There was this memorably-dumbfounded look on Zach Stortini’s face at one point on Saturday night, long before his Oilers succumbed to the Vancouver Canucks. It was late in the first period, and he had just chopped a slash on some random Vancouverite in his path.
As the ref stopped play to indicate Stortini’s upcoming 2-minute detention, he looked around with the bewildered air of a 14 year old kid having just been busted for reading dad’s Playboy collection… while knowing that it was only minutes earlier that he’d been randomly setting houses on fire all over the neighborhood. It was as if to say, “Huh?? You’re seriously busting me for THIS?”
He had a point. Stortini went through that first period like a serial killer building a criminal resume. Finally nailing him for that slash was something like dropping Al Capone for tax evasion—and not nearly as rewarding as just pistol whipping him would’ve been.
Yet despite such obstacles, the Canucks ultimately prevailed and so the City of Vancouver breathed a sigh of relief at being in a playoff position again. And predictably, like sports-fan-whiplash, this week is going to produce a lineup of fans calling Vancouver sports talk radio sharing their plans for playoff parties (and worse, all those Canucks.com forum posters planning… well… whatever it is you plan when you’re a happy 7th grader). Etc.
But the truth is that it’s all just more over-reaction.
The highs are too high and the lows are too low in this town. Despair to euphoria in an instant. And keeping sane in a hockey town without losing one’s marbles is a tough road. So the question becomes: How does one cope with being a fan of a team determined to make you into an alcoholic?
Well, after years of practice at becoming the epitome of perfectly-measured hockey sanity myself, I thought I’d share some much-sought-after personal wisdom.
Here is the first part (of what might possibly become a 300-part series one day) on how to survive as a Canucks fan:
(*click on the guide to enlarge)