It is widely known that BC’s top doctor is an avid Vancouver Canucks fan.
During a live press conference on Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry couldn’t contain a bit of giddy excitement after the club earned its first official playoff berth since 2015 last Friday.
The Canucks were able to tame the Minnesota Wild in a best-of-five NHL Stanley Cup Qualifying series, winning three games to one.
With Vancouver’s hockey team preparing for a first-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues – slated to begin this week – Dr. Bonnie Henry offered some advice for fans on how to enjoy games responsibly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to offering up her advice, however, the provincial health officer didn’t miss an opportunity to take a good-natured jab at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I was very happy to see the Canucks (make the playoffs), (I was) just lamenting to my colleagues who are Leafs fans — sorry,” said Dr. Henry, cracking a wry smile. The Toronto Maple Leafs, of course, experienced another soul-crushing postseason elimination on Sunday.
Known Canucks supporter, Dr. Bonnie Henry, took a chance to throw a little shade on the Toronto Maple Leafs – of course in the politest Canadian way. 🏒 pic.twitter.com/BrbsbeFZuX
— Graham Cox (@vanislandgee) August 11, 2020
Ultimately, Dr. Henry is advocating for 2o20 to be the year that Canucks fans enjoy the playoffs with close friends instead of the typical large gatherings seen during playoffs past.
In years prior, Canucks fans have gathered around screens in bars or as part of large events. Street corners and intersections have become places to congregate following postseason victories and camaraderie with fellow fans involves physical interaction, including high fives.
With COVID-19 currently showing signs of an uptick within BC, Dr. Henry is calling on hockey fans to approach this season slightly differently.
“This is the year that we can celebrate the Canucks with our close friends or outside on a patio with a small group. And we can do that in broad places all over the province rather than just small crowded places here and there,” said Dr. Henry on Monday.
Restaurants and bars, a sector that has been hit extremely hard by the health crisis, will be showing games and are encouraging fans to come watch, however, provincial health rules will still be applicable.
A maximum of six customers will be allowed at one table and venue capacities will still be limited in alignment with WorkSafeBC and the recommendations of BC health officials.
“We need to bear in mind that bars and restaurants have restrictions in place for the protection of all of us — their staff and the patrons — so that it’s safe for all of us to go to work, for people to enjoy their time there. And they will be, I am sure, looking at how they can safely maximize small groups of people in those settings to celebrate if and when the Canucks keep going,” Dr. Henry stated.
BC’s top doctor is still hoping fans can enjoy the games and make the most of a unique playoff setting.
“How often can we celebrate hockey playoffs in the summer? So let’s make it a special time this year to do it outside with our small groups of friends,” she said.
The Canucks will kickoff their 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday against the reigning champion Blues at 7:30 p.m. PT.
Maybe it is a sign of good luck as well that the Vancouver franchise has added Dr. Henry to some team shirts.
The T-shirt is available through Vanbase.ca for $28. All proceeds go towards benefitting the Canucks for Kids Fund COVID-19 relief efforts.