Welcome Matt: Many Canucks fans taking joy in Bo Horvat's playoff struggles
Most of what is said about Vancouver Canucks fans outside this market isn’t fair.
Some guy back east takes a sliver of representation from social media and paints Canucks supporters with a broad brush.
Words like “worst” and “toxic” get used, the market gets vilified. Same old, same old.
But in the case of Bo Horvat, the hate is real and it makes you wonder. Maybe we really are that angry.
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Did he lead the Canucks to great heights? No, not at all.
Did the team improve after his January trade to New York? Yes, yes it did (against a very weak schedule, it must be said).
And is he worth $8.5 million USD per season going forward? Unlikely. The Islanders probably overpaid.
But one comment about a postseason drive at UBS Arena being superior to Vancouver has turned this market against the former Canucks captain.
All these years I thought Bo Horvat was a fan favourite in Vancouver. Had no idea there was this subsection of #Canucks fans that despised him and blamed him for what’s wrong with the team.
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) April 23, 2023
We are accustomed to having ex-Canucks run down after they leave via trade or free agency. Part of it is a defensive mechanism for fans, part of it is coping.
But Horvat has gone straight heel in BC and that’s hard to imagine from a guy who seemed out of central casting as the conscientious captain and team leader.
Sure, he had his prolonged slumps and if we in the media weren’t tough enough on him, that’s a take I can abide.
Bo Horvat's playoff run (part 2)
— 1 Goal
— 0 Assists
— 1 Point
— 7 Shots
— 55.0 FO%
78 Minutes of Ice Time
— 0 5v5 Goals
— 0 5v5 Points
His only point came in the final 2 minutes when the Isles were down 5-1. pic.twitter.com/CPeQkCZdMa
— Big Head Hockey (@BigHeadHcky) April 24, 2023
But did I see Canucks fans gleefully cheering on his lack of production in New York and Carolina handing it to his Islanders? Not before the comment, and not even in the immediate aftermath.
But it’s become on trend to crap on Horvat, and if there was ever going to be a groundswell to honour his time in Vancouver — beyond the perfunctory video board tribute next season — it’s hard to fathom now.
This wound is going to take time to heal. If it heals — did somebody say heel? — at all.