Five Great Canuck Moments
The focus of the hockey world from training camp was on the blue and white boys throughout the season with the expectation that they would make the Stanley Cup Finals, which of course they did.
Vancouver has the most complete team line-up the franchise has ever featured and as columnist Tony Gallagher mentioned last week, fans should enjoy watching this team while they can.
The level of skill and excitement that they bring to every game has been unsurpassed over the existence of this franchise.
Much of the Canuck’s past has been mired in mediocrity and this current age is a golden one to savour, as spoiled as we supporters could have become in recent seasons.
There have been a number of terrific moments to remember in 2011, but the five sweetest are below in reverse order.
Cody Hodgson breaks Vancouver’s unfortunate long streak of poor draft choices by patiently working his way through a litany of injuries, as well as Vigneault’s disdain for rookies, to occupy a key role on the team as a 3rd line centre, and the linchpin of the much improved 2nd power play unit.
Kevin Bieksa exhibits outstanding vision and hockey sense as he appeared to be the only one in the arena who was able to track the ricocheting puck off the stanchion in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals and then knuckles it into the San Jose net to send the ‘Nucks off to the finals.
Cory Schneider establishes his worth as a legitimate (but friendly) rival to Luongo. Redheads everywhere rejoice.
Manny ‘Money’ Malhotra returns to the Canucks’ line-up following an extended stretch on the injured list after a gruesome incident where a puck struck him in the eye.
Initially, it was feared that Manny would need to retire permanently, but his return in the playoffs struck all Vancouver fans deep in the heart, and inspired a very raucous and moving cheer from the home fans.
Alex Burrowsed the Blackhawks with a shot off a rolling puck that he had soared to knock down off a Chicago clearance.
Jim Hughson’s “They’ve slayed the dragon” line still resonates. “. The Presidents Trophy winners finally finished off the Stanley Cup champs. Exhale British Columbia the Canucks are onto round 2. Nashville is next!