Come home Vancouver Canucks. All is forgiven when it comes to losing 8-1 to the Boston Bruins.
As the defeat of the Canucks sank in Monday night, Canucks fans downtown seemed initially resigned and even bullish about having been as low as they expect to go before the team bounces back to win the Stanley Cup.
"It was a gift," said 27-year-old Jesse Goyette, a Canucks logo painted on his face.
"We gave them that game so we could play in Vancouver and win the cup."
Mr. Goyette gestured to the well-behaved crowds drifting subdued away from a jumbo-TV screen raised on closed-off Georgia Street.
Constable Lindsey Houghton of the Vancouver Police Department said things were relatively quiet as 20,000 more people than would be normal on a Monday night filled the downtown streets. "Right now, it's like a busy Saturday night," he said,
But Const. Houghton noted that things were calm.
"Given the score of the game and the fact the Canucks lost, people are still celebratory. There's a lot of high fives and flag waving," he said.
As of about 9 p.m. PT, he said there were no reports of arrests and a declining number, compared to previous Stanley Cup final nights, where police had to pour out confiscated liquor on the streets.
During the game, thousands sat riveted by the action in Boston, visibly and audibly appalled as Boston accumulated goals.
"No one is glum. No one is sad," said Mr. Goyette..
Certainly not Sarb Bolina, joshing around with two buddies all wearing homemade Stanley Cups made from foil-covered ice cream jugs.
"It was disappointing, but at the same time, we still believe in our boys," said 22-year-old Mr. Bolina, beaming.
Not that the blunt fact of an 8-1 defeat didn't hit some fans hard.
"That was a harsh reality check for Vancouver," said Michael Warren, 28.
Exasperated Kyrsten Cunliffe said the team has a lot of work to do.
"They need to fix everything. They're so lazy. They're just floating around," she sputtered.
Still, she said Vancouver is winning the Stanley Cup.
"It's definitely ours," she insisted.
Ronil Desai, a communications student from Simon Fraser University, said the path ahead is clear for the Canucks.
"(They) know what they need to do. They're not going to be embarrassed two games in a row," he insisted.
"When the Canucks lose, they definitely know how to lose. They always bounce back."