Jun 142011
 

Gutless – lacking courage or determination.

Unclassy – lacking in good taste or sense; crude.

Both of these terms have been tossed back and forth between the Vancouver and Boston camps since the beginning of the Stanley Cup Final. They’ve been used so often and so stupidly that for many people, the words have lost their venom. Even the supposedly “unbiased” media is jumping on the wagon of name-calling, labelling the Sedin Twins “Thelma and Louise” (Mike Milbury, NBC/Versus) or calling the Canucks a bunch of classless, gutless brutes (Barry Rozner, Daily Herald).

It’s pretty apparent that the Canucks and their fans are more often the culprits of these accusations compared to the Bruins, who time and time again are coming off as the victims, despite HNIC calling the series’ officiating in favour of the Bruins and the countless horror stories from Canucks fans brave enough to go to Boston.

What’s disgusted me is how this whole series has spiralled into a savage show of brutality, finger-pointing, whining and name calling from both cities. Is this really what hockey has come down to? 

A grown man elbowing a nine-year-old boy in the head for wearing a Canucks jersey?

Or Canucks fans calling Milan Lucic’s parents at all hours of the night to swear at them?

Some parents should be more concerned about their own terrible behaviour rubbing off on their children rather than that of the players’ on the ice.

The lowest point in this entire series so far is what happened in Game 6 when Mason Raymond went down awkwardly into the boards and laid on the ice while Boston fans cheered, clapped and chanted. Then while Raymond’s limp body was carried off the ice by his teammates, fans in TD Garden actually booed.

Today it was revealed Raymond has fractured vertebrae in his back and will be out 3-4 months.

Fans across the NHL know that you never boo an injured player off the ice no matter how much you hate the opposing team. It’s the epitome of bad taste, or “unclassy” behaviour if you want to recycle some redundant terminology. It was a disgusting, embarrassing show of behaviour at TD Garden, and yes, I did actually expect more from Boston fans despite the shame spiral this series has turned into.

Even NHL Connected had something to say about this today:

“Bruins fans: how do you feel now after the merciless booing you rained down upon Raymond as he struggled on the ice with a broken back?”

And somehow Vancouver is the classless city of the two? Really? Because when Horton went down in Boston, fans watching on the JumboTron at Rogers Arena applauded in support when he left the ice.

Today @lizzmoffat tweeted: “When Horton was hit everyone at the Rogers (Arena) viewing party clapped him off. Boston booed off MayRay. I think that says a lot.”

Vancouver has a reason to be very upset with Boston’s performance last night. It didn’t matter who was hurt; an injured player should never be booed off the ice, especially not a harmless Mason Raymond who hasn’t done anything to garner hatred in Bean Town.

Some Twitter reactions to the incident:

Sportswriter Joe Haggerty: “One thing I can confidently say I didn’t like tonight: Bruins crowd yelling at Mason Raymond while he was seriously hurt on the ice. Brutal.”

From Nanaimo, BC: @Tambellini_Girl: “What’s more “classless” than making fun of Raymond while he’s hurt on the ice? I’ve never hated other team’s fans until yesterday.”

From Montreal: @MALaviolette: “’Mason Raymond out with fractured vertebrae’ »»» I wonder if the booing Bruins fans feel cheap now. #classless #bruins

From Denver, Colorado: @Greg69Sheryl: “Mason Raymond suffered a fractured vertebra – Now I’m more embarrassed about the behavior of #Bruins fans in Game 6.”

I could go on, but what’s the point? There’s one more game left to play in this series, and I have to admit that despite how much I love hockey, I can’t wait for it to be over for a while. Obviously I hope that Vancouver walks away with its first Stanley Cup in franchise history, but another part of me is glad the series will be finished after all the continuously ruthless crap going on between the two cities.

I don’t think the good name of hockey (or what’s left of it) can afford any more incidents like this if the sport is going to walk away with any scrap of dignity after Wednesday.

