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Stanley Cup Playoff Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Canucks Fans

It's been a while since the Canucks were in the playoffs, so here's a guide for Canucks fans on what to do and, more importantly, what not to do.
Don't throw cats on the ice if Nikita Zadorov, or any other Canuck, happens to score three goals in a game.

As early 2000’s rock troubadours Staind once said, “It’s been a while.”

It’s been nine years since Vancouver last hosted a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so Canucks fans may have forgotten what is expected of them. 

You don’t want to be like Ricky Bobby not knowing what to do with your hands. Or, for that matter, the rest of your body, voice, mind, and soul. 

Pass it to Bulis is here to help with some tips and tricks on what to do and, more importantly, what not to do.

Do wear the jersey of a past Canucks playoff hero. 

Whether it’s Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, or Ryan Kesler, donning the jersey of a past legend shows your connection to the Canucks’ history

Don’t wear a Mark Messier jersey. 

Don’t be that guy.

Do get a Costco hot dog before the game.

It’s right across the street from Rogers Arena. It's super convenient, super cheap, and comes with a drink.

Don’t get a Costco sheet cake before the game.

You will not be able to sneak that into the game, what are you thinking?

Do spin a playoff towel over your head.

The Canucks’ playoff tradition to wave a white towel dates all the way back to the 1982 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Campbell Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks. In Game 2 in Chicago, interim head coach Roger Neilson held a towel on a hockey stick like a white flag in mock surrender to the referees after a disallowed goal and a series of penalty calls against the Canucks that he deemed unfair.

When the Canucks returned to Vancouver, they were greeted by hordes of fans waving towels — the birth of Towel Power.

Every playoffs, Canucks fans continue the tradition, whether with a giveaway towel at a game, a towel from a previous playoff series, a generic white hand towel, or buying an official towel ($5 on VanBase right now). Wave that towel — it’s tradition and you don’t mess with tradition.

Don’t spin a beach towel over your head.

Don't start that tradition, please.

Do pick a favourite player.

Don’t tell the other players who your favourite is.

They’re sensitive.

Do attach a Canucks flag to your car window.

Show your team pride by reducing your fuel efficiency. 

Don’t attach a Canucks WAG to your car window.

They are human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Do invade the opposing team’s arena for away games.

Sure, the Predators are doing their best to prevent Canucks fans from getting in the arena but I’m sure fans can find a way.

Don’t invade the opposing team’s country. 

The American military will kill you.

Do get hyped up if and when “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2 starts playing.  

When that siren cranks up, get on your feet and make some noise.

Don’t get riled up when the east coast media are negative about the Canucks.

This is the latest they’ve ever stayed up and they’re cranky.

Do ask a Canuck for a puck during the pre-game warmup.

It’s the cheapest souvenir you can get at a Canucks game.

Don’t ask a Canuck for a snack during the pre-game warmup. 

You should have eaten before you left home.

Do boo whichever opposing player ends up as the villain of the series.

One of the players on the Nashville Predators will emerge as the villain, whether because of a dirty hit, a gloating goal celebration, or just general bad vibes.

Don’t boo the refs. 

We all know they’re already biased against the Canucks — maybe something to do with Towel Power originating as a complaint against the refs — so you’ll only make things worse.

Do throw your hat on the ice if a Canuck scores three goals. 

It’s tradition to toss your hat on the ice for a hat trick but if you’re hesitant, you should know that you can actually get your hat back after the game.  

Don’t throw your cat on the ice if a Canuck scores three goals.

In fact, don’t even bring your cat to the game. They will not appreciate how much money you spent on their ticket.


Don’t yell “Shoot!” when the Canucks are on the power play.

Do yell “Score!” when the Canucks are on the power play. 

Because shooting is not the point; scoring is.

Do wear a green bodysuit to a game.

Don’t forget to wear a jockstrap under your green bodysuit. 

You want to show your team spirit. You don't want to show...other things.

Do cheer for the Timbits during the intermission.

They’re adorable and provide some wonderful between-period entertainment.

Don’t eat the Timbits during the intermission. 

Despite the name, they are not donuts.

Do tell your kids about past Canucks’ runs in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Educate the youth on the team's history.

Don’t tell your kids about Roberto Luongo’s runs during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The youth don't need to be educated about the team's dysentery.

Do call into the postgame show to share your opinion.

Maybe you can be as famous as Mike from Surrey.

Don’t call into the postgame show to share your marital problems.

Bik Nizzar and Satiar Shah are not licensed marital counselors.

Do party at Scott Road after a win.

The atmosphere at Scott Road is jubilant after a Canucks game.

Don’t riot.

This should be a given, but the last time the Canucks made it to the Stanley Cup Final and didn’t riot, Trudeau was Prime Minister — Pierre Trudeau.

Don’t punch a police horse.

At some point, the thought will enter your head, "Should I punch that police horse?" Don't do it.

First of all, hitting a horse is animal cruelty, which is the domain of future serial killers. Second of all, you can get killed or badly injured yourself if the horse you hit happens to kick back, as horses are wont to do.

And thirdly, you can get in legal trouble. A Toronto Maple Leafs fan slapped a horse last year during a playoff celebration — apparently, Leafs fans had something to celebrate, playoff-wise, last year — and he got arrested.  

Finally, do read Pass it to Bulis every day.

We'll have our regular I Watched This Game recap after every game — perfect for reading the next morning over breakfast — and daily coverage of the entire Canucks' playoff run.