Photo: Another Canucks fan laments what happened in the playoffs, and ponders on the future of this summer, now that he suddenly has so much free time.
A little over 24 hours ago, I was full of nervous anticipation as my family and I sat in front of the TV and watched the Vancouver Canucks (attempt to) defend their pursuit of the Stanley Cup. It was Game 5. This would be the second time Vancouver was facing elimination, but there is always a glimmer of hope. Throughout the game, someone would leave saying, “I can’t watch!” We all did our part. We repeated everything we did last game, hoping to tip the scales with luck. Through most of the game it seemed like it was working … up until the LA Kings scored the lone goal—like a stake in the heart of a vampire.
The buzzer rang and we all just looked at each other. Stunned. Then someone broke the silence with, “I can’t believe there’s no hockey? What are we going to do with all this time?” And they were right, this elimination was 54 days earlier than last year.
I tried to console myself by saying, “This might be a most productive summer.” I keep saying that to myself. Yet like many Vancouver Canucks fans, I am still sad. To help lighten the mood, I recruited Rudy Chung, the biggest Canucks fan I know, to share some ideas of how to take advantage of the moment and keep your glass looking half full.
Top Ten Things to Do with All Your Extra Time
(Now that the Vancouver Canucks are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs)
by Rudy Chung
10. Fill your emptiness with a sense of accomplishment
Clean the BBQ grill. Sort the mountain of plastic containers in your pantry. Imagine how much time and frustration you’ll save if you matched all the lids with the containers. How about converting your Eighties dance mix tapes to CD? Hey, get ambitious, rebuild them as playlists in iTunes.
9. Get rid of the tax-guilt
Work on your income tax return and file on time this April … for once. Apparently it CAN be done!
8. Get caught up
Re-introduce yourself to all the other activities you always say you’d do before the summer, like getting back in the gym, finally updating your LinkedIn profile, reading those magazines and bookmarked website articles that have been piling up in the “I’ll read this later” file.
7. Rebuild those neglected relationships
Re-introduce yourself to your partner, kids, family, church/mosque/temple and community in general—they may have forgotten who you are or what your name is, so remember to wear a “HELLO MY NAME IS ….” name tag.
6. Update your personal brand
Go to the kitchen and invent a new cocktail. Everyone should have a signature cocktail to serve at all the upcoming (non-hockey-related) get-togethers. Better yet, invent some new Canucks-inspired cocktails. How about “The Kassian”? Lots of anticipation at first, but once it’s on ice, it fizzles. Maybe try “The Tragically Hip” in honour of ol’ Kesler? Bitter to the taste, bold splash (or maybe it was a dive). Or perhaps “The Raymond”—this drink comes at you fast, but falls down at the end.
5. Get financially sound
Return all the beer empties you’ve accumulated while watching 82 regular season games, and cancel your HD sports channel subscription until the regular season starts up again in the fall. With the money you will save, you could probably buy yourself a nice new Canucks jersey for next year!
4. Cheer Canada!
Show your Canadian patriotism, and root for the Ottawa Senators, the last Canadian team left in the Playoffs!
3. Show some love (not!)
Root for Chicago, L.A. and of course, Boston, in the second round of the Playoffs …. to LOSE! It feels just as good to watch these teams lose, as it feels when the Canucks win. Trust me. (Chicago was just eliminated today. See, I told you so!)
2. Do some Canuck-inspired baking in the kitchen
Booth Doughnuts (as in zero), Kassian Cream Puffs, Salo Peanut Brittle, Raymond Souffles (falling at the slightest touch, will fall even when no one touches him) and our favourite, Edler (pick your fruit) Turnovers.
1. Spend more time drawing
Dig out those markers and draw up a map to show the Canucks how to find the slot and where to find the back of the net.
Bonus: Watch some classic Canucks playoff games on Canucks.nhl.com and immerse yourself in the beauty and splendour of last year’s amazing Stanley Cup Final run—it will ease the pain (just avoid watching Game 7 of the Finals ). And boy, it sure feels good to see Burrows score the Game 7 overtime winner versus (the hated) Blackhawks, over and over … and over again on your PVR, and listening to John Shorthouse’s radio call:
“They’ve slayed the dragon!!!”
Or Jim Hughson’s CBC Hockey Night in Canada TV call:
“For Vancouver, it’s a wonderful day for an exorcism. Exhale Vancouver—you’re off to the second round!”
Mmmmm. Glory days. Glory days.