Sunday, May 29, 2011

38 Year Drought vs. The 40 Year Old Virgin: Welcome to the Stanley Cup Finals!!!

Vancouver Canucks 40th Anniversary Pin and Puck


Boston Bruin Original Six Magic Gloves...marked down to $2

                                                               Let the Swag Off begin!!!!

by Lisa Ovens

Not sure if I am the first to dub the Vancouver Canucks as forty year old virgins because they haven't won a cup yet, but it seems to fit the bill. Especially with the Boston Bruins 38 year cup about two teams not getting any action...haha!

First I need to address all combo Bruin/Canuck fans, and I know they are out there. I actually know a guy named Tom who is originally from Boston, but has lived in Vancouver for many years. He is a serious hockey fan, and a serious fan of both teams. Talk about Karma for these types of combo fans. Think about the 2010 Playoffs, both the Canucks and the Bruins exited the playoffs in the most embarrassing ways ( with the Bruins rating higher on the blushed cheeks embarrassed scale). Now look at where they are....both in the Stanley Cup Final!!!

But...I'm not crazy about this match up. It is a little too familiar for me and Canuck nation: Seventeen years ago the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, that version of the Vancouver Canucks faced another Original Six team in the New York Oilers,er, I mean the New York Rangers. The Rangers had also been languishing in a cup drought...54 freakin' years!! The Canucks lost in Game Seven, and the rest is history.

So, as you can see, I am antsy about this. The Bruins Cup drought has lasted almost as long as my home team, the Vancouver Canucks have been in existence. However, I will say, today's version of the Vancouver Canucks has the best shot at winning the goose bump inducing silverware for first time, so I just gotta deal with it. And one other thing...

Colin Campbell

As a fan you really don't want to have to think about this sort of stuff, but it is hard not to considering the high stakes involved for both the Canucks and the Bruins. If it were up to me, I'd temporarily relieve the duties of Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations, Colin Campbell for this final round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and have him sit in the stands like all the other players' parents so he can cheer on his son, Gregory, who happens to play for the Boston Bruins. That should be the only position Colin Campbell should be in to support his son for the upcoming best of seven series.

The cloud that surrounded the man in charge of the league's officiating earlier this season is too close for comfort. It wouldn't take long for things to get ugly if there is any hint at all of certain actions benefiting the Bruins and the fact they are at their best during five on five play. And on a slightly more wacky front....

Don Cherry

Since 2008 I have had a regular playoff feature titled The Don Cherry Suit Watch. Just a simple little bit consisting of showcasing what the Canadian Hockey Icon wears during his Coach's Corner segment of Hockey Night in Canada.

But during this Canucks 2011 run, I began to notice a pattern which developed into a statistic: When Cherry sports the loud, patterned jackets the Canucks often win, and when he adorns himself in subdued one tone, or one color jackets the Canucks lose more games. We all know how much Don Cherry loves the Bruins...well if you follow his threads, his Bruin ensembles lean towards the more subdued. I am wondering how much "Bruin" has Grapes packed  in his garment bag? Enough for seven possible games?

Don Cherry must not find out about this stat, and possibly influence the outcome of the series with his jacket selections. Let the jacket lay where it falls. However, the Canucks are improving on the "subdued suit" side of things - the win column gained some ground in Round Three with the San Jose Sharks.

This is the latest win/loss stat leading into the Final..

Big, bold pattern Canucks are 9-2

Cool and Subdued Canucks are 3-5


There, I got a few things out of my system...

GO Canucks!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don Cherry Suit Watch : Canuck Win/Loss Statistc UPDATE!!

by Lisa Ovens

Okay, I've had a day and a half to bask in the glory of my home team, the Vancouver Canucks making it to the final round of the 2011 Stanley Cup I get back to blog business, namely the Don Cherry Suit Jacket/ Vancouver Canuck win loss statistic.

We last left off at Round Three, Game Four....The Canucks won that game, and what was Don wearing? ...

A very subdued look, save for the jaunty cap on his head. The Canucks win/loss stat when Cherry sports a Subdued, one tone or color suit  is now 3-5

Then Game Five came along in Vancouver, and Grapes pulled off a repeat of this plaid number he wore for Game One. The Canucks won Game Five and closed out the series on the San Jose Sharks.

