Amidst much anticipation, elevated expectations and dreams of the team’s first Stanley Cup, the puck finally drops tonight for the Vancouver Canucks’ 2010/2011 season.
Can the Canucks live up to their top billing or will they wilt faster than Kate Gosselin’s career? They won’t answer those questions tonight. This team will be judged on the games they play this spring. But they need to get there first, and tonight is step one of that process.
As we count down the minutes to game time, here are some links to tide you over:
- The Canucks and Kings face off against each other tonight, 40 years to the day, they first faced off in the NHL. The best part of tonight’s game? Both teams will wear the same jerseys they wore 40 years ago.
- If you’re going to the game, get there early. The Canucks have a full night planned, starting with a Party on the Plaza at 4:00 PM and a pregame ceremony reuniting members of the original 1970 team at 6:45 PM.
- At that time, the Canucks are expected to finally choose between Ginger or Mary Anne as the be the new Canucks captain
- The Canucks have invested $40 million in upgrades to Rogers Arena since the Acquilinis bought the team. Tonight, they’ll unveil new lights and sounds that will help us remember that it’s Canucks game day. Because we often need reminding. (Seriously though, these sound pretty cool.)
- Peter Schaeffer made the team and is expected to play tonight.
- Ryan Parent hasn’t been assigned to the Manitoba Moose and is still practicing with the Canucks. He’s not expected to play tonight.
- Kevin Bieksa’s still here too.
- After 33 years as the Canucks colour commentator, Tom Larscheid is broadcasting his last game tonight. My thoughts on his retirement are here; Iain MacIntyre and Tony Gallagher have good tribute pieces here and here, respectively.