VANCOUVER – Cameron Cheung thinks he felt a tremor Wednesday night from fair-weather Vancouver Canuck fans taking a collective leap.
“I think there was an earthquake last night because probably two-million fans just jumped off the wagon,” Cheung, a downtown retail worker, said Thursday.
Cheung himself said he’s keeping the faith, despite the bruising his team suffered in their last two games against the Boston Bruins.
“Instead of, like, ragging on the 4-0 loss last night, we should be, like, supporting them, and you know, think positive, and we’ll take this series in six.”
On Internet sites, radio talk shows and the streets of downtown Vancouver, the faithful defended their hometown heroes in the face of the 4-0 and 8-1 losses suffered in Boston.
Mark Rawling, from Quesnel, B.C., in the province’s Interior, remained optimistic.
“We’ll make it,” he said. “I came all the way down here to see them win the Cup, so, they have to.”
On Twitter, Canucks’ fan Julia_Piper urged fans to hang in, saying the series “ain’t over till it’s over.”
But not everybody was so positive.
One Globe and Mail reader, johnnyleroux, took a direct shot at the Canucks goalie on the newspaper’s website, calling Roberto Luongo “Bomberto Bullongo,” and his performance pathetic.
And reader A_no_one also asked if the new generation of Canucks’ fans was ready for some heartbreak. People can’t call themselves true team fans, he added, until they get a taste of “monumental letdown.”
“It really defines what being a Canuck fan is all about.”
For others, talk has turned to action, and many heartbroken and disappointed fans are dumping their tickets for Game 5.
Mario Livich, CEO of ShowTimeTickets.com, said sellers now outnumber buyers on his website and ticket prices are dropping by as much as 40 to 50 per cent.
Tickets that sold for $2,000 last week are now selling for $1,200, said Livich, and he likened some Vancouver fans to an emotional, jilted lover.
“They are hurt now,” he said. “They don’t want to risk getting hurt again.”
Jim Robson, who announced the Vancouver Canucks on local radio for more than three decades, said some Vancouver fans can be fickle band-wagon jumpers.
“They get too high when they win and too critical when they lose.”
Robson said he was amazed by the amount of criticism the team received this past season, even though it ranked first in the league, first on the road and dominated the statistics.
He said hockey has become more important to people than it should be.
But for him, he said all it took was a high-school choir performance at a charity benefit this week to underline an important point.
“I came out of there, and said, ‘You know, Canucks winning and losing isn’t as important as we all think it is. You know, we’re getting it a bit out of perspective, I think.'”