Remembering the Season We’d All Like to Forget…
Before we start I trust you read Part 1 of my Canucks Moments In Time right? It features moments 10 -> 6.
As we move towards the top five of our 2011/2012 moments in time countdown, we leave the goofy and get to the weighter moments of the year i.e. those brief glimpses when we as Vancouver Canucks fans felt something instead of chasing last year’s dragon.
We look at pivotal games and more importantly pivotal moments that shaped the outcome of not only the season but the franchise in the years forward.
Without further adieu, we dive like Ryan Kesler into the top five.
5. Late November Schneider
In a run that included two straight shutouts and 117 of 120 shots turned away, Schneider self-actualized quite like he did in college and the AHL. His pattern in every league he’s played in is simple: get comfortable and then dominate.
4. Alex Burrows the streakslayer
The Detroit Red Wings carried a league-record 23 straight home wins in late February before the Vancouver Canucks showed up on the 23rd of the month.
The Canucks were road warriors at this point, racking up the wins in white during the midst of their strange streak-slump of Groundhog Day-esque overtime and shootout games.
Fitting then that it took a shootout for the Canucks to beat the unbeatable. Sure, it wasn’t a true win much to the dismay of Wings fans, but their streak was propped up by a couple shootout wins of their own.
The skills comp giveth and the skills comp taketh away.
Of course with barely 20 seconds left in the game it looked as though the number would be pushed to 24 until Daniel Sedin found a way to tie the game with just 15.4 seconds left.
3. Goodbye Cody Hodgson
The shock of the year came on Trade Deadline day when a relatively mild morning was capped with Mike Gillis donning a turtleneck and a pair of jeans and doing his best Steve Jobs “..And one more thing”.
Announced after the noon deadline, details of the Hodgson trade trickled in slowly, but revved up when Bob McKenzie announced, and sounded shocked as anyone, that it was indeed Cody Hodgson going to Buffalo for Zack Kassian.
Hodgson was in the honeymoon phase of his Canucks career and seemed to be a budding pillar of the Canucks core for perhaps the next generation yet in one afternoon it was over.
This is a trade that will resonate within the fanbase for years and years as both young players have a lot of hockey left to play.
Who wins? Hard to say yet.
Who loses? All those with Cody Hodgson Canuck jerseys.
2. Stanley Cup Finals Game 8
Aahh, the Boston Game.
While every Canuck fan circled the date on the calendar from the outset of the season, both teams downplayed the importance of the game leading up to the Saturday morning matinee, that lie was exposed for what it was when the first period saw a full-fledged line-brawl.
1. Duncan Keith…
And this is how the Canucks season ended, not with a bang but with a whimper.
Whether or not Daniel’s initial hit on Keith was dirty, and admittedly it was borderline, it was absolutely no justification for Keith’s retaliation. Keith of course got five games, the same number of playoff games the Canucks got.
You can try to pin the Canucks demise on a number of things, not the least of which being that the Kings were on bath salts all playoffs long, but make no mistake that the season ended right here.
In a tight Western Conference losing a franchise forward is not a ticket for playoff success, especially on a Canucks team that lacks anyone who can even remotely score at the rate Daniel Sedin can.
In a rare year where the Blackhawks and Canucks didn’t meet up in the playoffs, Duncan Keith still managed to eliminate them.