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Friday, October 20, 2006

Go Canucks Go 

Canadian Adventures, part deux

Earlier this week I attended my first NHL game, having previously been limited to several thousand hours of TV viewing, and watching international powerhouses like New Zealand and Australia duke it out at the Botany Downs "arena".

I took in Vancouver Canucks v. Edmonton Oilers (last year's Stanley Cup finalists) at GM Place here in Vancouver. The Canucks won the hard-fought affair 2-1 in regular time. Some observations:

1/ A well-organized, well-designed indoor stadium, with apparently not a bad seat in the house (and we were way, way back), is a sight to behold. Entry and egress were straightforward, finding our numbered seats was easy, and it was just a smooth operation in general.

2/ The NHL is a slick, professional competition. It makes most of the other sports I've seen live look pretty shabby. The team change-overs, for example, are so smooth and quick you almost miss them. The players are, as one would expect, playing at a universally high standard. Moreover, as Ms_Red reminded me, they tend to make the news more for their achievements on the ice, and donating their time and energy to the various charities their team supports, than for getting in drunken bar room brawls. Most are, in this sense, the kind of "role models" that the media seems to demand (although as mentioned previously, I seldom care what people do in their time off). There was this one guy.

3/ NHL Goalies are freekin amazing. Their reflexes make your average international cricketer in the slips look geriatric by comparison. They are also scarily flexible. Dwayne Rolloson for the Oilers made 36 saves.

4/ There's some things you don't see on TV, like just what it means to try and get the puck off the other guy.

5/ The crowd was pretty good, and most people were into the game, but given the astronomical ticket prices it was surprising to see lots of people (a) arrive late; (b) spend half their time queuing for beer or the washrooms or both; (c) leave early. It's pretty obvious that for some young ladies in particular it's primarily a fashion parade / mating opportunity.

One time, I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out...

For "Canada's game" it really fucks me how the NHL can charge what it does for tickets. The games, for all of their fun and kicks, are, for the most part, are aimed at fashion parade chickies and smart mouthed rich assed business types.

Many hockey fans, from the poor deep blue collar communities of our great land would give their left nut to attend a home game...and there you have it, Barbie queing for beer.
yeah it's fucking distorted by what corporations are willing to pay to entertain their clients (i.e., anything).

The listed price for our tickets was something like $31.50, which is what you would pay if you were a season ticket holder, or internet fanatic able to grab a ticket during the 10 secs they are on sale.

As you can imagine we paid a whole fuckload more than $31.50 per ticket.

Each does have a nice picture of one of the Sedins on it though.

There were no fights until after the final whistle.

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