Every Goal, 2011-12: Maxim Lapierre

The annual Every Goal series will run Monday to Thursday through July and August, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we take a look at Maxim “PaRappa the Rappiere” Lapierre.

Maxim Lapierre was a different player for the Canucks last season than the one they acquired at the trade deadline the year prior. It was partially his doing, as he committed to fighting his own battles more often and bringing more energy. But it was also partially due to his usage, as the Canucks deployed him primarily as a winger.

It was a bit of a head-scratcher, as Lapierre acquitted himself quite well as the third line centre during the Canucks’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. You’d have thought he proved himself as a centre in Vigneault’s system. But with a handful of other centres to accomodate, it wasn’t hard to see why Vigneault moved him to wing.

It wasn’t hard to see why Vigneault liked him at wing either. He was effective, causing turnovers, creating scoring chances, and succeeding regardless of what line he landed on. At one point, Lapierre was on pace for 10 fights and 10 goals. He didn’t quite get there, but 8 fights and 9 goals is nothing to sneeze at.

Come to think of it, it’s rude to sneeze at pretty much anything. Cover your mouth when you sneeze. Anyway, here’s every goal Maxim Lapierre scored last season.

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1 | October 6 vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Lapierre’s first goal of the season is also the Canucks’ first goal of the season. The goal is an absolute gift from Marc-Andre Fleury (a rare occurrence back then, and Fleury throws the puck away afterward in disgust). Lapierre puts a puck towards the goal and it trickles between Fleury’s legs like a… nevermind. Anyway, let’s give Lapierre a little credit for his hustle here, as he forces a turnover coming out from behind the Penguins’ net to gain possession of the puck.

2 | October 29 vs Washington Capitals

Speaking of hustle, this goal is all about it. Lapierre flies into the Capitals’ zone, pouncing on the puck before Tomas Vokoun and putting it towards the goal. Just like on his first, Lapierre gets lucky and it somehow manages to find its way past Vokoun. Extra credit to Alex Semin, who watches Lapierre pass him by like a boss.

3 | October 29 vs Washington Capitals

No doubt feeling like he can do no wrong after two delectably lucky goals, Lapierre keeps on a 2-on-1 with Chris Higgins, then slowly outwaits the sprawling defender and nonchalantly beats Vokoun a second time. Let’s also take a moment to note Alex Semin coming back hard. Granted, he accomplishes nothing and winds up blowing right by the play, but there goes that “lazy Russian” stereotype.

4 | November 25 vs Phoenix Coyotes

If you thought Lapierre showed some serious hustle on his second goal, you thought wrong. He’s the real Van McCoy on this one, forcing a turnover behind the goal, getting his centring pass blocked, then forcing another turnover, collecting a Mike Smith rebound and fighting off a check to score on a nifty backhand. What a keener.

5 | December 13 vs Columbus Blue Jackets

This time it’s Chris “Kiss Huggins” Higgins doing the hustling, as he chases the puck into the Blue Jackets’ zone, slows his man up by tripping him, then takes the puck behind the goal and centers for Lapierre. I love the way the line celebrates on this goal. Malhotra’s jaw nearly falls off, you can hear Lapierre hooting the moment he scores, and Kiss Huggins demonstrates why we’ve given him that nickname.

6 | February 9 vs Minnesota Wild

Lapierre gets lucky twice over on this goal. First, there’s the good fortune of being able to pounce on this puck during the goalmouth scramble. Second, there’s the good fortune of having Cody Hodgson on his line — Hodgson somehow manages to poke this puck over to him. I like the moment where Shorty asks the question and Garrett falls dead silent, rendered speechless by that level of insight.

7 | March 30 vs Dallas Stars

Marc-Andre Gragnani may not have done enough to convince the Canucks he warranted keeping, but it’s not as though he was without skill. He shows great hands and vision on this play, corralling a puck along the boards by kicking it to his stick, then making a nice dangle before finding Lapierre cutting through the slot. Speaking of great hands, this is far and away Lapierre’s best snipe in a Canucks’ uniform. Unlike the Blade trilogy, he’s not known for his snipes.

8 | March 31 vs Calgary Flames

With Daniel Sedin sitting the rest of the regular season out with a concussion, Alain Vigneault made the curious decision to replace him with Lapierre. The result was not unlike the result Vigneault tends to get regardless of who he puts on the Sedin line: successful. But Lapierre earns this goal, fighting off his man to get at Henrik’s remarkable backhand lob pass and banging it home. That pass, man. I’ve seen tennis players that can’t backhand lob like that.

9 | April 3 vs Anaheim Ducks

This looks like Mason Raymond’s goal at first — and he even runs the gauntlet of fist-pumps like it is, because he needs the affirmation — but it never touches him. It actually goes off Sheldon Brookbank, who attempts to fist-bump the puck as it’s going by and instead pounds it into his own goal.

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7 comments

  1. Eric Blacha
    August 10, 2012

    Anyway, let’s give Lapierre a little credit for his hustle here, as he forces a turnover coming out from behind the Capitals’ net to gain possession of the puck

    Just to let you know, he’s playing against the Penguins there.

    Also “you can heart Lapierre hooting the moment he scores:” I’m assuming hear; but in all non grammar replys, I love having him on our team.

    Do I win anything for these corrections?

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    • madwag
      August 11, 2012

      only if you pluralize “replys” correctly.

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  2. Mallick
    August 10, 2012

    Also I don’t think you can call it foresight when John Shorthouse has seen the replay twice. Insight perhaps?

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  3. Kyle
    August 10, 2012

    Wear did all thees englush teechers cum frum?

    We all see the errors but for pete’s sake can we stop all the comments about the grammar and not the content. I for one, during the dry spell that we call summer, appreciate the content and couldn’t give a puck that it was hear and not heart. What do you want a gold star?

    Maybe it is appropriate – as that (heart) is what Lapi is all about.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      August 10, 2012

      Nah, I want to know when I make a mistake so I can fix it. Typos drive me nuts. And these guys pointed it out in a respectful way, so I’m happy.

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  4. Kyle
    August 10, 2012

    Harrison – you are one cool dude. I see now they did do it in a respectful way. But, since I am not as cool as you I still think they are turds.

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  5. marvin
    August 11, 2012

    I’m loving the announcer on the first goal, at first taking all credit from Lapierre (“He just threw it at the net! It’s a fluke goal! But it counts!”) and then feeling sorry and compensating him by inventing a brand new word to describe him and the Canucks, “workmanlikeship”, which could be that state you get in when you’ve been hustling so hard your words come out wrong a little bit.

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