February 29 2012 10:14AM
You'll never guess what happened next... Well, that is unless you guessed "he didn't score and then fell down."
I remain convinced that Mason Raymond is a valuable forward for the Vancouver Canucks. Holding that opinon puts me in the extreme minority of Canucks fans, bloggers and observers, however. Basically for me to be correct on this one nearly everybody else who covers the team, and 98% of the team's fans have to be completely and totally wrong. Put another way, if Raymond is as valuable as I think he is, that would have to make him the most under-appreciated and misunderstood athlete in the history of the Canucks franchise.
Well, I am right about Raymond. Even though everybody hates the guy, he's a quality contributor and had a big game last night (despite his woeful shootout attempt and collection of pratfalls). Raymond consistently drive possession, helps the Canucks outshoot their opponents and plays stellar defense. What a bum.
Anyway, I'm not going to do what you think I'm going to do - I'm not going to use objective data to prove that Raymond is a valuable contributor to the team. Instead I'm going to explore the psychological damage Raymond's mere presence on the team and in the shootout is causing Canucks fans. Click past the jump to find out more!
Have you heard of the Kübler-Ross model? It's more commonly referred to as "the five stages of grief" which describe the feelings one goes through when forced to confront their own mortality. These five stages are , in order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The five stages of grief have become relevant of late for Canucks fans, who collectively are experiencing these five stages of extreme emotion on a regular basis, and in quick succession, whenever Mason Raymond gets a shootout attempt.
Local doctor Mike Rotch M.D. is concerned that Raymond shootout attempts are having a massive, negative impact on the psychological stability of Canucks fans. "I know Alain Vigneault isn't paid to offer emotional support to the fan-base," opined Dr. Rotch. "But if the team continues to put Raymond out as one of the first two shooters in the shootout, I think the Government should impose an excise tax on the team to offset the medical costs incurred by his coaching decisions."
Clearly this is a grim situation, and one worth examining further. With that in mind, let's look at the exact nature of the symptoms Canucks fans are experiencing.
The first stage is denial, but for Canucks fans going through the trauma of watching Mason Raymond shootout attempt, the denial stage is modified. This is because there's never any real doubt that Raymond is going to get a chance - he always gets a chance. As a result of that, the denial is replaced by a cold fatalism lamenting the preferential treatment Raymond gets from Vancouver's head-coach. Here are some examples:
The next stage is denial, which takes a number of forms. It's worth remembering that everyone goes through these "stages of grief" in a unique way, and that's especially evident during the denial stage. Some fan are quietly hopeful, but that in itself is a form of denial. These fans are fooling themselves, there's no chance Raymond is going to score:
Other fans experience the denial stage as simple anxiety:
Still others, deal with the denial with an affectation of harsh realism. While fans who behave in this fashion in the denial stage are technically preparing themselves for the inevitable, their approach in no way softens the blows of the final three stages:
Now we get to bargaining. As Raymond approaches center ice to begin his shootout attempt, Canucks fans begin to plead. "At least if you're going to be in the shootout Mase, please, please for the love of god use your one go-to move!"
Finally, Mason Raymond takes and misses the shootout attempt to the surprise of no one. Raymond's miss ushers in the depression stage.
And then, the emotional trauma is resolved as Canucks fans accept that what they've just experienced was, in fact, totally inevitable:
And there you have it. Mason Raymond shootout attempts: having a deleterious impact on the psychological health of Canucks fans since 2009.