The Vancouver riots after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals appear to be over. However, the riots have already taken their toll on Vancouver due to the amount of damage, the dozens of injures and arrests, and the blow to the city’s reputation. This could have been the greatest week in the city’s history, but now it may well be the worst in recent memory.
If the Canucks had actually won the first Stanley Cup in the team’s history, perhaps there still would have been riots anyway. After all, this is a passionate hockey town either way, as fans and citizens were hanging on the Canucks’ every win and loss. For the first time since 1994, the Canucks were one more win away from taking the championship, and even had a Game 7 at home to do it.
But thanks to the Boston Bruins, Tim Thomas, and the struggles of Roberto Luongo, the Canucks were knocked off in a seven-game series that wasn’t really that close. As such, although the city was ready to have its greatest joy to date when the week started, the week ends with Vancouver police and officials desperately trying to fix the town and its reputation.
Following the 4-0 defeat in Game 7, riots broke out and went on until the next morning, presumably in response to the heartbreaking loss. However, Mayor Gregor Robertson and police chief Jim Chu claimed that the damage was mostly caused by anarchists and hoodlums, not so much by outraged Canucks fanatics, reports the Vancouver Sun.
Clips of the incidents and pictures posted on the Internet made it easier to believe that a gang of fans was responsible. Whether this was caused by fans or a small band of people not influenced by hockey, this story has been the worst possible epilogue for the season.
The city must already mourn the greatest near-miss in Canucks history, which is even worse than the Game 7 loss to the Rangers in 1994. This time around, Vancouver had home ice advantage, the supposed best club in the NHL, and leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the series. Thanks to this loss, there are grave questions on whether Luongo, or other stars like the Sedin brothers, can really snap the Canucks’ Stanley Cup drought after all.
While the team has a reputation for falling just short in the end, the town is getting an inflated reputation for hockey riots as well. Similar incidents broke out in Vancouver in 1994, which made the mayor and police assure everyone that things would be under control in 2011.
But since things turned out quite different, Vancouver will be under a heavy spotlight in more ways than one should the Canucks make another Stanley Cup run. The team can always redeem itself by finally winning it all, yet the city faces a more uphill battle whether the home team wins or loses the next shot.
Vancouver Sun- “Vancouver major and police chief blame Stanley Cup riot on anarchists”