The coolest sport in the world, both literally and figuratively, is currently being played at the highest possible level a mere three hours from here. Not only are the Stanley Cup finals underway, but the Vancouver Canucks—the closest thing to a true winning sports team around here since the ’05 Seahawks—are playing spectacular hockey.
If only somebody around here cared.
Like a few other die-hard hockey fans, I have grown accustomed to the anemic reports and gritty black and white photos (usually of fights) that the McClatchy service begrudgingly forwards for the TNT. When I really want solid coverage, like action-filled color photo spreads and in-depth analyses of the Canucks or the NHL in general, I navigate to the sports section in the Vancouver Sun.
But what’s our excuse now?
The NHL playoffs are widely recognized as the most grueling playoff series in professional sports. By the time the finals begin, literally every player is nursing some form of injury or another. Most consider this added pain a small price to pay for the chance to hoist one of the world’s most legendary trophies, Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Last Wednesday night the Canucks played on home ice against one of the original six NHL teams, the Boston Bruins. It was an absolutely amazing game, with stunning goaltending, superb passing and brutal hits. The front of the sports section the next morning had a headline story on a high school short stop, while the story about this captivating game was relegated to a short section at the bottom and some of the back page.
Hey, you gotta support prep sports and the athletes, but not at the expense of the region’s best sporting contest since the Olympics! (Also in Vancouver).
The game that got short shrift in the Trib was a low-scoring match (1-0), but hockey is not soccer, where a few shots on goal get scattered over 90 minutes. The Canucks started shooting 15 seconds into the game and kept it up until 19 seconds before the end of regulation with the first and only goal of the game. You just can’t beat that.
If you’re not watching the Cup Finals, check it out. If you are, then you already know what I’m talking about–and maybe you can drop a dime to the Trib and ask for better coverage.
Update: The Canucks win on Saturday night was the kind of gritty, gut-check shootout that hockey fans have waited for all year. Both Stanley Cup finals games have been decided within 20 seconds of the end of regulation time. Check them out Monday night!