There’s no doubt that the Vancouver Canucks have had an amazing year with the best regular season record in the NHL, followed by a rollercoaster ride in the playoffs. It started with an emotional game seven victory over their long-time rival Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, and ended with a game seven loss to the Boston Bruins yesterday in a hard-fought series that had everyone on the edge of their seats each game. The support from the city was enormous, with fans packing Rogers Arena and every pub, sports bar, and outdoor live viewing site in Vancouver. However things quickly turned from friendly, camaraderie-filled scenes like this at the Commodore Ballroom:
to unadulterated mayhem.
Following the game seven loss to the Bruins, dejected Canucks fans could be found everywhere you looked — but especially in the downtown core where a rumoured 100,000 fans gathered to watch the finale. Depending on where you were, everything from the burning of cars to store fronts smashed and pillaged could be seen. Police scrambled to keep the peace, but little could be done when they were vastly outnumbered. It wasn’t until the sun went down and the riot squad showed up with pepper spray and smoke canisters were the streets really cleared. It was both a sad and scary sight. And although the rioting was started by only a few, it was joined by far too many.