Great Northwest Sports Moments: 3 Franchise Stanley Cup Runs
The Vancouver Canucks have fielded many outstanding teams since joining the NHL in 1970.
They’ve reached the Stanley Cup final three times and many hockey fans and pundits believe at least two of those Vancouver teams were among the best never to win a Cup.
Let’s have a look at a few “close, but no cigar” Canuck moments.
1982 Stanley Cup Final
This Canucks team was quite a surprise. Under Roger Neilson, who made the “towel wave” famous during this playoff run, the Canucks entered the playoffs with a losing record. But they somehow rolled through Calgary, Los Angeles and Chicago, winning 11 of 13 games.
Unfortunately, they ran into the New York Islanders dynasty in the first coast-to-coast final. Mike Bossy and company were far too much for the Canucks, sweeping them.
1994 Stanley Cup Final
This is still probably my pick for the greatest, most heart-stopping Cup final in history. The Canucks, led by Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden and Kirk MacLean, pushed the New York Rangers to seven hard-fought games. They even hit the post with a minute left, almost forcing overtime.
But a man by the name of Mark Messier made the Rangers the team of destiny that year.
It was a great moment for Broadway and a devastating one for Vancouver, which erupted into a riot.
2011 Stanley Cup Final
The 2010-11 Canucks were arguably the greatest Canucks team to date, setting franchise records for wins and points. Led by the Sedin twins, Ryan Kesler and Roberto Luongo, they flew out to a 2-0 series lead against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup final.
After Max Lapierre’s winning goal in Game 5, Vancouver even led the series 3-2 heading back to Boston.
But the Bruins prevailed, staying alive at home and beating the Canucks in Vancouver to take Game 7.
The city erupted into riots and looting, turning what could’ve been Vancouver’s proudest moment into a sad and shameful one.
As always let me know what you think below! I’m eager to discuss anything!