I don't think a person could wear this jacket and not have a fun day. Canucks win/loss record when Cherry stands out in a loud, patterned jacket:  9-2.

I have to wonder how many jackets Don Cherry travels with? It appears he has left many of his floral patterns at home in Ontario or they haven't been his "go to" look for the 2011 Playoffs. I am very intrigued by what his Round Four selections will be and if the loud, patterned suit jackets will continue to favor the Vancouver Canucks!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Western Conference Champs...Third Time's a Charm?

After a tense evening of almost five complete periods of hockey...the Canucks win 3-2 in double OT to knock out the San Jose Sharks and receive the studly, and untouchable Clarence Campbell Bowl! It's the one we have to win to get to the one we really want to win. The Canucks won the Campbell Bowl in 1982, and 1994, and this 2011 win is like a repeat of the 94 win because it happened on the same day, and in the same way...Double Overtime!
Congratulations to my home team, the Vancouver Canucks for getting the job done in Game Five. Four more wins to go.

Bye bye San Jose didn't make it easy for the Orcas tonight, but thanks for coming out and really making a game of it.

Don't think I'll be getting much sleep tonight. Still won't finish the dishes though ;o)

Go Canucks!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tampa Bay Lightning Fans Upstage, Well, EVERYONE!!!

photo by Jim Reed, Tampa Bay Online

Forget full body, spandex suit clad hockey fans hovering around penalty boxes drawing more attention to themselves than the team and the game itself...

Look at what an off ice collective group effort can do to show support for their team!

The above "Human Lightning Bolt" was seen at Tampa Bay's airport when the Lightning took off for Boston the other morning.

What a tribute... and it is truly inspiring!

Tampa Bay Online: click here for the full story

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Game Three Sharks/Canucks: Choppy Water at the Shark Tank

Canucks lead series 2-1
by Lisa Ovens

It was a choppy affair; a real bumpy ride for all involved at the Shark Tank Friday night. The multitude of penalties called played a big part in the game, and this fan longed for a smoother ride through Game Three. Instead it was stop, start, bump, oops there goes another defender kind of game. Despite being down 4-1, the Canucks forged ahead and almost righted the ship, but ultimately came up short in the 4-3 loss.

The Sharks brought it as best as they could to end their Western Conference Final losing streak, feasting on power play opportunites (10 of those...yikes!), and just generally wanting the win more than the Canucks did for a lot of the time. Not surprising since they looked like guppies in Game Two's 7-2 loss to Vancouver a couple of days ago. Patrick Marleau, the man one man called gutless last week, earned the second star tonight, scoring two first period goals with one being a pretty breakaway tally.

So, the Canucks are facing their second Finnish goaltender in a row these playoffs. We went from a Rinne to a Niemi. A Pekka to an Antti (new fans, I did their last names first if you aren't up on your Finnish goaltenders). Thought Niemi was on his game stopping what he needed to to keep the Canucks from completing an inspiring comeback after a bevvy of penalty kills and the loss of defenders, Rome and Ehrhoff. So essentially the Canucks did pretty good considering all of that drama and a crappy first period start!

Now, in the stands I saw a lone, Lime Green Man (he was the one wearing a shark costume on half of his body, thus looking like he was being eaten by a shark), and a couple of  Light Blue-ish Teal Men. Who knows how many more dudes in spandex there were, but I enjoyed the variety immensely because it can't be all Green Men, all the time.

The ladies love the hockey!!!

And how about those Road Canuck Fans...the sportscasters speculated about 4000 Orca clad Canuck fans surfaced in the tank and I could hear them singing Oh Canada...sweet!

After thoroughly enjoying  the Canuck wins in both Games One and Two (who doesn't like that 2-0 feeling in the postseason?), we now have a little adversity to face in this series: can goalie Roberto Luongo improve his Shark Tank win stat (he's 0-4 currently)? Who will shore up our fabulously blue line with Ehrhoff and Rome likely out? Will the officials continue to control the weather for both teams in this Motion in the Ocean of a series? How will the Canucks fare starting at noon in the ridiculously timed Game Four on Sunday? Will we see more shades of blue, teal and green spandex lurking around the Canucks Penalty Box??

