Vancouver Canucks: 10 Most Memorable Moments of the 2011 Calendar Year
What a year 2011 was for the Vancouver Canucks!
Daniel Sedin and Roberto Luongo were both nominated for major awards, and Ryan Kesler finally won the Selke Award.
The team has posted a cumulative record of 69-33-6, including the playoffs. They also won the President's Trophy and took a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Needless to say, 2011 provided the Canucks and their fans with some great memories.
So without further ado, here are the most memorable moments of 2011 in Canucks nation.
10. Salmon on the Ice
It's not as memorable as the time when a woman threw her bra onto the ice after a Jeff Cowan goal back in 2007, but during the Canucks March 14 game against the Minnesota Wild, a fan at Rogers Arena decided it would be a wise idea to throw a salmon onto the ice.
Perhaps this fan was trying to spark a Vancouver version of the Detroit Octopus tradition, or maybe he/she was just reminding us all that we've got some good salmon out here on the West Coast.
Regardless, it was pretty funny to watch the referees attempt to clear the salmon off the ice without actually touching it—much like how they handled the bra on the ice years earlier.
9. Schneider's Streak
This is the most recent memorable moment on this list, and it comes from arguably the best backup goaltender in the NHL.
Cory Schneider was on fire for five games from Nov. 20-29.
It started with a solid performance where he only allowed one goal in a 2-1 Canucks overtime win against the Ottawa Senators.
After that is when Schneider really took off, though. He posted back-to-back shutouts and then stopped 90 of his next 93 shots in the two games that followed, winning all four of those starts.
He played so well that he forced head coach Alain Vigneault to sit Roberto Luongo on the bench, even after Luongo had recovered from an injury. This sparked a so-called goalie "controversy" that wasn't very controversial considering both goalies are so good.
The video in this slide is of a phenomenal save by Schneider against the Colorado Avalanche in the first of his back-to-back shutouts.
8. Hockey Luvin' Homos
Ah, yes. The self-proclaimed "Hockey Luvin' Homos" known as Daniella and Henriette, according to what was written on the backs of their jerseys.
These two proud homosexual men wanted to show that the gay community in Vancouver was cheering on the Canucks during their great 2010-11 season, and they did so by sporting the shirts you can see in the video.
Unfortunately, the management at Rogers Arena didn't appreciate the term "homo" being on their shirts and on television, which led to their ejection later in the game.
This sparked a national outrage and became a news story all over Canada.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports tells a more detailed version of the story, which you can read by clicking here.
7. Streak Capped by President's Trophy Clincher
From March 5-31, the Canucks won 11 of 12 games.
This hot streak was book-ended by a pair of 3-1 victories against the L.A. Kings, and the latter of those wins clinched the President's Trophy. Coincidentally, it was also the same game that the "Hockey Luvin' Homos" made their appearance.
When a team clinches it's first-ever regular-season title, it's always going to be a memorable moment, and this was no exception with the Canucks in 2011.
6. Kesler Officially Takes over in the Second Round
This phenomenal goal by Ryan Kesler was the moment when he officially went into beast mode against the Nashville Predators in the second round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The goal came in Game 4 of the series with the game tied at two and the Canucks leading the best-of-seven series 2-1.
In total, Kesler scored five goals and added six assists in the Canucks 4-2 series victory over the Predators. However, this is the goal that Canucks fans remember the most, as it was a turning point in the series and also a beauty!
5. Torres Game 1 Winner in the Finals
It took almost the full 60 minutes to get the first goal of the Stanley Cup Finals, but Raffi Torres made it a memorable one for the Canucks.
This was the one and only goal of the game, and it gave the Canucks the start they wanted to the series.
4. Lapierre Game 5 Winner in the Finals
The only goal of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals may not have come as late in the game as it did in Game 1, but it was just a little more memorable, as it put the Canucks that much closer to winning the Stanley Cup.
Maxim Lapierre scored what Canucks fans hoped was the winner in their second-to-last victory of the season. It put the Canucks up 3-2 in the series and gave them two chances to bring home the Stanley Cup.
Unfortunately, they couldn't get the job done, but it was a memorable goal nonetheless.
3. Burrows Game 2 Overtime Winner in the Finals
Alex Burrows certainly has a knack for scoring clutch goals.
This wonderful winner came right at the start of the first overtime period in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The goal gave the Canucks a 2-0 series lead, and at the time, it looked as though they were on their way to winning the Cup.
Needless to say, the crowd went crazy.
2. Burrows Overtime Series Winner in Round One
What did I say about Burrows having a knack for scoring clutch goals?
This series-clincher wasn't in the Stanley Cup Finals. In fact, it was only in Round 1 of the playoffs. However, it doesn't take a diehard Canucks fan to know how big this goal was.
It seemed as though the Canucks just couldn't get over the hump against the Chicago Blackhawks until this goal. After being eliminated from the playoffs in the two previous years, the Blackhawks stormed back from a 3-0 series deficit to force a Game 7. Then, Jonathan Toews tied Game 7 late in the third period and sent the deciding game into overtime.
With many Canucks fans too nervous to watch, Alex Burrows sparked the jubilation of a nation with his overtime goal. As CBC play-by-play broadcaster Jim Hughson said, it was a wonderful day for an exorcism!
1. Bieksa Sends the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals
This is a long video, but it's worth every second to watch it again if you're a Canucks fan.
Not only did the Canucks tie Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals with 14 seconds to go, but they managed to book their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals in double-overtime of the same game thanks to Kevin Bieksa's bizarre goal.
Since the Canucks weren't able to win the Stanley Cup, this was the high point of their season, and that's why it's their most memorable moment of 2011.
This year marked just the third time in Canucks history that they reached the Stanley Cup Finals, and hopefully in 2012, they can do one better.
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