A Canuck Nation Growing

As we draw near the end of the eastern road swing for the Vancouver Canucks, there is one constant occurance that has come to my attention. The fan support in the east has strengthened for our beloved team, and surprisingly really showing up strong in the arenas away from home. In fact, many comments throughout the league about the growing support for the Canucks in eastern cities. So what triggers the surge of support?

Montreal had to be the one town that wouldn’t sway their loyalties. The Bell Centre is a different beast from the other two arenas visited. Although I have noticed the pockets of Canucks fans seem bigger than those of previous visits. I have to say it is one arena where you know the undying love for the Habs will never be overshadowed of that of the visiting team. It was enough to propel les Canadiens to a shutout victory (2-0) over our Canucks.

In Ottawa, the pockets for Canucks supporters were evidently quite bigger than it has been in the past. I’d dare say the Canucks had about a third of the arena on their side. That’s a significant number of supporters in the nation’s capital. It was great to see a few westerners also make an eastern road swing trip to support the boys on Remembrance Day on their way to a 6-2 victory over the Senators. There was even a small bar meet-up (so I was told) after the game of Canucks fans. Unfortunately for me, being sick with the flu, I had to decline.



Toronto is Canuck Land? Photo taken by Justine Galo


Now the most surprising surge of support for the Canucks was in the “Centre of the Universe, also known as, Toronto. I used to live in Toronto, both downtown and on the east side, and I’ve run into very few ‘vocal’ Canucks fans in the 416 (or 905 for you suburban people). Usually, the only time I see those fans are when the Canucks visit the Air Canada Centre and even then, they are more reserved. This year, the support for the Canucks in Leaf territory, was, for me, surprisingly stronger than I could have imagined. The support for the Canucks was crazily visible in the stands. Not just pockets of supporters but rows of Canucks fans. More than it has been in the last four years since they started doing the home and home once a year again. Canucks fans were yelling, “Lu!!!!” at the ACC. It was so evident that it couldn’t even be masked on Hockey Night In Canada’s broadcast of the game. I remember just last January, when the Canucks visited the ACC, and the out-right support for the team wasn’t as vocal and in abundance. That was only 11 months ago! I’d dare say the Canucks had about 2000 fans on Saturday night, and that is a huge feat in Leaf Nation. I think only the Montreal Canadiens and the Canadian Sabres fans would be greater in numbers.

So the Canuck fan base is growing, but why? Could it be Luongo winning a gold medal for Canada at the Olympics, or the playmaking of the Sedins? Or could it be that they are a very good team, it makes the easterners realize they probably have the best chance of the Canadian teams to contend for the Stanley Cup. I’m not quite sure, and to be honest, I don’t really care, but it’s been nice to see Canuck Nation growing, especially in places it was once shunned.

On to Buffalo…


Justine Galo [tweetmeme]

Make Some Noise For The Boys!

Make some noise for the boys!

Saturday evening the Vancouver Canucks return home. It will be the first time in 42 days the majority of the Canucks have stepped onto the ice at General Motors Place.

What better way for fans to show that support Saturday to wear blue to the game, and give the team a playoff type welcome back. There will likely be a ceremony to honour the teams Olympians, but it would be nice if the fans gave the team a standing ovation when they take to the ice.

“There were days when you woke up in another hotel and wondered ‘Where are we now?’ before you get it together a little bit,” said center Ryan Kesler, “The last six we’ve played here on the other end of the Games, that hasn’t been as bad … but those first eight were real tough. They took forever.”

The longest road trip in NHL history, 13 cities, 14 games and 20,737 kilometers is over. And the Canucks emerge from it 8-5-1, collecting 17 of a possible 28 points and still sitting 3rd in the conference and atop the Northwest Division. There were bumps along the way, but the club has to be pleased at how they coped with the trip, especially with key injuries to the defense adding to an already tough stretch.

Now, with 10 of their last 15 games on home ice, the Canucks look to kick their road weary bodies into overdrive and hit the playoffs running on all cylinders. They will likely get the services of Kevin Bieksa back soon while the future of Willie Mitchell is unclear.

So make some noise for the boys! Spread the word, tell your fellow fans, tweet your faces off! They did us proud now let’s get loud and show the team we’re behind them down the stretch!

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