History Will Be Made: The Vancouver Canucks' Road to the Stanley Cup Finals
The Vancouver Canucks have been on an emotional roller coaster through the playoffs.
From the highs of overtime wins to clinch a series, to the lows of blowout losses on home ice, the Canucks have provided 15 of the 40 moments that the NHL has immortalized in their "History Will Be Made" commercials.
For those that haven't followed the Canucks over the last six weeks, it is a good refresher on their run to the finals. And for Canucks fans, it is fun to look back at how they got here.
Here are the 15 commercials that mark the Canucks' road to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
History Can't Be Kept Quiet for Long
Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (April 15, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 4, Chicago Blackhawks 3
The Sedins breakout after a mediocre (by their standards) Game 1. The Canucks take a 2-0 series lead.
History Rises to the Occasion
Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (April 21, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 0, Chicago Blackhawks 5
The Canucks were poised to win the series and send the hated Blackhawks golfing. Alas, it wasn't to be, as the defending Stanley Cup Champions handed the Canucks the second back-to-back blowout loss of the series. (The Blackhawks had won the previous game by a 7-2 margin.)
This was probably the lowest point in the playoffs for Canucks fans. Were they about to blow a 3-0 series lead and let the Blackhawks defeat them for the third year in a row?
History Doesn't Quit
Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (April 24, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 3, Chicago Blackhawks 4 (Overtime)
Faced with the unthinkable, Alain Vigneault decides to start backup Cory Schneider. Schneider plays well, and the Canucks go into the third period with a one-goal lead.
A penalty shot by Frolik not only ties the game, but forces Schneider to the bench as he hurt himself attempting to stretch and make the save.
The Canucks would lose in overtime, but there is a glimmer of hope for Canucks fans. The deciding Game 7 is on home ice, and the Canucks played even with the Blackhawks in Game 6, unlike the previous two games.
History Breaks Through
Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (April 26, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1 (Overtime)
Game 7. Overtime. A hated rival. It doesn't get more dramatic than this goal by Alex Burrows to send the Canucks through to the second round.
After this point, the Canucks seemed to control their own destiny and never seemed rattled in further rounds after defeating the Blackhawks.
On a side note, Burrows went right from the game to the hospital, as his wife was in labor with their first child. So for Burrows, it was a historic night for multiple reasons.
History Forges Ahead
Game 1 of the Western Conference Semfinals (April 28 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 1, Nashville Predators 0
After an emotional breakout in Game 7 against the Blackhawks, the Canucks ride that boost into Game 1 against the Predators and prevail on the strength of a Chris Higgins goal and Roberto Luongo's second shutout of the playoffs.
History Stands on Its Head
Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals (April 30, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 1, Nashville Predators 2
Pekka Rinne serves notice that Roberto Luongo isn't the only Vezina Trophy–nominated goalie in this series. The Canucks put 33 shots on Rinne, but he only lets in a single Burrows goal. The series is now tied.
History Leads by Example
Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals (May 3, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 3, Nashville Predators 2
With the Sedin's being held largely in check by the defensive duo of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, combined with the defensive schemes of Barry Trotz, Ryan Kesler decides to take the team on his back.
Two goals by Kesler are enough to get the Canucks past the Predators to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
History Is Unstoppable
Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals (May 5, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 4, Nashville Predators 2
Ryan Kesler is unstoppable. After leading the team to victory in Game 3, he does it again in Game 4. Note that it was Shea Weber, a Norris Trophy–nominated defenceman, that he undressed for that goal.
History Steps Up
Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals (May 7, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 4, Nashville Predators 3
In what is becoming a trend, the Canucks are up 3-1 in a series with a chance to close it out at home in Game 5, but can't get the job done. Nice goals by Joel Ward, though, as he steps up to keep the Predators alive.
History Takes Care of Business
Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals (May 9, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 2, Nashville Predators 1
After a disappointing Game 5 loss, the Canucks close it out with a 2-1 win in Nashville. And again, Kesler's name is prominent on both goals as he makes his case to be an early Conn Smythe candidate.
History Sets the Tone
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals (May 15, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 3, San Jose Sharks 2
Playing in the third round for the first time in 17 years, the Canucks come back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to take the lead in the third period.
History Makes Us See Double
Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals (May 18 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 7, San Jose Sharks 3
With the Sharks vowing to be better after their Game 1 performance, they came out and took an early lead off a power-play goal in Game 2.
The Sedins decided they shouldn't let Kesler steal the spotlight and put on a clinic. Daniel Sedin had two goals, and Henrik Sedin had three assists.
Overshadowed by the Sedins, Kevin Bieksa had the rare Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, an assist and a spirited fight against Patrick Marleau.
History Doesn't Stay Down
Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals (May 20, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 3, San Jose Sharks 4
The Sharks answer the criticism, and storm back to win Game 3, led by Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.
It isn't in the highlights, but this game was also important as Jamie McGinn knocked out both Aaron Rome and Christian Ehrhoff with heavy hits. Neither Canucks defenceman would be available to play until the Stanley Cup Finals.
History Cashes in
Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals (May 22, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 4, San Jose Sharks 2
Playing in a rare Sunday matinee game, the Canucks cash in on a record setting three power-play goals scored with a two man advantage, as the Sharks parade to the box in the second period.
The score went from 2-0 in favor of the Sharks to 3-2 in favor of the Canucks in less than two minutes of game time.
History Is Ready for the Bigger Stage
Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals (May 24, 2011)
Vancouver Canucks 3, San Jose Sharks 2 (Double Overtime)
On Tuesday, May 24 1994, Greg Adams scored a double overtime goal in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals to send the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers.
In the 17 years since, the Canucks had not returned to the Finals.
On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, in another Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Kevin Bieksa would score his own double overtime goal to send the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Eerie how history repeated itself. Are the Canucks a team of destiny?
Also, lost in the hype about Bieksa's double overtime goal was Ryan Kesler continuing to be clutch for the Canucks. He tied the game with 13 seconds left in the third period.
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