I know it's already the second round of the playoffs and everyone else has already decided who they want to see win, but here's why I can't get behind “Canada's Team”:
To be fair, I want to cheer for Vancouver. Last Canadian team standing and all that. But... Nope, just can't do it. It's not because I particularly dislike anybody on their team, I mean, I still kinda cheer for the Penguins and the Sharks when the Leafs are out despite Matt Cooke and Dany Heatley. Plus I'm still a Leafs fan despite Brett Lebda this year and the never ending parade of idiocy that was the Antropov And Ponikarovsky Show featuring (at various times) Pavel Kubina, Aki Berg, and Vesa Toskala over the past decade never mind some of the more “questionable” managerial decisions over the years. But Vancouver...?
The only thing I can put my finger on for why I can't be bothered to care about their push this year and to willingly cheer against them in as much as my general apathy allows is... the fans. Let me explain:
In the “old” days of Trevor Linden, Kirk McLean, Pavel Bure, and Alexander Mogilny I would've loved this run. Aside from when they actually went on a run in '94. Burn in hell you bastards; back then I still had optimism and a positive attitude (both about the Leafs and life in general). But now... not so much. I just get the feeling that the fan-base of the Canucks have become, well, “arrogant douchebags” to put it nicely. I'm not even talking about bandwagoners at this point, those are to be expected. I mean the real fans that have followed the team for years and are actually emotionally involved in their fate. It seems, to put it frankly, like they assume they deserve a Stanley Cup this year. Like this is all just some sort of formality before their coronation and they're entitled to the Cup because they've become so dominant in the regular season. Yet, if it were to happen, they would become so self-congratulatory over how much they've overcome and how significant this first Stanley Cup is for the organization that the universe might implode upon itself given the weight of their collective smugness.
Make no mistake, I know that us Leaf fans are going to be assholes to everyone else when we win next year. And the next next year. And the next next next year. And... yeah. But to be fair: we've fucking earned it. If it ever happens that the Leafs win the Cup in my lifetime I will be screaming and cheering in the streets and lording it over everyone I know how “I knew it was going to happen” for that entire year... until the Leafs are eliminated from playoff contention the next March. But... come on. We've been shit on be everyone for years now (both the team and the fans) so we'll deserve to gloat and finally be able to stop saying “fuck Kerry Fraser” in ever discussion of the team. The Canucks? I can't remember anything that's really bonded their fanbase together like that or really gotten the rest of us to fall in line behind them. Maybe that's just ignorance on my part for not knowing the history of the team as well as I do the Leafs over the past 20-odd years (fuck Kerry Fraser), but I can't help the way I feel.
And I feel like Canucks fans are too smug and self-satisfied as it is and that would only get worse if they actually win. And honestly, if you live in Canada and yet still bitch about how it's cold when it's only -5: you're a douchebag and my living-in-Saskatchewan-40-below ass has no sympathy for you then and nothing but apathy and mild, passive-aggressive, cheering-for-their-failure for your team now.
Plus you guys only came into the league in 1970. As far as "time served" without a Stanley Cup, we still call dibs.