Black Ice Issue #3 — How I spent the season opener

… or How either technology failed me or I failed technology

The short answer is work. I spent the season opener of the 2008-2009 Vancouver Canucks at working. Normally this is no problem, I just listen to the game on the radio. Since I have made a commitment to write a blog for all 82 game this year I figured I could at least watch the first one. Well is worked out, sort of.

CBC — that ubiquitous public broadcaster — plays Hockey Night In Canada on their website. This is a great option, but my Mac at work won’t let me load some of the plugins so the reception is pretty shitty. I caught most of the first period, but the play-by-play was so bad I switched to Team 1040 for the second stanza. In the third period I biked down to Pat’s Pub on my break. Unfortunately there was a terrible band playing Rancid covers so I watched the rest of the game in silence (arguably). To recap: I barely watched and mostly listened to the first period. I listened to but did not watch the second period. And I watched but did not listen to the third. Stupid, but my cross to bear, considering I could have asked for the night off in advance.

Nonetheless I am delighted with the outcome. Canucks win. Joe happy. Usually when I drink at Pat’s I wait for people to go smoke and then I steal beer from their unguarded pitchers. Cheap beer even cheaper. Tonight I was content merely to sit and watch abstemiously; immersed in victory.

The highlight of the game was watching the Sedins, fully actualized with new Canuck Steve Bernier. It’s hard to forget that just four months ago the Sedin’s were still looking for a regular linemate after seven seasons in Vancouver. The first major change from the Quinn/Burke/Nonis era is that nostalgic, Mike Gillis is not. He let go of many stalwart from that era and has ushered in a new ideology: bold moves! He also inherited a pretty good hockey team. This was apparent tonight when the top players were Daniel Sedin (3 points), Alex Burrows (2 goals) and Roberto Luongo (25 saves, 0.00 GAA) all leftovers from Nonis and Co.

The problem with the Quinn regime (and consequently the heavy hearted Canuck fanbase) was the failure to let go of the past. Remember ’94 we would say? Remember Pavel Bure we would moan? Remember the Westcoast Express we would labour? Remember would always precede the inevitable if onlys. If only there wasn’t that fuckin goal post blocking Linden’s tying goal in game seven we would say in agony. If only Bure wasn’t the only superstar on the team during the 90’s. If only Dan Cloutier didn’t suck. For every good thing this team has ever had there are ten excuses for why we never win.

Mike Gillis seems to have done away with lamentable facets from the past (Naslund, Morrison etc.). He has hinted there could be further moves to shore up offense. The performance tonight (not to mention the preseason) is proof that many of Gillis’ tactics could paid off. Sundin who? We Canucks faithful add, with a dash of scoffing glee. I wonder how long it will take before the if onlys start up again.

Next up — Calgary

Dave Comment:

Great beer tip! Not for the squeasmish though
Those non-smoking laws enable a great way to “share” beer ;-). Make sure you are up to date on your shots before sharing though. As for good pubs to watch the game at, … the choices seem to be be cheesy “chachie” kinda places or divey bars with crappy tvs and other noise. Perhaps we need a game-watching pub guide column on the site?

Joe Comments:
thats a great idea.

thats a great idea. especially for someone like me. i like pat’s especially on sunday because its pretty empty. also the dover arm’s is pretty good. not too many dorks. its hard to find a bar in this town without serious ‘douche’ tendencies.
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