Canucks Fans Don't Have Much Hope For This Season


Mid-way through his first season as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, the team’s BC fans and supporters are standing by John Tortorella, a new poll from Angus Reid Global indicates.

Of 802 British Columbian adults surveyed, the majority (62%) identify themselves as big fans or supporters of the team.

Among fans and supporters, 57 per cent agree that firing former head coach Alain Vigneault and bringing in Tortorella was a good idea on part of Canucks ownership.

But that support doesn’t necessarily translate into blind defence of Tortorella’s well-known fiery coaching style. After a brawl-filled game in which he tried to storm the Calgary Flames’ dressing room, half of identified fans and supporters say Tortorella’s punishment, a 15-day (six-game) suspension from the NHL, was “just right” in severity.

More troubling: of Canucks fans and supporters, few have high hopes for the team in this year’s playoff run. Only six per cent say it’s very likely they’ll advance past the second round. And more than half (55%) agree that Canucks need to make a major trade involving a core player by this year’s deadline to finish the year successfully.

“While it appears those Canucks fans who bleed blue and green are more than willing to give their head coach their support, they also have no illusions about the challenges facing this team after a mediocre first half of the season,” says Shachi Kurl, Vice President, Angus Reid Global. “Whether that support holds through spring may depend on what happens on or before the March 5th trading deadline.”

Image: Sad Canucks Fans via Shutterstock

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  • Reality

    There are three kinds of Canucks fans:
    1) Fans that have unrealistic expectations of their team, don’t acknowledge errors, and throw statements out there every year like “The Canucks will win the cup this year”
    2) Fans who have realistic expectations, cheer for the Canucks, acknowledge their errors, and realize the Canucks will not be winning the cup anytime soon
    3). Fans who come and go, depending on if the Canucks are past 2-3 playoff rounds aka the “Bandwagoners”

    Group 1 calls group 2 and 3 bandwagon fans and assumes everyone else knows nothing about hockey. If any form of negativity or critique comes out of your mouth, you are a “bandwagon” fan. Group 1 thinks that they are the only fans.
    Group 3 just watches hockey to have fun and get in on the hockey spirit when they can with their friends.

    If there is any truth to the survey, Im happy to see that Canucks fans are finally shifting away from groups 1 and 3 into group 2. I was at the game last night (got tickets for free), and i’m finally happy to see that people aren’t paying $100-200 to watch the Canucks play average. The lower bowl was a ghost town.

    Now bring on the negative feedback by group 1

  • Char Richo

    I completely agree with everything you’ve said here. Group 3 fans don’t actually bother me. I have a number of friends that fall into this category. They get in on the fun during the playoffs, because it’s exciting and fun for everyone to get together and cheer for “our” team, but they frankly just aren’t that into hockey, which is FINE.
    Group 1 drives me up the wall… I have been accused of being a “bad fan” many times simply because I do not have blind faith in the Canucks ability to win the cup every season. That despite the fact that I spend a good chunk of most days reading or writing something about the Canucks.

    Personally I’m hoping they DON’T make a big move this year, because I don’t think that doing so actually gives us any better shot at the cup. They simply don’t have it this year, and I think any move would only further deplete our already pretty bare prospect stocks and worsen the outlook for the future.

    Of course if we could get a Top 6 forward for free, without giving up any of our players including prospects, then great. But somehow I don’t think a lot of teams are just giving them away these days. Better to wait for free agency in the off season and see what we can do next year with some off season signings and a bit more development for our key prospects.

  • shogunmaster

    I’ve lived in Vancouver for all 40 years of my life. People ask me why I’m not a fan of the Canucks. Simple: They haven’t won one GD Stanley Cup that entire time! People mock the Leafs for sucking but at least they’ve won a Cup or two. Fricken Canucks blow it every time. I’ll start cheering them on once they have brought how a few trophies. They owe me.

  • Char Richo

    The TML have also had about 50 extra years to win their cups. And haven’t won one since 1967, BEFORE the Canucks were even in existence! What a weird comparison…
    I should point out I’m not trying to put down the Leafs or say the Canucks are better (though I personally think they are, I’m a Canucks fan so that does make me fairly biased), I’m just saying it’s not really a fair comparison to make, in the way that you’re making it.