Thursday, November 27, 2008
The Canucks have sold out the Garage for six zillion straight games...or have they? So far this season there have been single seat sales for all but two games (the first Detroit visit Nov. 2 and, of course, the Make Beliefs' visit Nov. 15). Mainly this Coca-Cola half-price single seat policy that started, I believe, three years ago and would show up maybe six times a year has been expanded for '08/09.
Some kid rockin' a Wings tee
This, of course, meant Johnny Canucklehead and Franz Klammer (part-time ski hero and transplanted hockey fan) could snag a couple of ducats to see the Stanley Cup champions take on the Curtis Sanford. All of this for the price of $59.75 (including ticketmonster and Mats Sundin escrow account fees) is decent...not something I'd pay to watch Columbus or Minnesota but for the Cup champs, I'm there! So here's the view from the last row of the upper bowl right on the blueline (in case the NHL need me to do booth reviews on offside calls).
Starting off, there sure were a lot of GM employees at the game. I thought the company was in dire straits or maybe all the Steve Yzermans, Brendan Shanahans and Nick Libetts took advantage of the half-price sale to show up in their Wings jerseys. The Nux have finally dropped the dated U2 intro music but now opt for what sounds suspiciously like Vangelis's Chariots of Fire theme. Oh well guess we'll be hearing music from 2008 in all probability by 2038.
All of the trees and electricity that have been wasted on what a good game this was, don't believe the hype. Yes, this Canuck team looks like more of a "team" and kudos to Ryan Kesler and Kyle Wellwood for driving the net and creating chances but Pavol Demitra hit the net, please, and Willie Mitchell get rid of that stupid Martin St. Louis long stick you use.
The Wings looked so smooth and in control especially breaking out of their own end. So how did they lose? One intrepid reporter (Tony Gallagher) pointed out they missed Tomas Holmstrom sticking his big butt in the opposing goalie's face. That's probably it as Johan Franzen is more Holmstrom Lite. Given the Wings outshot Vancouver 34-16 through 60 minutes, a good screen or two and it'd have been game over.
Luckily, Daniel Sedin got a bit of a flukey bad hop goal over third base late and the locals woke up. The Nux owned the OT outshooting the Wings 8-0 and Sami Salo scored a beauty on a powerplay to win it. End of story.
Now I'm not sure if the fans razzing Detroit goalie Chris Osgood throughout the game helped but it can't have hurt. Even so, last I looked, Osgood was the starter on two Cup teams so . . . until Roberto Luongo brings the silver chalice home, I'll say Ozzie is not as bad as those long drifters from the past he's let in.
Finally, let's get to my fave timeworn topic--the fans. I thought moving up two price ranges I'd escape the yahoos but let's review. The wannabe gangsta (of course, a white boy with a cheesy Wendy Clark attempt at a 'stache) in front of me started the game off telling us in the row behind him to "get up." Then he attempted to start a "Let's Go Canucks" chant which as the game wore on became a "Let's Go Detroit" chant. I figure the two Detroit babes (and I use that term loosely) next to him convinced Mr. "One Beer And I'm Jello" to switch sides mid-game. Either that or he fell in love with Henrik Zetterberg's sweet Viking beard thinking he'd have a shot at a honey like Henrik's wife, Emma Andersson.
The older couple in Luongo jerseys in my row said nary a peep all game mistaking the Garage for the old days of the Pacific Mausoleum. Glad you could join us.
Then the piece de resistance, an in-game interview with former Nux captain (and recipient of a broken jaw in the '70s courtesy Keith Magnuson) Chris Oddleifson was interviewed on the big screen. This prompted the neighborly stock broker (see, the economic crisis is real if he is sitting in the last row of the upper bowl) next to me to pipe up and say that Chrissy Boy was his fave Canuck. I guess Bryan McSheffrey was taken. He also thought Oddleifson was #6. Dennis Kearns to that, says #14!
Those, my friends, are your Canuck fans. Unless the scoreboard tells them to "Make Some Noise," many of them do become confused by my yelling and screaming at the Sedins to shoot the freakin' puck and enough with the Tour de France. Then again here's comes the Wave--woooo!