VANCOUVER – Nearly five years ago to the day, Canucks forward Raffi Torres was in a similar position he was in Saturday afternoon – preparing to board a cross-continent charter just one win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Torres was a member of the 2006 Edmonton Oilers, who lost in Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Oilers forced a seventh game with a 4-0 win at Rexall Place in Game 6.
The two teams then boarded their charters headed for Raleigh, N.C., the site of Game 7, where the Hurricanes picked up a 3-1 victory at the RBC Center and captured the franchise's lone Stanley Cup championship.
"We lost in '06 there, but we left it all out there. We didn't have any regrets. We knew we gave it our all," said Torres, with hundreds of fans cheering the Canucks on at Vancouver International Airport. "This is a great opportunity. You don't get too many cracks at this, so I'm looking forward to it."
Having been in the situation before, Torres says he'll talk to the group at some point prior to Game 6 to make sure his teammates understand the importance of the game.
"We're one win away, but at the end of the day, it's going to take everything and everybody to get the job done," he said. "If there's one thing I can say, it's just leave it all out there. If you hold anything back, you're going to regret it."
Torres -- along with linemates Maxim Lapierre and Jannik Hansen -- have been key cogs for the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final, contributing three goals and adding four assists.
A Toronto native, Torres still recalls the message in the room during the Oilers' run.
"The one thing that was stressed in the room to give it your all," he said. "At the end of the day, we did give it our all there and we came up short. It was a tough loss."
With Mikael Samuelsson done for the remainder of the playoffs after undergoing surgery for a hernia, Torres is the lone member of the Canucks with Stanley Cup Final experience.
The 29-year-old, who signed as a free-agent with the Canucks during the offseason, has played in the playoffs just twice since the run with Edmonton. Five years later, Torres is hoping to be on the team doing the celebrating when the Stanley Cup is presented.