Now that a little time has passed and the anguish over another game 7 Stanley Cup Final loss (and subsequent riot) has subsided, we can begin looking fondly back at what was, by all accounts, a very good season. Inspired by Stanley Cup of Chowder counting down the 10 best Bruins games (a list which includes their one regular-season tilt with the Canucks, a game I found wholly unentertaining, probably because the Canucks didn’t win it), PITB will now look back at the 10 best Canuck outings of the 2010-11 regular season. Today, we tackle 10-6.
The final game of a five game road trip, most people assumed that, after sweeping the SoCal portion of the trip, the Canucks wouldn’t have much left for the Flames. The first few minutes bolstered this opinion, too, as the Canucks gave up two quick ones on fantastical blunders by Dan Hamhuis and Mikael Samuelsson. However, the Canucks took control immediately after that, playing perhaps their best and most complete game of the trip, applying constant pressure and chipping away at Calgary’s lead. By the end, the Canucks had swept their road trip with stellar performances by Daniel, Henrik, Kesler, and a powerplay that needed only a combined 67 seconds to go 2-for-2 on their first and last goals of the game.
In one of the best games Ryan Kesler ever played, he scored all three Canucks goals to guide Vancouver to an overtime victory over the Blue Jackets. He looked unstoppable all night, causing turnovers, generating scoring chances, and giving the Blue Jackets fits. It was ironic, too: all the talk leading up to this game surrounded the Sedins and Columbus’s need to shut them down. Instead, Kesler won the game singlehandedly with his first career hat trick.
Roberto Luongo got the start in the first meeting between the Canucks and Blackhawks after the 7-1 shellacking two weeks prior, and he didn’t disappoint. Pregame, it looked as though things weren’t going to go his way, especially after he was jabbed in the head by an overeager, high-five seeking child fan on his way through the tunnel. As it turned out, if the Blackhawks were in Roberto Luongo’s head, as some said, Head Poke Kid had spilled them. Funny Bob held the Blackhawks off the scoresheet, making some incredible saves along the way to a shutout versus the Canucks’ biggest rivals. Luongo was the star of the intermission, too, as he and James Duthie debuted their classic poetry collaboration.
The Tampa Bay Lightning may have put a damper on Markus Naslund’s retirement ceremony by winning the game that followed it, but it didn’t much matter. This was one of the most entertaining hockey games of the year. Even though it ended undesirably, it was one of the most entertaining games of the year. Neither Cory Schneider nor Dan Ellis played particularly well, which led to a fast pace as the teams stormed about the ice, eager to put pucks at or past shaky goaltenders. They did, too, with regularity, and we were treated to virtuoso performance from the game’s best scorers. The Sedins were on fire, generating two goals with some Wizardous Sedinerie, but the game’s first star was Steven Stamkos, who scored the game-winner to cap a three-point night.
The season series with Dallas seemed like less a collection hockey games and more a surprise birthday party that lasted for four days. Nothing went wrong and everyone had fun (at least among Vancouver fans). But the 7-1 blowout that took place on January 24 took the cake. This game also featured Aaron Volpatti refusing a fight with Krys Barch by shouting “F*** you, Barch!” as he skated away, the classic Statue of Bieksa gag, commemorated here in a sketch by Chloe Ezra, Chris Tanev’s first career point, and, rarest of all, Dan Hamhuis dropping the gloves with Mike Ribiero. Check out Burrows’s first goal in the highlight package. It bears a resemblance to a certain iconic goal he would score later.
::: 10 – 6 :::
::: 5 – 1 :::Tags: Blogs are for lists, Canucks, featured, spotlight