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Columnist, Helen Peterson talks Canucks/ Stars playoff hockey, skyrocketing ticket prices in Vancouver, and her trip to Los Angeles and the Staples Center

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Game One

by Helen (Hockey) Peterson
April 18th , 2007

Preconceived Notions

It’s been a while, but I’m back with a short synopsis of my hockey meanderings from the past couple of months. 

The Canucks have just cemented a firm three to one lead in the series against the Dallas Stars after ANOTHER 2-1 win, again on Dallas’s home ice. Seems to be a recurring trend, these 2-1 victories… narrow margins, but a win nonetheless. 

Hockey fever is alive and well in Vancouver, with car banners flying and tickets going for God-forbid prices on eBay and craigslist. I saw an auction tonight finish for $600 for two seats in the mid-range of the upper bowl, not even in a good area of G.M. Place. Where are people getting all the money to pay for these tickets? 

Anyway, prior to the end of the season, I was fortunate enough to take a mini-trip down to Los Angeles to catch the Canucks facing the Kings towards the end of the season. This was when we were still trying to evade those pesky Wild from securing the top spot in the Northwest division. We didn’t think the Kings (coached by ex-Canuck major domo / nemesis Marc Crawford) to be much of a foe, and as it turned out, they weren’t, really. 

After grabbing a nice appetizer meal at a nearby restaurant, my sister and I descended upon the Staples Center in “beautiful” downtown L.A. and got a photo of her standing beside the ominous statue of Wayne Gretzky posing in front of the main entrance. After buzzing through the walkways and securing a fancy drink (yes, they have great bars in there!), we proceeded to our seats which I had purchased from a ticket broker located in Chicago

As it turned out the seats, which cost us about $65 apiece with delivery, were in lower bowl, row 17 right behind the Kings’ bench, and they offered a superb view of the ice surface. Watching the pre-game skate was quite enjoyable. 

I thought to myself that these tix would have cost a hell of a lot more at G.M. Place; obviously being in California and with the Kings sucking this year… this was not such a big surprise. 

What was interesting, however, was the fact that there was a very enthusiastic conglomerate of Kings fans at the game, even if the team was out of it, so to speak. Home team jerseys abounded, with many of the newer names like Brown and Cammelleri and others affixed to the backs of these loyal rooters. 

We brought our five by three foot Canucks banner and were able to wave it about after the four goals that the Canucks scored. (We didn’t want to be too ignorant and wave it unnecessarily, thereby making loyal Kings fans agitated). There were quite a few Canucks fans in our nearby vicinity and they were having a good time. The fellow next to us lived in Santa Barbara but was originally from the Vancouver area. It was funny to observe him trying to teach his California date the ins and outs of hockey – such as what an “offside” or “penalty” was. Funny and pathetic!!!! 

We wanted to get on Sportsnet’s broadcast, but alas… we appeared to strike out in that department. Overall, we had a really good time at the game… and hell, it was only a $42 cab ride, with tip, to get back to our hotel in Century City. Wasn’t gonna take the bus at 10:30 at night in L.A., no sir. 

So, good luck to the Canucks during the Cup run. As the prognosticators say… it’s all on the shoulders of Luongo. Let’s just hope he can carry the load! 

See ya at the parade! HP.

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