Today’s Poll

The calm before the storm or celebration?

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
May 18th, 2011

By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports

Has the lull between series allowed hockey fans in Nelson to grab a collective breath?

Or was the final victory over Chicago during the first round in seven games proved to be enough for Canucks faithful?

“There really appears to have been a little bit of a letdown since the Chicago series,” admits Michael Borch, owner/operator of Rally Caps on Baker Street in Nelson to The Nelson Daily when asked about if there’s any buzz with the Vancouver Canucks now playing in the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks.

Vancouver leads the best-of-seven series 1-0 with game two Wednesday at the Rogers Arena. Puck drop is shortly after 6 p.m. PDT.

Right after Mark Donnelly, commonly referred to as “Mr. O’ Canada” revs up the partisan Vancouver crowd.

“You could feel the tension during the Chicago series,” adds Borch, who sells hats and T-shirts at Rally Caps. “During the Nashville series, that was a series everyone felt Vancouver should win so there didn’t seem to be the hype . . . and then there was a layoff between games.”

Across the street at Mallard’s, Brett McLellan has “definitely seen a buzz” at the store.
“(Fans) are busy buying jerseys and hats.”

“I think we have only one (Vancouver Canuck) jersey left in the store,” McLellan added.

Not since Vancouver lost to the New York Rangers in seven games during the 1994 playoffs has the franchise been back to the Conference Finals.

Oh, the Canucks have had the teams on paper to make a run at Lord Stanley’s Mug. However, when push came to shove there was always a team in Vancouver’s way.

The past two seasons it’s been Chicago spoiling the party.

In 2007, Anaheim blew out Vancouver in five games en route to winning the Cup.

In 2004, Calgary Flames surprised the Canucks before losing in the final to Tampa Bay.

Because of all the heartache the team has caused fans, McLellan believes there a lot of “Canuck bandwagon jumpers” who continually get on and jump off.

Personally, McLellan is not holding his breath just yet when ask about the Orcas. 

“I’ve always seen them choke so I’ll wait until Vancouver brings home the Cup before I’ll believe it’s going to happen.”

For Borch:

“Maybe this is going to be the year,” he said. “They finally got past Chicago and, of the four teams remaining, (Vancouver) has as good a chance as any of them.”

No matter what happens, the longer the Canucks keep going on the Stanley Cup trail, the better business is for, not only retailers, but hospitality businesses throughout B.C. — including Nelson.

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