Last season, I went to 11 games at GM Place. One game, against Colorado, was great. Despite being a 1-1 tie, it was an exciting, wide-open game with plenty of shots (38-28 in Vancouver's favour) and scoring chances. Aebischer had a stellar game, and Jovanovski beat two defenders to score the equalizer in the third.
Five games were mediocre.
Five games were extraordinarily, mind-numbingly dull. Minnesota, San Jose, Chicago, Ottawa and Los Angeles were all appalling examples of the state of the game in the 21st century. Minnesota clutched and grabbed its way to a desultory 1-1 tie, taking a mere 16 shots in the process. Ottawa and Vancouver, their playoff positioning sewed-up, played like figure skaters, avoiding contact and bent on handing the game to each other. I watched most of the games that I didn't attend on TV. At least half of those were miserable, talentless clinics in cautious play, the neutral-zone trap and garbage goals from three feet.
I don't blame the Canucks organization for this. Like Colorado (and it's no coincidence that was the best game I saw all season), they've built a fast-skating team with plenty of skill. The coaching staff has implemented an aggressive forechecking system that ought to be entertaining to watch. However, as in all sports, a good defence beats a good offense, and so I've spent the past few seasons watching the game's best players skate through a mire of stick checks and pulled jerseys. Most of the league has recognized that a decent defensive system and plenty of clutching and grabbing give them a chance to win every night. Furthermore, Orca Bay has treated me very well as a seasons ticket-holder. You run a professional and customer-oriented organization.
I've been a Canucks fan since I was five. I've now reached an age where I can comfortably afford seasons tickets. Why would I buy them, when the quality of entertainment is so shoddy?
Orca Bay Sports has plenty of people waiting to buy my tickets, but I thought I'd pass this on, from an dissatisfied customer.