Hockey Spoken Here
by Kate Zimmerman for Vancouver Sun: In Good Spirits column

Why watch a hockey game perched on a barstool instead of lounging in an armchair at home?

Stephen Cole knows. He’s the author of several hockey books, including The Last Hurrah: A Celebration of Hockey’s Greatest Season, ’66-67.

“You watch a hockey game at home. You participate in a game at a bar,” says Cole. “There is that old democratic thrill of joining in with a shouting crowd. Your team winning feels better, losing not as hard, at a bar. Besides, bar beer somehow tastes better than beer from your own fridge.”  

Canucks keener Mark D’Angelo concurs.

“It’s almost like being at a game …” he says, “but without having to shell out a lot of money for the tickets.”

Here’s a dozen spots in the Lower Mainland where you can get your hockey on.

Avanti’s Neighbourhood Pub
1601 Commercial Drive
(604) 254-5466
This “local” for sports nuts features a big-screen TV and satellite dish to help its Guinness, Stella, Strongbow and local beers slip down all the more easily.

871 Beatty St.
(604) 682-2739

The primal jabs of a great hockey brawl mesh easily with the grab-and-gnaw pleasures of BBQ’d ribs at Dix. This brew house has five of its own beers on tap, a big screen in the restaurant and 15 TVs scattered throughout.

2563 West Broadway
(604) 739-7115

You want fancy? You want schmancy? You want hockey? You want Feenie’s. Tables must be pre-booked but stools are doled out on a first-come, first-served basis. Savour the slapshots over a burger topped with foie gras, washed down with one of 12 bottled beers or the three R & B brews on tap. There’s a 15” screen for Feenie’s proper but a larger screen in the back room, which must be reserved.

Jimy Mac’s Pub
19935 – 96th Avenue, Langley
(604) 888-8830

This Tudor-style pub has a couple of fireplaces to keep fans’ blood from turning to ice when Markus Naslund gets benched during overtime play. Add to that seven big screens, one 10’ x 10’ high-definition screen -- 33 TVs in total. The pub has 13 beers on tap and any beer you can think of in the bottle. The folks at Jimy Mac’s also bought season’s tickets for wunderkind Sidney Crosby’s team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Once a month they’ll give away return trips to Pittsburgh to see him play.

Library Square Public House
300 West Georgia Street
(604) 633-9644

Library Square is a bright, new, 220-seat pub with nine 27” and four 48” screens, and two projector screens. It has 12 beers on tap, more than a dozen bottled.

Mahoney’s Sports Grill
222-1025 Robson Street
604) 662-3672
Walk up the stairs and the first thing you see is Gretzky’s jersey. Message: hockey spoken here. Free peanuts and the crunch of shells underfoot distinguish this spot, along with 20 beers on tap plus nine large to regular TVs inside, eight outside, and six satellite dishes in service.

Malone’s Sports Bar and Grill,
2202 Cornwall at Yew,
( 604) 737-7777

This Kits staple offers eight TVs with one big screen. It also has seven beers on tap, 13 bottled.

Mark’s Fiasco
2486 Bayswater,
(604) 734-1325

One big screen television, one projection screen TV and six others make Mark’s Fiasco a busy rink on hockey nights. The spot boasts 11 beers on tap, two of them its own, and a large selection of bottled beers.

3293 West 4th Ave.,
(604) 222-0023

Catering to UBC and Kits-Point Grey, nevermind is doing a promotion this season with Keith’s; for every game, the bar picks a player and if that player gets a goal, everyone in the bar gets an Alexander Keith’s. Nevermind has 11 beers on tap.

Pemberton Station Pub,
135 Pemberton Ave., North Vancouver,
(604) 984-3558

You hear the roar of the television from Pemberton Station’s parking lot. The pub’s sports jerseys and other memorabilia reinforce the jock vibe. There are 28 regular TVs, five large screens and 14 beers on tap.

Shark Club
180 West Georgia Street, (604) 687-4275;
4399 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby, (604) 628-5500;
20169 88th Ave., Langley, (604) 513-8600

A lively, well-known sports bar chain, the Shark Club is right near GM Place, handy to post-game street riots. Over 30 TVs pepper the West Georgia location. 15 beers are on tap, with another 15 bottles on ice.

Sugar Daddy’s,
1262 Davie,
(604) 632-1646

This gay-friendly West End sports bar offers three big-screen TVs, four other TVs strategically placed for its packed NHL nights. Sugar Daddy’s has eight draughts on tap, tons of bottled beers, and countless varieties of margarita.

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