There is nothing worse in sports than losing.
Granted, there are varying degrees of how horrible you feel or how embarrassing losses might be, but it's all losing, nonetheless.
There are different factors that come into play which can make a loss more devastating, and the Vancouver Canucks displayed a perfect example of many such factors in their loss of Game 7 on Wednesday night.
Losing is always worse when:
a. ...you lose on home turf.
b. ...you lose after talking trash.
c. ...you lose to a lesser opponent.
d. ...you lose while being one step/point/play away from victory.
In Vancouver's case, all the above apply.
Home-ice advantage is a blessing and a curse when it comes to Game 7. Win, and it's the best day you've ever had, the best feeling you've ever felt in your life. Lose, and you have to see the faces of the disappointed fans and watch the less supportive in the crowd, flee early.
The Canucks and their fans watched the Boston Bruins skate the coveted Lord Stanley's Cup around their home ice, showered in the confetti that the excited arena crew members, and no doubt Vancouver fans, prepared with them in mind.
Heaven forbid you should ever talk trash to your opponent before a game and then get your business handed to you on the ice.
Roberto Luongo, after Vancouver's win in Game 5, made comments regarding opposing Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas' lone goal allowed in the 1-0 loss saying, "It's an easy save for me, but if you're wandering out and aggressive like he does, that's going to happen. He might make some saves that I won't, but in a case like that, we want to take advantage of a bounce like that and make sure we're in a good position to bury those."
How does Thomas respond?
He watches Luongo get chased from Game 5 after allowing three goals in the first nine minutes and then shuts the Canucks out in Game 7.
If you lose after talking trash, nothing can save you from the humiliation and backlash. You've been exposed as a fraud. You're a liar. A swindler. A can't-hack-it chump.
Vancouver, having a better regular season record and performance than the Bruins (they were absolutely incredible), won the right to home ice and the nation's vote, This is my case for letter C being applicable. No disrespect to the Bruins as they did prove to be the "best man" in the end.
I say that to mean only that I feel it likely the Canucks were confident in their being the more talented team (see Roberto Luongo, above comments of), thus intensifying the loss for Vancouver and its fans.
If all these loss amplifiers weren't bad enough, throw on the fact that Vancouver had a 3-2 game lead in the series. "The Cup" was all ready and prepared in Boston, pending a Canucks win. They could almost taste it. They were so close. Now, they'll be forced to look back and wonder what could have been.