Never a dull day with these Vancouver Canucks.
One night after new coach Rick Tocchet heard boos at home when he was introduced during his debut — he joked that his middle name was “Lou” after a win over the lowly Chicago Blackhawks — another unique crowd scene played out for the team on Wednesday in Seattle during a game against the Kraken.
With the second-year franchise in firm control of its game against the Canucks, fans started chanting “Bruce, there it is” — the same cheer Canucks fans made popular during former coach Bruce Boudreau’s time with the team.
Boudreau got emotional when he heard that chant during his final two games in Vancouver last weekend — with fans showing support for a coach who was rumoured to be in danger of losing his job for months. Boudreau lifted the spirits of Canucks fans last year when he took over the floundering team in midseason and helped Vancouver make a late charge for a playoff spot before ultimately falling short — but the success did not continue this season.
The Kraken, meanwhile, went on to beat the Canucks 6-1 on Wednesday — with Tocchet calling his team “soft” afterward.
There was some debate afterward about whether it was mostly Kraken fans trolling the Canucks with the chant or if it was visiting Canucks fans making their displeasure known. It very well could have been a mix, too.
Regardless, the Kraken (28-14-5) are now tied for top spot in the Pacific Division — 20 points ahead of the Canucks, who suffered their first loss against Seattle.
The rivalry now has a bit of juice, though it will get to a new level if the teams are both competing for a playoff spot.