It’s A Fine Day Today. A Fine Day Indeed

It’s amazing how a little plan comes together, as if the stars and planets aligned and the hockey gods put their touch on this poor soul who wanted to do something but didn’t think it was in the cards. 

On and around February 22, some unexpected days off at work will occur. On this day my wife and I will be delivering a computer to my daughter-in-law in Vancouver. And on this day the Montreal Canadiens just happen to be in town to play the Canucks.

Hmm. 

I was absolutely resigned to watching the Canadiens on television. I figured I’d be working. I thought not a ticket would be found except possibly the odd nosebleed type. And I figured I’d be way up the coast in Powell River anyway. 

I was wrong. I’ll be in Vancouver and so will the Habs. Again – hmm. 

How could I be in Vancouver and not go to the game? Montreal only comes once a year and sometimes not at all. So I put to work my remaining brain cells, the ones which escaped the sixties, and now, I’m more than happy and proud to announce that – WE’RE GOING TO THE FREAKING GAME!!!

Without first having a ticket for this sold-out affair, one of the hottest dates of the year, I went ahead and booked a hotel room just across the street from Rogers Arena. That was step one. Then I spent several hours on the computer checking ticket outlets and ebay, but there was no guarantee, even if I found a pair I liked, that they would reach my home by mail in time.

But I was going to be in Vancouver, had the hotel room across the street, and if I had to talk to scalpers, it’s what I was going to do. I told myself I’d just work an extra week at the end when I’m retiring.

But then I tried Craigslist and found some great deals on tickets for this big night and dutifully recorded about 20 different sellers with good seats. I’m an impatient sort, and when I didn’t hear back on email from the guy with seats at dead centre, lower bowl, eleven rows up, I went to plan B, which meant finding a seller with a phone number.

And I did. I got hold of a woman with a pair of tickets, who lives and works downtown, so picking them up will be easy, and we made the deal over the phone. I’m crazy with excitement. We’re 8 rows up, behind the net and slightly off to the right before it reaches the corner. I’ve sat in seats like these before in Toronto and at the Forum, and it’s a splendid view. I love watching the rush coming towards me, seeing how hard the shots on net really are, and the way plays are set up as the team works it way toward the other end while the other prepares a defence to the attack.

And the tickets are only slightly more than face value.

Damn, this is fine. I should buy some champagne. Excuse me while I kiss the sky.

So either the night before or early the morning of the game, my wife and I will drive for half an hour, ride a ferry for an hour, drive another hour and and a half, ride another ferry, arrive at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, drive for half an hour to downtown, pick up our tickets, and then I’ll look upwards and thank the hockey gods for making this all come together.

I haven’t seen the Canadiens play since 1998 when they were in Vancouver , and my seats were up in the clouds and two guys with big heads blocked much of my view. Montreal also lost that night. My buddy Gary Lupul, who once played for the Canucks and then became a scout, promised me he’d take me down for a game and we’d sit in a box, but Gary died before we had a chance to do this. Before 1998, I saw them play a few times in Calgary during the Patrick Roy years. The games in Montreal for the decades before now feel as if they’ve become centuries.

I’m like a little kid right now. It’s Christmas morning. Several birthdays. That night Sophia Loren called me. (I made that up).

If you’re watching the game on February 22nd from Vancouver and see a couple in the stands just over from behind the net and the guy with a blue Habs hat has a huge and silly smile on his face, that’ll be me.

This is a good day. I’m going out to celebrate.

27 thoughts on “It’s A Fine Day Today. A Fine Day Indeed”

  1. Way to go Dennis! You deserve this more than anyone. I hope you both have a blast and the Habs play their hearts out and soundly defeat those high-flying Canucks.

    Please put on your lucky underwear or do whatever you do to tilt the odds in our favour.

    Have fun!

  2. Danno, I’m sky high right now. I never thought this was going to happen, although I had hoped it could be possible. Now it is! I’m going to count the sleeps – six now.

  3. Dennis,

    You’re making us all jealous.

    Before the kids were born I had a season ticket and went to most home games at Chelsea and a few away ones as well. I never took it for granted. Now I don’t go very often and have to watch on TV a lot, it brings home how much more you can see when you’re at a game.

    You can’t beat the live event. Really pleased for you.

    As one of the games leading Bloggers I assume they’ll announce you and you can stand to a round of applause or maybe abuse from all the Canucks. No they’ll applaud, they know a legend when they see one ;-)

  4. Have a great time Dennis! I got to see the Habs twice this year (that’s not happened for me in over 10 years!) and you always forget how special watching an NHL game is until you get in the arena.

