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Optimist Prime - 10.23.2009

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

Take a deep breath and relax, I’ve got some startling news.

Despite what you’ve previously been taught, the hokey pokey is not what it’s all about.

It’s all about beating the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs and their devoted (delusional) followers invade GM Place on Saturday for what promises to be a bonanza of trash talk, fights and uber celebration – and that’s just in the crowd.

A game will be played and I can confirm that the Canucks, winners of four of their last six games, will host the Leafs, the only winless team remaining in the NHL, AHL, WHL, QMJHL, BCHL…you get the picture.

What we don’t know yet is what percentage of the crowd will be pro-Vancouver and what percentage will pro-Toronto.

Despite some local fans already turning their backs on the Canucks this season, Vancouver will be well represented. Yet for some reason I’ve got an uneasy feeling (the kind Roberto DeNiro’s agent had when he approached his client with the script for Captain Shakespeare, in which DeNiro would play the role of a flamboyant space pirate) that no matter how many Vancouver fans are in the house, the Torontonians will be overwhelmingly loud and proud.

How do we as Canucks Optimists battle these hated rivals?

I sent my media spy into the Vancouver dressing room this morning to ask that very question. Former Maple Leafs Kyle Wellwood and Andrew Raycroft advised that treating them like teeth is the best course of action (ignore them and they’ll go away…anyone? No?)

Alex Burrows offered up the best piece of advice: “Don’t even worry about them because we’ll take care of things on the ice and they’ll have nothing to talk about.”

Feel confident that our team understands what will be going on in the game within the game on Saturday and they all seem pretty jacked up to put the Leafs in their place.

If the score gets as ugly as Zdeno Chara posing nude in the latest issue of ESPN Magazine in Vancouver’s favour, those representing T.O. will undoubtedly continue their rude ways and then some. Try reminding them they’re winless on the season and have as good an outlook on the season as Tooth Fairy does at the box office.

The funny thing is that Derek Thompson, aka Tooth Fairy, would actually be a first line winger with the team; the Leafs are truly that bad. If the winless bit doesn’t work, maybe hit them up with a nice comment on how even a triangle has three points.

If you’re not feeling that, bringing up a good query about animals may do the trick.

Why don’t the Leafs change their names to Possums? All they do is play dead at home and get killed on the road.

I’m optimistic that with the right amount of preparation, every Canucks fan will be a full-fledged taunting barista, serving up a little of everything. No being cocky though, even if we win there’s no Stanley Cup/Hayden Panettiere combo after the game. Not yet anyways.

We can walk out with a sound victory and our heads held high for the second straight game and despite all the talking, that would send the biggest message to those loveable losers since ’67.

That’s what it’s all about!

Who is Optimist Prime? He's an eternal Canucks believer whose glass is always half full, even when it's empty.

Throughout the 2009-10 season, Optimist will take a lighthearted look at the Canucks while never losing the faith. It's Cup time baby!

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