Those Lovable Canucks


Admit it, if you were playing a team

That had Burrows, Torres, Lapierre, Bieksa, Rome,

You’d hate them, too.

 

The defense are pricks

And all the Swedes are soft.

The goalie is a headcase

Swinging from shutout to shellshocked

Like a grease monkey during 80s night.

 

Their best player is an American

Who said, “I hate Canadians”

In the Canucks’ home rink

Before the gold medal game

Of the 2010 Olympics.

 

What’s not to like?

 

Their swarmy French-Canadian coach?

Their player agent cum GM?

Their refusal to play Cody Hodgson?

 

When I was six years old

I got a Bruins jersey and black hockey gloves

For Christmas and wore them all day

At my grandparent’s house singing,

“Janey Bainy was born in California…”

I don’t know why,

But with Orr in the house

It would have taken a miracle

For the Cup to be won in Beantown.

 

Oh wise and benevolent Hockey Gods,

I was a Canucks fan from the very first game

Forty years ago. I stayed up way past bedtime

Listening to so many losses

On a little red transistor radio

Hidden under my pillow in the farmhouse

Robson calling all the games

On the Hockey Nut Station.

 

I remember Don Lever

Hitting the post on Dryden with two minutes left,

And then again in overtime,

Before the Habs finally buried us.

 

When Smyl hit the post

In game one against the Islanders

I thought immediately

That our best hope to win

The game, the series,

Had just vanished.

 

Without fail, the wheels came off

The West Coast Express

Every springtime,

Or some stupid Euro scored

On his own goalie,

Or the New York Oilers

Stacked the odds against us

To break a slump longer than our own.

 

Oh Hockey Gods,

Have we, the faithful,

Not endured enough?

 

Is another game seven

Just one more torture

To test our worthiness,

The intensity of our desire

To see the city’s name etched

On an old silver mug?

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