Don Cherry Suit Watch:  Jacket/Canucks Win Loss Stat

Well the tides are turning on the Suit Stat in this series... May 18th, Game Two: Cherry adorn in a subdued suit, yet the Canucks win (subdued look Canucks record is now 2-5)

May 20th, Game Three: Don sports that crazy, loud Edmonton Oiler third jersey inspired jacket and the Canucks lose (loud patterned Canucks record is now 8-2) 

Post Script: Duty calls, and I will have to miss Game Four, the first time in years that I've had to miss a Canucks playoff game. Go Canucks Go!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

OT: When was the Last Time You Saw One of These?

Before Game Two of the Sharks/Canucks series, I came across the above one dollar bill. I can't believe I didn't recognize what it was at first!

The Canadian one dollar bill was discontinued in 1989, so I'd call this a rare sighting. the last time the Vancouver Canucks were in the Western Conference Finals was 1994.

Here's to rare sightings :o)  Go Canucks GO!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don Cherry Suit/ Canucks Win/Loss Statistic: UPDATE!

Don Cherry's loud Pattern from May 15th Coach's Corner

The Vancouver Canucks are now 8-1 when Don Cherry wears a loud, patterned jacket on Hockey Night in Canada's Coach's Corner. The Canucks are 1-5 this playoffs when Cherry wears subdued one tone or one colour jackets.

What jacket will Grapes select on Wednesday  for Game Two of the Motion in the Ocean series featuring the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks?? Canucks lead the Western Conference Final series 1-0

For the full story on  the Don Cherry Suit Jacket/ Canucks win/loss statistic, please click here.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Report from Nashville: Game 6 and the Off-Season

Marie Meisel is a Nashville Predators season ticket holder and a guest contributor to Lisa's Lounge. Read along as she wraps up with the final Preds game this post season, and looks ahead to the summer...

by Marie Meisel

After the nail biter that was game 5, the Predators were welcomed Sunday May 8th by several hundred fans at the airport. It was great to see the guys smiling and enjoying their welcome home.

Monday was game night. Game 6, do or die time. We had our towels, we had our vocal cords and we had our passion for our team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and the Predators Magical Playoff ride ended in a 2-1 loss. We stayed for the traditional handshake and saluted our team with one last “Let’s Go Predators”.

It was sad to see the season end. No more trips to the arena, no more comparing notes with fellow fans between periods, no more overpriced concession stand pizza. All that was left was a round of hugs and wishes for a good summer to the various members of my hockey family.

But this playoff run was a huge step for the team and for us as a fan base. The team finally got over the first round hump. They took the best team in the regular season to 6 games, five of which were 1 goal games. Pred Nation finally received a measure of respect from many fans around the league for our passion and knowledge.

The Canuck fans who posted on our message board were respectful and appreciated our online version of southern hospitality. And many Canadians got to see what many of us already knew, hockey is alive and well in this part of Dixie. How about calling Nashville a new traditional market? We’ve borrowed a few traditions from other teams and put our own twist on them. We took Detroit’s octopus and made it our own by using a catfish. We have used the rally towel that Vancouver started. And we have our chants and the well known TV timeout standing ovation which are uniquely ours.

Now it is off season for the citizens of Pred Nation. We will enjoy the warmer weather. Get around to all those things that got neglected during the season. Get reacquainted with non hockey loving family members. For myself, I am in the process of buying my first home. I will be doing some traveling. I will catch up on my professional reading by going through the pile of nursing journals on my bedroom floor. I will drop by Lisa’s Lounge periodically to add columns on road trips and playing fantasy hockey. And perhaps even read a non hockey related book or two.

I will be checking various message boards though perhaps not as frequently. I will follow the playoffs as they progress towards the awarding the Stanley Cup. Good luck to Lisa’s Canucks. I will get together with my friend Robin to watch the NHL Awards show to check out the players all cleaned up. And see if any our guys: David Poile, Barry Trotz, Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne get an award.

Then the NHL Entry Draft in late June, though there is less excitement this year since we don’t have a first round pick. Wait to see what players are re-signed (especially our captain, Shea Weber) and who is let go. In July, there will be prospect camp. And as the calendar rolls around to August, training camp will start.

Until we meet again, in the words of Paul McCann our arena announcer...

Good night and good hockey!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Don Cherry Suit Win/ Loss Statistic

When Grapes goes loud...the Canucks win!!

by Lisa Ovens

After two rounds, the Canucks have played 13 games...8 wins 5 losses. Mixed into all of these playoff hockey memories? Visions of Don Cherry's suit jackets kept appearing in my minds eye. I started to see a pattern, and it wasn't plaid or pretty florals.

I went back through Coach's Corner archives to confirm what Don Cherry was wearing during the segments, and this is what I found...

Since the beginning of the Playoffs, The Canucks are 7-1 when Don Cherry sports a loud bold suit jacket during his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

When Grapes wears a more subdued suit jacket (only one tone or colour) …the Canucks are 1-5

Subdued suits and Canucks mostly lose

2nd round Predators/Canucks

Game Six win bold pattern
Game Five loss subdued/one colour
Game Four win subdued/one colour
Game Three win bold pattern
Game Two loss subdued/one colour
Game One win bold pattern

Wins:  Bold Jacket 3 subdued Jacket 1     Losses:  Bold jacket 0 subdued Jacket 2

Round one was a little different. Cherry didn’t start his Coach’s Corner segments until after the Canucks won Game One. However, even when Cherry’s segments were featured during the Habs/ Bruins series, they happened in between the Canucks/Blackhawks games and his choice of jacket still supports the win/loss pattern…

Game Seven win Bold bold pattern
Game Six loss ( the day after subdued suit)
Game Five loss subdued Easter look pink (one colour jacket)
Game Four loss subdued Easter look purple (one color jacket)
Game Three win  Bold
Game Two win   Bold   Checked jacket between Canuck wins
Game One win    Bold

Wins: Bold Jacket 4 subdued jacket 0  Losses:  Bold Jacket 0 subdued jacket 3

Right now the Canucks are playing game number 14, the first of a possible seven in the Western Conference Finals against the Sharks. The Sharks are leading 2-1 after the second period. Don Cherry's jacket for the evening? Green plaid.

So there you have it! GO PLAID GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Western Conference Final: Sharks/Canucks...the Motion in the Ocean!!!


by Lisa Ovens

That's right...


get your wetsuit on and batten down the hatches...

 It's the Motion in the Ocean series...

Big Sea Logos will be dukin' it out for Pacific Ocean Supremacy...Sharks vs. Orcas!

Well, the above paragraph was lifted from my first book, Hockey and High Heels. The first game diary of that book featured a regular season home opener between the Sharks and the that time (2002) I was pondering rivalries, and I didn't feel there was a huge rivalry between the two teams so I made up my own involving the logos. Nine years later, and these two teams are meeting for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's so magical :o)

Watching the players on the ice this series will be a blur filled with outlines of large, finned, predator sea creatures crashing up against each other in the corners, or coliding in the neutral zone for fearsome open ice hits. Not only that, it definitely will be cool blend of blue-y greens on the ice over the next week or so with all of that teal, kelly green and royal blue. Not a red symbol or logo in sight.

I do wonder how this series will rate on the dysfunction meter. I'm mean there are some pretty big suitcases packed with playoff dysfunction and misery on both sides of the baggage carousel here. The Sedin Twins lack of playoff domination through the first two rounds surely has been out-shined by the whole Patrick Marleau is a gutless player comment out of the mouth of  Jeremy Roenick. Thanks for that, Jeremy! The Canucks blew their 3 game series lead and then salvaged the victory in Game Seven OT. But that was way back in Round One. They've had another round to work out some bugs. The Sharks are fresh off blowing a 3 game series lead and then finally saving face in last night's game seven win over the Red Wings. It was only by one goal, and it just happened yesterday. And that's just this year! I'm not going to go back in time and look at the checkered playoff pasts of the Canucks and the Sharks. May the teams start over fresh in Game One on Sunday. Okay...the Canucks start fresh...the Shark;s may they hold a little dysfunction close to their hearts for the next week and a bit!

