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The oraCole

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
Believe it or not, hope is on the horizon for the Vancouver Canucks.

Allow me to explain.

Cole had a cough when he woke up Thursday morning, so he stayed home from pre-school. The otherwise perfectly healthy three-and-a-half-year-old spent the morning bouncing around the house, much to the amusement and chagrin of his mother, Ali, a stay-at-home mom who also runs the business Sweet Dreams & Flying Machines.

With the Nine Inch Nails performing at Rogers Arena Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks practiced at UBC earlier in the day and on my way there, I checked in with Ali to see how Cole was feeling.

Cole was fine. Ali, on the other hand, was trying to get some work done and play with Cole at the same time.

With energy to burn and an innocent opinion on everything, Cole made for the perfect assistant to help me cover practice.

If you want to hear what coach Tortorella and the Canucks had to say about having lost five straight games with six goals scored over that stretch, you’re in the wrong place.

The Canucks are saying all the right things, they have been for a few weeks and we all know it’s only a matter of time before the dam bursts and we’re back to goals galore – or at least a healthy amount of scoring.

I believe this because Cole, the oracle, told me so.

Seated at UBC Thunderbird Arena rocking a moustache trucker hat, blue and green slick winter jacket, dark jeans and neon orange shoes, iPad in hand, the junior Canucks fan told it like it is.

“If they need to score more goals, they’ll need all those pucks down there,” he laughed, pointing to some pucks that had hopped over the glass.

“To score goals, you need pucks. Then when you have the puck, you go down the ice and go voom, voom, voom (you’ll have to imagine the hand actions) and then you shoot it past the goalie.”

Checking out both Roberto Luongo and Eddie Lack at different ends of the ice, Cole made an observation.

“They don’t score lotsa goals in practice. Maybe the goalies are too good, Eddie Lack and the other guy. Maybe if the goalies were not good they score more goals?”

So you’re saying that Luongo and Lack are too good during practice, which lowers the confidence of the Canucks shooters and hurts them offensively during games?

“I don’t know...but that guy over there is funny.”

That’s Zack Kassian. Why is he funny?

“His mustache is funny. I don’t think he can score goals with a mustache. It gets in the way. He needs to be like that guy (pointing at a freshly baby-faced Ryan Kesler), see his face is smooth like mine,” he said, rubbing his chin.

“His face is smooth like that guy’s head too,” Cole laughed, pointing at assistant coach Darryl Williams.

Guaranteeing wins is tough to do in professional sports, but Cole didn’t shy away from saying that Vancouver’s losing ways will be over in no time.

“Real soon, ya. The Canucks are my favourite because they are better than other hockey players, so if they play against other hockey players, then they will win!”

But what if they can’t score goals?

“I told you, they need the pucks!”

And with that, Canucks practice ended and we walked down the stairs to the glass, collected the lost pucks and chucked them back onto the ice.

“Perfect, now they’ll win again,” said Cole. “Now can we go see where the Zamboni lives?”

So we did.

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