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To Tell the Truth

by Jeff Paterson / Vancouver Canucks
As a kid growing up in the 1970’s, I remember a game show called To Tell the Truth.

The basic premise was one individual and two impostors all claimed to be the same person. A panel of celebrities would poke and prod with all kinds of personal questions in an attempt to weed out the pretenders leaving no doubt about the one legitimate contestant. When the time was up, the host of the show would ask a very simple question: Would the ‘real’ contestant please stand up?

The three individuals would look at each other and would each take turns pretending that they were about to stand before the ‘real’ individual finally rose from his or her seat and the truth was ultimately revealed.

Jeff Paterson is a Team 1040 broadcaster and a regular contributor to the Georgia Straight.

E-mail him at
Tonight it’s time for the National Hockey League’s version of To Tell the Truth and hockey fans here are begging: Will the ‘real’ Vancouver Canucks please stand up?

Canuck fans are hoping with all their might that those were impersonators wearing white, blue and green in Chicago on Sunday and in the third periods of the previous games against Columbus and Colorado.

The problem with what has happened lately is that the Canucks are not involved in a game show where the winner gets terrific prizes and the losers go home with wonderful parting gifts. This is professional sports and the only prize that matters right now is a playoff spot for this hockey club.

A week ago the Canucks were running neck and neck and neck with the likes of Minnesota, Calgary and San Jose in the Western Conference. But the Sharks and the Wild have pulled away again and Calgary is threatening to do the same thing.

 That leaves the Canucks no choice but to worry about themselves and the teams right there with them in the race for the final playoff spots in the west. And wouldn’t you know it the Canucks get Colorado in Denver on Tuesday night and Nashville at GM Place on Thursday.

There may be games of equal importance still to come in the weeks ahead, but right now, it just doesn’t get any more significant than it does with these next two games.

The Canucks weren’t anywhere close to good enough on Sunday when they got blown out in the Windy City. They took Monday off to regroup. And Tuesday in the Mile High City, they have to come up with their most-inspired effort since, well, since they were in Denver on November 3rd.

It was that night that they found themselves in a similar position – trying to pick up the pieces after a 3-0 loss to Nashville. They lost a hockey game as well as Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo to injury. Many were wondering if the Canucks season was over basically before it began. And the Canucks went into Denver and beat the Avalanche 4-3 to start a run of nine wins and two shootout losses in their next 11.

 How did they beat the Avs that night four months ago? Check the scoresheet.

Daniel Sedin scored twice and set up another. Henrik Sedin had three assists. Markus Naslund contributed with a pair of helpers. Ryan Kesler skated miles and scored once in his 20:30 of playing time. Mattias Ohlund logged more than 25 minutes of ice time while Willie Mitchell and Alex Edler were busy and both finished +1 on the night. Roberto Luongo made 29 saves.

Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk, Andrew Brunette and Paul Stastny were all held without goals. The Canucks went two for six on the power play and killed off five of six Colorado opportunities with the man-advantage. Oh, and the Canucks opened the scoring, built a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes and kept pushing forward until the final buzzer.

So it can be done. And it must be done again.
It’s time for this team to Tell the Truth.
Will the ‘real’ Vancouver Canucks please stand up?
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