By Kelsey Verboom
Nothing has more patriotic power than a Canadian team making it to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
In a country as large as Canada, it takes a lot to bring together people from all of the provinces, but I’m convinced the NHL playoffs help unite Canucks — and not just the Vancouver kind — from coast to coast.
I’m no hockey buff, but I do enjoy sitting with friends and watching a game, especially the playoffs. Even if you don’t own a jersey or know all the intricacies of the sport, the excitement and the screaming (or crying) fans have a certain pull, and can’t help but leave you feeling emotionally invested in the whole spectacle.
I was on Vancouver Island this past week, and watched two of the Vancouver/San Jose games from pubs filled with jersey-sporting mega-fans. On Tuesday, May 24th, I was flying home during the game that sealed Vancouver’s spot in their first Stanley Cup Final in 17 years. In the airport lounge, strangers were chatting with each other about the game, and the airplane I was on erupted with cheers when Vancouver scored the first goal during the first period. At the Calgary airport, most of the flight’s passengers huddled around a TV near the baggage carousel while their luggage twirled around the conveyor belt, forgotten.
Granted, I was deep in the Canuck fan-zone, but turning to face other cheering fans, and seeing the mass of people on TV who congregated in downtown Vancouver, I felt a surge of patriotic pride I haven’t experienced since the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
I don’t know what it is about hockey, but the flying pucks, tricky skate work, heavy checks, and sheer power of the sport bring us crazy Canadians together in a way unmatched by anything else I can think of.
So even if you’re not a Canuck fan during the regular season, set aside your other foam fingers and fanfare in the name of national pride and cheer on the only Canadian team in the finals. Go Canucks go!