With the events of last Monday’s historic collapse still weighing heavily on all of our minds, it might be tempting for you to consider joining the Canuck players and tuning this team out for the rest of the year. After all, if what we saw versus the Islanders is an indication of the sort of team we have now, one might say, there’s really no point in tracking this team to their logical end, which is the last game of the regular season, and no further.
No one would blame you for that. Watching the Canucks come out of the tunnel after the second intermission leading by a field goal, only to give up a touchdown? That’s tough to take. (Although I’d argue surrendering a third-period three-goal lead would be tougher to take if it happened in the playoffs, in a game 7, against the hated Boston Bruins. So it could be worse.)
But don’t do it. At the risk of sounding like a shill for the Aquilinis, there are so many reasons to keep watching this team this season, and we’re here to give you just a few. Here’s why you should stick with these Canucks:
This is as retro as it gets. Earlier this season, the Canucks paid tribute to the Stanley Cup-winning 1915 Vancouver Millionaires, a part of this city’s history. But far more of Vancouver’s hockey legacy is taken up with teams that don’t win squat — just stunningly bad teams, teams that turned our fathers, grandfathers, and long-time local sports columnists into mumbling Canuck cynics. Don’t turn away from a chance to understand their experience.
It’s a disaster. We’ve all been there. Driving on the freeway, to or from Surrey, say, and all of a sudden, it’s nothing but gridlock. After an hour of crawl, things finally begin to open up, and you look to your left to see what the holdup was: a minor accident. Worse, it wasn’t even the accident that slowed things down. It was people slowing down to look at it. That’s human nature. We want to see the fires, the broken glass, the scene of the accident. We’re watching a trainwreck happen right in front of us. You can’t look away.
History will be made. Did you see how many goals the Canucks surrendered on Monday night? Seven. That’s a franchise record right there, and if you watched it, you’ll always be able to tell your friends and family, I once saw the Canucks give up seven goals in a period. But who’s to say that’s rock bottom? Maybe tomorrow the Canucks give up a goal a minute for nine minutes. You laugh, but would you have predicted seven goals in twenty minutes — against the Islanders? No. You have no idea what you might be turning your back on.
Alex Burrows might not score. And speaking of history in the making, have you heard that Alex Burrows is goalless this season? He totally is. And it’s amazing. Sure, it’s frustrating, especially, one imagines, for Burrows — although I’d be willing to cash a $4 million cheque to not do my job — but it’s also entirely unprecedented. Burrows is five shots off the modern-day NHL record for most shots on goal by a forward without scoring. One of two things is going to happen. Either he’s going to break that record, which means you get to witness more history, or…
Alex Burrows might score. Can you imagine the celebration when he does? That alone might be worth the price of admission.
Gallows humour. Like I said earlier, it’s been a while since the Canucks have been bad. But we’ve paid a price for our good hockey team, and that price has been humour. Now, sure, we’ve still had our laughs over the years, but with this team so close to the Stanley Cup, we’ve taken their pursuit of it absurdly seriously. (Remember that time we rioted? What was that about?) Fortunately, the Canucks are bad now, and once we accept it and start laughing about it, the gallows humour will flow like water.
Suffering builds character. As the Bible says, “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Was the apostle Paul talking about being a Canucks fan? I reached out to several Biblical scholars, none of whom returned my calls, but I can only assumes he absolutely was. This is good for us. It makes us stronger. And when the Canucks do turn it around, if you were there for the dark times, you’ll be able to be a jerk to the news fans who don’t understand what you’ve been through. You’ll have earned that right.
This feature takes a moment to recognize the best tweets of the week, because we’re online-type writers and Twitter is an online-type thing. If you see a great Canucks-related tweet, send us a link. Or plagiarize it and bask in its glory.
I moved to Canada in 2003, Canucks have been pretty good since then. Feel like I am about to get a lesson in the first 30 years of fandom.
— Peter Gibson (@PeeSeeGee) March 7, 2014
All three tweets this week are from the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Dallas Stars, because if there’s one thing Canucks fans are good at, it’s gallows humour. Poor Peter here, is just learning that lesson.
Gotta hand it to @sportsnetmurph for being able to say “if any Canucks player scores 5 goals tonight” without laughing. Guy’s a pro.
— j.Bowman (@jBowmancouver) March 7, 2014
I would laugh if I tried to say, “If the Canucks as a team score 5 goals…” so I couldn’t do Dan Murphy’s job.
Have we tried turning the Canucks off and on again?
— Feminist Killjoy (@alixiswright37) March 7, 2014
What about blowing on the cartridge? Will that work?