(by Stephanie Ip, 24 Hours)
Despite back-to-back losses in Boston, the Canucks returned home Thursday to a welcoming committee of about 50 diehard fans at the Vancouver airport south terminal.
“This is (Roberto) Luongo and this is a picture of my hat,” said five-year-old Linden Ubungin, the youngest member of the group, pointing to a stick figure in a rectangle and a Canucks logo on his poster that matched the one on his hat.
Anthony Alves waited almost three hours to catch a glimpse of Ryan Kesler, his favourite player.
“They just need to know that true fans still believe they can bring home the Cup,” said the 23 year old. “Fans need to realize that we got this far, so there’s no reason why we can’t keep going.”
Other fans around town weren’t as hopeful, dismayed by the team’s 4-0 loss Wednesday.
“You can’t force a championship, you can’t control the way the puck bounces, but you can force how you want to be remembered,” said Ryan O’Grady, 30, adding he would still support the team, despite being “thoroughly embarrassed” by their performance.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Joti Samra said it’s not uncommon for fans to be hot-and-cold with their support.
“Negative emotions are contagious the same way positive emotions are,” she said.
“If you’re sitting at home watching the game by yourself and we lose, you might be a little disappointed. But if you’re sitting in a pub environment, it’s like it turns up the volume of your disappointment.”