Vancouver Canucks – Edmonton Oilers (NHL)

In 2005 I visited Canada for the first time. Besides skiing the famous powder snow the Canadian Rockies are famous for, I wanted to see a NHL game. Unfortunately they were on a strike and no games were on offer. In 2011 I had my second attempt…

Boxing day 2011 the Vancouver Canucks were facing one of their rivals, the Edmonton Oilers and I had a ticket! A game on Boxing day is special people told me and a game between two Canadian teams is special too because most teams in the NHL are American. Add these two together and you have a great fixture!

I had one of the lower seats available on the upper level in the Rogers Arena from where I had a good view. Next to me a Canadian guy had invited his Kiwi friend to come over and we had a bit of a chat. Because hockey is a tiny sport in the Netherlands he informed me about the rules. The game is easy to follow but some of the rules needed a little explanation.

The Canucks were on a roll and played in an offensive style. Quick combinations lead the opponents from Edmonton into troubles and soon the Canucks opened the score. They increased the lead to 3-0 before the crowds got more into the game. With hockey the crowd wants to see some decent bodychecks. Great fun ofcourse but it’s a bit of a paradox. A big charge leads to cheers from the audience but what follows is a time penalty and during powerplay most of the goals are scored. This is exactly what happened and the Oilers came back to 3-2. Just before they gave the match away completely they got their focus back and increased the lead again. The resistence of the Oilers was broken and victory was secured!

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