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 one of the Top 20 Moments of the season to prove it.
*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 next week.
February 9, 2012 vs. Minnesota
Scrums in a blowout? No way. That’s what unimaginably played out late in the third period of a 5-2 Canucks win over the Wild; scrums dominated the final five minutes of play and none was more memorable, or hilarious, than an encounter between Kevin Bieksa and Cal Clutterbuck. Bieksa tried to go at it with Dany Heatley, but the linesman restrained him from that, the Canucks defenceman was also kept out of the grappling between Dan Hamhuis and Clutterbuck. Wanting in on the action Bieksa did the only thing he could, he threw his glove at Clutterbuck. “During my release I wondered if it was a good thing, then after my release I knew it was a good thing,” Bieksa told the media afterward.
Moment suggested by Karen Friesen
19. Knuckle sandwiches
March 28, 2012 vs. Colorado
By the way David Booth drops bombs, you might be surprised to hear he’s anti-war. The Canucks forward wanted to get a little grittier with his style of play and he kicked it off by kicking butt in spirited fisticuffs against Mark Olver. It was just Booth’s third career fight, which you wouldn’t know from the concoction of lefts and rights he used to impress the judges in the landslide victory. Eighty-five fight enthusiasts scored the battle on HockeyFights.com, with Booth receiving 89.4 per cent of victory votes. Take note Shawn Thornton.
Moment suggested by Ann-Kathrin Thiele
18. None shall pass
November 23 & 25, 2011 vs. Colorado & Phoenix
Cory Schneider is an honest lad, he always tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. When he got None Shall Pass put on the back of his helmet, that too was the truth and he backed it up with three shutouts this season, two of which came during back-to-back games against the Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes in late November. The Canucks won 3-0, then 5-0, with Schneider standings his ground to record 46 saves on 46 shots – that’s 46 opponent frowns and zero smiles.
Moment suggested by Zachary Wyder
October 29, 2011 vs. Washington
He found glove in a hopeless place. Crazy little thing called glove. Because you gloved me. We’ll agree to disagree on which reworked song title fits Roberto Luongo’s insane glove save on Alexander Ovechkin best, as long as we all agree it was glovely. Mid-third period, Canucks lead 6-4, Brooks Laich takes a shot from the point, Luongo makes the save but can’t corral the rebound, which goes right to Ovechkin, in search of a hat trick goal, until it’s GREAT SAVE LUONGO! What a swipe.
Moment suggested by Matt Hastings
16. Crashing in on the God of Thunder
January 15, 2012 vs. Anaheim
Jannik Hansen couldn’t help himself – do you blame him? When Gene Simmons, wife Shannon Tweed and daughter Sophie took in pre-game warm-up from the penalty box before the Canucks faced the Anaheim Ducks, Hansen approached the legendary KISS guitarist to get his stick signed. Simmons agreed, but he better not find the stick up for sale. “Of course if I see it on E-Bay, I’ll have to sue him and take his house, but that’s another story,” laughed Simmons, in an I’m-not-really-kidding kind of way.
Moment suggested by Jeffrey Blayne Tommy
February 21, 2012 vs. Nashville
Why Warner Brothers hasn’t called for the Alex Burrows story, I’ll never understand. The undrafted Canucks forward, who scrapped his way from the East Coast Hockey League to playing between the most skilled players in the National Hockey League, celebrated an improbable milestone playing in his 500th game in Nashville this past February. To say Burrows has come a long way is the understatement of a lifetime; he’s currently adding another chapter to his unbelievable story playing for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championships.
Moment suggested by Allison Wright
14. Remember me?
March 3, 2012 vs. Buffalo
It didn’t take newcomer Zack Kassian long to make Canucks fans forget about Cody Hodgson. In just his third game with Vancouver, the 21-year-old, who began the night on the fourth line and was alongside David Booth and Ryan Kesler when the horn sounded, scored, had an assist and dished out a team-high seven hits in his best outing of the season. The youngster was up and down during his 17 games with the Canucks, but the future is bright for the man they call Kass. He’s got the size, speed and aggression to be a dangerous power forward, and he’s ours, all ours! (evil laugh)
Moment suggested by Greg Dion
13. A golden dive
February 18, 2012 vs. Toronto
So that’s why the Canucks are accused of being divers! Manny Malhotra and Vancouver’s fourth line took to the ice midway through the first period as the Canucks led the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0, and he provided the dive of the year. Byron Bitz fed the puck to Maxim Lapierre as he jetted into the Toronto zone, he noticed Malhotra had a step on Cody Franson to his left, so he feathered the puck towards him. Malhotra hit the ice like he’d been shot in order to deflect the pass in and help the west conquer the east and prove again who’s best.
Moment suggested by Karl Hohensee
12. Spin-O-Raymond (version 2.0)
January 10, 2012 vs. Tampa Bay
The bag of tricks Mason Raymond possesses is larger than most NHLers and it affords him the opportunity to get creative. There’s nothing more creative, or frustrating for an opposing goalie, than the spin-o-rama, which Raymond pulled off with perfection as the lone shootout shooter to score in a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Raymond came in with blazing speed and cut wide right before slamming on the brakes and potting the puck into the empty net. Even if you hate shootouts, you can’t help but love that.
Moment suggested by Kaeleigh Evans
11. Deflating Wilson
February 7, 2012 vs. Nashville
There was no Roberto Luongo save bigger than this all-season – heck maybe ever. Like that episode of Alf from season four when, as a newly ordained Melmacian minister, Alf officiates a ceremony on Earth, I can watch it again and again and it just keeps getting better. With the Nashville Predators on the power play, chaos ensued and it culminated in a left toe save on a Colin Wilson shot labeled top corner in a 4-3 Canucks shootout win. He was down and certainly out, but like Alf, he made it happen.
Moment suggested by Bridget Womelduff