‘Thank god hockey is here’: NHL playoffs a boost for local bars

WatchThis year's Stanley Cup playoffs are undoubtedly the strangest in league history. But the fact that hockey night is back is providing a welcome boost to local sports bars.

Hockey nights across Canada are back in full swing. And they’re not just any games, they’re the playoffs.

“Thank god hockey is here,” said Jeremy Petzing, owner of The Local in Victoria.

“It’s fantastic because times are a little tough right now.”

The condensed Stanley Cup playoff matchups are bringing local bars, hit hard by COVID-19, some much-needed relief.

“It’s a huge draw for all Canadians for sure. People are really gravitating towards having some cold beer, having some nachos, and watching some hockey,” said Petzing.

The Local and other pubs in downtown Victoria are seeing more people coming in because of the playoffs. Sales are up because of it, even with the provincial restrictions on capacity.

And that’s not the only reward the return of hockey is providing.

“It’s certainly has helped the happiness of customers, and that’s the main thing,” said Petzing.

The 2020 Stanley Cup playoff games are being played in a condensed format, with the stands empty, and arena’s silent. But fans are as revved up as ever on the South Island as the Canucks take on the St. Louis Blues.

It’s the first time since 2015 the Canucks are in the running for the Stanley Cup, and they’re facing a tough team.

The Blues know a thing or two about what it takes to win the cup, having won it last year.

But for many, watching the games is just about having something to cheer for again.

“A lot of people from Vancouver Island and Victoria are obviously cheering for the Canucks. There’s not a lot to cheer for here in Victoria right now, so everybody will be cheering for the canucks tonight, yes,” said Petzing.

The puck drops Wednesday, August 12 at 7:30 PDT in game one of the matchup between the two teams.


Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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