Happy Conference Finals, everybody!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Game Six: Canucks Advance, Predators also Advance...sort of

This Guy!!!
Canucks 2 Predators 1

Canucks win series 4-2

by Lisa Ovens

There will be no Game Seven. No Game Seven. Oh thank heaven, there will be no Game Seven! The Vancouver Canucks managed to finish off the Nashville Predators in six games, much to the pleasures of their fans. A little extra rest is something we were hoping for as we turn the corner into the last half of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That guy, Ryan Kesler deserves every bit of praise for the hard work he personally put into the Canucks second round victory over the Nashville Predators. And that'll happen in the playoffs: one player becomes possessed, and everyone look out. But we have to remember they are a team, and in order to take those 16 wins required, we can expect to see others pull off the extraordinary when it will be needed most. For example... Enter Jeff Tambellini. He hadn't been inserted into the line up until last night, his very first playoff game. His quick and efficient work interupting a Martin Erat breakaway surely had an impact on the outcome of the game. We could be singing an entirely different tune today had Erat scored.

And why do I say the Nashville Predators have "sort of advanced"? Well, finally in this round two, it became glaringly apparent that there is a living, breathing, passionate nation of hockey fans in Tennessee. The South. There must have been a few million Canadians tuning in last night and throughout this series featuring the last Canadian based team/city in the playoffs (many of them cheering against the Canucks I am sure) so the elitest hockey fans out there have to be aware of this by now. No one is allowed to say the people don't care about hockey in Nashville ever again.

Congratulations Canucks...we are in Western Conference Finals after all of these years :o)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The View from Smashville

by Marie Miesel
Lisa did a nice job summing up games 1 and 2 in Vancouver!

I do have a funny story about game 2 before moving on. I was on our message board chat room for game 5 against Anaheim. I was very frustrated and decided to turn the game off. As you all know the Preds tied it in the dying seconds of regulation and then won it in OT. A mojo/superstition was born. Prior game 2 in Vancouver, I had promised to log off if we were behind. With 9 minutes left, I logged off. And we tied it up in the last minute. I furtively followed the first OT. I came back to the chat room for the second OT and was able to enjoy the win with my fellow fans.

Games 3 and 4 were at our house on 5th and Broadway. The front office decided to go with a “Gold Out” theme. Bright yellow T-shirts and towels were on every seat. We supplied the noise. We are getting noticed for our vocal commentary on the game action. TSN, CBC and even a French language paper in Quebec have done stories on our fan base. Alas, the power of Gold was not enough. Game 3 was a 3-2 OT loss with the game winner scored on a controversial power play. It was also Ryan Kesler’s coming out party. He had 2 PPG including the game winner.

Game 4 the crowd came back with the same energy but again the Preds struggled offensively. We lost 4-2 with goal #4 an empty netter. Kesler drew another penalty. This time on Ryan Suter and proceeded to score the game winner on the PP. Heartbreak at the Bridge. I wanted to cry. I had intended to wish all my hockey buddies a good summer. But I didn’t. Perhaps part of me knew that just maybe we would get another home game.

Game 5 and Hockey Night in Canada. The biggest hockey stage outside the Olympics and World Jrs. Most Canucks fans were predicting an easy win. Time to get rid of those pesky, no talent Predators. I didn’t hold out much hope myself. The Canucks have been are a better team statistically and have outplayed the Predators for the most part. Pekka Rinne has been a major reason we have been able to stay in the previous 4 games. And there was Ryan Kesler, itching to make our defense look silly again. And he did. He had 2 goals in the game.

But as it happened against Anaheim, where Nick Spaling, Jerred Smithson and Matt Halischuk entered Predators lore, another unlikely hero stepped up. Joel Ward, a product of the Canadian University hockey system, scored 2 goals and played his heart out on defense. David Legwand also scored twice including once with a little help from Alex Elder. No offense Canucks fans, but fluky goals still count.

