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Some questions for all those that hate Vancouver/The Canucks

I've lurked the SB Nation hockey forums for years and would love to have an honest coversation with the Derek Zonas and Bryan Reynolds of the net. The large groups of fans within blogs like Second City Hockey and Pension Plan Puppets that hate the Canucks/Vancouver. In one of the darkest times for Vancouver fans, I'm honestly curious about getting answers to these questions:

Do you think the Vancouver Canucks are by a significant margin, the dirtiest, most dangerous, whiniest, most deplorable team in the NHL?

Do you think the city of Vancouver has significantly more unlikable fans than most other major cities?

If the answer is yes to either of the above questions, why do you think that is?

If the answer is yes to either of the first two questions, what do you think the average, right thinking Vancouver fan should do about it?

You see, my problem is not the hatred some people have for the Canucks or their fanbase. People are allowed to hate whoever they want. If one was to be objective with Vancouver, they're probably in the top third of the league for amount of dives and for agitating players that can be unlikable. I also had no problem with them not being cheered as "Canada's team" the way Edmonton and Calgary have in the past. Vancouver won the President's trophy, so no one could cheer them on as an underdog. Vancouver is also, much like Montreal and Toronto, a very polarizing city just by the nature of it's size and the fact that it represents to some "The West" the way to some Montreal and Toronto represent "French Canada" and "The East" respectively.

My problem is Vancouver has been portrayed by many in the media and on forums as being by far, the dirtiest and most unlikable team seen in years, and everything is filtered through the prism.

I hate when people try to justify their own flaws by pointing out others have the same flaws. Nothing excuses Raffi Torres for his first round hit on Brent Seabrook he deserves to have been suspended. While people can argue on what punishment it deserved, Alex Burrows did bite a player's finger and that is, at best, very poor sportsmanship. Vancouver Canucks did dive during these playoffs, and diving should be penalized whenever it is obvious and flagrant.

But where pointing out hypocrisy does come into play is when people try to argue that not only are the Canucks guilty of all these crimes, which they are, but that they're guilty of them to a far greater degree than everyone else.

In Chicago people were rightfully outraged over the Torres hit, but there was far less of a public outcry when Brian Bickell hit Kevin Bieksa with a similar hit. Nashville and San Jose both cried foul on dives, which Vancouver did indeed do, and it helped to create a media narrative that diving was what Vancouver was known for. Some may have forgotten that in round one, Anaheim accused the Predators of diving and in previous rounds star players such as Patrick Kane and Joe Thorton had giant dives that circulated youtube. Blackhawk fans are outraged when Henrik Sedin says the Chicago series shouldn't have gone as many games as it did, yet they largely ignore comments from Chicago players before and during the series about Vancouver being scared and overrated. When Aaron Rome laid out an illegal late hit on Nathan Horton and gave him a severe concussion, he was punished, which he deserved. But the punishment was a severe one handed down due to the fact that it lead to a severe injury. Yet when Rome was concussed on a dirty hit in the previous round, no suspension. When Mason Raymond broke his back on a relatively harmless (but illegal) can opener move that turned into something dangerous? Not only was there no suspension, the NHL didn't even wait to hear about the severity of the injury. Many in the media and some Chicago fans suggested Vancouver did not deserve to win the cup due to character issues, yet the Blackhawks won the year before with a variety of chippy players and in Patrick Kane, a star player who ended up pleading guilty to charges related to attacking a cab driver. And you know what? Chicago did deserve to win the Cup, because they were the best team in the playoffs. But to somehow play a moral high ground card is head scratching.

I believe Vancouver has given out some dirty hits, have some players that do unlikable things and say some cingeworthy things. But I do not believe that Vancouver is far and away a team deserving of the hatred and the schadenfreude they've been receiving. I believe Vancouver has some fans that are embarrassments. But I do not think that represents the majority of Vancouver fans. Even with two riots in the last 17 years, I am both comforted and saddened with the knowledge that Vancouver is not the only city to disgrace themselves like this. From Toronto with the G8, to Chicago with the Bulls, to LA with the Lakers, to Africa with soccer, it's a sad fact of human nature that these things happen.

Why am I a Vancouver fan? Probably for the same reasons most of you started cheering your favorite team. They were the closest to where I lived and I liked their stars. I continue cheering for them, through every high and low, through owenership, management and roster changes, through times like these, because it's just not fun to bandwagon.

I am tired of being told that I should be disgraced by my team. That whatever sins they commit are only ever commited by them. I am tired of being told that I should be disgraced by my fans. That the majority of them are some kind of dumb, evil hive mind and that any that aren't are refered to condescendingly as "one of the good ones".

So again, I ask

Do you think the Vancouver Canucks are by a significant margin, the dirtiest, most dangerous, whiniest, most deplorable team in the NHL?

Do you think the city of Vancouver has significantly more unlikable fans than most other major cities?

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