I know what you are thinking.
"Oh wonderful, here comes the Canadian writer pushing a Canadian team on us... How cliche!"
Ok, I admit it! The fact the Vancouver Canucks are from my home country is a big part of why I want them to win it all and why we should be all rooting for them. If for no other reason, a Canucks Stanley Cup win would finally appease many insecure Canadian hockey fans who have been crying and whining for 17 years now about Lord Stanley has not belonged to a Canadian club.
It will appease them for a while... Or convince them that all that the remaining 24 teams in the United States need to move to Canada - I'm not sure which. But I'll gamble that it will appease them with the side bonus of all those same fans turning on themselves with bitter jealousy that the Canucks have the Cup and not any of the other five Canadian teams and thus will - for once - not be so consumed with moving the Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario.
If that reason alone isn't enough for you dear reader to get over the fact that it is the dastardly Canucks and that the memories of the 2007 playoffs are still a little too fresh in your mind, then I would like to present you six reasons (well more than six actually) on why you should get over the past and hop on Johnny Canuck's bandwagon for the next few weeks...
The Canucks really aren't that different from our Stars when you think about it. I know that it is also cliche as the four of us Defending Big D writers try to convince you on why our team should be the people's pick, but for my money the Canucks come the closest on the ice - where the games truly matter - to resembling your Dallas Stars:
- We both love the Scandinavian players!
Three of the Canucks top five and five of the top ten scorers this season are from Scandinavian countries. True some of our Scandinavian players in Dallas weren't as effective as Vancouver's were, but it wasn't very long ago Dallas was known as "Helsinki South." Besides, what red-blooded male doesn't like Swedish twins? Granted we've already seen that Vancouver's Swedish twins just aren't quite the same, but still...
- We have a thing for goalies who have a history of choking
Admit it, every year that the Stars headed into the playoffs with Marty Turco in goal you sat there and said that this year would be different from all his other past playoff failures and he'd finally come through for us and backstop the Stars to a Stanley Cup. Never happened right? Vancouver fans are starting to get into the same boat. Roberto Luongo is supposed to be one of the game's elite and yet he hasn't even carried his team to a conference final and if he doesn't do it this year then the questions about his ability will grow even louder. Now you may say "But Art, that's a reason for us to cheer his downfall!" and normally I'd agree with you, but think of the children who look up to Lu and wear the Lu jerseys and chant "Luuuu" with the adults... you wouldn't want to see their hopes crushed would you? Won't anyone think of the children?! Besides, remember Luongo is the captain of the Canucks and deep inside, you've always wanted to see Gary Bettman hand the Cup to a goalie...
- We love pests who can score as well
Sure every team in the playoffs may have that one guy who can be a super-pest driving the opposition crazy, but the Canucks have two guys that can do that and they actually have more scoring punch to them. Love Steve Ott and everything he does for the Stars? Then I am sure you hate Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler because of what they can do against the Stars. If you loved Otter and watching him every night this past season, then for this playoff run you'll appreciate what Burrows and Kesler can do for the Canucks. Be honest with yourself, it'll be a lot easier to cheer for them for once than root against them.
- Late night games insure that most of your evening is still free
Look, it's spring... I loves me my hockey, but there are some nights that the last thing I really want to do is spend beautiful spring evenings in a home in front of my TV. Not to mention after six months of hockey in prime time on my TV night after night, the girlfriend here really has her hopes up that she will be allowed to watch some of her shows as they happen and not three days later after the entire world has already talked about them and moved on. I'm sure most of your signifigant others feel the same way if they don't in fact share your relentless love for hockey. Canucks games are on at regular times on the west coast, but for us in the central and mountain time zones they are a little later which means not as much sleep of course, but its in the name of hockey and keeping our evenings partly free for life outside of hockey viewing.
- They like green... we like green!
Trivial reason? Perhaps... Yes neither the Stars or Canucks have green as their primary color, but it is still a team color and us lovers of the color green need to stick together. It's what Kermit The Frog would want. That's good enough for me!
- All the other reasons (because six points was enough...)
No one wants to see the Wings win ... Can't imagine seeing Gary Bettman hand the Cup to himself as owner of the Phoenix Coyotes ... It's bad enough one team from California has won a Cup, we don't really need another ... Nashville winning the Cup means I'll throw up all summer ... If you're a true Stars fan, you'll root against the Blackhawks because that is what old-school NorthStars fans do ... Tired of seeing Crosby and Ovechkin ads on my TV and maybe if Henrik Sedin wins a Stanley Cup to go with his Art Ross scoring title we'll see an ad on TV next year with him firing pucks into a beat up dryer on a frozen airport tarmac ... They have a much better chance than the other two Canadian cities in the playoffs ... If you don't cheer for the Canucks, Willie Mitchell while still in Vancouver will hit you on the head with his illegally long stick no matter where in North America you live ... Kyle Wellwood winning is a win for fat guys everywhere.
What more can I point out to convince you that Vancouver should be your playoff team of choice for the next couple of months?
Oh yeah... This guy is the anthem singer!
Sign me up! For the next few weeks I am a Canuck!