A shower, a change of clothes (oh maybe a game or two) and its back on the road again, that in a nutshell describes the Vancouver Canucks this year.
The Canucks can save some money at year’s end this season, instead of one of those retrospective DVD’s for the season’s conclusion, they can just hand out copies of those old Road Movies that Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour made famous.
Road to Bangkok, Road to Bali, Road to Phoenix, Road to Pittsburgh, like Bob and Bing and the gang these Canucks know the road and will get know it even better.
Quite possibly they have the worst schedule imaginable to start the year off, the Canucks will have played 11 of their first fifteen games on the road by the time November 4th rolls around.. Including a stretch of five in a row that will commence on October 17th, which they start after the two game pit stop that they start tomorrow night.
In fact the debut of the home season tomorrow comes after a four game road trip to the east to start the season off. It makes for an amazing amount of packing, unpacking and hotel life even for a traveling road show as the NHL .
The Canucks schedule thus far makes the much maligned 2006 CFL schedule look well thought out by comparison, and they at least had the excuse that one of the teams folded just before kick off.
While Vancouver earns the air miles and learn to love the take out meal, the Eastern squads continue in their quaint tradition of play a game and get home in time to tuck the kids into bed. With a schedule that leaves the likes of the Rangers, Devils, Islanders, and Flyers et al able to take a bus to work occasionally asking for a transfer, the bone wearying amount of travel is certainly heavily weighted against the gang from Orca Bay.
Vancouver which is inconveniently for the NHL located in a corner of the continent they occasionally overlook, has done rather well in their early games and return home to introduce NHL hockey to the Lower Mainland with a bit of skip to their stride. They come home to a public anxious to celebrate a home opener and to hear more of the band of brothers that get assigned tours of duty away that rival many military forces.
In the end things will balance out and the Canucks will be home for a longer stay, get to meet their kids and be able to have more than a TV dinner to go. Heck they may even get to take part in the many local public appearances that Orca Bay sends its team out to year after year.
Vancouver has a six game home stand starting November 6th, hopefully they aren’t too worn out from all of their out of town travel to muster a strong run at the likes of the Stars, Ducks and Flames, Red Wings, Blues and Hawks.
Judging from all the travel of late it might be worth while to change the opening theme music for the Canucks at GM Place, normally the Canucks rush out to the ice to the accompaniment of U2’s Where the Streets have no name.
But for this year perhaps they should switch to the road hammers. They seem to understand this life on the road thing pretty good!