Fans back the Green Men

Predators forward Mike Fisher is taunted by the Green Men, who displayed a cardboard cutout of the...

Predators forward Mike Fisher is taunted by the Green Men, who displayed a cardboard cutout of the veteran's wife, Carrie Underwood, wearing a Canucks jersey at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., May 7, 2011. (YouTube)

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:55 AM ET

An hour before Saturday’s puck-drop, Vancouver Canucks fans gathered by the thousands outside Rogers Arena to rally around their team … and the Green Men.

A Facebook campaign urged fans to arrive early on behalf of the two colourful characters, and despite pouring rain, the turnout was huge.

Hundreds lined up for photographs with the duo who have stretched their 15 minutes of fame further than the thin green lycra suits that cover them from head to toe.

The two fans known as Force and Sully who spice up Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts with their antics every time the opposition gets a penalty have become folk heroes since it was reported on HNIC’s Hotstove the Nashville Predators had complained to the NHL about them.

The league has since left them alone, and when the personable lads made the trip to Nashville last week, they were treated like royalty by fans and Predators security staff.

Somewhat miffed the NHL asked them to refrain to touching the glass, they responded in brilliant fashion during Game 5 Saturday with a cardboard cutout of themselves doing a handstand (a move they’re no longer able to perform while touching the glass).

Several other props helped make their performance better than the team itself Saturday, but nothing was better than them stroking the hair of a cardboard cutout of Carrie Underwood while her husband, Predators forward Mike Fisher, sat just feet away in the box.

Best part about it came after the TV cameras left the scene when Fisher noticed them and burst out laughing. He even exchanged a few playful words with them.

“I was going to give her a kiss, but I thought it was too serious of a game,” said Fisher with a laugh afterwards.

“If it was a regular-season game, I would have.”

Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering when and where we can purchase the entire DVD set of Paul Bissonnette’s appearances on TSN.

Around the horn

Calgary touring pro Stephen Ames on who the world’s best player is: “Probably have to be Martin (Kaymer). Bubba (Watson) is playing well, but from what I’ve seen, he’s not in the same class.” As for Tiger Woods? “Tiger’s probably top 5.” … One week after suggesting he was sick of the Green Men’s act, Glenn Healy had quite the goose-egg on his forehead following an errant stick while reporting rinkside. His theory on the unknown assailant: “It was a bounty by the Green Men.” … Former Calgary Stampeders president Ron Rooke played junior football with former NHLer/Predators assistant Brent Peterson, who will have to step down at season’s end due to the progression of his Parkinson’s Disease. “It’s so tough to see, because when we were playing together, his athletic ability and mind were years ahead of everybody’s,” said Rooke, who’s father Doug was Peterson’s first hockey coach. “It makes you realize no one is untouchable.” This from a man who knows as it wasn’t too long ago he had brain surgery … As if there weren’t enough reasons to love Joel Ward, the University of Prince Edward Island grad trades messages with his mom every day. “She’s always telling me to ‘trick’ the goalie instead of ‘deke,’ ” he said with a laugh of a lady who moved to the Toronto area from Barbados in 1962.

Parting gifts

As the new poster boy for Finnish goaltending greats, the Preds’ Pekka Rinne was asked how well he knew the previous king, Miikka Kiprusoff: “I don’t know him at all.” … Anyone wondering why Philadephia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette wore the same orange ties throughout the playoffs should know he’s auctioning them all off for families whose kids have cancer … Ran into former Flames tough-guy Wade Belak in Vancouver. He retired mid-season and is doing media-work with the Preds … Former Sportsnet sweetheart Jody Vance is now working for CBC in Vancouver … Stunning that one year after Shane O’Brien was one of the weak links responsible for the Canucks losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs, he’s now playing a prominent role in Nashville and giving the Canucks fits doing it.


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