Thursday, June 16, 2011
Downtown Vancouver ablaze after rioters run amok following Canuck Cup loss
The misery for the Vancouver Canucks and their fans continued with another near miss in their 40th season.
Moments after the 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, the frustration and disappointment turned to anger and violence. Only a few blocks from Rogers Arena, cars were overturned, several fires were set, store windows were smashed and people clashed with police as a riot ensued in downtown Vancouver on Monday evening.
What was supposed to be a party in Vancouver turned into violent behaviour after the Canucks came up with another clunker in the seventh and deciding game. They were unable to continue the trend of the home team winning each game.
From the Bruins fourth line to their magnificent goalie, Conn Smythe-winner Tim Thomas, head coach Claude Julien had the better team on this night as Boston celebrated its first championship since 1972.
Thomas made 37 saves for his second shutout of the series and fourth of the postseason. He set a record for the most saves made in a playoffs at 798 and most shots faced at 849 for a .940 save percentage. In the seven-game final, the 37-year-old Thomas recorded a .967 save percentage. Not bad for a ninth-round pick who took almost a decade after he was drafted to make his first appearance in an NHL game.
"I know the game, and I know the way that it is," Thomas said. "Winning the Stanley Cup is huge. It's the biggest accomplishment of my career thus far. But everybody knows in this game that you have to continuously prove yourself.
"I'm sure if I were to, for example, start out the season bad next year that I probably, with the Cup, would have bought myself a little bit of leeway, but it won't last forever unless I turn my game around."
A stunned capacity crowd of 18,860 at Rogers Arena and hundreds of thousands more in the downtown streets watched their Presidents' Trophy-winning team slump offensively with only eight goals in seven games. The Canucks weren't going to become the first Canadian-based team since the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup with such little production.