On Being A Fan In The Playoffs

That game was really weird. A giant maze of power plays that one team would have to fight through and get their delicious cheese, or playoff win, at the end. Hard to watch for anyone that likes their hockey to flow. The Canucks had 13 shots. But when you have a guy that can pass the puck like Hank Sedin can and a guy like Sami Salo that can shoot the puck that well they’re 13 useful shots. Hank passed a puck THROUGH the other goalie’s legs for a tap in goal for Alex Burrows. I mean, honestly. We’re not worthy. Cue Wayne’s World bowing.

A Keith Ballard hip check is surely a trick of physics. The one time I can get into science. It seems he must be an awesome witch to send a guy cartwheeling like that.

One win away from the Stanley Cup finals. The tiny, itty bitty, need a microscope slide to see it, optimistic part of a Canucks fan’s heart is starting to crawl out of its protective armor. Our hope becomes a little stronger.  Five wins seems attainable. You can taste it. And yet you know they’ll be the five hardest wins yet. You’re fairly certain they had all the adversity they could choke down in the first round Chicago series, and yet, and YET, you know the hockey gods and universe are saucy and cruel minxes. The “anvil hasn’t fallen on our heads yet” is probably tattooed on Canucks fans DNA after all.

It’s funny, I’ve only been a live and die with them Canucks fan since 07. It’s totally silly but I’ve struggled with this small feeling all post season that they can’t win the whole damn thing this year because I haven’t paid my dues enough yet. I don’t have 20 years of heartbreaking suffering. I haven’t had my hopeful childhood dreams crushed. But hey the truth is you can’t choose when your hockey team finds you. Because really I think they somehow find you when you most need them and not the other way around. Just because I can’t map a long time line for my suffering doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

You hope for this version of the Canucks. You don’t want to because you know how hard the possible heartbreak will hurt when you get this close but you do hope. You hope for Hank and Danny, who have toiled in Vancouver for 10 years, been called sisters and all sorts of other immature names, and been angrily driven out of town by brainless radio callers because they dared to not mature quickly enough. You hope for Sami Salo who has been injured so many times if he was a time lord would have regenerated approximately 39 times by now. You hope for each player who has made you laugh in an interview, or spent some time with a kid who’s stuck at the Children’s hospital. You know it’s a bit wacky to be a sports fan and be swept up in the fortunes of well paid millionaires who whack around a piece of rubber for a living but you know there’s no helping it. You are a fan. And you dare to dream, just a little, when you’re sure the hockey gods aren’t looking, just how wonderful that feeling could be if your team wins 5 more games.

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