So way, way back in the old timey days of the NHL pre-season, a young Jake Virtanen caught my eye, mostly because he was wearing jersey #27, which is *my* jersey number1 and then I Googled him and not only is he a hottie, but he was born in New Westminster! So clearly, I thought, he should be my favourite Canuck this year, given that my last year’s favourite Canuck, the then-#27 Shawn Matthias, signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Leafs in the off season, as the Canucks did not re-sign him. But then the regular season started and Jake switched jerseys numbers to 18 and I got busy with teaching and promptly forgot about my need to choose a new favourite Canuck for this year.
Ben Hutton during a pre-game warmup on Oct 22, 2015
Anyhoo, I’m watching the Canucks game tonight and I noticed that someone is, in fact, wearing number 27. Turns out it’s Ben Hutton, another kid in his first year on the Canucks. A quick Google search demonstrates that he’s also pretty easy on the eyes2
So now I’m trying to decide: should Jake, the New Westie, be my favourite Canuck this year, or Ben, #27? Or should I declare it a tie and say they are both my favourite Canucks this year?
The photo shown here doesn’t really show that, but there didn’t seem to be any photos online with a Creative Commons or similar type license that I could post that show his face. But if you are interested in his face, you can check him out here. [↩]
I’m wary of saying too much, because, like Erika & Paul, I’m afraid of saying/doing/not doing anything that could be a jinx right now. Instead, here are some photos from the celebrations downtown after last night’s game:
So, we all know that Boston Pizza has changed its name to Vancouver Pizza, the Boston Cream donut is now known as the Vancouver Cream donut and even the town of Boston Bar is going by the moniker Vancouver Bar.
But I think this one takes the cake – a teacher who changed her name from Miss Boston to Miss Vancouver:
The pressure began on Monday, May 30, when fourth graders at Quilchena elementary school learned of Boston Pizza’s temporary name change to “Vancouver Pizza” and thought Grade 7 teacher Catherine Boston ought to get rid of her now-hated surname, a painful reminder of the Canucks’ rivals, the Boston Bruins. (Source)
Many years ago, I read about a study in which the researchers measured the heart rate1of recreational hockey players. And I’ve always thought it would be fun to do a similar study on hockey *fans*. Going through the first three rounds of the playoffs and the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, I can tell you anecdotally that watching your beloved hockey team in playoff games is hella stressful2. But I am a scientist and we scientist types do not rely on anecdotal evidence. No, we need observable measurements! Thus, I have decided to conduct a little experiment. I – along with whomever I can convince to also partake – shall wear my heart rate monitor for Stanley Cup Finals games 3 and 43. I shall record my average and peak heart rates. And I shall report my findings here, in The Journal of NTBTWK. My recruitment strategy4 has already secured me one participant and I am now expanding my recruitment efforts to this here blog posting. So, here’s the ask:
Are you going to be watching games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final? Do you own a heart rate monitor and would you be willing to wear it during those games? If you answered “yes” to these questions, leave a message in the comments. Or email me. Or Facebook, tweet, DM, IM, text, call, or send me a message via telepathy5.
Also, if you know anyone else who might want to partake in this groundbreaking piece of research, let me know!
Things are crazy awesome in this city right now. Cars are covered in Vancouver Canucks flags. Every second person you pass on the street is wearing a Canucks jersey. On game days, the energy across the city is palpable! It’s like the Olympics all over again!
This is my lunch room at work:
After every win, the number of playoff games we’ve won – and the number of wins left until we hoist the Cup – are s updated on the whiteboard 1. Also, that photo doesn’t really do it justice. The Canucks posters go across the entire wall of the lunchroom.
Professionals are wearing Canuck jerseys to work:
Since we are facing the Boston Bruins in this Stanley Cup Final, “Boston Pizza” has been renamed “Vancouver Pizza”2:
I watched Game 1 on Wednesday with some friends at Coppertank on Broadway. And made some new friends, as the place we so crowded we had people from the group at the next table squished in at our table. And when I went to the bathroom at second period intermission, I came back to find some random in my chair! There were more people in there then you would believe could fit, all of whom sang the national anthem at top volume along with Mark Donnelly and there wasn’t a moment in the three hours that followed that wasn’t filled with cheers, screams, gasps, hugs and many, many high fives! When the goal was finally scored in with 19 second left in the game, the place erupted, with every person jumping to their feet screaming (including my non-hockey watching friends who had come to hang out3! I jumped up so enthusiastically that my chair actually went flying backward, much to the delight of my new friend Annamay4!
