In 1969 Elisabeth Küebler-Ross proposed the model of the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As I watched the Canucks’ playoff hopes finally die at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks I realised that the first season of John Tortorella in Vancouver has seen me go through all five stages. In reverse.
I love Torts
— Amy Fulton (@amyfulton) October 6, 2013
I was quite excited when John Tortorella was announced as the new coach of the Canucks. Something had to change after a couple of years of early playoff failure and I assumed that after they learned his systems the Canucks would be playing well. An elite group of players, the majority of whom had made it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final just a few years ago, should be able to handle it. At worst I figured his famous volatility with the press could be entertaining. Next Question was my jam.
In late November I wanted a Torts of my own.
@VanCanucksOz Torts is my favourite human. I want Torts to coach my life.
— Amy Fulton (@amyfulton) November 20, 2013
I stayed in this acceptance stage even as the early results weren’t spectacular. Then December happened and December was amazing as the Canucks went 10-1-2. I couldn’t be more accepting. Torts forever!
With hindsight it is easy to see the #FreeTorts era of January was a turning point of the season and it’s where I moved into the second stage of Torts. Depression. It started out as a depression that Torts wasn’t around.
— Amy Fulton (@amyfulton) January 21, 2014
This quickly evolved into just plain sadness that the Canucks actually couldn’t win hockey games anymore. Depressed over the useless power play. Depressed over the once league-leading penalty kill suddenly being a shadow of its former self. Losing seven in a row before the Olympic break was something I didn’t get over until the Leafs lost eight in a row and I realised it could be worse.
My bargaining stage wasn’t as Torts related as the others. Especially anger, that one was all Torts but we’ll get to that shortly. I bargained a lot with the universe. At one point I told the universe I’d be OK with the Canucks losing every single game remaining in the season if Alex Burrows could just get a goal. Just one. It was all I wanted. Eventually Alex Burrows got two goals in one game and the Canucks won a few more games after that so I guess that bargain was no good.
I have good news though, I also told the universe I’d be OK with the Canucks not making the playoffs this year as long as they win the cup before I die. I figure I’ve got a good 60 years or so left in me and now that the Canucks have missed the playoffs it looks like 2074 might just be our year!
Wasn’t it nice that Roberto Luongo went to Sochi and came home with a gold medal? Wasn’t it nice that he got an extra day to recover from his jet lag by being the backup goalie for the first post Olympic Canucks game? Oh. He’s not starting the next one either? He’s not starting the Heritage Classic? HE’S TRADED TO FLORIDA? I’M SHOUTING BECAUSE I’M ANGRY.
John. Why weren’t you playing the best goalie this franchise has ever seen? Did you not realise that even though I said I wanted an Eddie Lack jersey this season, I also wanted a Heritage Classic jersey and I didn’t want to get one for a goalie I assumed would be on the bench so I spent a lot of money on a Luongo one? That I got to wear in public once while he was still a Canuck? John, it was very expensive to get it customised and shipped over to Australia. Plus, now you’ve made me adopt the Florida Panthers as my Eastern boyfriend team for approximately the next eight years because I’m not ready to not watch Luongo play anymore. So here I am. Cheering for the PANTHERS. Oh John, it’s bad enough not being a playoff team in the West this year but now I get to be disappointed on both coasts.
My phone background is this picture.
I can’t change it because I don’t want to believe my favourite hockey bromance is no more, a classic sign that I’m in the final stage of Torts.
Wikipedia says this stage is trying to shut out reality and beginning to develop a false preferable reality. Earlier today Sportsnet reported that when Torts was asked about Luongo’s tweet about beating Dallas he replied “I really don’t care about him.”
Once the video of the press conference was online it was obvious that he actually said “I really don’t care about it” which fits perfectly with what he has said all season – he cares about his players on his team and ignores everything else. Before Sportsnet deleted their tweet and pretended the whole thing never happened, I thought his reported wording was lousy. After years of the opinion of him being questionable, Luongo left town as a fan favourite. In my false preferable reality Torts loves Lu and his tweets as much as I do. In my reality Eddie Lack and Roberto Luongo are still the best partnership in the NHL.
Could I take my denial even further and pretend there is no Torts in Vancouver at all? With so much talk around the futures of Mike Gillis and John Tortorella in Vancouver there’s a real possibility we may be saying “Torts who?” sooner rather than later.