Jake Virtanen, it’s safe to say, had a terrible 2016 World Junior Championship. His first point of the tournament came during Canada’s quarterfinal match against Finland, but his game will be more known for the undisciplined double minor he took as he slashed a player while already on the hook for a delayed penalty. This, along with a delay of game penalty, led to the game winning goal for Finland which knocked Canada out 6-5. It was the third time in four years that Canada failed to medal at the WJC, and the first time since 1998 (also in Helsinki) that Canada failed to get past the quarters.
Virtanen, who has Finnish roots, was the most hated man on Twitter for a day:
When Jake Virtanen's roots come from Finland.. Coincidence? I think not..
— Taylor G Richardson (@TayRichardson93) January 2, 2016
Virtanen coming thru for his relatives
— Ax (@Ax_NHL) January 2, 2016
Jake Virtanen today was so bad, he's been named one of the captains of the #NHL All-Star Game.
— Richard D. Cloutier (@rdcloutier) January 2, 2016
@tedlindsay66 Virtanen is a Finnish last name meaning "river." The goals were "flowing" when he was in the box.
— Hal Roberts (@Hal__Roberts) January 2, 2016
— Joe Bowie (@Stone523) January 2, 2016
— RMB (@fightyourdemons) January 2, 2016
— Less Than 0 Patience (@Bye_Dogma) January 2, 2016
It didn’t help that Virtanen decided to blame the referees:
Jake Virtanen: "Personally, I think the refs were a little bit on their side, that's just how I think"
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) January 2, 2016
Personally, I think Jake Virtanen was a little bit on their side, that's just how I think https://t.co/FZ6TzX4K9W
— Raphaël Siegel (@raphsiegel) January 2, 2016
@Jake_Virtanen wow, I don't know how you could blame the refs..really???
— Cindy Greening (@greenerc) January 2, 2016
Egad people. I'm away from Twitter for a couple of hours and apparently Virtanen must be traded and Hockey Canada dismantled. #overreaction
— Brian Knotts (@brianknotts) January 2, 2016
And in the overreaction of the day:
Canada lost at hockey today. So someone started a petition to get 3 of their players banned from the country. Ouch. https://t.co/UnKLPj3u0A
— Paul Wheeler (@fourthlinewing) January 2, 2016
That’s right. Somebody started a change.org petition to get Virtanen, head coach Dave Lowry, and goalie Mackenzie Blackwood banned from Canada. Deported! Over a hockey game. That’s anger, friends. (Thankfully for Virtanen and friends, the petition only has five signatures, so I think they can spend some time at home … safely.)
— Pucks on net (@Pucksonnetca) January 2, 2016