Hockey fever

When the puck dropped Wednesday night for the first game between Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Black Hawks, I was torn.

I’ve been a Black Hawks fan for 53 years. Yes, since 1958 when I was forced to endure Hockey Night in Canada at my aunt and uncle’s in Toronto. They were decidedly Toronto fans.

But I’m also a British Columbian and the Canucks are our team.

Even for those who are not regular hockey fans, the playoffs seem to draw out the competitive spirit. Media is all over the Canucks chances to win the Stanley Cup but for many, just taking this battle would be triumph they can savour for years to come.

After all, Chicago shut the Canucks down in first round play two years in a row.

And it’s on everyone’s lips, this is the Canucks year to take it all.

Global TV interviewed a pint-sized pundit (seemed to be about 8 or 9 years old) who not only knew all the players on all the teams, but predicted their chances and called the outcome of each series as he sees it. This tiny little man in an oversized Canucks jersey called the Vancouver/Chicago series with Canucks taking it in five games.

An interview on CBC with two American Canucks fans living in Chicago was hilarious. One man said both he and his wife have Sedin jerseys – He’s Henrik and his wife is Daniel.

Talk about galvanizing a province! Politicians take note. When questioned on the streets of Vancouver, some fans suggested the Canucks could fix the recession.

With so many hopes resting on a team which has a dismal playoff record, it’s hard to imagine this time they’ll actually go the distance.

But should they, I’ll be right in there cheering for B.C.’s boys. Maybe then we can rest on our laurels for a few years.

So grab your towel, wave it proudly, sit back and enjoy the show, because that’s what hockey is, a big, high-priced extravaganza. But what a show!