Vancouver - March 10, 2012
Legendary former coach Roger Neilson earned a reputation as one of the brightest minds in the game during his storied career behind the bench, becoming one of the first coaches to use video to help teach off the ice. In Vancouver, Neilson’s work with a video camera was surpassed only by his infamous ability to wave the white flag. Upset with the officiating in Game 2 of the 1982 Western Conference finals, Neilson stuck a white towel to a hockey stick and stood behind the bench, defiantly waving his flag in surrender to make his point. When he returned home for Game 3 in Vancouver, he was greeted by thousands of fans waving white rally towels in support, giving birth to the playoff towel tradition in the city and helping spur the Canucks on to a series win.
Lord Stanley of Preston’s enduring legacy in Canada may be best embodied by large bearded men sipping champagne out of the silver Cup he commissioned over a century ago. While the Cup is still the most prized heirloom from Lord Stanley’s collection, the park named after the former Governor General gives the trophy a run for its money in Vancouver. Over 1,000 hectares of green space in the middle of the B.C. metropolis, Stanley Park is a must-see even on a rainy day in the city. As beautiful as the park is, we’re guessing most hockey fans here would still trade it in for his other big prize…
The Canadiens aren’t the only Montreal sports team looking for a win in Vancouver on Saturday. Across from Rogers Arena at B.C. place, the Montreal Impact will make history at 3:00 p.m. PST when they hit the pitch for the first time in the MLS for their season-opener against the Whitecaps. While we won’t actually be able to attend the game in person, here’s hoping the Impact kick their season off on the right foot! Good luck, guys!