Bring on game 2!
Image Credits: “Vancouver Cream” sign and donut both posted by Stephen Dyrgas on Flickr.
Similarly, afterevery win, my friend JB updates his Facebook status to indicate how many wins we have left. And I obsessively “like” those FB statuses! [↩]
The Shark Club did the same thing during the Western Conference finals against the San Jose Sharks – they changed their name to the “Vancouver Club” [↩]
My friend Larry said it was the first time in his entire life he’d ever cheered for a goal! [↩]
One of the people who ended up squished at our table with us [↩]
Updated on May 30, 2011: Because there is now a YouTube video to embed. And I have new things to say.
So the other day, Lisa Johnson1 from the CBC tweeted, “Hockey fans who watch in pubs: is your Canucks support playing havoc with a healthy lifestyle?” Naturally, being a fan of both hockey and the CBC2, I replied, “Yes! I don’t think I’ve ever drank so much beer and ate so many French fries in my life!” and “Also, I’m running a half marathon in June and my training is certainly suffering as there’s no time to fit in a run on game nights!” Because, seriously, these playoffs have turned me into a total beer consuming machine! Beer didn’t used to be my drink of choice, but something about these last few rounds has had me consuming beer like there is no tomorrow! Anyway, this Twitter exchange led to a few emails and an invitation to join Lisa and a few other for lunch at the Lennox!
The result: this awesome story, which aired on the CBC news on Friday night after the Boston-Tampa Bay game:
Note: To see the video, follow the link above and click on the play button on the image. Some people have mistaken it for just a photo rather than a video.
I think my favourite part of the whole story was Dennis’ description of what he eats during a typical playoff game.
As soon as the story ended, my phone exploded with calls, texts, emails, tweets and Facebook messages. Attention whoredom: achieved!
A few other things worth pointing out:
First, here is the answer to the question I received from a few people when I posted the link to this story on Twitter yesterday:
Next, and probably less interesting than the boob question, when I watched the story on the news that night, I was very thrilled with the open shot, yelling out “That’s my hand!!!”:
Also, I am pleased that I am forever immortalized by the CBC as “Beth Snow, Canucks Fan”:
And finally, I don’t have anything of import to say about this final screen shot, but I thought I looked good here!
Also, that beer was delicious.
Update on May 30, 2011: In addition to my phone exploding with calls/texts/emails on Friday night, apparently a lot of my coworkers watched the CBC News 3 because all day today long I was met with comments like “Hey! I saw you on the news!” and “Hello TV star!” and “Why didn’t they say *you* are a nutritionist??!!” And when I went to get my afternoon coffee at the little coffeeshop across the road from my office, the coffeeshop owner said, “You were on the news! I had it on the TV [points at the big TV]4 and I said, “That’s my customer!!”” Steve Buscemi’s doppelgänger, however, said nothing.
Coincidentally, Lisa moderated the panel of science bloggers that I was on at Northern Voice. Note to self: weren’t you going to blog about that? [↩]
And, admittedly, an attention whore. I figured this meant Lisa would be doing a story on this topic and replying was a good way of throwing my name in the hat! [↩]
I may or may not have sent an email to the entire office on Friday suggesting that they *should* watch the CBC News. But I digress. [↩]
The big flatscreen TV that he has put into the coffeeshop during the playoffs and which only shows sports, I might add [↩]
In addition to PowerGels, I’ve now added Sharkies – fruit chew thingys that are shaped like sharks – to my half marathon training regimen. Like PowerGels, Sharkies are meant to replace electrolytes and provide carbs for when you do crazy thinks like run for hours or play hockey for days. Unlike PowerGels, Sharkies are delicious, organic, and you get to hum the Jaws music when you eat them1.
But when I was out for my 16 km run on Monday and I was eating a delicious Sharkie2, it occurred to me how awesome it is that I’m devouring Sharkies while my Canucks are facing the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference final! So I took this picture:
For the record, I have no affiliation with the Sharkies people. I just realized that I totally sound like I’m shilling for them! Which I’m not. If the Sharkies people see this and want to send me copious amounts of Sharkies for free, I would not turn them down, however. Hint, hint. [↩]
And yes, for the record, I totally hum the Jaws music when I eat a Sharkie out in public too [↩]