Tuesday, 5 February 2013

NHL at Rogers Arena... we're true Canadians now!

Welcome back, friends and relatives. The old schedule has been go!go!go!hut!hut!hut! this week and last, with work, study and the odd social engagement. Also, Matthew and I are plummeting towards this Friday in a panic, at which time we DEPART FOR AUSTRALIA for a whirlwind under-the-radar visit to our old and beloved Melbourne.

Phew. Glad to have that off my chest.

On with the recap: Wednesday Night at the NHL (ice hockey).

Matthew's work has a weekly draw for free NHL tickets (and also minor league, last year we went to the Giants a couple of times). Matthew was not so lucky last season, and then this season (usually starts in October but because of Lockout, only started in January) he had pretty much given up hope. But that just made the win even sweeter. NHL tickets are around the one-hundred-dollar mark, so we were suuuuper grateful.

We met after his work and bussed into town, and then walked from Granville Street to Rogers Arena. The evening was really foggy, but not too cold. It was comforting to be part of an ever-increasing crowd of jersey-wearing people walking towards the stadium, kind of like a march.

Photo from Matthew's work, but an indication of the extreme fog Vancouver has been under recently
We got there in good time, but then we needed a burger. While waiting in line at The White Spot (I understand this is a Canadian Institution) I spotted Alison from book club (fellow Aussie lass) and her own husband Matthew, but I couldn't get their attention in the crowded noise. I did facebook her later in the game, much to her surprise.

...We missed The Puck Drop. Making this the third out of three games at which we have missed this important starting event. Sorry Matthew.


As you can see, Matthew was appropriately attired in his Canucks tuque (pronounced 'tooook', rhymes with spook, the Canadian word for beanie).

The Canucks were playing the Colorado Avalanches. Canucks thrashed Avalanches, 3 to nothing. It was a tense game, because it started with a hearty punch-up. If you have not been to an ice hockey game, you won't know that fighting on the ice is actively encouraged by the referees. They step back and give the fighters all the space they might desire. The crowd is not as excited by this as you would expect. Yes, there was yelling, but people did not seem too appalled or invested. I guess it was only about a 2 on a scale of 1 to Total Carnage. After the players have punched each other a bit, then the refs pull them apart and award penalties, usually pretty light, for example, 7 minutes off the ice or something.

Also, funny story: one of the Canadians manfully shot a goal... and the crowd started seriously booing! Matthew and I were like, 'why aren't we cheering?' It was only much later after the game that we understood the shooter was Robert Luongo. The crowd was actually shouting 'LUUUUUU'.

Anyway, Matthew and I are pleased to have experienced our first proper pro hockey match together (Matthew already saw one when he went to Calgary in 2009). And we were so impressed that we are going again with our friends Martina and Stuart for Matthew's birthday in a couple of weeks!

I still owe this blog a couple of birthday pictures. I will try to post them before I turn 30.

Wish us luck on our travels this week, see you on the other side of the world. xoxo


  1. For all you NHL fans out there, Luongo is the Canucks goalie, the same goalie who lost 'us' the Semi Finals last year, hence the (what we thought to be) 'booing'. Turns out it was just 'Luuuuu' every time he saved a goal. Where's the drama in that??

    1. Thank you, Matthew. I'm glad one of us remembers correctly. *wince*