I woke up to my son’s voice this morning.
“Daddeeeeeeee, are you here?”
Fair question. NHL playoff time is definitely not family time, what with games being played every second night and plenty of travel involved. Having just returned from Calgary less than two days earlier, Denver wasn’t quite sure where I was.
I walked into his room and was met with sad eyes and an apology.
“I’m really sorry daddy,” he said, pulling me in for a hug. “I cheered for the bad guys last night because I don’t want you to go back to Calgary.”
As remarkable as my four-and-a-half-year-old is, he’s definitely in the minority when it came to who people in Vancouver were cheering for in Game 5.
Not going back to Calgary would have made today and tomorrow and Sunday and the next day and the next day and the next day, week, month, months very uncomfortable for the Canucks.
Instead they rebounded from two straight losses in Calgary and hosed the Flames 2-1 in front of the most zealous crowd I’ve maybe ever seen at Rogers Arena. The Canucks stepped up their game and so did the fans.
The funny thing is that despite the result, practice was the same today as it was the day before and the day before that. The mood on the flight was the same as prior to Game 3. The Canucks are preaching consistency on the ice and they’re also delivering it off of it.
The playoffs are a roller-coaster, yet somehow this group has remained even-keel so far, despite losing three of the first four games of the series AND losing one of their most tenacious players in Alex Burrows.
Their steadiness is perhaps exactly opposite to how fans act.
I’ve been talking to Canucks fans in both Vancouver and Calgary and nine out of 10 have some kind of superstition or routine for game days; they wear a jersey or something team oriented, take their playoff towel to work, eat at a specific restaurant, etc.
And they’re not alone.
Canucks president Trevor Linden wore a miraculously nice tie during Game 2, a Vancouver win. He wasn’t wearing it in Game 1 and didn’t turn to it in Game 3 – both losses. So he went back to it in Game 4 and somehow the Canucks lost. He did not have it on for Game 5 (although I’ve got to get the name of his tie guy because this one was equally as boomin’) and it’s unclear if it will make another appearance.
With the Canucks a win from forcing Game 7, yet a loss from making Game of Thrones the highlight of the week, it comes down to this: do you. If you can spread positive Canucks vibes into the world, wear whatever, eat whatever, do whatever it takes to do that.
The players themselves, they’ll stick to the process and based on the fact that we’re playing hockey late April, I’d say it’s worked so far.
The only thing I’d advise against is cheering for the bad guys.
All the Canucks who are fathers will be home soon, they may just have to leave again for a bit. But if everything works out, we’ll all be playing with the best, most shiniest silver toy in the world when it’s all said and done.
Rest tonight, stress tomorrow!
Derek Jory (@NoJoryous)