Last night the Vancouver Canucks hosted a scrimmage that was open to the public. Those who signed up online in advance filed around Rogers Arena and entered the rink to claim general admission seats. The squad was split into two teams, grey versus blue, and they played two 10 minute periods, a 15 minute period, then a shoot out, which had the crowd standing at attention.
The audience of about 12,000 appeared to be mostly families with young children and it gave the organization its first opportunity to play Gangnam Style and scan the crowd for enthusiastic dancers to display on the jumbotron. There were cheers of “Luuuuu!” for the familiar goalie wearing #1, cheers for new players, and cheers anytime someone mentioned that Vancouver has the best fans in the league.
The goal scorers in the 2-1 game were Burrows, Ebbett, and Edler. In the shootout Edler, Daniel Sedin, Kassian, Ebbett, and Higgins all slipped the puck past the netminder.
Several local bloggers, myself included, were welcomed back as well and were invited to the Rogers Lounge for the evening (with a few quick escapades down to rink level for photographs). With crowd atmosphere, blue jerseys in the stands, and smiles on faces, it seemed most people were thinking Lockout smockout! NHL hockey is back!
Tonight the Canucks are hosting another free scrimmage for the public ahead of their season opener on Saturday at home against the Anaheim Ducks. A few spots may be available but I was told yesterday that they were already close to filling up. It will be broadcast on the Canucks website if you can’t make it out and the official @CanucksGame account on Twitter will do the live call.