Normally I’d end this kind of post with “stay classy” but what’s the point? That ship sailed a long time ago.

So I’ll end with what every Canucks fan is thinking, and what every Bruins fan should be admitting:

We hope you’ll be okay, Raymond. See you next season.

  • http://twitter.com/33to22 Bart Byl

    Didn’t like the boos either, but a few factors here:
    - Many fans probably didn’t see the hit, as the puck had moved elsewhere- Nobody knew that Raymond had just broken his back- Given the amount of diving/embellishing in the series, understandable that Bruins fans were suspiciousInitially I thought Horton was embellishing the Rome hit. I’m glad I kept my mouth shut. 

  • http://abeautifullife.ca/ A Beautiful Life

    It’s about time Vancouver supporters rallied together against the name-calling from the media and Bruin supporters.  No matter how much you hate another team, it’s completely lacking in empathy and humanity to jeer and boo an injured player.  IT’S A SPORT, PEOPLE.  The players are human, too.  Did I laugh and jeer when Horton went down? NO.  I sincerely wish him all the best and a fast recovery with no long-term side effects.

    Everything from stories of how Canuck players were denied service in a restaurant in Boston to Canuck fans being physically and verbally threatened, just reinforces my view THAT I WILL NOT EVER TRAVEL TO BOSTON AND SPEND MY TOURISM DOLLARS.  I used to really want to go there, but now there’s not a chance I’ll waste my money there.

    Both teams have been guilty of unsportslikeman conduct and both teams play on the edge.  Fans get emotionally engaged and some lose it, ruining it for others.  Class or no class, people should stop being selfish and think about the well being of the players. 

     

  • Jen

    The minute the trainer comes out, booing shouldn’t even be on the minds of the fans, whether they saw the hit or not.

  • Bryan

    +1

  • RFB

    The attitude towards the Canucks has been shameful….It doesn’t matter of they saw the hit or didn’t see the hit, if you thought he was embelishing or not YOU DO NOT BOO A PLAYER being carried off the ice-ANY TEAM! You DO NOT BOO national anthems! ANY COUNTRIES! There will always be bantering between opposing fans but YOU DO NOT TOUCH or DIMEAN another person EVER! I thought these were a given but apparently some people south of our border didn’t get the memo-now they know and are expected to do better

  • Alperovitz

    no question it was not good sportsmanship to boo him.  however given the behavior of his teammates flopping, doubling over in fake pain and embellishing non existent  or weak hits ect you can kind of understand the booing.  the play itself looked harmless so I can see why they might not have thought he was seriously hurt — he went into the boards almost in slow motion.  comparing this to the horton hit is misguided — every sports fan collected caught their breath watching that hit — not so with Raymond.  i wish him a speedy recovery and let it be a lesson to give the benefit of the doubt to the player even if his teammates have made a mockery of injury, indeed the game itself

  • Maddy Norton

    This is a rediculous post Bart. No justification for booing an injured player. It’s not “understandable” and there are no probably’s. Sort it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=865435513 Trent Mason

    I agree with you Katie, they should have cheered Raymond off the ice as it’s the thing to do in hockey. Though I wouldn’t lump the whole fan base together, and even those who did boo and jeer probably were up to their necks in beer… it is the finals, it has gotten ugly and Boston has the somewhat savage reputation as the Big Bad Bruins which adds fuel to the fire… let’s hope for Rays full recovery

  • Ezeselling

    Spoken like a true Boston fan.  If vancouver could get a call maybe this would be a moot point. Even an Boston sports radio announcer said today he was embarrassed by the one sided officiating.  I hope both Horton and Raymond make full recoveries and are skating soon.

  • http://twitter.com/33to22 Bart Byl

    No, it’s sick to boo a player you know is injured. But it’s different if you mistakenly thought he was diving. The fans were chanting “Flopper”, not “Ha ha, you broke your back!”

  • Paqul D. B.C.

