Sadly what ruined this evening was as the CTV announcers said "Once again after a hockey game" as another riot took place after the end of a Canuck hockey game.
I feel bad for Canuck fans as while they are some of the most disliked in the hockey world they are in no way responsible for the carnage that happened. Almost as soon as the final horn sounded did the problems for the City of Vancouver begin.
What a shame too as this was a good game to watch; you had what you wanted from a last game of the season. The Bruins and Canucks showed that you can hit hard and hit cleanly.
We got to see two goalies put on a very good show and Canuck fans despite the loss, this score would have been a whole lot worse if not for Luongo's efforts. We saw the best of what hockey had to offer and maybe down the road we will remember the game and not the rioting that took place after the game.
We should be talking about the efforts of the Boston Bruins who rallied around the injury of Nathan Horton and took back the series when so many wrote the Bruins off thinking they would be swept in 4 games.
We should be celebrating the end of what was one of the more exciting playoff seasons. The talk should be about how Boston picked Game 7 to be the only game won by a road team in the series.
The Bruins who needed Game 7 wins over the Canadians, the Lightning and finally the Canucks should be the focus of the attention. It is midnight on the west coast as this is being written and sadly as much as we would love to say that stupidity in Vancouver has ended, it has not
We should be talking about saying good bye to Mark Recchi who for winning three Stanley Cup with three different teams. Hockey is going to miss a guy like Recchi who gave hockey fans of seven different teams an honest night's work for 22 years.
What should anger anyone who is a hockey fan is when the TV media in Canada is saying "once again after a hockey game." We know it is not the fault of Canuck fans but sadly the linkage is going to be there.
No this is not the fault of the sport of hockey and why it is being blamed is unfair. But at the same time we have to acknowledge that this is not the first time a riot has broken out after a Canuck playoff series ended.
The game ended around 8 PM here on the west coast and honestly if you did not know better you would have thought this was a scene from the Middle East. This is as much as fault of hockey as hockey is to blame for global warming.
But as unfair as it is and going to look when the sun comes up in the AM here on the west coast; there needs to be some serious soul searching not by hockey but the people of Vancouver.
If what happened was an spur of the moment, one time thing then no fingers would be pointed. But it is not the first and if the people of Vancouver want people to come there they need to do something.
Every team has a small percentage of fans who give the rest of that team a bad name as there have been times when Ranger fans have crossed the line. The problem here though is it keeps happening in Vancouver which just adds that much more to the reputation of Canuck fans.
No of course it is not fair but it is the unfair reality of the situation as the finger pointing is not being done by anyone but Canadians. Welcome to the real world Canada as moronism is not a 100% American problem you have your own share just like the rest of us.
And one thing that is going to be lost in the aftermath of all this is the behavior of those Canuck fans who were in the arena. I love watching the beginning of a Canuck game really I do as I love listening to Richard Loney singing the US anthem with a straight forward honest effort.
And I so do love the way they sing O' Canada at Canuck games as they put American fans to shame. Watching Mark Donnelly sing the beginning of O'Canada then the fans take over is as awesome a sight as Roger Doucet did at the old Montreal Forum.
When it was announced that it was the last minute of the Game, the Canuck fans stood and gave their team an ovation acknowledging they had lost. They saluted their team and gave the Bruins the respect due a Stanley Cup winner.
And was it not a great sight to see Canuck fans booing down Gary Bettman? They spoke for a lot of the frustration we hockey fans have with the leadership of the NHL.
Sadly that is not going to be remembered as the images of the riot will wrongfully push hockey to the side. The image of Canuck fans whether it is right or not is going to take another beating.
And if you needed any reason as a Ranger fan to not enjoy the efforts of the two teams then please allow me to point out a couple of things. Both teams for the most part have a core foundation that was built from within.
Both teams used trades to backfill holes on the roster and used free agency to apply the finishing touches to their rosters. That folks is how you build not just a Cup winner but an annual contender.
Oh and in case you were not aware both the Bruins and Canucks have players who were scouted, drafted and developed by 3 current members of the Ranger's scouting and development.
Yes it was Gordie Clark who drafted Roberto Luongo and Zdeno Chara while he was working for the Islanders. And it was Jeff Gorton (Clark's #2) and Daniel Dore who helped build the Bruin team that won the Cup.
Gorton and Dore were with the Bruins until 2007 and the names Lucic, Marchand, and Krejci happened on their watch. In fact it was Gorton who ran the 2006 draft for the Bruins and all they did out of that draft was Phil Kessel, Lucic, and Marchand.
So come draft day when you are looking at the Rangers just remember this no where near the people who were in charge of the draft in 2003.
In Gordie We Trust
(Image courtesy of the Vancouver Sun)