April 12, 2017 10:36 pm

With Canucks out of post-season, fans from other NHL teams bring playoff fever to Vancouver

WATCH: With the Vancouver Canucks season over, local bars and restaurants are looking to other fan bases to fill seats. But can supporters of other teams living here in B.C. make up for the loss? John Hua takes a closer look.

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This time last year, no Canadian team qualified for the NHL playoffs, leaving fans in the NHL’s seven Canadian markets without much to cheer for. This season, Vancouver Canucks fans are on the outside looking in as supporters of five of seven Canadian NHL teams are getting fired up for a playoff run.

Over the past four years, the Canucks have only made it to the post-season once, when they were bounced out in the first round by the Calgary Flames during the 2014-2015 season.

The Canucks’ current playoff drought has been tough on some local businesses.

“Sales are down 80 per cent easy, just by them not making the playoffs,” said John Czvelka, owner of Vancity Sports, which sells licensed sports apparel. There will be a very low amount of Canucks merchandise being sold.

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“It is tough to see from the business point of view but as a fan as well.”

The owners of the Black Frog Eatery feel otherwise. Located in Gastown, the pub is a popular meeting place for the city’s Edmonton Oilers fans.

“It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be busy, tons of fired-up fans,” Black Frog Eatery manager Taylor Senft said.

Oilers fans in Vancouver have had to wait a long time to watch their team in the playoffs. The team hasn’t qualified for the post-season since the 2005-2006 season when they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final.

“For us, the decade of darkness is over,” Oilers fan Martin Palin said.

After suffering through a playoff drought far worse than what Canucks fans are experiencing, Palin has some advice for Vancouver hockey fans.

“All I can say is hang on tight, and hopefully, it won’t take you as long as it took us,” he said.

— With files from John Hua

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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