<table border=0 align=center width=80%><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/macri_headshot.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>Hold on a minute while I stretch my writing fingers, it’s been a while. Every year around this time I get extremely busy, and inventing ways to get out of prior engagements in or-der to watch hockey consumes most, if not all, of the free time I have. The Canucks are my drug of choice (unless Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” can be considered a drug), to the point that I have no doubt that the team is interfering with what my therapist, Dr. Hand, refers to as a “well-adjusted” life.
If my family and friends held an intervention during which my mother read a tearful letter outlining how my addiction to hockey has affected our relationship, I would look her in the eyes and earnestly tell her that I would change...for us...shortly before climbing out of the bathroom window and watching the ’94 playoff run on Youtube in a dumpster (I’m pretty sure dumpsters have wi-fi). I have a problem, but I could totally stop any time I want, I just don’t want to right now.
<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/10/oct1908_hawks10_t.jpg" border="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="right" />For those who don’t suffer from such an affliction, I’ll tell you that the hardest part about a Canuck-addiction (Canuddic-tion? No, that sounds dirty) is the violent mood swings. After the Canucks beat Calgary for the second time to go 2-0 on the year, I had serious thoughts about camping out on Robson in order to get a good seat for the Stanley Cup parade. The team had carried over their stellar pre-season play into when it really mat-tered, and handed their biggest rivals a couple of losses in the process. I wasn’t the mayor of Cloud Nine, but I was definitely a high-ranking official of some sorts - possibly an alderman of Cloud Nine. At least an assistant to the alderman.
Then came Thanksgiving. Or as I have now come to call it, “Thanksfornothinggiving.” (See what I did there? I threw a “for nothing” in the middle of the word there. Subtle, but savvy readers were undoubtedly rewarded the first time around.)
Once again, an early PPV game managed to drain my cheeks of their natural, rosy en-thusiasm (I had to powder them with rouge for the rest of the night just to save face. To-tal embarrassment). Memories of last season began rushing by me in a semi-transparent fashion, sort of like that psychedelic tunnel scene in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, only with more goals against and slightly less Gene Wilder. But with a record of 2-1, and a handy jet-lag excuse ready to go, the post-traumatic stress from last season had yet to set in.
<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/10/101608_keslerpoke_t.jpg" bor-der="0" alt="" hspace="4" vspace="1" align="left" />And with a split against the defend-ing Cup champs and the red-hot Sabres in the follow-ing two games, I was holding up okay. Sure, the next game against the Blackhawks was another PPV broadcast, but I had a plan: I would abstain from ordering the game. If or-dering the PPV games had en-sured a loss in the past, then surely not ordering the game would produce a win, right? At the very least, the team would escape un-injured, right? Alas, it seems as though the power of PPV extends beyond the physical act of me ordering the broadcast (although I’m still fairly certain that I have the unique ability to affect the outcome of every game), as the Canucks came out of Chicago with a few men down and another loss in the pocket.
So now I’m on the brink. My mood has officially swung from manic to depressive in the course of six games. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a fairweather fan, nor am I one to phone in to radio call-in shows with the brilliant advice to TRADE LUONGO! But as I write this a few hours before the Canucks are set to take on the Blue Jackets, I implore you, if you happen to come across a cheerful-looking person sitting out front of the Gap on Robson in a lawn chair, buy him a muffin. Banana-chocolate chip is his favourite. Conversely, if you happen to see a despondent individual on top of said Gap store threatening to jump, kindly inform him that it’s only a ten foot drop and that he looks like a jackass. Then buy him a muffin.</td></tr></table>