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Top 30 Moments: 11-20

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

The 2008-09 season was one of the most entertaining in recent memory with the Vancouver Canucks experiencing more highs and lows in one year than most teams do in a decade.

There were streaks and slumps, goals and gaffs and an intense playoff run that ended too early. Memories are all that remain from the season that was and the tight knit Canucks, who fought through a mountain of adversity, sure provided some beauties.

Here’s a look at numbers 11-20 of the top Canucks moments from the past season.

20) Hodgson leads Canada to gold

January 5, 2009 in Ottawa

When the Vancouver Canucks drafted Cody Hodgson tenth overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, they knew they were getting a special player. As a member of the Canucks organization, Hodgson captained the Brampton Battalion to the OHL Championship and more impressively led Team Canada to another gold medal finish at the World Junior Championship. Hodgson led all tournament scorers with 16 points and was named to the All-Star Team.

Hodgson prospect profile

19) Sundin pots goal No. 1

January 10, 2009 vs. San Jose

After Mats Sundin was skunked in his first two games with Vancouver, he found the scoresheet in dramatic fashion in his third game, a home contest against San Jose. Brian Boucher made the initial save on a Henrik Sedin bullet, but the rebound squirted out of control and right onto the stick of Sundin who torched it in. Too bad the Canucks lost 4-2 and for the second straight night Sundin was in the penalty box when the winning goal was scored.

The best of Sundin

18) The return of Rick Rypien, aka The Spark

March 31, 2009 @ Minnesota

Rick Rypien's highly anticipated return to the Canucks line-up following a season of injuries wasn't as dramatic as everyone had hoped. He didn't throw any big hits and he didn't knock anyone's skull around, but he was back and that in itself was saying something. Sidelined in October with a sports hernia, his return was both inspirational and uplifting for the Canucks, who missed the hardcore effort and spark he provides.

Rypien finds his way back

17) Kesler = clutch

January 31, 2009 vs. Minnesota

Ryan Kesler was awarded the Cyclone Taylor Award as the Canucks MVP this season for a lot of reasons, a major one being that he displayed the heart and soul needed to be a champion. His most dramatic goal of the season was a prime illustration of how his game has evolved in Vancouver. Trailing 3-2 with less than 20 seconds to play against Minnesota, Kesler picked up the puck in the slot and snapped it home before falling to his knees in celebration.

They score! Kesler ties it!

16) Tic-Tac-Toe for the ages

March 17 vs. Dallas

Steve Bernier's final regular season goal was one of the prettiest of the year and the play all started when Mason Raymond blocked a shot in the Vancouver zone. He then dished the puck off to Kyle Wellwood, who carried it into the Dallas end. The spurt of hot potato that ensued was perfection: Wellwood hit Kevin Bieksa up the middle, he one-timed it to Raymond at his left, who then re-directed the puck to Steve Bernier and he one-timed it in to the left of Marty Turco.

The Canucks walk over the Stars

15) The resurgence of Kyle Wellwood

All season, but especially in the playoffs

Kyle Wellwood came to Vancouver as a bit of an enigma. No one knew what to think of the newcomer, would he help or hinder the team? From flab to fab, as the media described it, Wellwood transformed himself and his game and had a career year for goals, power play goals and game-winning goals. HIs superior play was extremely evident in the post-season where he finished sixth in team scoring with six points, ahead of the likes of Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler.

Wellwood's career year

14) Hank puts on a show

March 13, 2009 vs. Los Angeles

Henrik Sedin set a career high for points this season averaging one a game and he made quite a few highlight reel plays along the way. His second goal in 30 seconds against the Kings was something magestic, pratically out of Stars on Ice. Fifteen feet into the LA zone, Henrik hit the breaks and spun towards the middle of the ice, he then cut back to his forehand, gathered himself, and ripped a shot past Jonathan Quick. It was an incredible goal that's impossible to get sick of.

Hank the tank

13) Luongo blanks the Blues

April 17, 2009 vs. St. Louis

Vancouver's captain was at his best this season in the second game of the Western Conference Quarter Final against St. Louis as he stopped all 30 shots in a 3-0 Canucks win for his first career playoff shutout. This was no honky dory donut though, it was his third in four games dating back to the regular season and it saw him stone David Backes in front in the second period before giving Andy McDonald nightmares with a masterful power play stop in the third.

Bingo, bango, bongo

12) The Shift: Part Two

March 3, 2009 vs. Minnesota

The first installment of The Shift was something to admire and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who thought the Sedins could do it again. Well, that's just what they did against the Wild as Vancouver's top line took it to them near the end of the second period for two minutes and 22 seconds. The Sedins had as many chances to score as the Wild had to clear the puck, but everyone came together for an improbable menacing shift that tetherballed all possible momentum to the Canucks. Vancouver won 4-2.

Another dizzying Sedin shift

11) The Streak

The Canucks were unbeatable at GM Place for two months

After losing nine straight games on home ice (three were overtime or shootout losses), the Canucks finally bumped the slump and recorded a victory. That led to another. And another. And another. Before anyone could blink Vancouver had set a franchise record with 11 consecutive home wins between Feb. 3, 2009 and April 2, 2009. Overall the Canucks went 11-0-2 and picked up at least a point in 13 games during that time. Talk about home ice advantage.

Home run

Top 30 Moments: 21-30
"Team of destiny"
The last address
Over and out
Why so serious?

Vancouver's 2008-09 season record
246 - Total goals for

220 - Total goals against

100 - Points placed Vancouver third in the Western Conference as Northwest Division Champs

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