The NHL has been dealing with an incredible run of COVID-19 outbreaks lately, announcing Friday that the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche wouldn’t next play until at least Dec. 27 (and that the Calgary Flames would have their previous pause extended to Dec. 27). On Saturday, the league also shut down the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators until at least the 27th, and postponed Saturday’s Toronto Maple Leafs-Vancouver Canucks game, Sunday’s Arizona Coyotes-Canucks game, and Sunday’s Leafs-Seattle Kraken game.
But the Leafs-Canucks postponement is especially notable for two reasons. For one, it was set to be the early game on CBC’s (Rogers-produced) national Hockey Night In Canada broadcast. For another, it led to this amazing video of two Leafs’ fans who drove into Vancouver from Chilliwack (a 75-minute drive, as per Google Maps) for the game, only to find out on camera from Global BC reporter Emad Agahi that the game had been cancelled:
Leafs fans show up at Rogers Arena in Vancouver to find out tonight's Canucks/Leafs game is canceled.
Gotta give it to them — they're good sports about it — and VERY funny.
"We are gonna go for a beer anyways."
— Emad Agahi (@emadagahi) December 18, 2021
Honestly, that’s an amazingly understanding reaction to finding a game you’ve travelled for now suddenly isn’t happening. And it’s much more sedate than many of those who found out two hours in advance the Philadelphia Flyers-Montreal Canadiens game was going to be played without fans (although, in fairness, several of those people had travelled from much further). But going for a drink anyway is indeed a grand Canadian tradition, as the great Kim Mitchell reminds us: