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Top 30 Moments: 21-30

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 the top 21-30 Canucks moments from the past season.

30) Luongo's show stopping saves

At least one a game, all year, but especially May 2, 2009 vs. Chicago

Singling out one Roberto Luongo save that's better than all the rest is near impossible. There are at least 40 stops that come to mind and every single one of them could have earned real estate on this list. After much deliberation, a couple of scraps and a few tears, Luongo's go-go gadget arm stop on Ben Eager in Game 2 against Chicago is head and shoulders above the rest.

Oh what a save!

29) Final game, first goal

May 11, 2009 @ Chicago

After 47 shots on goal, Shane O'Brien finally found the back of the net in Vancouver's last game of the season. The goal was bittersweet with the Canucks falling to the Blackhawks 7-5 to end their playoff run, but at least OB got his moment in the spotlight as the 22nd Canuck to score this year.

O'Brien shoots, O'Brien SCORES!

28) Rypien retains the heavyweight belt

October 11, 2008 @ Calgary

When Brandon Prust dropped the gloves and squared off against Rick Rypien just two minutes into the second period of the second game of the season, odds are he wasn't prepared for the beat down of a lifetime. That's exactly what he got as Rypien threw roughly 19 punches before the refs broke up the one-sided fight. Rypien's last few lefts had Prust's melon flying around like a bobble-head doll.

Prust no match for the pit bull

27) Ryan Johnson: The sacrificial lamb

Every game, every shift, but especially May 7, 2009 @ Chicago

It's been a while since No Fear shirts were all the rage, but Ryan Johnson could help bring them back. No one else was as willing to get in harm's way to make a play this season than Johnson. While it cost him a few injured limbs and digits, it also afforded him the thankless second assist on plays like Darcy Hordichuk's first career playoff goal. Johnson was third in the NHL for blocked shots by forwards with 84.

A big block leads to a big goal 

26) Fright night

October 31, 2008 @ Anaheim

This game started off innocently enough, but make no mistake, it turned into a slug fest. Anaheim opened a 2-0 lead only to watch Vancouver score five unanswered goals in what looked to be a wash of a game. The Ducks quacked back with three goals before the Canucks took a 6-5 lead into the final minutes of play, which they blew with 57 seconds left. It wasn't until Mattias Ohlund, the 26th shooter, scored in the shootout that this game was decided. What a bout.

Ohlund ends a shootout thriller

25) Hordichuk runs over Turco

March 24, 2009 @ Dallas

Much more than a mere hit, Darcy Hordichuk's run-in with Marty Turco along the boards in the Dallas zone had the hockey world buzzing about if a goalie is fair game to be hit while out of their crease. Hordichuk believes they are and he proved it by leveling Turco. Truth be told, he didn't even hit the keeper with all his might; as Hordichuk said afterwards, "All I’m out there to do is be physical and if I wanted to I could have taken him out." Turco will definitely think twice about leaving his crease next time the Great Hordini is near.

Turco turned road kill

24) Hunting Penguins at the Igloo

November 22, 2008 @ Pittsburgh

Things went down hill for the Penguins just 25 seconds into a 3-1 loss to the Canucks when former Canuck Matt Cooke took a run at Alex Edler with a dirty hip-check. The gloves flew after that as Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Ryan Kesler all jumped to the aid of their teammate. Kesler squared off with Tyler Kennedy, Burrows went toe-to-toe with Brooks Orpik, while Hansen more than held his own throwing rights against Cooke.

Line brawl in Pittsburgh

23) Sundin saga ends with the veteran in Vancouver

December 18, 2008 @ Vancouver

When the Canucks extended a contract offer to Mats Sundin last summer, few, if any, actually thought the hulking Swede would end up in Vancouver. GM Mike Gillis had faith and it paid off when Sundin signed on the dotted line in a move that bolstered Vancouver's offensive depth. It took Maximus Mats a few weeks to get going, but when he did, it was evident he could still be a game changer. He finished with 36 points in 49 games, including playoffs.

The best of Sundin

22) The goaltending future gets win #1

December 5, 2008 @ Minnesota

Cory Schneider gave up six goals in his first two NHL starts and even he was questioning when things would turn around. Nothing cures the blues of being scored on like playing the Minnesota Wild. Schneider earned his first career NHL win in a 2-1 victory in Minnesota after recording 16 saves. Once Luongo returned from injury Schneider was sent back down to Manitoba, but he left everyone with the confidence that he has the skill to one day backstop the Canucks.

Schneider goes wild

21) Pyatt's return

May 5, 2009 @ Chicago

No one would have blamed Taylor Pyatt for sitting the rest of the season out following the tragic death of his fiancé Carly Bragnalo, who died in a car accident in Jamaica at the beginning of April. In true Pyatt fashion, he returned to the Canucks for Game 3 against the Blackhawks and was an inspiration to his coaches and teammates alike. "I'm really proud of that young man," said coach Alain Vigneault. "It's a great thing he did."

Happy to have him back

"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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