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Watching the playoffs is a little different when your home team doesn't qualify. Lisa Ovens discusses her feelings and her plans for the 2008 Canuck-less NHL PLayoffs.

Becoming a Blanket NHL Fan


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Game One

by Lisa Ovens
Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

I believe by Lisa Ovens

Back in October, I decided I wanted to attend the final Canuck game of the regular season with my mom. I had know idea back then we would be attending a game that ended up meaning nothing in the standings, a game with no battle for a playoff spot, a game that ended with a blow score of 7-1 for the Flames, and a game that was transcended by one player, and his name is Trevor Linden.

That is the beauty of a hockey season: each year when it starts you don’t know what you are going to get when it ends. You can’t predict what will happen in November or March or June, despite every speculation presented daily by sports media pundits.

Heck, in this town we don’t even know what will happen by the end of the week. On Sunday March 30th, the city was riding high after a convincing win over our arch rivals the Flames, with Trevor Linden delivering a “first Star” performance complete with two lovely goals. By Thursday night many of us were crying. We would not see our Canucks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the second time since the 2004/05 lockout. And by Saturday April 5th, reality set in that some of our favorite players may not be returning next season. Mr. Canuck himself, Trevor Linden most likely will retire.

These last few weeks have been overwhelming for Canucks fans. The intensity of the commentary, the bashing, and the complaining had reached an all time high. The only thing that could stop this insanity is the start of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On a more personal level, just under a year ago I moved into a high rise condo right across the street from GM Place. I remember unpacking my boxes in front of my living room window imagining the Playoff atmosphere that would occur on the street below. I imagined hanging up my Canucks banner on the patio. I even considered purchasing a second banner, just for fun. GO Canucks GO! Okay, not.

So I won’t be decorating the joint up in blue and green. To be honest with you, it’s hard to decorate this condo in the first place – it’s not very my last place was. That’s par for the course in Vancouver. Everyday someone is downsizing into a smaller condo or space, because space really is a luxury in this corner of the Northwest Division.

Before I had a magnificent loft with an 18 foot ceiling; nothing but wide open space. I could keep my life sized inflatable Stanley Cup, inflated and on display year round!

Big Stanley Cup


Now, that cup is a crumbled heap in the trunk of my car. I still have a Stanley Cup on display year round, but it’s a much smaller cup. It has to fit on the one little decorative shelf I have, and a five incher is about as big as it can be.

mini Stanley Cup


So although I am still a Canucks fan, from this point on, I’ll be happy to be a hockey fan living in a hockeytown full of hockey, with the biggest hockey rink wihout ice, right across the street. Ooh the irony. On that note...Go Vancouver Giants GO!!

When you are an all encompassing, blanket NHL fan just who do you cheer for during the post season? For me it’s a little tough. Due to my Hockey & High Heels events I’ve been fortunate to have “adopted” teams after visiting a few cities to speak to female hockey fans. However, only one of those teams made it to the Playoffs.

 I have been very lucky to make friends with Pittsburgh Penguins fans while cheering on the Pens at Mellon Arena. Not to mention h&’s resident Penguins writer, foreign correspondent and super fan, Jan Snyder. She is also my good friend whom I share long distance telephone hockey talks and laughs with practically every Sunday night. Cheers Jan...woohooo!

But then again, my good friend Andrew is a crazy Senators fan. He wrote a fantastic column about his trip to Anaheim for Game One of the 2007 final for h& last year. He sat with me last week on that fateful night the Canucks were officially knocked out. He also produced my Hockey & High Heels video on the media page. Andrew rocks!

Andrew's column

It’s so tough to pick teams at this time of year. My friend Michelle is really in a difficult spot: She’s a Flames fan AND a Sharks fan – what’s a girl to do? As she put it in an email yesterday:

Michelle: Lisa we need to discuss the current playoff situation. My whole system is in the crapper now with these match-ups!!!!

For now, I guess I’ll take it one day at a time, see how I feel. Or I could just dive into my hockey merchandise collection and let the swag decide...

It’s the super cool,

yet kind of weird,

Hockey & High Heels *S*W *A*G* OFF!!


------------------------PLAYOFF EDITION ----------------------------

Presented by the good people at L&T Publishing


Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Ottawa Senators:

The Inagural H&HH *S*W*A*G* OFF!

Pittsburgh Penguins

Evgeni Malkin Pin

A strange pin indeed. Look at the size of Evgeni Malkin’s head!!! I was overwhelmed by the awesome variety and quantity of Pens merch in the team store in Mellon Arena. Yet some how the little BIG head of Malkin driving the Zamboni caught my eye in the sea of black and yellow. Sadly the little pin didn’t make it home with me and all I have is this pic.

Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators S.P.

I spotted these Ottawa Senators “camping” style salt and pepper shakers at the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003. Up until yesterday they resided in my earthquake kit, poised and ready for emergency flavor enhancement.

More Swag OFFS to come....

Happy Playoffs everybody!


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