    I did not see a single fan in the area of the incident cheering his injury. I saw people looking on in silence as the rest of the arena chanted. Yes that was classless of the fans. But I do not, even for one moment, believe they were cheering his injury. Talk about band wagon jumping. As a Bruin fan I have been disgusted at the behavior of BOTH teams. The media itself should be ashamed of it’s coverage of the series. I can only pray that Mason Raymond makes a full and healthy recovery to skate again next season. The same prayer I say for Nathan Horton of Boston. Too many players have been injured in this series.

  • Fred

    when the hero of your country and most biased reported (don cherry) calls your team “gutless and indefensible” you have to wonder — even the majority of canada has had enough of the faking flopping ect

  • http://twitter.com/33to22 Bart Byl

    As a former coach Cherry has long openly rooted for the Bruins. I wouldn’t call him a hero of our country. A lot of people think he’s an idiot.

  • Greenie

    Wow, try thinking for yourself and not just repeating all the BS the eastern media feeds you.  That is the boston excuse for everything …well they dive so much…they dive you know, they are a bunch of divers …

    The diving has been going on on both sides and your kidding yourself if you think otherwise.  But no, once again Boston is the victim ..

    Get well soon May Ray

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1305840887 Stacy A White

    I saw them do exactly that while they were in the semis against Nashville. Amazing the things they got away with! I do wish all the injured players a speedy and full recovery. Despite the disheartening behavior of the fans and teams, I would still like to see the Canucks pull off a victory.

  • Mike J Long

    Next to Philly fans, Boston fans are the most inconsiderate bunch of goonery loving morons. This is a case of pure gutless behavior by a player for committing such a dangerous play, the fans for having zero class, and the NHL for deeming such a dangerous hit a ‘hockey play’. The NHL should be embarrassed for its outright one sided officiating and biased rulings. I gave been a hockey fan my entire life, but an beginning to question whether I want to give my support to a corrupt league run by morons. And for the fans of Boston who openly celebrated a serious injury, I sincerely pity your pathetic being–I hope you achieve great fulfillment picking your ass and slinging shit at one another.

    Oh and good article Katie!

  • Dimitri

    Did not touch puck thus interference and then it’s not finishing your check, just more of the classless hockey the Bruins are known for. The Rome hit was late he got interference and slapped with a suspension not much here that is different, the US loves there violence it’s killing the game and talented players are the loser’s, how many are able to go injury free in a season? few the game is out of control, and the fans! nuf said!!!!!!!

  • Guest

    LUCIC Parents getting awful treatment in Vancouver the entire series

  • Hayden

    For the love of all that’s HOLY!  Don Cherry has never liked the Canucks.  He’s a wind bag in bad suits.  He is no hero of mine nor almost anyone I know.  We watch Coaches Corner to see what absurdity he’s going off about and like to laugh at Ron McLean’s reactions. 

    Diving has been on both sides.  Bad calls have been on both sides.  That is NO EXCUSE for players to be seriously injured and have absolutely no repercussions to the offending player.  NHL set the bar with Rome then dropped it again.  The NHL is its worst enemy.   No consistency=dangerous results.  I agree and can’t wait for this tainted season to be over. 

    I want to see a hockey game.  All I’m getting is whining, sniveling from BOTH sides and a bunch of goons and wannabe goons ruining what could have be a great Stanley Cup final and refs that can’t seem to make up their minds what to call and which team they want to win.

    Breaks my heart.

  • Not A Canucks Fan

    Not going to miss you here in Boston! I must say it is funny to read this blog and think you guys have been the better team. There has been more flopping in this series from Vancouver than you would see in an NBA game. By the way, when Raymond was assisted off the ice and not on a stretcher like Horton, we all thought he must have had the wind knoocked out of him or something like that. Who knew at that moment he fractured a vertebrae. Looked nothing like the Horton hit. In all sincerity, I hope he has a speedy recovery.

