I was shocked, but is it big news here? Not really. No one cares about hockey when the future of NFL football is still on the line (not to mention Superbowl 2012 in Indy). That, and the Pacers are the underdogs in a battle against the Bulls to move forward in the NBA playoffs.
When I was in Canada, most of what I heard about hockey was often just from hanging out…pretty much anywhere in Canada. In highschool, people would talk about their favourite teams and players all of the time (L.W. is a Habs fan, M.G. liked Joe Sakic, A.C. was always a Canucks fan, etc.). Going for coffee with your parents, during the regular season, someone at the coffee shop would mention hockey at least once (plus my dad watches hockey whenever it’s on, regardless of who is playing). Hanging out at the office water cooler, someone would bring up the game from the night before. You would definitely hear about hockey at the pub following a game of volleyball at the local rec centre, if it wasn’t already playing on the big screen. I’m sure that this is the case with any town across Canada whether big or small. There was no escaping the hockey vine news. But here, it’s relatively quiet on the hockey front (I only hear crickets).
Even though Chicago is only a few hours drive away, and they are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, hockey is not a followed sport here in Indy. I have heard that it is popular in Michigan, (thanks to the Detroit Red Wings fans) but I also heard that it was mostly Canadians playing in the university leagues and clubs.
So when I first learned about the Chicago vs. Canucks series (often mis-pronounced, “Cah-NOOKs” here) I was about two or three games behind. I did get a lovely update of one of the games in a snail-mail letter that C.L. sent to me. She was at home watching the game and she mentioned the score, crowd reaction, and then went back to telling me about life in Vancouver, then back to the game, and so on. It was just like being at home! Life makes short hockey stops in Canada (by the way, in the letter, it was the first game of the series and Vancouver won that game 2-0).