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Top 30 Moments: 1-10

by Sunny Dhillon / Vancouver Canucks

The curtain has closed for the 2007-08 Vancouver Canucks. A season that began with such optimism ended with the team missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. As disappointing as the end result was, there were some great memories hatched along the way. Here’s a look at the top 30 Canucks moments from the past season.

10) 2007 - 2008 Season

Roberto Luongo’s heroics between the pipes are deserving of a top-30 list of their own. There’s already the aforementioned stops on de Vries, Bonk, and Crosby. What about his game-saver on Mike Modano on March 15, when the Stars sniper had the entire net to shoot at but Luongo threw out his glove in the nick of time? Or his second effort on St. Louis’ Brad Boyes on January 23, when the Blues sniper thought he had a tap-in to break a third period deadlock?

Luongo saves the day

9) January 8, 2008 vs. New York
Emergence: Alexander Edler.

The plan for this year was for him to bide his time in Manitoba. Edler was recalled on October 15 and ended up playing more games than any other Vancouver defenseman at the ripe old age of 21.  He was the NHL rookie leader in plus/minus for much of the year and hit a high-water mark of +18. He’s demonstrated he can not only play against the other team’s best forwards, but also handle an offensive role on his own club. His bomb from the point made him a fixture on the Vancouver powerplay and his finish led to him twice scoring shootout winners (NYI, STL).

Alex the Great dazzles the westcoast

8) November 3, 2007 @ Colorado
The biggest win of the season.

It was early November but the year already looked as though it was slipping away from the Vancouver Canucks. Kevin Bieksa was out with a lacerated calf, Sami Salo with a broken nose. The team had limped to a 5-7-0 record and was booed off its own ice. The  Canucks entered Colorado with a six-man defensive unit of Ohlund, Mitchell, Miller, Edler, Weaver, and Bourdon. How did Vancouver respond? By shutting down the Avs and winning a game that would turn its season around. Vancouver closed out November with a 9-1-2 mark and followed that up with an 8-5-2 December.

Win proves to be a vital turning point

7) March 15, 2008 @ Dallas
“The Shift”: Mitchell version.

With his Vancouver team nursing a one-goal lead against Dallas late in the third period, a Brad Richards point shot rode up Mitchell’s stick and struck the Canuck defenseman in the face. Mitchell immediately fell to the ice, bleeding, but got back to his feet immediately. Willie put himself back in harm’s way just a few seconds later, blocking a Nik Hagman slapshot with his right foot. He then picked off a Hagman pass and cleared the zone, trying valiantly to make it to the bench himself before Alex Burrows gave him a helping hand.

Willie the warrior earns his stripes

6) February 23, 2008 vs. Detroit
Emergence: Ryan Kesler.

Before this season began, he spoke of his desire to not only stay in the lineup but also play a bigger role. Kesler finished 2007-08 with career highs in goals (21), assists (16), and points (37) and was Vancouver’s top faceoff man. He emerged as Vancouver’s shutdown centre and was given the task of shadowing the other team’s top forwards every night. He handled this extremely well, frequently getting under the skin of star players once deemed unflappable. Kesler was a fixture on Vancouver’s top penalty killing unit and was also a regular on the PP.

Kesler proves his worth

5) March 8, 2008 vs. St. Louis
Emergence: Alex Burrows.

As a long-shot to make the team out of training camp, Burrows became as indispensable a part of the Canucks. He appeared in all 82 games and shattered career highs in goals (12), assists (19), points (31) and plus/minus (+11). He teamed with Kesler on the top PK unit, joined him on the shutdown line, and got under the skin of opposing players so often that stories were written about how he forms his famous insults (throuh research). The former ECHLer carried Vancouver’s offense through a critical three-game winning streak in March, during which he totaled two goals and four assists.

Burrows fights to cement a roster spot

4) March 30, 2008 vs. Calgary
Trevor Linden nets two against Calgary, keeps Vancouver’s playoff hopes alive.

In the midst of a four-game losing streak in late March that threatened to end their season once and for all, the Vancouver Canucks needed someone to step up. Trevor Linden scored two goals, including the game-winner, as the Canucks thrashed the Calgary Flames 6-2 and seized control of their playoff lives for the final time. Linden, who scored clutch goals for Vancouver as early as his rookie season and as recently as last spring’s playoffs, provided Canuck fans with what might be one last glimpse at the franchise's best big-game player.

Linden at it again

3) November 14, 2007 vs. Edmonton - December 18 vs. New Jersey
Luongo takes his game to an even higher level.

Luongo put together a two-month stretch of what might very well be the best hockey any Vancouver netminder has ever played. Bobby Lou ended November with a record of 8-2-2. He posted a 1.56 GAA and had a save percentage of .940. He closed out the month with three consecutive shutouts and finished with a shutout streak of 210 minutes, 34 seconds. His godlike numbers carried over into December, where he was 6-3-1 with a 1.68 GAA and a .942 save percentage. From November 14 to December 18, Louie had five shutouts.

Bobby Lou puts on a show

2) December 5, 2007 @ Chicago
#19 = #1.

Markus Naslund surpassed Trevor Linden and became Vancouver’s all-time scoring leader on December 5, 2007 in Chicago. Naslund danced around Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook before slipping a backhand pass to a pinching Mattias Ohlund. Ohlund provided a backhander off his own rebound and roofed a shot over the shoulder of Hawks netminder Nikolai Khabibulin. Naslund rounded out 2007-08 with 346 goals and 756 points as a ‘Nuck.

Another one for the record books...

1) March 5, 2008 vs. Calgary
Trevor Linden’s “farewell.”

As of right now, no one knows for sure if Linden has hung up his skates for good. But one thing is for certain: April 5, 2008 was Trevor Linden Night at GM Place and it was the most electrifying atmosphere those in the building have ever experienced. From the numerous standing ovations, to the hug he received from each of his teammates, to the Calgary Flames coming back on the ice to shake Trevor’s hand, Linden’s “farewell” was a moment no Canuck fan will ever, ever forget.

A salute to Captain Canuck

Vancouver Canucks 2007/2008 Season Record
213 - Total Goals For

215 - Total Goals Against

88 - Placed 11th in the Western Conference with a total of 88 points this season

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