VANCOUVER – Streets in the downtown core were closed by noon local time in preparation for the crowds expected in Vancouver. Liquor stores downtown were forced to close by 4 p.m. Police in Vancouver -- and neighboring municipalities -- were ready to handle a celebration 40-years in the making.
However, four Bruins goals in a 4:14 span of the first period of Game 6 spoiled what would've been a party for the ages.
Nearly 15,000 towel waving fans chose to watch the game inside Rogers Arena on the big screen, but slowly headed for the exits as Boston found the back of the net in record time Monday night.
Daniel's chance, which rang off the post early in the second period, also had the crowd going.
Without much to cheer for, the crowd began a "Go Canucks Go!" chant 7:30 into the second period.
Henrik's goal 22 seconds into the third period gave the building some life as everyone was on their feet waving their towels. The crowd thought Vancouver had pulled within two when Jannik Hansen appeared to beat Tim Thomas, but was disappointed when replays showed it hit the post.
Any optimism Canucks fans had vanished when David Krejci made it 5-1 on a 5-on-3 Bruins' power play. The goal sent many for the exits at Rogers Arena.
Some of the fans NHL.com talked to leaving the Canucks' home rink were too angry to share their opinion on the Game 6 loss, while others were cautiously optimistic about their team's chances heading into Game 7 on Wednesday.
"You're not out of it until you've lost on home ice," said Cecil. "Maybe I wasn't expecting the game to be so one-sided so fast, but I didn't think Boston would go down very easily.
"Nothing like a Game 7 to solve it."
The Odds, the Rogers Arena house band -- a staple during home games -- played sets in the first and second intermissions and dedicated their set after 20 minutes to fallen Canucks forward Mason Raymond, who was injured early in the first period.
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday