Is there anything more quintessentially Canadian than ice hockey? It’s so Canadian we don’t even use its full name, we just say ‘hockey’. (Also, it’s hard to play field hockey when you’re buried in snow half the year).
Hockey is a sport of precision and toughness, of speed and grit. And while Whistler does have a lot of ice skating (and a few pretty great community hockey leagues) the best way to truly appreciate Canada’s favourite sport is to watch the professionals from the National Hockey League play down in Vancouver.
While it is a bit ambitious to try to explain the rules of hockey in one sidebar, here are some key terms and phrases to use at the game.
Giv’r Boys!! – Despite the fact that hockey players are grown men, they are almost always referred to as ‘boys’ when shouting encouragement down at the ice. Giv’r is simply short for “give her” which essentially means ‘do your best’.
The Zone – The area between a team’s net and the closest blue line. When on defense it is integral to “clear the zone” or get the puck out of proximity to your net.
Tic-Tac-Toe – Used to describe 2-3 quick passes that result in a shot on the goalie, or a goal.
Breakaway – When a player with the puck rushes in on the goalie 1 on 1
Cherry Picker – A player who lingers near the centre ice area hoping for a breakaway pass rather than rushing back into his zone to help with defense, Cherry pickers are also known as floaters.
Robbed – When a goalie makes a save that maybe should have been a goal, it’s said that he “robbed” the player.
And from December 28, 2017 – January 2, 2018 Whistler.com is running three separate tours to Vancouver to watch an NHL game. A luxury shuttle will transport you right from Whistler Village directly to the entrance of the Vancouver Canucks home arena with prime seats and world class NHL action.
The National Hockey League features the best hockey players on the planet. Athletes averaging about 90 kilograms (200 pounds) fly around the ice at speeds upwards of 48 kilometers/hour (30mph) crashing into each other and firing a frozen rubber puck over 173 km/hour (108mph).
Breathtaking saves, blocked shots, bone-crushing body checks and lightning fast goals….there’s no game on earth that’s tougher and faster than NHL Hockey.
After three electrifying periods (plus overtime and a shootout if the score is tied after regulation), you’ll leave the arena with a hoarse voice and a new appreciation for the rock’em sock’em exhilaration of Canada’s favourite game.
This season’s Whistler tours include games against the Chicago Blackhawks, The Los Angeles Kings, and the Anaheim Ducks, all teams that have bitter and storied rivalries with Vancouver.
What better way to close out Canada’s 150th birthday year than a hockey game and some ice cold beer?
Game on, eh!
Whistler NHL tours leave Whistler at 4 PM and the return shuttle leaves Vancouver 30 minutes after the game ends (approximately 10:30 PM). Get tickets and more info at Whistler.com