  • Rbayrack

    It hasn’t just been this series or the playoffs that everyone has talked bad about the Canucks. The whole season despite being the best team in the NHL they brought nothing but negative media coverage from things they did on and off the ice. I think both teams have played a very classless series and it has turned into hockey of the old days where tempers got the best of people and clouded judgements. It’s up to the officiating to put a stop to it, that’s why there are 2 of them out there now. The booing should never have been done. I watched the game I didn’t really notice anyone booing but I was more concerned with Mason Raymond I am just wondering if anyone else really noticed it either or your just talking about it cause of this article.

  • http://twitter.com/kittykat_4 Katherine D

    I agree totally, but I’m betting the Bruins
    fans chanted because the Canucks do dive more than any other team and
    I’m sure they figured Raymond did as well. Classless yes, but that’s
    what the Canucks get for consistently “crying wolf” during the season
    and the playoffs. I’m rooting for the Canucks obviously, but I don’t
    condone the embellishing and diving to get a call. I also don’t condone
    the bullying the Bruins have been dishing out. Dirty both ways.

  • http://twitter.com/kittykat_4 Katherine D

    I agree totally, but I’m betting the Bruins
    fans chanted because the Canucks do dive more than any other team and
    I’m sure they figured Raymond did as well. Classless yes, but that’s
    what the Canucks get for consistently “crying wolf” during the season
    and the playoffs. I’m rooting for the Canucks obviously, but I don’t
    condone the embellishing and diving to get a call. I also don’t condone
    the bullying the Bruins have been dishing out. Dirty both ways.

  • http://twitter.com/kittykat_4 Katherine D

    I’m both a Bruins fan and a Canucks fan living in Vancouver and I agree with you.  The media here blows everything up and a majority of hockey fans here gobble it all up.  Half the time they have no clue what they are talking about.  It goes both ways, it’s not an all or nothing for either team and their fans.

  • Murphy

    No question about the booing of an even potentially injured player. That’s extremely bad form and even if many Canucks players have elevated embellishing to an art form this season and, especially, this series, that’s no justification to shout down a player who might be seriously hurt. As a Bruins fan (living in Vancouver), I detest this behavior and apologize on behalf of all the dbags responsible. But one point about one of the previous comments still needs to be made: “You DO NOT BOO national anthems! ANY COUNTRIES! [sic].” Actually, you should boo *every* national anthem, of *every* country. Hockey, like all other major competitive sports, has become (and to some extent has always been) an exercise in nationalism par excellence. People getting behind sports teams, whether local or national, only because they happen to come from the same place as them, regardless of what they do or how well they play the game. I know it’s what (almost) everybody does, but that doesn’t make it any less ideological. So, stop booing players, but keep booing national anthems – starting with your own.

  • Raymond

    is it an embellishment to be punched 6 times in the face by Brad Marchand. Alperovitz go crawl back into the hole you came out of. You have obviously never played the game. Raymond never even touched the puck.

  • Keith

    So true.  WTF do they play national anthems at pro sports games? Leave that to International contests.

    Really refreshing remarks.  Canucks fans know that no all Bruins fans are jerks but man, where were those guys on Monday?

    Both teams have been guilty of diving and after the whistle stuff. Has not been a classic series by a long shot.  I am glad its going to be over and this season, while great for the Canucks, has been pretty brutal for the sport of hockey.

  • Keith

    Stupid comment.

    You cannot excuse this behaviour and you shouldn’t even try.  That’s what Canucks get?  Listen to yourself.  Imagine if that was your son or brother on the ice and say it again.

