During the second intermission Tuesday night in Denver, a mini-dance off broke out between three Canucks moms.
“We’re a lot more fun than the dads, aren’t we!!” said one of the moms, busting a move to Young MC’s Bust A Move.
Yes, it’s been a vastly different experience having the moms along compared to when the dads came last season, and not just because moms dance a lot more.
I had the privilege of covering Vancouver’s 3-1 win over Colorado from one of two adjoining mom’s suites at the Pepsi Center. Things started off slow, they nibbled grapes and nervously discussed the game. Then the lights went down for warm-up and music started to bang, that’s when the Canucks leggings made an appearance and it was off to the races.
“They said we weren’t allowed to wear jeans,” laughed Teresa Miller, one of four moms sporting blue and green Canucks leggings, including Isabella Sbisa, Sophie Meredith (Tanev) and Elizabeth Bartkowski. “We saw these at the game in Vancouver the other night and ran to buy some.”
Their flair truly set the tone for what was a wild experience in suites 82 and 83.
First off, right from puck drop, the mothers were united in gasps and oohs and ahhs; they held their breath every time the Canucks crossed the Avalanche blueline and vice versa, and exhaled every time there was an icing.
The roller coaster of emotion gave Game 53 of the regular season the feel of Stanley Cup Final Game 7. Contrast this with the fathers, who were fairly subdued during their two-game trip to Minnesota and Chicago. They cheered for good plays, yet were otherwise observant, each watching their son in nervous silence.
One mom in particular ensured everyone had fun on this night, regardless of outcome. You’ll be surprised to hear she led the legging charge.
Teresa Miller was as carefree as the moms came, understandably so with Ryan Miller backing up Jacob Markstrom. She sang, she danced, she mingled and was the social spark for any moms still feeling timid.
Elizabeth Bartkowski, coincidently also in leggings, stole the show, however. Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy came into the suite to interview Cindy Horvat, but then Matt Bartkowski scored his third goal of the season and Murph interviewed Elizabeth instead.
In 48 seconds she relayed the excitement all the moms’ feel being along for this road trip.
Even once you’ve made it to the NHL, scoring a goal always makes Mama proud.https://t.co/rUknLvROCZ
— NHL (@NHL) February 10, 2016
Following the win there were hugs and kisses flying around, but not from everyone. As Connie Sutter hugged son Brandon, tears flowed; the forward, who returned from injury four games ago, suffered a fractured jaw and is out indefinitely. He flew back to Vancouver Wednesday, alongside Alex Edler, who fractured his fibula and is also out indefinitely.
The silver lining here, at least for Peggy Biega and either Patricia Cracknell or Erin McCann, is they’ll get to see their sons play on the trip. Biega will replace Edler, and either Cracknell or McCann will slot in for Sutter.
It’s not always easy to focus on the positives, but that’s definitely one after suffering two big losses in a big win.
Onward and upward – and “eat something sweetie, you’re all skin and bones.” It’s fun having the moms around.
Coach Willie Desjardins invited the moms to this morning’s video meeting, surprising them with a Behind the Lens slideshow set to Stompin’ Tom’s My Hockey Mom.
“If we win tonight,” Desjardins said, “we might just bring you moms along for another trip next year!”
The moms smiled, the players groaned and the Canucks dads, with the possibility of missing out on a future road trip, started secretly cheering for the Coyotes.
Just kidding – kind of.