While Canada might hate the Vancouver Canucks this playoff run, the feeling is more than mutual

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      Dear Canada: Why do you hate us?

      Before you answer, a quick confession. In the interest of full disclosure, Vancouver Canucks fans don’t like you, either. We never pull for your teams in the playoffs just because we are, as Canadians, somehow expected to support other Canadian franchises. 

      In reality, we don’t want any of you winning the Stanley Cup. 


      Christ, we don’t even want you moving up in the draft, mostly because it boosts your chances of making the post-season next year. And possibly, at some point in the future, winning the Stanley Cup. 

      Here are some stone-cold, beautiful facts when it comes to being an NHL fan in Vancouver. 

      On the West Coast, few civic holidays are more loved than each spring’s annual Toronto Maple Leafs Playoffs Elimination Day. That goes double when it comes in the first round. 

      The only thing that might have been greater than the Calgary Flames not making the post-season this year would have been the Edmonton Oilers getting bounced by the Los Angeles Kings, in four, in the first round. 

      If there’s a God, the Connor McDavid era of the Oil will go down in infamy as the group that couldn’t get it done despite having the greatest player on the planet. Except for last night, when he got precisely zero shots on goal in last night’s round two opener against the Vancouver Canucks.

      Need another reason to hate Edmonton? Here you go, with a couple of things to note. First, talk about a missed opportunity when these two sing "Don't forget Hyman, he's on the hunt", and then fail to make the next line "And Corey Perry, a flaming....". Secondly, there are some things you can’t unsee or unhear. Thank you @GrillCheezKilla—there is a reason you are a Vancouver legend.

      Is anyone who follows the NHL an Ottawa Senators fan, including people who live in Ottawa? 

      Quebec has made it abundantly clear it doesn’t want to be part of this country over the past five decades. So leave already, and take the Montreal Canadiens with you. Truthfully, as much as we love Wolf Parade, Mitsou, and poutine, we don’t want you here, either. And by the way, you spelled Canadians wrong, dummies. 

      The closest thing the rest of Canada has to a team that Vancouver Canucks fans don’t roundly despise is the Winnipeg Jets, but to be truthful we only pull for them because we feel sorry for people who have to live in Winnipeg. 

      South of the border, meanwhile, there’s no shortage of teams for Vancouver to love. The Washington Capitals, mostly because—with the exception of that one cup win—they’re just like the Canucks only different. Which is to say a perennial underachiever prone to disappointing their fan base, even years when they are good. 

      Closer to home, the Seattle Kraken rock. Here’s why we love them: if you live in Vancouver, your Canada basically ends at Boundary Road. As such, you have far more in common with the progressive people of Washington State than redneck Alberta, pancake-flat Manitoba, and whatever the rest of the provinces in this country not called the Maritimes are called. 

      Cascadia forever!

      But back to the Canucks, aka the team the rest of Canada—and that includes Clueless Kelly Sutherland—makes it abundantly clear it cannot stand. 

      The country-wide distaste isn’t new. Before he was shipped off to the glue factory, Don Cherry called it like it is on Hockey Night in Canada back in 2011 with this question: “Why does everyone hate Vancouver?” 

      The answer at that time probably started with Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler. But rewind a bit, and there’s a clearer answer. 

      The last time a Canadian franchise won a Stanley Cup was in 1993, when the Canadiens beat Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Since then, Canadian teams have been to the finals six times. The only teams to make it to hockey’s grandest show twice? That would be the Vancouver Canucks—which pretty much establishes the franchise as Canada’s greatest team over the past four decades.

      Suck it, everyone else. Especially Toronto, Winnipeg, and Montreal, who haven’t even got close to the finals.

      Even though we’re clearly number one, spend any amount of time on the internet, and the hate is real. 

      As Vancouver broadcast veteran Matthew Sekeres succinctly put it, once again it’s us against the world. Bring it on. 

      All this is indeed nothing new. Bleacher Report once ran an article called “5 Reasons Why Fans Hate the Vancouver Canucks”. The final summation was this: “The fans of Vancouver are the No. 1 reason why NHL fans hate the Vancouver Canucks.”

      Dear NHL fans in general—and Canadian NHL fans in particular: “Go. Fuck. Yourselves.” Do you have the world’s coolest alternate jersey crest? Because we do. 

      Take some time to really think about it, and there’s an iron-clad case that, rather than being hated, the Vancouver Canucks should be embraced, from coast to coast, as Canada’s Team. 

      Canadians are supposed to be humble, self-deprecating, and perfectly at home with the idea that we’re basically a poor man’s America, forever standing in the shadow of the greatest nation on Earth. 

      The Vancouver Canucks are the living embodiment of that idea—a team that’s been in the league for 54 years and has won precisely no Stanley Cups during that time. Other long-standing losers on that front—there are 11 in total—include the Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, and Minnesota Wild. What separates all of those teams from Vancouver is that they are modern-era expansion teams. Or, in other words, they haven’t been failing at the only thing that matters in the NHL for a half fucking century. 

      To root for Vancouver is to root for the little guy that never wins, but keeps gamely plugging along. 

      Pulling for the Canucks is to show you are in fact a true Canadian at heart—a fan of the perennial underdog.

      So don’t hate the Canucks because the team is based in a city that is as spectacular as Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Winnipeg are hideously fucking ugly. Instead, lovingly embrace the Canucks to show empathetic solidarity with one of the NHL’s longest-suffering fan bases. 

      Or, you know, you can continue to hate us for reasons we’ll never understand on the West Coast. Which is fine, because once the Oilers are done in six, we’ll be the only Canadian team left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Again. 

      You suck. 

      We don’t. 

      Go Canucks.