When Cobie Smulders accepted an invitation to present the Norris Trophy at the 2011 NHL Awards in Las Vegas this past summer, she was firmly told not to wear a hockey jersey.
Kevin Smith (Silent Bob of the comedy duo Jay and Silent Bob) was also told to forsake a jersey and dress to impress.
Smulders listened, Smith didn’t.
When the pair made their way to the podium on stage at the Palms Casino Resort, Smulders was smoldering in a Robin’s egg blue 60's inspired mini-dress, while Smith rocked a Boston Bruins jersey with jorts.
To make matters worse, Smith, an eternal charmer, asked Smulders if she knew anything about hockey.
HE ASKED HER IF SHE KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT HOCKEY.
It’s time to set the record straight.
Cobie Smulders, a 29-year-old actress born and raised in Vancouver, plays Robin Scherbatsky on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. You likely already knew that, the show is a freakin’ riot, and you are probably already aware of the show’s tie-ins to the Canucks.
Scherbatsky is a Canucks obsessed Canadian on the show and popular belief is Smulders is merely a fictitious Canucks fan with no real knowledge of the defending Presidents' Trophy winners.
What we have here is perhaps the truest case of art imitating life.
“I’m a Canucks fan alright, growing up I loved and was obsessed with Pavel Bure, like crazy,” laughed Smulders, talking with Canucks.com.
Forget Team Edward and Team Jacob, Smulders was on Team Bure and the Canucks were her Twilight.
“My memory is not so good, there are gaps, but I do remember going to one game and our seats were like right on the rail and I kept trying to high-five Bure. I couldn’t have loved him more, he was a handsome man playing a fun sport to watch, that was a good combination for me in my tween years.”
When Smulders began working on How I Met Your Mother in 2005, her character was still in development. Four episodes in the creators, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, said they wanted to make Robin a Canadian, “because they thought it was kind of exotic,” chuckled Smulders.
“That is the first and last time I’m ever going to hear a Canadian being perceived as exotic. I took it, I rolled with it, but come on - exotic?”
If exotic is taken as out of the ordinary, than Smulders’ character is indeed exotic.
Robin Charles Scherbatsky Jr., 29-years-old, is a former Canadian pop star turned morning talk show host, from Vancouver. Her father wanted a son so Robin was raised as a boy and enrolled in hockey. Naturally the Canucks became a passion and Chuck Tatham, one of the show’s co-executive producers, ensures Smulders references the team often and accurately.
It started with a discussion about Scherbatsky meeting Mason Raymond after a Canucks game in New York, to which womanizer and amateur magician Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris) replied: “What’s the opposite of name-dropping?”
That was only the beginning.
Robin then drank a twelver of Molson and got all super-Canadian stick handling her way through the living room in a Canucks jersey while reliving Game 6 of the ’94 Stanley Cup Final.
Next Robin attended a Canucks/Rangers game where she threatened to put a slapper right in Darcy Hordichuk’s beer hole.
There have been a few more shout outs since then, including Robin dressing up as a Canuck this past Halloween.
Smulders is different from Robin in many ways when the cameras stop rolling, but their love for the Canucks is shared and completely unwavering.
“All the Canucks stuff on the show kind of came from a place where Robin has a fierce competitive streak and they like seeing her in any sort of violent way. If they could have Robin doing violent things on every episode, I think they’d be super happy. And so I think that’s just how hockey came into it and it’s a perfect fit.
“I am happy to be the conduit of that, I love the Canucks, it’s like a little slice of home in this new world that I’m sort of in now. I was a huge fan and then with the Stanley Cup Final this past year, that spurred even more stuff on for me.”
Smulders was shooting The Avengers (she plays S.H.I.E.L.D agent Maria Hill) in New Mexico during Vancouver’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last year and she stayed as connected to the team as she could streaming games online.
Then the Canucks made the Final and she couldn’t take it any longer. There was no missing these games.
Smulders was at Rogers Arena for Game 2 alongside husband and Saturday Night Live regular Taran Killam, and again with a good girlfriend for Game 7.
“Those were two different experiences. Taran and I had never been to a hockey game together and it was just sheer joy being in the crowd and we were like right behind the keeper and it was cool to see it from that angle.
“Then Game 7 was crazy. I went with a girlfriend of mine whose a die-hard fan and she was having a hard time with it, we were both so stressed about it. Then we rolled a few cars after, so we got it out.”
She's kidding. That isn’t something Smulders would do; it’s something Robin would do.
How I Met Your Mother resumes season seven January 2nd and although Smulders isn’t privy to all the inside intel, she said there’s plenty more Canucks scenes to come.
“I don’t know specifics, but they are always trying to work it in. Even now with wardrobe, I try to make sure we get a Canucks t-shirt in the pajama scene, at the very least.
“It’s the least I can do for the Canucks.”