The 2014 NHL Heritage Classic in Vancouver was filled with controversy before it started. With a poor team match-up, lacklustre ticket sales, yet another goalie battle (really? Eddie Lack starting in goal? instead of Luongo?), a looming trade deadline, and on the heals of one of the longest losing streaks in Canucks history, it’s hard for the city to get excited for the game. Everyone was looking forward to an open roof game at BC Place Stadium, but even that was snuffed last minute due to rain. Ending in a 4-2 lost definitely was not an outcome that Canucks fans were hoping for.
Yet despite all these factors, I had a surprisingly good time.
The Vancouver Canucks played against the Ottawa Senators infront of 54,000 fans at BC Place Stadium for the 2014 NHL Heritage Classic. It’s the first time in history that the Canucks played in front of such a large crowd. The energy from such a large group of fans was electric. I went with my buddy Christian, who’s much more of a die-hard fan than I was. The game opened with a tribute to the 1994 canucks team, with Linden, Quinn, and the whole gang present. This was followed by another standing ovation for the Women’s Olympic hockey team whomade a cameo with their gold medals around their neck. Finally, O-Canada was sung by Sarah Mclachlan and her choir from the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. The game started with the Canucks up 2 goals before dropping 3 over the remainder of the game. The Sens clinched it with an open net with a minute left on the clock. Fireworks were shot to mark the end of the game in a patriotic fashion.
I can’t say I’m not disappointed. But to be able to watch the Canucks side by side with 54,000 fans was still a memorable experience in my books.
Update Mar-4-2014: Thanks for all the great moments Lu. All the best in Florida. Wished you had a chance to play in front of your fans in Vancouver one last time.