Connect with us

Cold Hard Rants

Quieter than the Loudest Church Mouse

As all of our avid and loyal readers are undoubtedly well aware, earlier this week Illegal Curve conducted its first ever (two actually) Illegal Curve interactive live blogs. (Transcripts of both can be found here and here.) As the driving force behind these live blogs, I was availed the opportunity to watch the games with a bit more of a closer eye than I usually watch. (I admit, I can be swayed to not give the games my undivided attention, especially if an extra appealing facebook profile turns out to be “open”.) However, as I was live-blogging Saturday’s duo of games (Pittsburgh at Washington, and Chicago at Vancouver), I was forced to put aside my Facebook profile stalking/viewing and instead focused wholeheartedly on the hockey unfolding before my eyes in glorious HD.

It was while watching these games, that I came upon my glorious, eureka!, moment of these Stanley Cup Playoffs, that being specifically that the crowd at Vancouver Canucks games is woeful, and shamefully quiet.

Beginning my viewing day while watching the Capitals-Penguins game, I was struck by, and admittedly amazed by how energetic, loud and “into” the game the crowd was. I believe that some of the excitement I felt while watching the game, was enhanced by the fact the entire crowd was wearing red (probably due to some sort of T-shirt promotional give-away update: Thanks to readers CapsGirlVA and waterzooi, who pointed out I was incorrect in assuming that the colour co-ordination was thanks to a promotional give away. As always the lesson is I am an asshole when I assume. Carry on accordingly.) Despite the artificiality of having to hand out red shirts in order to get the entire crowd in the same colour, the crowd was an undeniable asset to the Capitals, providing them with an excellent boost that a home town crowd should provide to their warriors. (As an aside, kudos to the Calgary Flames fans who undoubtedly have the largest contingent of fans who pay for their team’s jersey. While they may not all be in the same colour, I am continually amazed at how many flames fans wear the flaming horse to the Saddledome.)

In the night cap, I was expecting, simply, for the Canucks and their fans to bring it. While I leave the analysis of the play on the ice to those better equipped to handle such detailed analysis, I was off-put by the reaction the Canucks fans displayed. I have heard rumours and innuendo to the fact that Canucks fans were bandwagon fans of the worst variety, and I must say that nothing I witnessed and heard on Saturday night did anything to dispel that notion. Despite jumping out to an early lead versus the Blackhawks, putting them on the ropes where one more goal may have ended the game early on, the crowd failed to continue and build on the momentum initially provided by the Canucks. Not only that, but the apprehensiveness I detected in the crowd, may have contributed to the Canucks falling apart, and playing instead like they were the ones facing the deficit and not the ones holding the advantage.

In the playoffs, it is imperative that everyone step up their game. Goalies cannot get away with giving up a soft goal in the playoffs like they can in the regular season. Defenseman have to be more weary about joining the offensive rush, lest that leave them vulnerable on the back end. The fore-checking and back-checking of forwards has to be more tenacious, aggressive and committed. The same is true for fans. This isn’t Tuesday night in February versus Atlanta, when a crowd can be forgiven for keeping quiet and preferring to watch paint dry (shout out Thrashers fans!) This is the time when the crowd must provide an extra boost, giving an adrenaline shot to the players whose legs may be extra weary from an overly long season, and many playoff games in few nights. This is the time for the crowd to rise as one and be the sixth man. This is the time for the crowd to be the difference. The Vancouver Canucks fans should be embarrassed by their half-hearted effort, much like the players should be for letting their lead dissipate with minimal resistance. In short, this is the time for the Canucks fans to emulate the fans of their supposed farm team in Winnipeg, and their dear, departed Jets. Copy the white out, Canucks fans, lord knows Phoenix won’t ever, or hasn’t ever used it properly. Now is the time for you to prove your worth. Otherwise, game five may be your last hurrah this year.

For Illegal Curve, I am Drew Mindell.

Please join the discussion below. Your comments are always welcome. Please be aware that Cold Hard Rants, effective immediately, is moving to its new time slot of Tuesday afternoons.

Remember to listen to the Illegal radio show every Wednesday night on 92.9 KICK FM in Winnipeg or by clicking the Illegal Curve Radio link in the top right corner.

Papers Update:

2 charged after fight in crowd at Winnipeg Jets game leaves man bloodied at bottom of stairs.

Papers Update:

Scheifele back to being a game-changer for Jets.

Almost a new month and in December we will have another 16 chances for you to win authentic Jets jerseys, hats shirts...and we may be adding tickets to Jets games...

Only way you can win is by entering the Illegal Curve contest.

Load More

Subscribe to Podcast