And we Preds fans know a little something about fluky playoff goals. First round 2009 playoffs, game 6 against Detroit. Nik Lidstrom shoots a puck from the neutral zone at the end of the period. It takes a funny bounce and pops right over Dan Ellis’s shoulder. That shot ended our hopes of getting past the Wings. First round 2010 playoffs, game 6 against Chicago. Brent Seabrook shoots the puck down the ice on a dump in; it deflects off Patrick Kane’s skate at the blue line and bounces in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another fluky goal in Game 6 Monday night. Though, I do hope it’s ours. 8-)

And now a word from the soapbox. The internet is a wonderful tool. Being able to post on hockey message boards, meet other fans and discuss hockey with a wide audience is great. Sadly, it is also a vehicle for the petty, mean spirited and downright ignorant to inflict their views on the general populace.

 Our moderators have been very busy editing and banning “trolls” who seem to have no purpose other than to stir up trouble and act like fools. I’m sure the Canucks moderators have had to do the same. Participate in a discussion but don’t descend into name calling and other childish behavior. Hockey fans are the best fans in the world. Let’s show a little class and treat opposing fans with some common courtesy.

Tomorrow night is another home game. Hard to believe we are still playing. Another chance for the Preds and their fans to stand together. Win or lose, I am proud to be a citizen of Smashville.

May we have a good, clean game.

Canucks/Predators and Game Six

Thw Wondertwins need to activate their powers, big time!

Canucks lead series 3-2

By Lisa Ovens

Remember,  way back on Thursday April 28th, when many pundits and fans wrote off this series as a boring one to watch? Boring has been far from it. Well at least since Game Three in Nashville. Although the Canucks took games three and four, I felt the Nashville fans took those games over the Canuck fans, too. If people still think hockey in Nashville hasn't arrived yet, well, I just don't know what else to tell them anymore. The spirit of hockey is alive and well in Music City, and that is almost as much of a story as the ones being written on the ice.

The Canucks should be very thankful for the play of Ryan Kesler throughout this series. He's been seriously bringin' it each and every game. On the other side, Preds goalie Pekke Rinne has been the star, even when the Preds lose.

So the series returned to Rogers Arena with the Predators down 3-1 and on the cusp of elimination. Game Five in Vancouver Saturday night delivered Canuck fans to a very familiar place: witnessing their team lose the game, feeling disappointed, concerned and wondering: how come the team can't get it done on the first try?

Losing 4-3 Saturday night was a reminder of Game Six in series one. Although the team played well that night, they just didn't win the game over the Blackhawks. And here we are again, this time with the Predators climbing back into a series the Canucks could have nipped in the bud.

Considering the overall lack of performance out of the Sedin Twins in these playoffs, we have to think the Canucks have gotten used to finding ways to win without them. If Daniel and Henrik do manage to make some major noise in Game Six tomorrow night, we can only consider that icing on the cake providing Kesler, Burrows, Higgins and Luongo keep up their game.

And, if the Canucks lose again, we have another little demon to deal with: Game Seven takes place back in Vancouver on May 11th: the very date the Canucks were eliminated in both the 2010 and 2009 Playoffs...yikes!

Go Nucks!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Predators/Canucks Games One and Two: Splitsville in Vancouver

photo by Andrew lavigne

Game One Canucks 1 Predators 0
Game Two Predators 2 Canucks 1 (Double OT)

Series tied 1-1

by Lisa Ovens

Many assumed the Canucks would lose Game One after the thrilling and exhausting first round series against the Blackhawks, and then righting the ship to take Game Two. Well, the exact opposite happened. The Canucks shut out the Preds in front of a mild crowd last Thursday evening. That was the night I came up with a new nickname for Preds netminder: The Thud. Pekka “The Thud” Rinne. That’s for the loud thud heard every time Canuck rubber bounces off the sturdy goal tender. But it would be Roberto Luongo earning the shut that night.

Two nights later, it seemed the very same game carried over into Game Two. A match that was more about goal tending than scoring.

Canucks captain, Henrik Sedin is stuck in a scoring slump, along with forward, Ryan Kesler. We can only hope these two can pull out some offense in Nashville for Games Three and Four: they’re going need it in order to quiet the spirited Nashville crowd.

But getting back to game two…seeing Round One catch up to my home team was something that was bound to happen. But, as the long game moved along, they did come alive, but didn’t get the break needed to end the game. Dang…five periods of play and someone’s going to go home angry. May the anger inspire more scoring!!!

