I am on vacation. When I left Smithers at noon today I knew I would have to get to 100 Mile House to be able to catch the Canucks game at a local bar. And that is exactly what happened. Almost perfect timing, actually. I checked into a hotel across the street from the town's main bar so that I didn't have to worry about an impaired charge, etc etc.
I went to the biggest local watering hole across the street to eat and drink and catch the Canucks game on a big screen. What ensued was an enlightening experience. The bar was empty. So only the bartender and myself were there catching the game (which easily went in our favor). The Canucks chat I had with the bartender was fun. We talked about the current squad, the addition of Derek Roy, the lack of trade for Roberto Luongo, where the team was headed, etc etc. I can say that we both agreed on most things: the current squad is going to kick ass with the addition of Roy and when Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond return. We disagreed on the goaltending situation where I thought Luongo is better than Cory Schneider. I mocked Schneiderman for going down in the butterfly too early and getting beaten up high too often. Then Schneider responded by doing the opposite against the Oilers. (COOL!) But we both agreed that this Canucks team is pretty damned solid.
Then into the bar walks a Canadiens fan.
Well shit that changed the direction of the conversation. This guy, (already drunk I am sure) was sporting a Canadiens team ring that originally belonged to Yvan Cournoyer. If you kids don't know who Cournoyer is, you need to take a history lesson. He claimed to be the grandfather of Canadiens' depth defenceman Nathan Beaulieu. He probably is. I mean, he said that the Habs' acquisition of Kings' Davis Drewskie pushed his grandson down the depth chart. Fair enough. But he is a loud-spoken man, and very opinionated. So that made for glorious conversation.
He said that the Canucks have been proverbial chokers since their inception into the NHL in 1970. I agreed except for the 1994 Canucks team that was a goal post away from pushing game 7 to an overtime situation. He agreed. He said repeatedly that the Canucks will always be chokers as long as he lives and that the Canadiens will win a Stanley Cup before the Canucks do. I simply told him that anything is possible. I also said that the Habs have drafted better than the Canucks do, easily, which is true. And they always have since 1970. He kept repeating saying that the Canucks will always choke and never win a Stanley Cup. When challenged, he kept re-iterating that the Habs have won 24 Stanley Cups. BAH! Said me. A lot of those came in the original 6 days before the Canucks were even in the NHL. I respect the Habs' tradition and their dynasty in the late 70's.
The bartender made it very clear that as long as Gary Bettman is at the helm, a Canadian team will not win the Stanley Cup. I took exception to that. I said: "Can you name me one Canadian team that was screwed out of a Stanley Cup since the Habs won it in 1993?" He did not have an answer for that. The truth is: Our Canucks are the best team out of Canada since 1993, barring, maybe, the Maple Leafs teams of the late 90's. And even THOSE Leafs teams were nothing to brag about. Simple as that. Canadian teams have sucked save the Flames and Oilers in the 2000's, and our current Canucks teams. But no screwjob is to be seen.
There is no conspiracy theory against Canadian teams. If you think that you are fukt. We, as fans of Canadian hockey teams, have not had very many competitive teams to challenge for Lord Stanley's Cup since 1993. Simple as that. It is what it is.
So...this Habs fan said the Canucks are fucked, chokers, etc etc. Will always be chokers, etc etc. I could only reply that in today's NHL ANY team that makes the dance has a chance to win the Cup. As long as they make it to the dance, which is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He then told us that the Penguins and Blackhawks or Ducks would be in the Finals this year. I said: "No man, the Wild and Rangers will be in the Finals". I also explained again that anything can happen. This Habs fan said the Canucks are done like dinner and that they will never win a Stanley Cup in his lifetime. Well, he is 65, and believe me, he is Don Cherry 2.
I told him that I would not make a bet on who would win a Cup first: Canucks or Canadiens. I have no fucking clue.But I could agree that the Habs are on the "up and up" where the Canucks' window is NOW.
Isn't this the best thing about being a fan?
I drove 7 hours south in beautiful British Columbia today and went to a bar in 100 Mile House to watch a Canucks game. What did I learn? Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one. That's what the bartender told me. He was right.
Also, the passion for Canucks hockey runs deeper the further south I go. It is what it is.
Who will be the next Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup?
Will the Habs win it before the Canucks do?
God, I hate Habs fans.
Another argument we had:
Bobby Orr would not be as exceptional as a hockey player given the current NHL players' size and speed. No brainer or what? Of course he wouldn't be. But if you took Orr and put him into the same current NHL players' off-season training routine then OF COURSE he would be a top D-man.
Habs fan deluxe also said that PK Subban will win the Norris Trophy this season. I said" "qu'est que ce'st le fuck?"
until I saw this.
Yup. PK Subban will most likely win the Norris Trophy.
Anyways....just creating conversation.
Is the Canucks' window for winning now?
Will the Habs win a Cup before we do?