I know it's hard to conceive of, but there will come a point when you actually feel sorry for Canucks fans. Yesterday's debacle, losing 7-4 to the Islanders after conceding seven goals in the third period, just hours after GM Mike Gillis wrote a letter to season-ticket holders stating the organization's commitment to winning a Stanley Cup, is a good place to start.
You can see all seven Isles goals, each by a different player, in the highlight video above, and believe me when I tell you it felt just as merciless and inevitable in real time. Allowing seven goals in a period ties a Canucks record, but it's hard to imagine the previous instances—both blowout losses to the Gretzky-era Oilers—felt like this. A 3-0 lead turning into a deficit in 5:09. The Islanders, last place in their division, stepping on the throats of the Canucks, who still hold out faint hopes of making the postseason.
"I mean, you have to give them credit, but let's be honest, that is not one of the top teams in the league," said Ryan Kesler. "They battled hard, they played hard, but being up 3-0 and blowing it like that, it's embarrassing."
"We've got to somehow try to put it behind us, but I can't say it's going to be easy, it's going to be a tough one to get by," said coach John Tortorella. "This is a kick in the teeth. It's going to take a little bit more than the normal coaches speak to move by this one."
The Canucks actually snatched one back to re-tie the game at four, but Eddie Lack's nightmare period continued—he made only eight saves on the 14 shots he faced in the frame. Tortorella said Jacob Markstrom isn't ready yet, but neither is lack. Vancouver has come a long way from a year ago, when it had Luongo and Schneider—this is a very different, much sadder sort of goalie battle.
There will be losses like this. Maybe not exactly like this, but they will be painful and unusual and make Vancouver look not dissimilar from all the other shitty western Canada teams. Because that's what they are now—a rebuilding franchise with a housecleaning and seasons of misery ahead. So if you can't muster up any sympathy for the Canucks, you may as well get to ignoring them.