The Canucks put on a great show today at BC place, which was full of 50,000 plus fans. A great sunday outing for families, which was marked on everyone's calendar since it was announced, the event featured great music, great festivities, great weather (should have uncovered it perhaps if there was snow), and yes, a reasonably great game of hockey.
The Canucks and Senators, who aren't offical 'rivals' by any stretch, put up an extreme physical effort for a classic game and matched each other hit for hit all game long. It had a bit of a playoff feel. It featured goals, which for outdoor games are hard to come by. But more than that, it featured watchable hockey action. Outdoor games are sluggish at best, and once you get over the spectacle of snow falling down or wind blowing around, the game itself is pretty darn awful. Today was an exception and may have opened the NHL's eyes towards how much easier and more enjoyable it is to set up and watch these games in covered arenas.
What more could the fans and media have asked for here?
Well, apparently fans wanted Roberto Luongo in the game. Or did they? More like they just want a win.
Patience is at an end for a lot of fans in Vancouver. Patience with this core group. So when the Canucks came out flying and earned a 2-goal lead, only to blow it soon after when their play flatlined, such as has the story has been for the team all season long, out came the boo-birds/Lu supporters to let the team know their displeasure. This is a normal expectation for a group that has seen their team virtually fall off the map since the start of 2014.
Yet, critical fans and media are taking these few seconds of vocal displeasure and hyping it up to mock the team and the event they did such a great job of putting together.
I can't help feel but those people have an agenda to knock the Canucks wherever there may be a possible fault.
From Elliott Friedman's over-the-top and pointless tirade against Vancouver fans, who will no doubt respond on twitter, etc., building the mystique of Vancouver's fans being 'oh so bad', but all these other fans who boo their team every night don't apply to the critiques.
To Glenn Healy's pokes and jabs at the franchise all game long, as nonsensical as they sometimes are. (How much are they paying Jim Hughson to keep his mouth shut and not seriously run out of his booth, across the ice just to sock Glenn a good one anyway?)
To the ongoing 'Canucks are classless, their fans are classless, everything about them is classless, blah, blah, blah' mantra that the CBC, TSN, and eastern Sportsnet commentators continuously shovel out this way, night after night after night.
To those people and to Vancouver's very own media and fans who are on an obvious agenda of embitterment, I say shame on you. Say what you want about the teams' performance on the ice in 2014 or whatever coaching or managing decisions you don't approve of. But please, don't knock this Heritage Classic game because of a mere starting of a backup goaltender. (Good God, get OVER the whole goaltender thing already! Jesus!) Or whatever the fans may having been chanting for a few seconds.
This game was the best 'classic' game or 'stadium series' game or whatever the NHL's going to end up calling them all so far. It had everything but a Canucks win.
The event today was kick-ass. Applaud the Canucks, your team, for the show they put on. They did a marvelous job.