This morning, the Vancouver Police Department recommended 52 more charges stemming from the June 15 Stanley Cup riot. That brings the total number of charges recommended to 215 — against 80 individuals — with 69 of them having already been approved by Crown Council.
Yet one charge in particular stands out from the rest.
An unidentified 24-year-old male from Blaine, Wash. is facing charges of participating in a riot, mischief and break and enter after police say he looted a number of items from a store.
The kicker? This future MENSA member was wearing a hockey jersey…with his name on it.
“Like many others, the accused broke into the store and stole a number of items,” said the VPD. “Unlike many others that night, [he] allegedly had his surname emblazoned across his back on a hockey jersey.”
Look, you have to be a special kind of stupid to earn “Dumbest Stanley Cup Rioter” honors. There’s some pretty stiff competition, including standing on a Port-a-Potty guy and punched a firefighter guy. But if these charges stick, IDing himself by wearing his own hockey jersey guy is going to top ’em all.
Scapegoats provide cruel comfort in an insecure world. Rather than discussing the problems that truly plague our existences, why not pass the buck to some poor sap instead? Vancouver Canucks fans clutch to Roberto Luongo as a big, expensive and easy target when the team falls – particularly when that takes place against the Chicago Blackhawks – but what happens during a meltdown with Bobby Lou on the sidelines thanks to an upper-body injury?
Canucks fans experienced a harsh taste of such a reality on Wednesday night, as the Blackhawks squashed Cory Schneider & Co. by a count of 5-1.
If Luongo being planted on the bench wasn’t enough to shoot a hole in that scapegoating tendency, the completeness of the loss should be. Five different Blackhawks scored goals in that game and the Canucks actually opened up a 1-0 lead early in the second period.
With that, Chicago moves to 27 points (topping all NHL teams) while Vancouver is a decidedly mediocre 9-9-1 for 19 points. Ignoring tiebreakers that place three other teams ahead of them (assuming Los Angeles doesn’t earn a point against Anaheim), the Blackhawks would host the Canucks in a first versus eight seed match if the playoffs began today.
To recap: Luongo isn’t easy to blame, the Blackhawks are running away with the West and the Canucks might be in a dogfight just to make the playoffs. In other words, for Vancouver fans, the hockey world is flipping upside down like a car during a riot.
Check out highlights from the game below.
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In the grand scheme of things, it’s important not to throw the entire city of Vancouver under the bus for the riots and all the bad moments that came from the Canucks’ Game 7 loss in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. The northwest haven’s better side showed itself in a heartwarming way when its kindest residents volunteered to help clean up the mess left behind by the ugly riots.
That being said, those riots and much of the ugliness that lingers will probably make it tough for unbiased fans to root for the team – in fact, those awful antics make Maxim Lapierre’s shenanigans seem quaint. Puck Daddy points to a saddening story in the Vancouver Courier that reveals Vancouver native Milan Lucic’s decision to make his day with the Stanley Cup a low-key affair to avoid bitter Canucks fans.
Megan Stewart reports that posters of the Boston Bruins winger were defaced around town, with his eyes “poked out” and his face “scribbled on.” Stewart also reports that his presence might have lead to some fistfights during a Greek festival last month.
Again, it’s not fair to cast blame on every Vancouver fan/resident because of some knuckleheads, but these stories show how “passion” can mutate into thuggery. For that reason, the Lucic celebration will be subdued (or at least private).
When he celebrates with the Stanley Cup this weekend, Lucic will keep the festivities relatively private and low-key. He won’t be gloating, at least where the public eye can see. Potential to bring hockey’s holy grail to Kitsilano Beach Park for the weekend’s popular sports festival, Kits Fest, were scuttled, according to an event organizer.
All because of a few sore losers. Seeing Lucic with the Stanley Cup would be bittersweet for Canucks Nation, just as it must be acutely bittersweet for him to keep in check the pride he rightfully feels. Such a woe-begotten attitude is beatable by recognizing Lucic for the accomplishments he realized right here at home. However, too many are still hurting over the hometown champion who helped conquer the hometown. Said Snezana, “That’s why Milan does not want to be out there, parading the Cup around his hometown.”
Great job guys, you upset Lucic’s mother.