Vancouver Canucks: Top Moments from Their 2011 Playoff Run
On the eve of the final weekend of the regular season, fans are getting ready for some hockey that really matters. The puck drops for the playoffs in a few short days, so now is a natural time to look back at last year's playoffs.
The Canucks had a spectacular playoff run in 2011 that fell just short of the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Still, despite the bitter ending with Game 7 loss and the riots that followed, there were plenty of good memories from the playoff run.
Here are some of the top moments from the Canucks 2011 playoffs, as captured by the NHL in their awesome "History Will be Made" series of commercials. (Too bad the NHL shelved that ad campaign for this year, they were a fan favourite and the best commercials they've ever had.)
After watching these, I'm really hoping the Canucks and Sharks meet in the first round. That, and it might serve to remind some Canucks fans that only focus on the blowouts that Roberto Luongo can put up some clutch shutouts in the playoffs as well.
Daniel Sedin Scores in Game 2 Against the Blackhawks
Daniel Sedin puts on a nice display to deke through the neutral zone, and then scores to seal the Canucks' 2-0 series lead over the hated Blackhawks.
Clips like this highlight the need for Daniel to get back into the Canucks lineup after that Duncan Keith cheap shot as soon as possible if they want a deep playoff run.
Alex Burrows Scores in Overtime of Game 7 vs. the Blackhawks
Game 7 at home.
Is there a more perfect scenario than that in which to score a goal and become a legend to your fans?
Roberto Luongo's Shutout in Game 1 vs. Predators
Roberto Luongo puts on a clinic to record a shutout.
For the record, this is the first of three shutouts we'll see in these clips, in case anyone needs video proof that Luongo can perform in the playoffs.
Ryan Kesler Carries Canucks in Game 3 vs. Predators
This is the first of back-to-back games where Ryan Kesler carries the Canucks on his back.
This is also the point where he started being talked about as a potential Conn Smythe candidate outside of Vancouver.
Ryan Kesler Embarrasses Shea Weber in Game 4 vs. Predators
Kesler gets hit with a perfect pass from Henrik Sedin and then goes inside-outside to split the defence pairing of Shane O'Brien (a former Canuck) and Shea Weber (a Norris Trophy nominee) before burying the puck past Pekka Rinne.
Canucks Defeat Predators in Game 6 to Advance
Ryan Kesler figures prominently in goals by Mason Raymond (yes, he can score) and Daniel Sedin to help the Canucks advance past the second round for the first time since 1994.
Henrik Sedin Scores Winning Goal in Game 1 vs. Sharks
Henrik Sedin scores a game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
You'll be seeing a lot more of Henrik in the next few clips, as he would go on to score 12 points in the five game series.
Sedins Destroy Sharks in Game 2
The former and current Art Ross winners decide to put on a show, as the Sedins pick apart the Sharks in Game 2.
Kevin Bieksa's Gordie Howe Hat Trick in Game 2 vs. Sharks
This wasn't immortalized in a "History Will be Made" commercial, but it should have been.
The NHL instead decides to focus on the Sedins, but Kevin Bieksa does it all with a Gordie Howe hat trick in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
He has an early goal, a fight where he pummels Patrick Marleau, and then he assists on the Chris Higgins goal that helps seal the win.
You also have to give credit to Marleau for picking that fight to try and spark his team, even if it doesn't work.
How can you watch this and not love Bieksa?
Sami Salo's Slap Shot Buries the Sharks in Game 4
Three quick power play goals, two by Sami Salo and another by Kesler, in a little over two minutes in the second period pretty much seals the series, as the Canucks go up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals.
After that extended series of penalty gaffes, the Sharks go from being up 1-0 in a pivotal game at home to being down 3-1. I'd imagine Sharks fans were calling for blood after that disaster.
Note, this was the last appearance of the Canucks power play in the playoffs. Maybe they should have saved some of that magic for the Finals.
Kevin Bieksa Scores in Double Overtime of Game 4 vs. Sharks
The Sharks make a game of it in Game 5 with their season on the line, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Roberto Luongo.
Luongo responds with 54 saves and holds the Canucks in it long enough for Kesler to score a goal with seconds left on the clock to force overtime, and then for Bieksa to put a knuckle puck past Anti Niemi in double overtime.
Roberto Luongo Pitches a Shutout in Game 1 vs. the Bruins
Raffi Torres scores the only goal in the opening game of the Stanley Cup Finals, as the Canucks win 1-0.
Yes, that means Roberto Luongo turned away 36 shots in a shutout, but Canucks fans have a short memory and will soon forget.
This was Luongo's third shutout in the opening game of a series, after doing it to the Hawks in the first round and the Predators in the second round.
Alex Burrows Undresses Zdeno Chara in Overtime of Game 2 vs. the Bruins
In case Bruins fans needed more reasons to hate a certain French Canadian ball hockey champion, Alex Burrows decided to stop chewing on Patrice Bergeron's finger and go back to scoring clutch goals.
Roberto Luongo Records a Shutout in Game 5 vs. the Bruins
Roberto Luongo makes 31 saves to record his second 1-0 shutout of the Stanley Cup Finals, and his fourth shutout of the playoffs, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Maxim Lapierre carries on a fine tradition of players with ties to the Habs scoring clutch goals for the Canucks by providing the only goal of the game.