I received an interesting email from a Canucks fan named Erin yesterday, she’s trying hard to convince her non-hockey fan of a roommate to cheer for the Vancouver Canucks and she had a couple of questions.
One query in particular caught my attention and the answer may be part of the reason the Canucks are clawing their way back into the Western Conference Quarter-Final.
From Erin: Yesterday Kevin Bieksa tweeted, “Good re-group day today for the boys! Lots of team bonding….Got these guys right where we want them!!” Do you know what they would do on their day off? Obviously Booth and Rome ate breakfast together, but do you know what anyone else did? My roommate thought they should go to Disney Land or the beach.
Disneyland wasn’t in the plans, but time at the beach certainly was.
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault gave his team this past Monday off to clear their heads and the players took him up on that.
Hockey, and the most epic comeback in franchise history, were not the focus; Roberto Luongo and Alex Burrows rented bikes and made their way through Venice Beach, Mason Raymond and Kevin Bieksa did some shopping, and a group of Canucks, 10 to be exact, made their way down to the beach to play an intense game of volleyball.
I wasn’t there, neither was photographer Jeff Vinnick, so there are no photos of the guys kicking up sand, but according to Keith Ballard, it was quite the show.
The guys split up into two teams of five and played with only one rule: underhand serves only – Ballard joked the rules was put in place because of his lethal overhand serve. Turns out Dan Hamhuis can hang up his skates anytime because he’s basically a professional volleyball player, although he did later admit to having a court at his home in Smithers, BC.
Ballard said the guys bonded and had a lot of laughs, especially at the different approaches to volleyball from the North Americans compared to the Swedish players. When a ball came flying over the net, Ballard and others reacted by diving into the sand to bump it up, while the Swedes, when faced with the same dilemma, kicked a foot out to save the ball.
This, of course, has nothing to do with anything, other than it’s good to know the Canucks didn’t spent the days between Games 3 and 4 moping in their rooms. They moved on, bonded, and it certainly showed Wednesday as Vancouver rallied for a 3-1 win to stay alive.
No word on if a volleyball game is scheduled prior to Game 5, Kits beach may not be ready for all the underhand madness.