  • Notte19

    ummmm….I think the fans started cheering ‘we want the cup’ and ignored the injured player all together! No holding of breath to make sure he was okay, no tapping of sticks on the ice once he got up……the players, the fans, and the city are ALL ugly…..inside and OUT! How ‘s that for being mature ! lol

  • Tammy

    The officiating has been inconsistent and emberrasing from Thomas crotching people with his stick, the punches to the faces and back of heads from the bruins.  The Canucks being chopped down at the back of the legs.  Yes that hurts like hell.  Its incredible.  If the bruins win game 7 it’s only because they out bullied and bruised the Canucks and justified it by saying ‘their embellishing’.  A penalty is a penalty. Like the low blow on Burrows and the punch to the head. No penalty? Cant the refs tell what a penalty is? Or I guess they can only read player’s names and numbers.  Unbelievable what the Bruins get away with 100 times a game.  It’s been emberrasing, I am emberrased by the league and the officiating, and now I know why eastern teams have complained about the Bruins and their cheap antics.  And now you know why the NHL doesnt get taken seriously by alot of people, while they sit and watch a corrupt game where you let your stars get pummeled against the rules by a dirty team possibly right out of a championship. Let’s hope not. I hope the Canucks pull it out. Bite that Bettman

  • http://twitter.com/kittykat_4 Katherine D

    Did I say anywhere that Raymond deserved to get hurt? Of course not. I did say the FANS were classless, but the Canucks and their fans have been classless at times too.  Everyone is so focused on the negatives and the drama, no one is remembering that there are good fans on both sides too. Jeeze…

  • http://twitter.com/kittykat_4 Katherine D

    Don’t boo the anthems or the players. And in hockey, most of the players are Canadian anyways. The Bruins even have more Canadians on their team than the Canucks, as well as three from BC.

  • http://www.myhockeyshow.com Andre LePuck

    “Energy transfers from person to person,” says the man with home ice advantage

  • Mrs.Bieksa GoCanucksGo

    First of all, how dare you? You are on here shit talking our team?! The TRUE Canuck fans wouldn’t do that to you, regardless of our hate for the Boston Bullies… I mean, give me a break? Of course Raymond’s hit didn’t look so bad, but to boo him and scream taunting words is just lame and heartless. Apparently you didn’t notice that Horton put up his arms wanting to get up and leave the ice. And yes, Raymond was strapped down to a stretcher to leave your arena with a BROKEN BACK!!! It’s only fair that Boychuck gets kicked out after Raymond was taken to the hospital, that should have happened, but it didn’t. And I believe that he shouldn’t be in Game 7 and have at least a 4 game suspention. Afterall, Rome had that and Boychuck had more time to stop himself. I mean give me a break “Not A Canucks Fan”, he didn’t have the puck, Kesler did. And you are telling me the worse our fans is doing is prank calling Lucic’s parents, well those aren’t real fans anyways if they’re being that rude. But what grown man elbows a kid for wearing a jersey of the other team?! Boston needs to grow up and realize there is more then your city out there. We try and respect others until we can’t take it any longer. You booed out anthem and you booed our injured player, now we boo you!

  • <3 Bieksa <3

    I agree with your comment 110%!

  • Ms Tinkvixen

    I personally think that from now on the ZEBRAS open their eyes and make all calls. I don’t even care if it’s on to my team. Just do your effing job and all this shit could have been prevented!!!

  • Ms Tinkvixen

    I know that myself and other true Canuck fans wouldn’t really do such a thing, in fact I’ve said if he was on my team I would be so proud to have a Vancouver boy on my team! I am sorry to his parents about the mistreatment. But it also doesn’t excuse the Canucks jersey boy being elbowed. That kind of thing sticks with you forever. The real Canucks fans wouldn’t treat Lucic’s parents badly, but they also wouldn’t harm a child or even a Boston fan in general unless the adult fan prevoked it. And in that case I would hope the Police would step in and handle it properly unlike the Refs!

