VANCOUVER (CBS) -You can definitely feel the passion that the city of Vancouver has for the Stanley Cup Finals. My photographer Bryan Foley and I arrived here Tuesday afternoon. You could see cars and trucks driving by us with their Canucks flags blowing in the wind.
At Rogers Arena people are walking around in Canucks gear just like Bruins fans are doing around the Garden.
The one thing you can easily see is how this event is no problem as far as handling the crowds, traffic, etc. After all, this beautiful city hosted the Olympics in 2010.
What has struck me so far is: 1) just how nice people are here 2) how much passion they have for the Canucks and 3) how similar Canucks fans are to Bruins and Red Sox fans.
The Canucks have been here for 40 years and have never won a Stanley Cup. They were in the Cup Finals in 1982 and 1994 and that’s been it. They expect to lose. They are giddy that their team is here, make no mistake about that, but they are somewhat surprised. However, there is no anger that goes with all the losing. They love their Canucks. They sell out games. They treat the players like Gods, as do all the Canadien fans. It’s fun to watch.
The morning shows are all Canucks all the time with one show forming a street hockey game behind them as they were live. That station also had Milan Lucic’s mom on. She talked, smiled, and acted just like him on camera. It was fun to watch a proud mother. She also said something along the lines of if Vancouver wants to see the Stanley Cup they can come by their house in the summer! Ha! Take that Canuck fans.
As for the game itself, I think everyone is relieved it’s finally here.
Game 1 starts at 5 o’clock local time here in Vancouver. Apparently, they have moved up the city’s afternoon commute a few hours…as in changing the traffic light pattern….so everyone can get home or to the bars in time for the opening face-off. They are also expecting the city to be a ghost town once they drop the puck. How cool is that?
Can the Bruins win this series? Absolutely. I did pick Vancouver in 7 games, but I would love to see the Bruins win because of how good a group of guys they are.
The Canucks have plenty of skill, especially with the Sedin twins up front. The Bruins counter with Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas. Makes for a great match-up. I do think it’s a coin toss as to who can win.
I do think that if the Bruins can steal Game 1 or 2 they would be in great shape heading back to Boston.
Let’s hope so. I would love to see a long series.
It’s what playoff hockey is all about.