The Vancouver Canucks hit the ice at Rogers Arena tonight to officially begin their 2011-2012 season as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. With the events of June behind us, members of the Canucks Nation are looking straight ahead, and moving on. If you’re preparing yourself for another season of hockey with heart, here’s a quick guide to help you take in all the action.
We have a few new faces on the Canucks roster this season. Andrew Ebbett, Marco Sturm, Mark Mancari, Steven Pinizzotto, Alexander Sulzer, and Dale Weise [see a full list in the NucksMisconduct season preview].
Where to Watch
For most people, it’s a toss up between their living room and Rogers Arena for the best fan experience. However, there are some great dine-out options in Vancouver during the game. Many local pubs and restaurants have stepped up their audio and visuals (flat screens, house sound system, etc.) for games and you can’t beat the deals they offer on game days.
The Canucks officially partner with the following during the season: Beyond Restaurant + Lounge (on Burrard), Boston Pizza (over 30 locations in the Lower Mainland alone), The Hurricane Grill (1137 Marinaside in Yaletown), Verace Pizzeria Napoletana (189 Keefer, 1 block from Rogers Arena), The Keg (14 locations in the Vancouver area), and Vera’s Burger Shack (14 Lower Mainland locations).
How to Listen
Can’t get near a television? Tune into TEAM 1040AM to listen to the broadcasts, check out the live stream, and download the Bell Media radio app if you’re on the go.
My favourite Canucks bloggers are ready to go this year. Read and subscribe to NucksMisconduct, Canucks Hockey Blog, and Canucks Corner for the best analysis and information. I’m also going to check out Canucks Army and Head to the Net this season.
Apps & Social
Download the Canucks iPhone application for schedules, scores, player biographies and instant updates. Follow @VanCanucks on Twitter and the #Canucks tag. There aren’t many players on Twitter but you’ll find @Ryan_Kesler talking to @KBieksa3 quite a bit.
If you’re using GetGlue (which is like Foursquare but for television and movies) you can check into Hockey Night in Canada and earn team stickers.
Don’t forget that the Canucks’ AHL affiliate team is the Chicago Wolves. Check them out on Twitter and Facebook.
The first open practice of the season is this Saturday, October 8, 2011. Stay tuned later in the season for Super Skills information. October 18th will also be designated Rick Rypien night at Rogers Arena and the players will be wearing tributes to #37 on their helmets all season [source: Canucks Hockey Blog].
With BC Place open once again, and a few conflicting game nights, parking near the arena might not be an option. Your best bet is to try transit and if you’re coming from the South or East, you can even park & ride at a Canada Line station (like at Bridgeport). Walk over to the Vancouver City Centre, Yaletown Roundhouse, or Waterfront stations after the game and meet up with your car outside of the city (or take it all the way home, combined with a bus if need be).
Here’s to another great season of hockey. Cheers to everyone who has the Heart of a Canuck. Go Canucks Go!