  • Schorert

    Oh brother, SPARE us your manufactured INDIGNITY!  Do you HONESTLY think that B’s fans would applaud a player being injured?  Do you honestly believe that ANYBODY in that rink thought Raymond’s back was broken? GROW UP.  Even the Nucks TRAINER didn’t think the injury was that serious, because they let two players pick up a guy with a broken back and schlep him off the ice!! or is that Canadian healthcare?
    Bruins fans thought that this was yet another of the 50 or so DIVES that they’ve seen from this GREASY team in this series (just like the 100 DIVES we saw from the Habs this season).  Your team is an undignified bunch of divers, biters and whiners. 
    To say that Bruins fans think that a season ending injury is something we applaud further cheapens the discourse.  Not surprising, you guys whine about Refs, Ice, goons, bar-owners, the league, the network…poor us, everybody is against us…give me a BREAK.  The most skilled team in hockey and when the going gets tough they represent your country like a bunch of pansies.  Why can’t you people admit that your team has absolutely SUCKED in three games even harder than our guys have SUCKED in the other three?

  • Schorert

    Do a search on youtube “Canucks diving” and then do one on “bruins diving” and be embarassed by the results.  

  • Schorert

    bullsh*t, the puck went right between his feet, you tie that guy up every time in your own zone.  the ref standing right there made no call…the league looked at it and said no call…but then again, everybody is against vancouver, right?

  • Abigailasmith

    Sincere regards to Mason Raymond and wishes for a speedy and full recovery.  It is my opinion that any environment or person who condones or accepts actions that result in an injury such as this is sadly lacking in basic human values or compansion for others.  In my opinion The NHL executive are a bunch of overweight, overrated “good old boys” who need to examine their basic values and belief system.  I wonder what their response might if this had happened to their son, grandson, or perhaps even themselves.  I find it entirely disgusting – and not even a penality or investigation – shame on the NHL.

  • Al

    Slightly off topic – I stopped watching Sportsnet coverage this playoffs with some blonde idiot host of theirs said some stupid comments about Vancouver being the most hated team in the NHL.  Just media ignorance trying to stir up trouble.  I also can’t stand how Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy and Jim Hughson are so biased for the Bruins.  I doubt it’s them, I assume it has more to do with the NHL requesting the CBC to be more biased towards the Bruins and make the Canucks look like the villians. 

    Stupid media getting in the way of some solid hockey.

  • Murphy

    That’s not off-topic at all, seeing as it illustrates the overall whining and self-victimizing currently en vogue among Canucks fans. The Canadian media have always been and will always be biased towards any Canadian team in any given series. It’s what’s expected of them – such is the nature of nationalism. And if you’d like to talk about vilification, as if it were a foreign concept to Canadian fans, please review some footage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where Dale Begg-Smith not only got built up in the local and national media as a villain (literally the term that was used), but got booed and heckled as a “traitor” even during the medal ceremonies. So, again, I’m sorry about what happened to Raymond and appalled by the conduct of some Bruins fans in that context. But – please, please, pretty puhlease – give it a rest with this innocent victim shtick already whenever it comes to the Canucks or their fans. You’re not victims of a big media or league conspiracy, you’re not the underdog team that everybody hates and you certainly don’t have any moral high ground left after the series so far, either.

  • evil hater

     look like nothing like the horton hit? do you hear yourself? you know that horton’s still walking! did you even go to school?

  • evil hater

    is that what you’re going to teach your children? 

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to Boston Fans | The Informal Matriarch

  • Hayden

    Ooooo…because youtube is a truth seeking device.  What it says to me is non-Canuck fans have nothing better to do with their time than load up clips to prove a point.  I’m embarrased that grown men have nothing better to do with their time than try to find vindication on youtube.

    And who says I’m a Canuck or Bruins fan?  I just want to watch a good hockey game that’s ref’d well by two teams that are fully capable of acting like adults and not seven year old children on a playground and the teacher who can’t decide who started which battle. 

  • Murphy

    Do I teach them be universal anti-nationalists who question mob mentality, collective identities and any other kind of inclusion/exclusion ideologies? You better believe it.

  • Murphy

    Do I teach them be universal anti-nationalists who question mob mentality, collective identities and any other kind of inclusion/exclusion ideologies? You better believe it.

  • Murphy

    Do I teach them be universal anti-nationalists who question mob mentality, collective identities and any other kind of inclusion/exclusion ideologies? You better believe it.

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