The ultimate prize remains out of grasp, for now, but as the Top 20 Moments of the year prove, this past season was truly one to remember. The Canucks amassed 51 wins, 111 points, 249 goals, a fourth straight Northwest Division title and a second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy.
It’s an especially great time to be a fan of the Vancouver Canucks. Without further ado, here’s part two of the Top 20 Moments of the season to prove it.
Top 20 Moments: 20-11
*Moments were chosen from fan submitted suggestions via Fort Nucks. If your name appears below a moment, you are entered to win the team-signed flag. Winner will be announced on Fort Nucks later this week.
10. Attack of the giggles
February 26, 2012 vs. Dallas
Coach Alain Vigneault has an excellent poker face. It’s next to impossible to get a rise out of him, unless of course you do a mean impersonation of Kevin Bieksa’s angry face. Thankfully Vern Fiddler of the Dallas Stars does and near the end of the first period in a game between the Canucks and Stars, he unleashed it in front of Vancouver’s bench. His frown was drastically upside down and he did a little shimmy shake as he passed by the bench; cameras followed Vigneault as he went from giggling to braying to cachinnating, before guffawing and howling led to cackling.
Moment suggested by Emma Tyler
9. Comeback complete
March 31, 2012 vs. Calgary
It’s not only the comeback story of the year, it’s the feel good story of the year. When Andrew Ebbett suffered a broken collarbone in a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins in January, his season was thought to be over. The 28-year-old wasn’t having any of that talk as he worked his way back into the Canucks line-up just 84 days later. Not only that, he scored the game-winning overtime goal in his return, and not only that, it was his second game-winner of the season on his fifth goal of the year. That’s right, 40 per cent of the time, Ebbett scores the golden goal 100 per cent of the time.
Moment suggested by Sal Sagev
8. Gimme some Mo
January 31, 2012 vs. Chicago
Cory Schneider giveth, Cory Schneider taketh away. Late in the second period of a 3-2 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks, Schneider went behind his net to retrieve a puck and inadvertently gave it to Brendan Morrison. The former Canucks forward, making his debut with the Blackhawks, swung out in front, eluded a diving poke check from Alex Edler and readied to pot an easy goal. Schneider did what he could to get back in position as he sprawled across his crease covering as much real estate as he could. Still, he didn’t stand a chance. Until he did. Morrison had the puck for two Mississippi’s before shooting and just as the puck was sailing towards a Chicago lead, Schneider rocketed his left glove into the air to stop the biscuit in its tracks.
Moment suggested by Renee Siu
7. C’est magnifique!
December 8, 2011 vs. Montreal
Midway through the second period of Vancouver’s only appearance in Montreal this season, the Canucks had the Canadiens right where they wanted them. The Canucks trailed 3-0 and were showing no signs of life – game over, right? Wrong. Mason Raymond scored shorthanded and Cody Hodgson goals sandwiched a Sami Salo score to complete the improbable comeback. Roberto Luongo, playing in front of his home crowd, made 20 saves and added stops on David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Michael Cammalleri in the shootout. You’ve got to love it when a plan comes together.
Moment suggested by Muhammad Faateh Malik
6. Maxim Lapierre > Phoenix Coyotes
November 25, 2011 vs. Phoenix
A one-man band is one thing, but a one-man hockey line? Forget linemates, all Maxim Lapierre needed to score a dandy of a goal was grit, determination and unparalleled effort. With the Canucks leading the Coyotes 3-0 late in the third, Lapierre swooped in on the forecheck and stole the puck from Keith Yandle before his centering attempt was blocked. Lapierre then hounded Kyle Chipchura as he dished the puck to Derek Morris; Lapierre was on him in a heartbeat causing a scoring chance that he collected the rebound from, spun and potted as his prettiest goal of the year. Three steals and a spin-o-rama backhand. What. A. Shift.
Moment suggested by Andrew Schroeder
5. All the Presidents’ men
April 7, 2012 vs. Edmonton
The Vancouver Canucks captured the Presidents’ Trophy for the second consecutive year and second time in franchise history in 2011-12; they upended the Edmonton Oilers in their regular season finale 3-0 to become the fifth team in NHL history to win the Presidents’ Trophy in back-to-back seasons. Over the past two years the Canucks have a record of 105-41-18, good for 228 points. The jury remains out on if the Presidents’ Trophy is cursed or not as seven winners went on to hoist the Stanley Cup that season, while six, including the Canucks, were knocked out in the first round, including three of the last four winners.
Moment suggested by David Lobakgo Lee
March 17, 2012 vs. Columbus
Nothing was out of the ordinary when Alex Edler collected the puck from Cory Schneider deep in the Vancouver end on a power play midway through the second period of a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nothing was out of the ordinary when Edler, gaining speed, ripped over the blueline, then through a pair of Columbus forwards at centre ice. Everything got strange and amazing after that when Edler didn’t dish the puck off, he used long strides to power past the defence and in on goaltender Steve Mason. He then shot the puck low glove side past Mason to complete the nicest coast-to-coast goal a Canucks forward has scored in a long time. Oh, right, he’s a defenceman. What in the Bobby Orr was he thinking? On second thought, it doesn’t matter.
Moment suggested by Tinder Brar
3. Bieksa saves, Bieksa scores
February 4, 2012 vs. Colorado
Improbable. Unlikely. Fluky. Is this real life? Take your pick. When the Canucks clipped the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a game we’ve filed under Better late than never, Kevin Bieksa played the hero. With the Canucks down 2-1 with less than a minute to play in regulation and Roberto Luongo on the bench, Colorado’s TJ Galiardi wristed a shot down the ice looking for the insurance empty-net goal. Bieksa, knowing it was clutch time, dove to knock down the puck to keep the Canucks alive. Bieksa started the play, he might as well finish it. The Canucks stormed down the ice looking for the tying goal - a fluke bounce off the stanchion and a bouncing puck ended up on the stick of Bieksa, who rifled it past Jean-Sebastien Giguere to redefine implausible. Bieksallent.
Moment suggested by Krystal Soong
2. Streak breakers
February 23, 2012 vs. Detroit
NHL–record home winning streak? Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially not the Canucks. In a late season game between Western Conference heavyweights, the Canucks beat the Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout to end Detroit’s 23-game home winning streak and they did it in dramatic fashion. Trailing 3-2 with 15.4 seconds left on the clock, Daniel Sedin scored to tie the game and force overtime and eventually a shootout, which Alex Burrows ended. The Canucks never led until Burrows scored the lone goal in the shootout and Vancouver trailed by a goal on three separate occasions. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Moment suggested by Lori Mustvedt-Garson
1. Ruin the bruin
January 7, 2012 vs. Boston
This was not just another game. Far from it. When the Canucks beat the Bruins 4-3 on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the TD Garden in Boston in a rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, there was no championship on the line, but the Canucks played like there was. Redemption was the name of the game and special teams ensured a special return to the building where Vancouver was winless in three games during the Final; the power play clicked four times and the penalty kill went 6-for-6 to help the Canucks upend the hottest team in the NHL, one throttling its opposition heading into this game. The bad news: in his season-ending press conference GM Mike Gillis said the Canucks were never the same after this win. Still, what a freakin’ sweet victory.
Moment suggested by Tina Berkenpas