  5. Thanks, Blue Bayou. I’m going to savour every moment. I also have a soccer/football question for you regarding transfer fees for 50 or 100 million pounds and I don’t know how that works. How much does the player see from that and why would a team pay so much in the first place?

  6. Robert, thanks! I truly was resigned to watching on TV, and now we’ll be there. I’m excited like a little kid. Maybe I’ll never grow up. The icing on the cake will be a win.

  7. Nice! Sounds like awesome seats.

    Oh and to get back to you about the movie, most of it was actually filmed at a family friends who wasn’t allowed to speak about it until after it was shot to avoid paparazzi and “Twilight” fans from showing up at the house.

  8. Gillis, I’m confused. Kerouac and Twiglight are two different things? I thought it was an “On the Road, Jack Kerouac” movie.

  9. Yes but one of the actors for “On the Road” is a main character in the Twilight series, and so is her boyfriend who was also around during the shooting. Do not ask me why I know so much a bout Twilight.

  10. I’m so happy for you!!

    What will you wear so we can recognize you and say “there’s Dennis Kane!!”.

    From Montreal with love,
    Marjo

  11. what’s up with the Mara deal? I hope PG is up to something. Mara does come cheap and he is big and knows how to fight a little. Maybe he is cooking up a trade to send AK, Mara, Hamrlik and maybe Picard to Dallas (plus picks) for Richards or NJ’s Arnott?

  12. Dennis, you can move the planets and stars to line up! I knew you were a Wizard in disguise. Good for you and Mrs. Kane. Enjoy your fantastic night and I hope the Habs win 6-0!

  13. Hi Marjo, thanks! I think my wife is going to wear a red Habs jersey and I’m wearing a blue Habs hat and blue coat with a little CH on it. You’ll recognize me – I’ll be the one in seventh heaven.

  14. Gillis, I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Twilight girl is in the Kerouac movie. Now it all makes sense. Big western road trip, Gillis. Hoping for three wins here.

  15. Carey Price has a score to settle in Vancouver Dennis. Remember the last time he played in Vancouver and he crapped the bed by letting in seven goals on 32 shots. This was in front of his friends and family too and it had to be totally totally demoralizing for him.

    At the time, I could not understand why Martin left Price in the net for so long before replacing him with Halak late in the third period because it was painfully obvious he was having an off night.

    That game was a real turning point and it was Halak who claimed the #1 spot for the remainder of the season. Things will be totally different this time I’m sure.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/recap.htm?id=2009020034

  16. Danno, I remember that game so well. Too well. You’re right, it was the turning point. Price was a fairly poor goalie after that.The camera kept showing his parents as it got worse and worse. On that night, it got as low for him, the team, and us and as it could get. But look at him now!

  17. Asside from that game, I never thought Price was a poor goalie. He had the worst luck however. I remember him losing a lot of games with 2-1 or 3-2 scores after really playing well but not getting any support. And he was plagued with weird bounces that somehow found their way into the net. Halak however had an amazing streak and the rest is history.

    But look at Halak now. He’s sidelined on the injury reserve list, is 17th overall in the standings for goalies, whereas Price is in the running for the Vezina trophy.

    http://blues.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=553089&navid=DL|STL|home

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/app

    I just hope Halak is back when we play St. Louis on March 10th. All eyes will be on that matchup.

  18. Good stuff, Danno. The hockey world is talking about Price now, not Halak. I didn’t know how Price would be before this season began (none of us did I guess) and I was worried. I remember talking to you about it on these pages. And then he had to tell fans to chill out after, I think, a preseason game. The whole season rode on how well he was going to be and I wasn’t sure and I’m sure neither were most. But look at him. He’g been just great and it’s a real great story. He reminds my wife of her son because of his dark features and she has developed a bit of a bond with him. It’s a bit like he’s her son in a way. I’m just relieved. Many of us thought he may have been ruined. The boos, living alone in downtown Montreal with a pocket full of money. The poor games and Halak standing on his head. But it’s all turned around. It’s very heartwarming.

  19. Tell me about it Dennis. I saw Carey Price play a pre-season game against the Senators just after he made the “Chill” remark. We were leading 2-1 and Price was great until the midway point of the game — where it is customary for the backup (Auld) to take over.

    I remember saying to my wife that this is great he finally got the monkey off his back and now Auld can take over. But Martin left him in nets and Price had a really bad second half with the Sens scoring five unanswered goals and beating us 6-2.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/boxscore.htm?id=2010010039

    My wife and I and two other Habs friends left the game dejected and the only silver lining was that we didn’t have to pay for our seats.

    It had me worried but Price was right after all. Preseason is just a glorified practice, so chill. And look at him now. An amazing story is unfolding before our very eyes.

  20. Good for you Dennis, when the players realize their future owner is in the stands they’re bound to put on a show.

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