What a Short Strange Trip….
If last year was a blockbuster year, the 2011/2012 Vancouver Canucks were the bloated and ultimately disappointing sequel. Most of the same elements as last year were present, but something always seemed off.
For every moment of inspiration there was an equal moment of not despair, but lethargy and goofiness. Like James Murphy, they had lost their edge.
However, the downfall of the playoffs shouldn’t overshadow the success of the regular season, where the Canucks captured a second straight President’s Trophy. Sure, no one won the Art Ross but first in the league is still considered a decent accomplishment.
Yet, as you’ll see, this was also a great year for Canuck comedy, or Cayucks.
So today’s countdown of the top 10 moments of the 2011/2012 celebrates both the great and the goofy of a year that will forever resemble Iron Man 2.
Today we do 10-6 and tomorrow we conclude with 5-1.
Because tragedy and death is an unfortunate familiar face within this organization, the summer loss of Rick Rypien was another chance for mourning.
As the story gradually came out and the extent of not Rypien’s illness, but the support the Canucks gave him, it seemed only fitting that the ordeal would ultimately lead to the creation of mindcheck.ca.
While Rypien had signed with the Jets shortly before his death, he was still part of the family and always will be.
9. The Great Aaron Rome
Aaron Rome missed the start of the year with a pre-season injury and came back right around the time the Canucks finally shrugged off their annual October slump.
Channeling the ghost of Jeff Cowan, Rome had three goals and two assists in his first four games, matching his output from all of 2010/2011.
Of course, being Aaron Rome, he was also ejected for a questionable hit during this time.
8. Fiddler on the Ice
The best part of AV’s meltdown was that no one knew the reason at the time, leaving you to wonder if Jannik Hansen was tickling him or something.
The friendly (I think) rivalry continued a couple weeks later when Fiddler called Bieksa a caveman, which could very well be a term of endearment.
7. Just Tons and Tons of Non-Sequiturs
As long as we’re on the laugh-train, let’s keep this on track.
(Which should not be confused with the fan-grope).
Bieksa of course also challenged Cal Clutterbuck to a duel of some-sorts later in the year. Amazingly Bieksa managed to make last year not only his career year, but also his goofiest.
6. A Capital Game
Shockingly, the Canucks slumped out of the gate in October and shockingly a significant part of the fanbase went into Chicken Little mode, not realizing the Canucks would pull up like they always do and go on to win, uh, one playoff game.
Anyways, the point is that the Canucks had a statement game in the last contest of October.
Coming off three straight losses, they spanked the Washington Capitals 7-4 in a game that saw Alex Edler finally score his first of the season and both Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre score a couple.
It may be cliche to say the Canucks never looked back after this win, but it sparked something that ended with a second straight President’s Trophy.
Check back for 5-1 this week.