VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Jeff Tambellini
and Dan Hamhuis
grew up in very separate parts of British Columbia as kids, but when it comes to reminiscing on the 1994 Stanley Cup run made by the Vancouver Canucks
they both pointed to one play which stood apart from the rest.
"The Calgary game, the Game 7, it looked like they were out of it, down by a goal late in the third period and they find a way to get a lucky one and it goes in," Tambellini said. "Then it goes a couple overtimes and I just remember when Pavel scored you could just hear the houses going crazy and people were on the streets."
Added Hamhuis: "I think I probably had a similar reaction to Pavel Bure
when he scored in Game 7. I tried to re-enact the save Kirk McLean
made out on the street the next day with some friends in road hockey, but yeah that was probably the highlight."
Tambellini, who celebrated his 10th birthday in the middle of that memorable Canucks run, was one of the fortunate kids as his dad Steve, a former Canucks forward (1985-88), was the team's Director of Public and Media Relations.
"The Calgary game, the Game 7, it looked like they were out of it, down by a goal late in the third period and they find a way to get a lucky one and it goes in. Then it goes a couple overtimes and I just remember when Pavel scored you could just hear the houses going crazy and people were on the streets."
-- Jeff Tambellini
His father's occupation meant unprecedented access for the Port Moody native.
"Not too much during the playoffs, but I was fortunate enough to be brought around as a kid when he was working. I was just kind of hanging out," said Tambellini, who dressed in his first NHL playoff game against Nashville on Monday night. "To see what was going on and to watch it up close was pretty special."
Tambellini, who grew up a fan of Bure and Trevor Linden
, remembers the frenzy the city was in 17 years ago, the last time Vancouver made it to the conference finals.
"Ninety-four was an unbelievable run," he said. "I was probably at the majority of those games and the whole city just had that buzz, kind of like it is now, and it was a great feeling.
"It's funny to look back that it was 17 years ago that all happened."
Nearly 700 miles north in Smithers, B.C., an 11-year-old Hamhuis also had his eyes fixed to the TV as the Canucks did what they'd only done once before, in 1982.
"I was a huge fan of the Canucks back then and remember being glued to the TV," Hamhuis said. "Staying up past my bedtime to watch them and obviously just crushed at the end when they didn't win."
Nearly two decades later Hamhuis is happy to be a part of the team he idolized as a kid.
"It's really exciting to be a part of it and to see how the city is in full support and the whole province and how they support the team -- how excited everybody is about it," he said. "It's fun to be playing on the home team now this year and to come this far -- hopefully we got a long ways to go."
The 28-year-old echoed the sentiment of the entire team when describing the 2011 run thus far.
"It's a tough place to get to and a lot of teams haven't got this far (conference finals). It's a honor to be here, but not satisfied," Hamhuis said.