Thursday, March 20, 2008

Canada Day 9 : Canucks @ Oilers

WARNING: this post is going to be a killer for anyone with dial up net access! Photos galore :)

I had a great day today - stash shopping and a hockey game, the perfect combination!

Anam took me to Treasured Memories, an Edmonton scrapbook store that she does DT work for. The place was a real Aladdin's Cave of goodies, and I might just have spent stupid amounts of money in there :) They were nice enough to give me a discount, though, so that softened the blow quite a bit.

After the shopping trip we came home to deliver Fay to her little pal's mum for a sleepover, and got all ready for the big hockey game. Canucks vs the Oilers at Rexall Place, a vitally important divisional battle, just a stone's throw from the end of the season.

We met up with Ian and had a bite to eat, and then got a cab out to the arena.

The atmosphere there was excellent, nobody gave us any stick for our Vancouver jerseys, well not bad natured stick anyway :) We were really lucky that tonight happened to be "Fan Appreciation Night", so there were loads of extra things going on - including free popcorn and inflatable bangy sticks all round and lots of signed jersey giveaways and so on - that seemed to put everyone in a great mood.

We had GREAT seats for the game - thanks to Anam's pal whose hubby is a very important honcho at Rexall. They were immediately behind the TV cameras at centre ice - and you just can't get a better view of the entire game than that - they put the cameras there for a reason :)

The game itself was great for me and Connor, not so for poor Anam and Ian, as we beat them 4-1. Anam says we only won because of Luongo, and to be honest I would struggle to disagree with her tonight. The Oilers were putting us under tremendous pressure, outshot us significantly, and really should have got more pucks in the net, but Lu pulled off some frankly superhuman saves. Thank GOD he's ours. Can someone PLEASE get him to sign a 20 year contract extension?

I love the showbiz of the games here, the way they lower the oil derrick did kind of bring to mind the Stonehenge set from Spinal Tap, but it really was cool the way they all skate out through it. I am going to suggest to Steve Nell that we have something similar for the Wildcats lol.

Thanks to very nice important honcho man, we had special stickers on our tickets that said "club access" - and that basically got us into the fancy bar downstairs, where I could actually get served (would you believe the woman at the public bar upstairs refused to serve me because I didn't have ID???? I was actually so flattered that I didn't care about having to drink water instead of Smirnoff Ice :) :) :) ).

The other advantage of the Club area, is that it is handily situated between the players' dressing room and the ice - so they walk right past you as they come back out to play - how cool is that???

Malc- I'm afraid I didn't get quite close enough to MacTavish to run my fingers through his hair for you, as requested :) But here is a photo, I hope that will do :D

It gets even more exciting - in the 2nd intermission, we got a tour of Oilers TV from aforementioned honcho, and Connor even got to don a headset and be a part of the team for a while! Pretty cool of them given they were directing a live TV broadcast going out across Canada and probably the US aswell, and he was worryingly close to very important looking buttons and dials :)

We had to take off our Vancouver jerseys for the tour ("you have a choice son, either you lose that jersey or your pants" lol), but luckily we had t shirts on underneath :)

(After the game the same fab man accidentally made Connor cry by beating up Furry for wearing a Vancouver hat, and even some nice policemen couldn't cheer him up - oops! But a reassurance that Furry was just fine and the promise of a ride home on the train did the trick)

As for the plethora of fab photos, I can't take credit for all of them as some of the in game shots and most of the "backstage" pics are Anam's, taken either with my camera or her whizzy new Nikon D80, bought earlier the same morning.

Sorry there are so many, but I just couldn't narrow down the selection any further.

All in all, a brilliant night

and sorry Oilers, but GO CANUCKS!!!!!!

Pics below are half from the warm up, half from the game, in no particular order:

The 2 Ryans....nice to see Ryan Shannon back on the ice

Ditto for Boom Boom Bieksa (on whom my mate Ellard has a very manly man crush :)), it seemed like he was gone forever after that nasty skate-blade-through-the-calf-muscle incident:

I love that race across the red line they do in warm up, those NHL boys sure can fly :) :


Sexiest bottom in the NHL? :)

Another great save from our saviour :)

Naughty boy Willie

New job for Markus?

Best pic I could get of the new boy, Matt Pettinger, already producing very well for us, keep it up Matt!

Why is Anam's favourite Oiler flashing our goalie???

Curtis Sanford:

Poor Willie still has to wear the full face shield:

Kes got a nasty sting from a puck to the foot late in the 3rd and hobbled back to the bench in obvious pain :(