The guardians of Vancouver: The Lions in their playoff kit.

As Vancouver gradually shakes off the grip of winter, the amazing phenomenon that is playoff hockey once again begins. Life in Canada, at least until June, is put on hold. Businesses shut early,  jeans and hockey jerseys become accepted “business attire” even inanimate objects are pulled into the hype. As a born and raised Canadian, hockey is part of my soul; it is linked to almost anything I do or say from October till June. If fact, hockey’s  rapture is felt on just about every Canadian. Hockey flows through the veins of our country; each city has their team and no mater the league  the fans are fiercely loyal!

Vancouver is the land of unrivaled beauty; the skyline begins with  mountains and ends with water. Oh,Vancouver also boasts the best hockey team in the world!  Spring  has long been a treacherous time for Vancouver hockey fans. In 1994 the Vancouver Canucks fought their way to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost to New York. In 2011, they again battled to the cup finals only to lose, in seven games, to Boston. This most recent loss serves as a very painful reminder of how close the Canucks of Vancity have come to greatness.

The heart of our Canucks!

2012 is almost half done and the NHL playoffs are again in full swing. Vancouver and its band of loyal followers find themselves knee-deep in playoff controversy after a questionable hit by Byron Bitz in Game 1 vs. Los Angeles. The Canucks are President Trophy winners 2 years on the trot and have high expectations from their fans who believe, like every year, this is Vancouver’s year. This is what we live for!

Last year, before the game seven loss and ensuing riot, there were open viewing areas, Granville street was a buzz with Canuck faithful. The atmosphere was compared to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the Canucks were winning game after game and fans were confident of a Stanley Cup appearance. Unfortunately, losing to Boston in seven games turned our city into a centre for rioters and looters. It spoiled any hope of mass gatherings and free viewing areas during the 2012 playoffs. So where can you watch this year’s cup run you ask?? Well, here are a couple of places I suggest:

St. Augustine’s:

Located on Commercial drive and walking distance from the train station is St. Augustine’s Craft Brew House. This pub offers over forty beers on tap and some pretty damn good food; it is truly something special! St. Augustine’s pub offers a great playoff atmosphere and the surrounding  neighbourhood boasts a personality you can’t find downtown.

Website: St.

Phone: 604.569.1911

Address: 2360 Commercial Drive

Ceilis Irish Pub

Ceilis is typical of irish pubs: cheap and cheerful. No matter where your find them, sports and Irish Pubs seem to always be best of friends. Ceilis has all the important aspects covered: a TV in every corner, cheap  drinks and decent food! Get there early on game day as there will be a line out front. If you fail at being timely like myself, I find a cash offering to the bouncer helps even the most parched fan beat the queue. This place is one of my favorites in Vancity to watch our Canucks. Ceilis is three floors of restaurant/pub/club and it seems to grow in size as an afternoon of “hydration” progresses. After the game they pull out the dinning tables and bring out the loud music and “Irish” celebrations! (Yes, I’m talking Guinness and Jameson’s)


Phone: 604.697.9199

Address: 670 Smithe Street

Last year we had the freedom of all-ages free viewing areas and it makes me sad that the Vancouver Police have banned all large gatherings. But don’t fret my trusty Vancouver faithful, there are always great places to view our much-loved Canucks win the Stanley Cup!