The loss was bigger than hockey
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
Whether it is the Brazilian national soccer team losing 7-1 to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-finals or the Seattle Seahawks losing to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 49, many sports fans have devasting memories they would prefer stay put behind them. For many Vancouverites, that devastating memory by far, is when the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in game seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
The Canucks had just come off the best regular season record in the league, had arguably both the best skater and goaltender in hockey, had defeated the reigning Stanley Cup champion and bitter rival Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, brought an entire city together, and were the favourites to win it all. However, when the team ultimately lost, the impact of the result was devastating. Not only did it upset the team, but it broke the entire city to the point that a riot unfolded in downtown Vancouver. Vehicles were destroyed, banks were broken into, businesses were looted, and parts of downtown Vancouver had gone into shambles. “I don’t think anyone really saw that capability of destruction in our city,” said Heather Bourke, who was trapped in Queen Elizabeth Theatre during the riot.
The Canucks went on to win only one playoff game the following two years and the team slowly disbanded as time went on. “I don’t know if I’m really over it still. Not the result itself, because listen, somebody’s got to win, somebody’s got to lose, whatever. But just the way I reacted to certain things, and the way I let it bother me in a situation where I was in the Stanley Cup final and I was not enjoying it as much as I should have,” said former Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo in an interview with The Star.
The loss was bigger than hockey but there is a lot more to it than most people think. Next week in this series we are going to take a deeper look into the events that took place not only on the ice, but more importantly, what happened off of it.