Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames, let the trash talk begin

 

 
 
 
 
Mason Raymond #21 of the Calgary Flames chases Adam Clendening #44 of the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
 
 

Mason Raymond #21 of the Calgary Flames chases Adam Clendening #44 of the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

More on This Story

 

At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.

JASON

You'll have to excuse me, Scott. It's been six years since our Flames have made the playoffs, so my trash-talking muscles might be a bit sore.

If you have any good yoga stretches to recommend, I'd appreciate it, but keep in mind we have office chairs out here, not Lululemon lotus-position mats.

And if I can't quite make out all your words, it's because, coming through my window, is the bright glare from this yellowish orb aloft in this great blue expanse of a sky. We've been inflicted with this "sunny" weather condition — look it up if it sounds weird — for about 11 weeks straight now. It's unbearable.

SCOTT

Sunshine is wonderful, no argument here. What may come as quite a surprise to the average frostbitten Cowtownian is that the sun is also capable of generating heat.

By the way, I'm also having a hard time shifting into playoff mode, my mind has been occupied by this oil spill in our beautiful English Bay. It's sticky, smelly and poisonous, not unlike the toxic sludge Alberta burps from its prairie pores.

But ... how about those Flames? No one predicted a playoff berth. Canuck fans even forgot you guys still had a team.

Jim Peplinski still playing?

JASON

Yeah, we're so very, very sorry out here for being the engine of Canada's economy and employing all of your province's former lumber mill workers.

I'd be a bit too hoary-Alberta stereotype if I were to mock your beautiful bay's gunkification. However, allow me to remind you that it wasn't an oil tanker, but a bulk grain carrier that was running on fuel. The same Fort McMurray brew that runs your ferries and carbon-taxed-to-the-hilt Audis. Keep trying to perfect that combustion engine that runs on tofu rind and marijuana resin.

Peplinski? Ah, thanks so much for reminding us of 1989, when we won the trophy that Vancouverites have only kissed in their dreams. No, wait! I know how Stanley Cup defeat can influence your considerable hoser demographic. Don't go smashing Granville Street windows and rioting! Calgary police officers can be confident that if the Flames lose (well, well after Round 1, let's face it) the worst they can probably expect is a few flashes of boob.

Scott, before you read the rest of the Vancouver-versus-Calgary script from our teams' 2004 faceoff, let me catch you up a little. Our cities look a lot more alike than they used to. Separated bike lanes? We're getting a bunch this summer. Food trucks? If you're up for Japanese-style burritos or East African stew or chutneyed falafel balls in naan, we've got you covered. Starbucks kiosk within a Starbucks? They come standard in every downtown-area condo tower.

We're less hickish than we may have been perceived, and don't feel Earth-Mother guilt for chowing down on our delicious steaks with a local microbrew, or parking our Dodge Ram trucks at the farmers' market.

SCOTT

Only in our dreams? Vancouver has won just as many Stanley Cups as Calgary. How quickly you forget the 1915 Vancouver Millionaires, a team with seven hall of famers. Hey, if you're going celebrate ancient history then so will I. Both Cups were won in the last millennium.

When Google becomes available in Calgary you should look the Millionaires up.

Our cities can both be proud of our Olympic legacies.

In 2010, Vancouver held the world's biggest party and Canada won a record 14 gold medals including two in hockey.

In 1988, Calgary introduced the world to Hidy and Howdy, and the host team failed to win one measly gold medal. It's probably why the City of Champions moniker belongs to that other Alberta city. And, you're right; I can't deny our two cities do have a lot in common. You may not have our ocean or startling natural beauty, but you do have a fine-looking tower. The arena shaped like a saddle also adds to your cosmopolitan charm. You're like a mini-Vancouver with mud flaps.

Your city has always been fond of overexposed boobs. How many times did you re-elect Ralph Klein?

JASON

And here I was, trying to share some common ground, be nice and friendly, all Calgary-like. Sorry to harsh your matcha-tea buzz, man. I know you're probably still bitter and twisted that you won't be able to afford a house or even a Fluevog boot-box-sized condo until you're ready to retire to

the Okanagan (where many of the best wineries are Albertan-owned — you're welcome).

While you're busy partying like it's 1915 and parading down Robson with the sarcophagus of Cyclone Taylor — see? We can Google — let me remind you that Albertans were responsible for far more of the 2010 Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals than British Columbians. It's because Calgary knew how to build top-class athletic venues that became training venues for international speedskaters and sliders. Vancouver, of course, is known for such infrastructure feats as the skating oval that melts in February and the Olympic cauldron that was 75 per cent awesome, 25 per cent suck. Isn't that the SkyTrain's recent success rate, by the way?

You keep dwelling on the older icons of Calgary, but sterling new skyscrapers like The Bow are far taller and more sophisticated than anything you have. You named your biggest tower Shangri-La, and you're laughing about our resilient stereotypes? Shake your head in shame, Canuckboy. Speaking of dated references, Ralph Klein? You may have heard of our leader, who's neither a boozehound nor a fiscal hawk, Naheed Nenshi. In fact, most of Canada is far more likely to have heard of our mayor, who has long supplanted yours as the visionary urbanist wunderkind that everybody once fancied Georgie Roberts or whatshisname. We all know the attractive features of Vancouver. And we're quite happy to have Nickelback stay there.

SCOTT

Dang! Nickelback was a low blow. Who put the spur in your Stetson, Tex? This was supposed to be a friendly hockey chat.

Being buried under two feet of snow for eight (nine? 10?) months of the year sure gets you country folk cranky.

Don't worry, however, the white stuff will eventually melt and reveal the sea of brown permafrost that lies beneath. I'm sure the Bow tower offers a breathtaking view of Calgary's mocha mosaic landscape of barrenness.

"Come to Calgary where nothing grows ... including Stanley Cup hopes."

But good luck to you, my friend. Enjoy your four games of playoff hockey and then hop aboard the Canucks bandwagon for Round 2.

JASON

It's true that we envy your downpours of cherry blossoms while we're still praying for Chinooks to rescue us from April blizzards. We know you'll be well into spring two weeks from now, so your eliminated team can hit the golf links, fans can trim their mega-hedges and the Sedin twins can do whatever Sedins do in nature.

Care to wager a steak-and-sushi dinner on it, pardner?

SCOTT

Deal.

jmarkusoff@calgaryherald.com

Twitter.com/markusoff

sbrown@vancouversun.com

Twitter.com/BrownieScott

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Mason Raymond #21 of the Calgary Flames chases Adam Clendening #44 of the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
 

Mason Raymond #21 of the Calgary Flames chases Adam Clendening #44 of the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

 
Mason Raymond #21 of the Calgary Flames chases Adam Clendening #44 of the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
Calgary Flames’ Raphael Diaz, right, from Switzerland, is knocked down by Vancouver Canucks’ Jannik Hansen, from Denmark, during second period NHL action in Calgary, Alta., Sat., Feb. 14, 2015. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
Ronalds Kenins #41 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
Sean Monahan #23 of the Calgary Flames scores on Ryan Miller #30 of the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
Ronalds Kenins (centre) of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary. At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
At this time of year, with the hockey playoffs in the offing, it's a hate-hate relationship. The Calgary Herald's Jason Markusoff and The Vancouver Sun's Scott Brown drop the gloves for a bit of verbal sparring before the Flames and Canucks hit the ice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice