What it’s really like: Live NHL game

Fin, the Canucks mascot, chomps on a Red Wings fan. PHOTO BY KEVIN WALLACE

Jessica Wallace– Arts & Entertainment Editor:

Busy sky trains, packed lines, a sea of jerseys to get lost in, and scalpers on every corner; the experience can be a little overwhelming.  I had the good fortune to be taken to a Vancouver Canucks game versus the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Jan. 8, and although they lost, it was the most fun you could have with your clothes on.

If you’ve been to a Kamloops Blazers game or watched an NHL game on television, you still haven’t fully experienced Canada’s favourite pastime: hockey.

Sure, you may get the comfort of your couch, the access to your refrigerator, or the service of a waitress when watching it on television, but it’s just not the same as being there live.

During the warm up no one cares if you go right down to the glass and experience the force of the puck sailing so close to your face as the players fire off shots.  For those who aren’t seated close, this is a great opportunity to check out the view.

Seeing the players in the flesh made them seem so human.  Getting the perspective of their size made them seem more real.  It made me feel guilty for always screaming at the television “bash him!”  Apparently they are people who can feel pain – who knew?

We were seated in the top bowl in a non-drinking section.

The people in the nosebleeds are the really dedicated fans, the face-painted fans, the throw-your-popcorn-at-the-Detroit-fans fans.  They don’t care about where they’re sitting; they just want to be in on the action.  And they appreciate being in on it.

As for the non-drinking section, people aren’t allowed to bring drinks to their seats.  This inevitably causes fans to pound back as many beers as is possible during the intermissions before heading back to their seats drunker than any drinking-section fan.

When the Canucks have been sold-out since 2002, you’re not picky as to where you sit.  You have to sometimes work with what’s available.

The national anthems collected participation by all.  And every shot on net got “oh’s, awe’s”, and “boos”.

“Looooooouu…” was heard regularly for the expensive goalie Roberto Luongo.

You don’t know the people sitting beside you, but they become your friends for a few hours.

In my section, a Detroit fan continually stood up and cheered at the wrong time.  Eventually, he was escorted out of our section by security.

Was this because he was a little too rowdy or because he was wearing a red jersey?  I feel like I was much rowdier and never got kicked out.

Fin, the Canucks orca mascot, backed up the security by chomping on the heads of any opponent fans with his cloth fangs.

At commercial breaks, attractive people skated onto the ice to shovel off the ice-shavings.

One of the biggest noticeable differences was that you didn’t have the commentator telling you what you were watching.  The crowd has it covered though.

You wouldn’t need to pay attention to know what’s happening, you can just listen to the fans rioting and feel the momentum.  This was the best part of the live game – the energy level.  A camaraderie exists between the fans.  No wonder business people bring clients to live sports games.

If you can find a ticket, I recommend checking out the live action.

One Response

  1. Teresa Jan. 25, 2011