It’s been just over 24 hours since the Vancouver Canucks were unceremoniously eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings in just five games. As I outlined in my season-ending Clay’s Canucks Commentary, I was quite saddened and disappointed immediately after the game especially given the high hopes for the Canucks in the post-season.
After drowning our sorrows in some beef sashimi and salmon cones, my son Sean and I made it home just after 10pm. There, I was met by my lovely wife Gail.
“I’m so sad, disappointed and frustrated,” I lamented, “and I’m not even on the team!”
To which Gail replied “Well, you think you are!”
Gee…thanks for the sympathy, honey. But it did get me thinking about just how consumed I became with the Canucks’ exciting playoff run last year. And how it will be a lot different this year.
Given that there have already been some good post-mortems on the Canucks’ season, I thought I would take a different approach for this blog. Thus, being a positive person, I present to you 5 good things about the Canucks’ early elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
1. More Time With Family. This is without a doubt the most important one and one of the easiest ones to measure. It was also the basis for Gail’s remark about me thinking I’m part of the team. As a loyal fan, my mood often goes as the team goes which isn’t exactly fair to my wife and kids. In fact, last year I wrote a blog about it called “A Hockey Blogger’s Love Letter to his Wife” in which I thanked Gail for her patience, understanding and forgiveness. With the Canucks out of the playoffs, I won’t be in such a rush to check Twitter, make a Clay’s Canucks Commentary video, or write a post for CHB. Now, I can focus on the four people at home instead of the 20 on the ice. I guess asking the family to help me with my videos by being the camera people and lighting people didn’t count as quality family time.
2. Less Stress. Let’s face it: playoff time is stressful. Whether watching the game at Rogers Arena or at home or at a bar, tensions rise, moods swing, and relationships are tested. Earlier today, my good friend Mike relayed a story from Sunday night in which he and his buddies were at the Las Vegas airport waiting for their flight home to Vancouver. So they went to one of the sports bars to relax and catch some of the game. The bar was understaffed, management was rude, and many of the patrons were drunk. Overall, it was a very charged atmosphere that led to many testy exchanges between the patrons and employees…especially when the bar manager changed the channels on all of the TVs away from the Canucks-Kings game except for one. What should have been a couple hours of fun and relaxing viewing turned out to be a couple hours of stress. And back home, I’m sure productivity levels at work and school drop off while the Canucks are still alive…especially on game days.
3. More Sleep. I already don’t get enough sleep. In fact, it’s 1:45am as I type this. On Canucks playoff game nights in particular, I’m usually up until 3am or so reading articles, editing and posting videos, or writing blogs. With the Canucks out, I can still do all of these things but I can start a whole lot earlier in the evening. Heaven forbid I actually go to bed at the same time as Gail. Now, this is made more challenging by the fact that she often goes to bed before sunset but that’s not the point here. Gail is a teacher and thus needs her 8 hours of sleep whereas I can function on 4 or 5 hours. Thus in 12 years of marriage, we rarely go to sleep together. I’m surprised we have three kids. :p
4. Less Scheduling Conflicts. There’s simply going to be more free time to do everything. We won’t fret about whether or not the Canucks game will conflict with a church function, piano lesson, or family gathering. In fact, my work’s annual two-day rally for high school teens always falls on the first weekend of May. Thus, for the past few years there’s been a Canuck game on either the Friday or Saturday evening. Not so this year for the first time since 2008. It’s a blessing in disguise: the teens will be able to fully concentrate on the rally. Or perhaps I’m talking more about my own attention span.
5. More Disposable Income. Bottom line is that I’ll have a bit more money to spend this year. Although I feel extremely fortunate to be a season ticket holder, it’s obviously quite an investment of both time and money. The cost of 16 potential home playoff games is equivalent to 45 regular and preseason home games. So instead of paying for 14 home playoff games last year, I (sadly) only paid for 3 this year. That’s a big difference, especially factoring in that costs go up per round.
Would I trade any of the above for a deep Canucks playoff run? Having lived through it last year, I would try my best to honour the family time but I’d be willing to sacrifice or endure the other 4 for sure: more stress, less sleep, more scheduling challenges and more spending.
I guess I better submit this for posting and get on up to bed. Not that Gail will notice.