Faces of Despair is a potentially recurring feature that spotlights hockey fans that just can’t hide their agonized reaction to an opponent’s goal.

164618842 - everything is ruined

Harrison Mooney, my same-sex blog-partner over at Pass it to Bulis, writes a popular feature for Puck Daddy called Hockey Hugs. It celebrates the primal joy of hockey’s quintessential post-goal celebration. Now, it might just be because I am extremely cynical, but I can’ t help but notice that in the background of many of those joyous goal celebrations is a whole lot of despair and sadness.

Sometimes when you pay good money to see a hockey game, you get a front row seat to see the opponents scoring goals against your favourite team and rubbing it in your face by hugging right in front of you.

These are the Faces of Despair.

Jason Pominville and Tyler Myers cause an existential crisis

at First Niagara Center on March 21, 2013 in Buffalo, United States.

(Rick Stewart, Getty Images)

Jason Pominville has just tied the game for the Buffalo Sabres and, weirdly, a number of Toronto Maple Leafs fans appear to be pretty okay with it. A couple of them are even downright enthused. But there’s at least one fan who does not like this turn of events, not in the slightest.

at First Niagara Center on March 21, 2013 in Buffalo, United States.

Being a Leafs fan is an unending whirlpool of sadness and despair. My heart must become as cold as the ice in this arena. I will feel nothing, for it is the only way I can continue on.

Geez, that went dark in a hurry. Heck, the Leafs are in a playoff position.

The playoffs are a meaningless void.

What? That makes no sense.


That makes sense.


Panthers score, everything is ruined forever

(Jim McIsaac, Getty Images)

(Jim McIsaac, Getty Images)

Down 2-0 in the second period, the Florida Panthers manage to pull within one with 10 seconds left thanks to a goal by Peter Mueller. Most of the Devils fans appear to be taking it in stride. This dude, however, is apoplectic.

164618842 - everything is ruined

This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me!

Seriously? It’s just a goal, it’s not that big a deal.


Dude, relax, the Devils end up winning the game. I’m from the future, trust me.

Oh. Well then I’m just going to rub some conditioner in my hair.

What? No, don’t do that, you’re at a hockey game.


Michael Grabner is a marked man

(Patrick McDermott, Getty Images)

(Patrick McDermott, Getty Images)

The Islanders gather around and joyously celebrate Michael Grabner’s first period goal against the Washington Capitals. Nothing could ruin this moment, but for some reason, Grabner is unable to properly enjoy it. “I’ve just got this weird feeling, like someone is walking over my grave.”

164692769 - death stareYeah, this guy means to murder Michael Grabner.

Or perhaps I’m being too judgemental. Sometimes a person’s default expression is just a little off-putting. My wife, for example: when her face is relaxed and she’s just zoned out, she actually looks a little upset. For a while I would worry that I had done something wrong to upset her, but I’ve learned how to recognize it now and have saved myself a lot of stress.

Heck, maybe it’s the same with this guy. Maybe his default expression is a murderous death stare. Maybe I should ask him what’s on his mind, see if I can break down the barrier of that initial prejudice.

Hey! Hey you! You with the weird long-sleeve shirt that isn’t a jersey but still has laces on the collar like it is a jersey. I was just wondering, what are you thinking right now?

I’m going to murder Michael Grabner.

Oh. All right, then.


Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis cause consternation

(Bill Smith, Getty Images)

(Bill Smith, Getty Images)

It’s the mother lode! Holy moley, this picture is glorious. The range of reactions is incredible, but let’s highlight a few of the best:

164636121 - facepalm Ugh. This is the worst season in Blackhawks history. My only recourse is to facepalm so hard that I give myself a concussion and hope for short-term memory loss.

Wait, worst season ever? Where have you been?

I’m a police officer and I just got back from being deep undercover in an Amish community. This is the first game I’ve been to for years and I can’t believe we lost to a team that’s never won the Stanley Cup.



164636121 - confused Where am I? What’s going on? What’s happening?

Whoa, hey, relax.

How did I get here? Why do I have a sudden urge to say “You have no cause to get snippy with me“?

It’s okay, it’s just a hockey game.

What’s hockey?


164636121 - yelling girlHey! Heeeeeeeey! Hey! Heeeeeeeey!

I think you might be drunk.

Shut up! You’re a drunk!


I’ll prove it. Ask me a math question.


Just do it!

Okay, what’s 5 times 6?

…Ask me a different math question!


164636121 - tonguePthbbbbbtttt