The top 50 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2011 (50-41)

2011 was a fabulous year for Canucks hockey. Sure, the Stanley Cup Final may not have ended quite the way Vancouver fans wanted it to, but the Canucks were still in it, and that’s a rarity deserving of some serious appreciation.

If you ask me, so was the 2011 team in its entirety. Between the wizardry of the Sedins, the raw power of Ryan Kesler, the stable of offensive-minded defensemen, the occasional flashes of brilliance from the skilled corps of middle wingers, and the gaggle of set plays the team employs, the fans in this city are spoiled right now. We may never see another team like this one again.

With that in mind, it would be crazy to let this year in Canucks hockey lapse without looking back at some of its incredible goals. What follows is a countdown of our favourite 50, which will run Monday through Friday at 9am sharp. Please feel free to disagree with this highly subjective list in the comments.

So it begins.

50 Ryan Kesler (November 29, 2011)

On the powerplay, Kesler breaks his stick and dashes to the bench for a new one. The Blue Jackets seem to think he’s not coming back, and Alex Burrows finds him streaking to the net for a gorgeous one-timer. 

49 Dale Weise (December 10, 2011)

Weise pokes the puck to the neutral zone and then makes a power move around Chris Neil (who, ironically, is afraid to touch him for fear of taking a penalty). 

48 Cody Hodgson (February 02, 2011)

Hodgson picks up a loose puck in the slot and cuts across the crease, fighting off a defender and outwaiting Ilya Bryzgalov to pot his first career goal. Granted, a lot of guys in salmon jerseys could have played this one better, but most pretty goals are the result of poor defensive coverage, so whatever.

47 Ryan Kesler (May 3, 2011)

Kesler’s first goal of the 2011 postseason. He would score many more, especially against the Predators. But the real star of this play is Christian Ehrhoff, who fools everyone (Watch the three Predators freeze up completely) by skating the puck around Pekka Rinne and below the goal line before putting a pass to Kesler in the crease for a tap-in.   

46 Alexandre Bolduc (March 25, 2011)

Alex “Howard Moon” Bolduc only scored two goals in a Canucks uniform, and both came on 2-on-1s. As it turned out, he had a pretty decent shot when he got some space. Case in point: this beautiful backhand, as Bolduc goes high short-side, off the post and in.

45 Chris Higgins (April 28, 2011)

An absolutely beautiful toe drag by Kevin Bieksa strands two Predators at the blueline, turning the play into a 3-on-1 down low. Lapierre makes a pretty pass to Chris Higgins, who scores the go-ahead goal in game one of Vancouver’s second-round series with Nashville.  

44 Jannik Hansen (December 17, 2011)

A week to the day after Weise ended the Senators’ hopes of a comeback with an end-to-end rush, Hansen did the same to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hansen gets extra points for beating Dion Phaneuf, who’s a little better defensively than Chris Neil. And speaking of points, Phaneuf should be docked a couple for cutting across the blueline rather than retreating into the neutral zone, giving Hansen the necessary space to beat him wide.

43 Daniel Sedin (February 04, 2011)

The first of many moments of wizardous Sedinerie to make this list, as the twins zigzag across the blueline with a beautiful give-and-go before Daniel’s shot takes a lucky hop up and over the shoulder of Marty Turco. Keep an eye on Alex Burrows, who makes a beeline to the net — a beeline that “conveniently” absorbs Dave Bolland like a katamari.

42 Daniel Sedin (December 17, 2011)

Speaking of Burrows making space, here he is again, drawing attention to himself with some nifty stickhandling on a 3-on-2 rush before making a beautiful backhand saucer pass to Daniel Sedin for the goal. And Daniel’s tip-in is remarkable — the puck never hits the ice.

41 Kevin Bieksa (May 18, 2011)

Chris Higgins and Bieksa connect on a set breakout play worthy of a Disney movie. As three Canuck players streak through the neutral zone, Higgins sits along the wall of the Canucks’ bench as though he’s not in the play. Then, he catches everyone off guard by hopping onto the ice, receiving the pass, and finding the open man. In this case, it’s Bieksa. This clip gets extra credit for the shot of Steve Nash spilling his beer on the celebration.  

50 – 41  |  40 – 31  |  30 – 21  |  20 – 11  |  10 – 1

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16 comments

  1. Jannik Handsome
    December 26, 2011

    #43 – it’s Turco in net for the hawks, not Crawford

    I remember that game for Henrik’s fist pump on his goal. Like a boss.

    Love these compilations!

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  2. peanutflower
    December 26, 2011

    Jannik! I could watch that goal a hundred times over. I have already I think.

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  3. Zach Morris
    December 26, 2011

    Just happen to be on the computer this morning instead of shopping, and i find this gem.

    To think that there are 40 goals better than these?
    My week will be good.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      December 26, 2011

      My friend, you are going to love this list.

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  4. sarah
    December 26, 2011

    We’re spoiled

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    • peanutflower
      December 26, 2011

      We are indeed so spoiled.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      December 26, 2011

      Totally.

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  5. Brosef Stalin
    December 26, 2011

    Man, I never even noticed Nash spilling his beer before, CLASSIC!

    And I think we all know what #1 is going to be… ;) (Maybe #2 as well)

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  6. ArtemChubarov
    December 26, 2011

    on Nash spilling beer, I have a feeling it’s herbal tea.

    Great stuff Harrison.

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    • The Bookie
      December 26, 2011

      Herbal Beer.

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  7. Biggie
    December 27, 2011

    Thanks for this. Found myself fist pumping on some of those goals.

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  8. Ginger
    December 27, 2011

    If this is the bottom 10 I CAN’T WAIT for the top 10. The Sedins are artists.
    I have to say, I find #41 to be the sexiest goal I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even know a goal could be sexy, but watching it unfold is just awesome. I think I replayed it a hundred times last spring, and now I will again. Thank you for doing this!

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  9. JanBanan
    December 27, 2011

    #41 should also get credit for Bieksa spinning his way through post-goal fist bumps.

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  10. iLovePITB
    December 27, 2011

    Man, it must be tough compiling all these goals together and ranking them. Thanks for all the work! Although IMO the Bieksa goal was a top 10. The fact that it was a defensemen, the AMAZINGLY smart play by Higgins, and how Bieksa just slips it past Niemi so calmly.

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  11. Jeff
    December 28, 2011

    Not to tell you your business, but itd be nice if you credited CanucksHD for uploading all these great videos.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      December 28, 2011

      Don’t worry, we’re on it.

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