For the Canucks and Preds series, I think we’ll be waiting for a turning point that opens the series up. Find those reasons to dislike the opponents. But until that happens, we’ll have to be content with a slower built up.

Here's to slow cookin' playoff hockey :o)

Did you see...
Blonde Jazz diva, Diana Krall at Saturday night's game? Kind of makes ya think about another Blond Diva in the Country Music scene hanging out at the Preds games...Carrie Underwood (wife to Mike Fisher). Do I smell a new rivalry cooking between Jazz and Country? BC's Krall takes on  Nashville's Underwood...Krall sits in the stands and that's pretty cool, but if I am not mistaken, every shot I've seen of Underwood, she's up in a suite somewhere. Rivalries gotta start somewhere....
Go Nucks...Go Krall!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Business of Fandom: The Green Men of Vancouver

photo from the Official Green Men website

By Lisa Ovens

If the Canucks/Predators series isn’t floating your boat, there have been a few off-ice stories that might be of interest.

Well known, green spandex wearing, Vancouver hockey fans, the Green Men have a new adjective to tag onto their press releases, and that adjective is "controversial". The Green Men have appeared in the news three times this last week, and unfortunately it wasn't all about the fun and games the Green Men are known for.

Earlier this week, a Honda dealership found itself in the sites of NHL legal counsel after it was discovered the Vancouver Canucks stick and rink logo and the words “Go Canucks Go” were emblazoned prominently on the front window. The Green Men were also mentioned in the article as another auto dealer in the same group had enlisted the super fans to appear at a fundraising promotion, bringing up a potential issue with Green Men associations. (Vancouver Sun story here)

Also this week: Green Men were initially blamed for affecting the early morning commute at the Massey Tunnel (already a traffic jam to begin with) as two spandex clad fans “entertained” from the road side. It was discovered these two were imposter Green Men enlisted by some attention seeking pub in the suburbs.

Saturday it was rumored the Nashville Predators lodged a complaint against the Green Men (a rumor the Preds have denied, see story here). The Green Men, who attended Saturday night’s game, did divulge they received notice indirectly from the National Hockey League that they could no longer touch the penalty box glass when attending games. The penalty box camera angle had been adjusted to cut out most of the view of the Green Men, and even a security guard was seen sitting in the box, next to the glass separating the box from the Green Men.

So if you are the Green Men, you might ask yourself “is this all worth it?” Well, apparently it would be as the duo is working at monetizing their celebrity. They have a line of “Green Men” gear. Below is the Green Men Jersey, selling at $64.99 (with $9.99 going to charity). Plus they have logo’d T-shirts going for $30.00. You can book the Green Men for personal appearances. Their site also displays a banner ad for a company that sells the very spandex suits the duo wear.

for more green men gear, click here!

On April 26th, 2011, The Green Men tweeted “Heading to the game in style... Royal Limo giving us a lift, some Batchelor Plan girls along for the ride. See you soon Vancouver!”

So it’s not just the Vancouver Canucks and the NHL looking out for their business and their partners, it appears the Green Men have a stake of their own/ business relationships to nurture.

In the beginning, it was all very much innocent and organic with the Green Men. Coming alive one night at mid- winter regular season game vs. the Nashville Predators a few seasons ago, giving fans at the game and at home something to laugh about. Now they are testing the entrepreneurial waters, enjoying some trappings of their celebrity, and taking shots from the NHL and HNIC analyst, Glen Healy along the way.

After such a news worthy week, many fans are now speaking out in support of the Green Men. Though there are the critics out there as well. Personally, I am going to side with the people who own Rogers Arena as they have every right to dictate what is acceptable behaviour for the guests in their building. And those owners are also part of the National Hockey League, and ultimately it is their hockey show that comes first and foremost.

I know if I were sitting behind the Green Men, paying those steep club seat prices, their schtick would get pretty old, pretty fast, and I'd want them to get out of my view of the ice. Simple as that.

The Green Men have collected 82,000 “likes” on their facebook fanpage and have 7,700 followers on twitter.

Green Men Official Website