The Vancouver Canucks are enjoying such a terrific start to the 2023-24 NHL season that even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had to see what all the hype was about.
The Duke of Sussex performed the ceremonial puck drop ahead of the contest as part of the lead up to the 2025 Invictus Games, which will be held in Vancouver and Whistler. Harry is the founder of the Invictus Games, which is an international multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick armed forces personnel.
"I actually had to tell him (to drop the puck) because he keeps holding and smiling," Hertl said after the game. "I'd say 'it's time to drop it' but it's a cool moment. For sure I will remember that one."
— Lachlan Irvine (@LachInTheCrease) November 21, 2023
The Duke's participation came 21 years after his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, dropped the puck in a preseason game between the Canucks and Sharks in 2002.
After doing his duty at center ice, Harry watched the Canucks defeat the Sharks 3-1 alongside his wife. The couple was shown celebrating after J.T. Miller's third-period goal that essentially iced the game for Vancouver.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 21, 2023
Harry and Meghan's night at Rogers Arena was not without some confusion, as they joined the rest of the hockey world in puzzlement about what constitutes goaltender interference these days after a goal was waved off.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry confused about a goal being disallowed due to goalie interference just like the rest of us. 😅 pic.twitter.com/nNehHvWfgp
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 21, 2023
Vancouver is one of the most surprising teams in the NHL so far this season, sitting at 13-5-1. The team's 27 points are second only to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference, and two behind the Boston Bruins for the most in the league. The Canucks' plus-32 goal differential is the best mark in the NHL.
On the other hand, there's nothing royal about the Sharks' performance this year, as they rank dead last with just seven points through 18 games.