It’s game on Wednesday when the puck drops at Rogers Arena for Game One of the Stanley Cup final between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins.
And indeed, the game will be on TV sets at homes and hospitality outlets throughout the Comox Valley as hockey fans settle in for the start of the best-of-seven NHL playoff championship series.
Local bars will have their many TVs tuned in to this game (which gets underway at 5 p.m.) and all others in the series as fans are expected to be out in force to quaff a few cold ones while cheering their team on to victory.
Perhaps the most visible sign of the times is at Courtenay Boston Pizza, which (along with all other B.C. outlets) for the duration of the playoffs will be known as Vancouver Pizza.
Courtenay Vancouver Pizza manager Christopher Charland said his staff is getting used to answering the phone “Courtenay Vancouver Pizza” and they were busy Tuesday rebranding the store.
“I don’t know if I have a ladder big enough to cover my front sign,” Charland joked Monday after receiving word of the marketing move.
There will be stickers on takeout and delivery items to replace the Boston Pizza logo. Charland says the restaurant has plenty of TVs and notes there is now a big-screen TV in the outside deck area.
Charland suggests fans get their seats early as once the game begins no one leaves to the final whistle.
While all 62 Boston Pizza locations in B.C. will be known as Vancouver Pizza for the duration of the playoffs, the Courtenay location was not the first business in the Valley to adjust signage to reflect the wave of popularity the Canucks are riding this spring.
The Flying Canoe West Coast Pub became the Flying Canucks West Coast Pub early in the post-season as patrons poured in to watch the games at the Best Western Westerly Hotel.
“It is full on Canuck Fever in both the Flying Canoe/Canucks and Snooker’s (lounge),” says Michelle Le Sage, general manager. “We have added another TV in the Flying Canoe on our top level so now we have the 110-inch big screen and four others as well as five in Snooker’s.”
Fluid Bar & Grill hasn’t changed its name but is offering a nifty incentive to its Canuck-crazy customers: if Alex Burrows or Mason Raymond scores, the owners buy a round of beer for everyone. They have four high-definition TVs and the audio is on for every game.
Almost every hospitality outlet in the Valley is onboard the Canuck bandwagon, including the Whistlestop Pub, a Canuck hotbed.
The Monte Christo offers $10 personal pizza and a pint on Canuck game nights. At Billy D’s the renovations are complete, the beer is cold and the TVs are on.
The series between the Canucks, who have never won the Stanley Cup, and the Bruins, who have not won the Cup since 1972, continues Saturday at 5 p.m.