VANCOUVER – The Green Men are planning on pulling out all the stops for the biggest game in Vancouver Canucks’ history.
The Canucks play the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday. The team’s green fanatics are going to do their bit from the stands to help the Canucks win their first NHL championship.
“It’s the big season wrapup,” Force, one of the green duo, said Tuesday afternoon while waiting for a flight home from Boston.
“This is the biggest game in Canucks’ history. This is the Green Men’s biggest game too.”
The pair—who go by the names Force and Sully—have become fixtures at Canuck games. They dress head-to-toe in green bodysuits and lead the cheering at Rogers Arena from their seats beside the visitors’ penalty box.
For the season finale, the Green Men plan to parade a variety of celebrity cutouts.
“We will do a ‘best of,”’ said Force. “We will bring out all the gems.
“All the celebrities are going to be supporting the Canucks for Game 7.”
During the series, Bruins heading to the penalty box have been greeted by cardboard pictures of Boston personalities like movie star Ben Affleck and Norm, from the TV series “Cheers,” dressed in Canuck jerseys.
But Force’s personal favourite is Mark Wahlberg.
“I am particularly proud of the Mark Wahlberg,” said Force. “He has a little speech bubble above his head that says “Say hi to your mutha for me.”’
“He made a horrible movie a few years ago called ‘The Happening.’ He said the line. It was absolutely cheesy.”
Props are a big part of the Green Men’s repertoire.
During Vancouver’s series against Nashville Predators, they waved a picture of country music star Carrie Underwood wearing a Canuck jersey. Her husband is Mike Fisher of the Predators.
When Predator Shane O’Brien—a former Canuck—stepped into their lair, the Green Men made fun of his reputation as a partier by pretending to shake a martini.
Force and Sully prefer to go by their Green Men personas when interviewed. Both have just finished journalism school and are trying to break into the media business.
Force says they will be happy to return to the friendly confines of Rogers Arena. A travel agency helped them out with costs for the trip to Boston, but they didn’t always receive a warm reception from the Bruin faithful.
The Canucks lost Game 3 in Boston 8-1. They were blanked 4-0 in Game 4 and beaten 5-2 in Monday’s Game 6.
“Games 3 and 4 were pretty rough,” said Force. “We had a police escort in and out of the building.
“Game 6, the fans were a lot better. I think it helped the Bruins were up so much, so early. It was kind of a party atmosphere.”
While Force expected some verbal abuse, he was surprised at the hostility shown by some fans.
“It was just malicious,” he said.
“Bruins (fans) were yelling at kids for getting their photos taken with us. One girl was a six-year-old. There is no reason to call her a bitch. It was pretty bad.”
The Canucks have made two previous trips to the Stanley Cup final and come away empty handed both teams. They lost the 1994 final in Game 7 to the New York Rangers.
Force believes this is the Canucks’ year.
“We are pretty pumped,” he said. “We have to step up our game. We are going to try and help.”