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Sports have an incredible ability to affect us emotionally. They are capable of boosting our self-esteem and invigorating our enthusiasm for life; however, they are equally capable of completely shattering our spirit. We are located in the heart of Canuck country, elbow to elbow with devout Canuck fans and the general mood after the loss last night was indeed sullen. With that said, it is very important to differentiate between sullen vs. violent. It is in my opinion and that of many of my friends and family, each of whom rise and fall with the success of the Canucks, that the violence witnessed on the streets of Vancouver was not perpetrated by the true sports fan. Instead, it was simply a group of opportunists who recognized an event that could be used to distract from the sport and achieve their end goal of looting and mayhem.
There is no doubt that we Canadians are passionate about our game, perhaps to a fault. Although violence can be a point of contention when talking about hockey, the display on the streets of Vancouver is not representative of the very significant majority of actual hockey fans.
The Canucks will be back and success will come to Vancouver fans. Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa fans suffered the same fate at the hands of an American based team. Sometimes we forget that this game has become global and although the Cup will reside in Boston for the next year it will be shared by players from across the country, the United States, and Europe. The Cup will make stops in Kamloops with Mark Recchi, and Vancouver will get a chance to see Lord Stanley as homegrown Milan Lucic will certainly bring it home.
Another great year of hockey has come to a close and now we can regroup and get back to business.