  The school where my daughter goes now allow the kids to forego the uniforms and don the Canucks outfit during game days.  Some offices also encourage their employees to be in their Canucks outfit and raise funds for charity at the same time.  Even the bar owners are making a fortune because lots of people go and have drinks while watching the game.

Because the tickets are costing a fortune the more the Canucks advance in the conference, the city has decided to provide wide screen televisions in different locations for people to watch the games.  Thousands of people come to converge and cheer for the team.  Even Rogers Arena where the games are being held, were made open to the public for a minimal fee during away games.  It was estimated that the number of people almost equal the number that flocked to the city during the Olympics.

The games are held alternately between the two cities.  The first two games were held in Vancouver and the next two in Boston.   It alternated for the next two games in both cities. The scores are tied between the two teams – both have 3 wins each.  The last seventh game will surely be an exciting one.  The games start at 5 p.m.  Lots of people have opted to start work earlier than usual to get home in time to watch the game.  Some streets are closed to accommodate the huge crowd anticipated to head downtown and cheer the team while viewing the game on widescreen tv sets that had been set up.

In terms of game predictions, if The FIFA World Cup had Paul the Octopus, the Stanley Cup has Cosmo the Parrot from the Vancouver Aquarium.  So far, Cosmo had been correct in her prediction for games 1, 2 and 4.  She chose the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup and we only hope she is right! So here’s hoping the team plays a good game tonight and win. GO CANUCKS GO!!!

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TAGS: Canada, National Hockey League, Sports, Vancouver Canucks
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