Holding onto hope for the cup

The Stanley Cup playoffs have begun, and I can’t go anywhere around town without seeing some sort of Canucks symbol. Car flags, t-shirts, jerseys, hats you name it, it’s out there. All Canuck fans seem to be hopeful of something big, but is it too early for a Lord Stanley chant?

I’ve always been a Canucks fan but can you blame me for not going crazy just yet. The Canucks have managed to break my heart with a loss every year so far, and I’m only 18. I can’t imagine what it is like for people like my dad, who’ve been a Canuckle Head since the beginning of time.

The Canucks made it to the cup finals twice, they lost both times. But the third time’s a charm, and  it feels different this time.  I’m not saying that they’ll win it, I’m hopeful but I just can’t put all my faith into a team that has a reputation to crumble in the playoffs. But like I said, it’s different this time.

Maybe it’s because they were number one in the league for the majority of the season. Maybe it’s because goalie Roberto Luongo seems to finally have his footing in the crease. Or maybe it’s just us; maybe it’s our town, our community. Maybe it’s because one of our own is in there.

Dan Hamhuis will, win or lose, come home a local hero. He’s no rookie in the NHL and is probably already a local hero to a lot of people. He played with the Nashville Predators for five years, but Nashville is a little bit out of our reach. The Canucks are our home NHL team. We get to see the Canucks play almost every two or three days for nine months from the comfort of our own living rooms.

I had the chance to sit down with Dan and ask him a couple of questions last summer. I asked him what the most important thing he wanted to achieve in his career was and like any other hockey player he told me that “to win the Stanley Cup would be the ultimate goal.”

If the Stanley Cup is going to make an appearance in Smithers any time soon, Dan is going to be the one bringing it.

Yes, Smithers has seen the coveted cup before when Joe and Jimmy Watson won it with the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons.

I’m not sold that this is the year, and I probably won’t go nuts until we are in the Cup Final with a five goal lead and two seconds left on the clock. But now that I’m here, I’m just quietly hoping for the cup to come our way.

Kaeli Ayers writes the semi-regular Twenty Below column, a youth oriented look at life.