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Maple Leafs v. Canucks: Sharing and Moving On

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Let's start this off by talking about tonight's game. It kicks off the Canucks 14 game streak on the road. Sean Leahy has the definitive look at it for Puck Daddy. Look for that to be brought up ad nauseam if the Canucks don't make the playoffs. Sean at Nucks Misconduct (generally a good Canucks site) has a great preview with a lot of well founded confidence in the comments. Vesa Toskala gets the start so that's all I have to say about the game. Let's move on to the catharsis.

Back when MC79Hockey was writing for The Score's first attempt at hockey blogs, the Six Pack (incidentally, it was a terrible, terrible set up other than Tyler Dellow), his tagline was something to the effect of "5-1, Calgary Sucks, Vancouver Doesn't Matter". I think that that dsmissiveness is what drives Canucks fans mad.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens will always get a tonne of attention regardless of how their team is doing because of their history, the many layered rivalry, the generations of fans, and the fact that they have a Canada-wide fanbase. The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames have an intense rivalry and a history of success or a Stanley Cup respectively. Even the Ottawa S*nators can pretend that they have the Battle of Ontario. Canucks fans however are left trying to fabricate rivalries where they just don't exist and that leads them to feel that they aren't getting the coverage that they deserve. Hell, even their players whine about it. Ryan Kesler, via Jonas Siegel:

"I don't think we get enough respect...if we were a team out east, I think we'd get a lot more respect."

Re-tweeting that brought about some quick responses:

I grew up a fan, but Kesler's comment is so weak. VAN's been to 3rd round twice EVER. & not for 16 yrs. Do it/people will pay homage.

- am640Brady

maybe if he learned to shut up. Canucks are a good team but their rep is shrouded by all their drama.

- ChiBlackhawks

Softest organization in the league, from top to bottom.

- andymack1986

After the jump, I'll look at all of the recent reasons why Leaf fans are sick of the Canucks and their fans. We can all share our own stories and then we can go back to ignoring them until the next time Mike Gillis accuses the Leafs of tampering.

Now, one cannot address the subject of Canucks fans and the local media and their inferiority complex adequately without referencing the seminal work by current Vancouver resident Godd Till. The same ones that log onto Damien Cox's latest fact-free ramblings to thank him for 'telling it like it is' and for 'not following the rest of the media in sucking up to MLSE" are the first to absolutely flip their lids when he dares to wade into the latest self-inflicted drama. The ones that can distinguish between proper complaints and incessant bitching are often far too rare.

Of course, if it's not the fans or the media covering the team it's the organization itself that cannot keep their complaining to themselves. It's pretty well known that Mike Gillis politicked his way into the top job by convincing the owners that he could do a better job than David Nonis. Now he's reaping the benefit from a litany of great moves by the Leafs' current assistant GM. Of course, that knowledge is probably what drives Mike Gillis to file two tampering charges that did nothing more than make himself look ridiculous. The Wilson tampering thing was hilarious because it's become the accepted canon among some Canucks fans that Burke was over in Sweden to try to tamper. Nevermind that he flew over there to be ready for July 1st but he also signed Jonas Gustavsson who, last time I checked, was from Sweden.

The LeafsTV draft documentary flap offers up another example of how a GM intent on scoring points against Toronto handles anything to do with the Maple Leafs. Compare and contrast with Don Waddell's comments in response to Brian Burke's remarks about Ilya Kovalchuk's contract demand. The Atlanta GM's silence did the exact opposite of Gillis' which only served to confirm that Gillis was in fact shopping the players that Burke mentioned. Of course, a smarter guy might have worked that out. And it doesn't stop there! The laser pointer situation against the Flames would have caused a witchhunt if the Canucks had been on the receiving end of the Keystone Kops routine that doubled as a search for the perpetrator.

And then we come to the players. Kesler's whining was the latest example of why players are usually advised to keep their mouths shu. They tend to look stupid when they don't. Like when they call the player that cracked their face open a 'coward' despite the fact that they are the one that tried to injure their opponent with a despicable take down move. Or doing something childish like pulling hair. And the less said about Roberto Luongo's sense of entitlement about his apparent God-given right to a lack of traffic the better. That's without even getting into the Burrows-Auger and CBC-Ron MacLean situation that Puck Daddy has chronicled so well. Not that the majority of Canucks fans would ever admit that they might have benefitted from the Diver That Cried Conspiracy. Or that they might have done so twice.

Now, I am sure that there will be a number of Canucks fans that will point to this half-assed screed (imagine if I put some effort into it) as a sign that Leafs fans care a lot about the Canucks. Not so, I am just sick of hearing the same complaints about the fans, the city, the local media, and the organization. They will never change. The Napoleon Complex is never going to go away. So let's expunge every last complaint about them (fans of other teams should also jump in) and then we can go back to ignoring the Canucks because the fact is that they don't matter. As always, I give the final word on Leafs-Canucks relations to Godd Till: