The Canucks Fever

Hi there, it’s me again.

Today, I am not going to complain about stress or finances or thesis or life in general. I am not even going to try to be a zen master like my last post.

Why?

The spirits of hockey fans can be felt everywhere in the city. The statue of Lord Stanley at the Stanley Park is decorated in Canucks wears.

Because I don’t need to. Vancouver’s got Canucks, and Canucks won against Bruins last night in one of its seven Stanley Cup finals, after brutally getting beat by the Bruins two games in a row — for those non-hockey fans, it means Canucks (Vancouver’s hockey team) have a chance of winning the Stanley Cup this year, and that they’re looking good!

Now, I must confess that I didn’t start watching hockey until only a couple of weeks ago. Whenever hockey was on TV and I happen to be flipping through TV channels for some reason, I thought to myself “What a strange game. All they do is run into each other and fight!” But with the encouragement of my labmates, and partially my supervisor, who told me that talking about my research on a date is a big no no, and there are more normal things (such as hockey, or weather) people usually talk about when they first meet strangers, I reluctantly went to my labmate’s place to watch hockey for the first time.

To be accurate, this was the first Vancouver vs. Bruins game (first game of the finals this season), which was a home game (i.e., it took place in Vancouver), and we won (Muhahaha! epic!). As the first hockey game that I watched in full, my friends explained to me the rules and the lingos of the game. I had my doubts about whether the game would be interesting enough. So I had my laptop open during the game, so that if I got bored, I could conveniently ignore the TV and get some work done — however, this never happened.

Now, I am kinda hooked.

I feel very much sympatico with the entire city of Vancouver (and to a greater extent, the entire nation). Regardless of your colour, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, height, and whatever other things people use to distinguish themselves from one another, this season’s Stanley Cup finals is crossing all of those boundaries and connecting people.

Even the Girl in Wetsuit piece at Stanley Park is celebrating the game.

I didn’t really know that such a strong sense of unity existed among the citizens of Vancouver (a.k.a., Vancouverites). I noted that certain parts of city are more populated with good Korean foods, certain other by epic Chinese cuisine, and yet another by Vietnamese noodles and fusion style sushi.

But on a hockey night, such as last night, it really didn’t matter which part of the city you were in. A bit after the game started, the streets of Vancouver everywhere were empty. Most people were cheering on wholeheartedly in downtown, or restaurants/bars with big TVs. There’s certain places downtown where thousands and thousands of people come together to watch the game projected on an outdoor screen (see pic). Even the Point Grill, the restaurant at the Marine Drive (MD) residences, was filled with people watching hockey.

Having arrived on campus quite a bit late after coming back from the CARIS lab’s annual lab retreat, I ended up catching the last bits of the game at a TV-equipped laundry room in MD. But who cares. I saw how the Canucks (who were winning the game by 1:0) totally took the puck away from the Bruins and sent it back to where it belongs, until the very last second where we were sure it was a win.

More than the score itself, the team’s evidence of desperate desire to win the Stanley Cup, the certainty that we can win the home game for Vancouverlites ( and the rest of Canada) was unmistakable. For those of you who are going to be joining us at UBC from another part of the world, I encourage you to enjoy the fever, the pride, and the joy of hockey night in Canada. And I bet you this joy will last for a very long time if we win the Stanley Cup this time (which will be the first time in 17 years? Canada wins the Cup, I believe).

Now I’m totally energized to work, and win the long battle against the daunting task of wrapping up my thesis project.

Thank you, Canucks. You, are awesome.

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