“That next afternoon, Canucks beat Philadelphia 8-4 in a one-sided game that should have been 8-2. Molin opened the scoring by walking through a wave of slashes to beat Pete Peters before crashing to the ice to dislocate his shoulder. Smyl got the hat trick, Williams got his first goal…The following Sunday night the club was in Detroit. Well-rested, with no excuses, Williams blew three first-period breakaways and they played one of their worst games of the season, losing 3-1 when they should have sent the feeble Wings the way of the Edsel. It was classic psychotic behavior; scraping their noses on the rafters one game, slumming the next…”
I came across this quote from Towels, Triumph & Tears the account of the 1981-82 Canucks season and Cinderella Cup run written by Tony Gallagher and Mike Gasher. It neatly summarizes the history of the Canucks organization.
Earlier in the chapter, Jim Robson — the voice of the Canucks for 30 seasons — is seen lamenting the fate of the mediocre Canucks who are about to embark on an 5-game road trip. Loyal as a puppy, even the legendary broadcaster, and Canucks die-hard, was having trouble finding anything good about the beginning of the season. While Robson and and Larry Popein, then Director of Player Personnel, are sitting in their hotel room discussing the hum-drum start to the campaign, Gallagher and Gasher remark:
“They got to talking about how poorly the club had been playing and even for these optimists, the year looked bleak. Foul thoughts that were going through every reasonable fans head were also going through the minds of these two knowledgeable heads. Despair was even considered…”
After reading this quote a clearer picture of the Canucks 4-5-0 record this season begins to emerge. However road-weary and woebegone the club feels this season, it is not an exception in the history of the franchise. In fact, the Aquilini Brother’s should consider a new motto that can be raised to the rafters: Road-raped and mediocre!
Psychotic enough to sell-out 5 consecutive seasons at home, the question arises: who is the real crazy in this town?
The game tonight against Boston was boring. So bad, in fact, that I did what every self-serving fan in this city does when the team is down, I walked away. Not too far, just far enough to escape the wretched boredom.
As Hiedegger once stated, and I’m paraphrasing, the universal case of boredom consists of any instance of waiting. Tonight I got tired of waiting. And 38 years running we still wait. Just like Jacob waiting for Rachel by the well, we wait.
We wait for goals. We wait for wins. We wait for the Sedins. We wait like fiends. We wait like addicts. Reminds me of an old adage from Alcoholics Anonymous: the definition of insanity is trying the same this over and over expecting different results.
This psychotic time is not new to Vancouver.
Next Up — Los Angeles and Anaheim