Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just about a year ago, I posted a shot of this same statue of Lord Stanley. This morning, I took this picture for a reason. In a few hours, the Vancouver Canucks will play the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup Championship. This is huge here in Vancouver. HUGE. The city's a sea of blue and green jerseys. Crowds of up to 100 000 people have filled the streets to watch the games leading up to tonight. Productivity in Vancouver has ground to a halt. For every Vancouverite I know, it's as big as, and more personal than, the Winter Olympics last year.

Some enterprising soul decorated this statue of Lord Stanley (for whom the Stanley Cup was named) with a Canucks jersey, hockey stick, and imitation trophy. Just a few minutes ago, I learned that the actual Stanley Cup (for many Canadians, the equivalent of the Holy Grail) is in the city, in Rogers Arena, where tonight's game will be played.

I live on the other side of downtown from the arena, and already, hours before game time, I can hear people in the streets below my apartment hooting and hollering, with air horns and cow bells. Several major streets in the downtown core have been closed since noon. Public transit is experiencing delays, and one local news outlet has described traffic levels as "epic." The city is basically at a standstill. Anxious. Nervous. Waiting. Hoping. Daring to believe.

The last time the Canucks made it to the final, in 1994, there were riots in the streets when they lost. For that reason, and many more, I hope they win it tonight.