The top 10 Canucks goals that we have selected show a remarkable diversity. Only one player, Alex Burrows, appears twice in the top 10 and the goals are scored in a myriad of multifarious manners. I can’t help but think this is a result of the lockout. With a few more months, the Sedins likely would have combined for dozens more spectacular goals in 2012, bumping several other worthy goals into the top 20.
So thank you, lockout, for giving these goals their time in the sun. Here are the top 10 Canucks goals from 2012:
10 | Alex Burrows (January 4)
Ho-hum, just another picture perfect passing play by the perfect people. No big deal, just a cross-ice saucer pass, followed by a centring pass through a defender’s legs, then finished off while being checked into the crossbar. The only reason this goal is at number 10 is that it’s not a revelation any more. This is a superb goal, but Canucks fans look at it and shrug It’s the Sedins, they always do that.
09 | Daniel Sedin (February 23)
This goal is boosted by two things: context and novelty. While the number 10 goal is just a regular old Sedin goal, when have you ever seen Daniel Sedin set up for the slap shot at the point? It’s clear that it’s exactly what the Canucks are trying to do, because they set him up twice. It’s so bizarre to see that it elevates the goal itself. The context? This was the game that ended the Red Wings’ record home winning streak and the excitement of the mad scramble that leads to the tying goal with just 15 seconds left makes this one of the most exciting goals on this list.
08 | Kevin Bieksa (February 4)
Another game-tying goal in the final minute, but this one has an added bonus: a save to go with the goal. Kevin Bieksa dives out to stop the puck from going into the empty net at one end, then gets a fortunate bounce off – what else? – the stanchion to score with 34 seconds left. Bieksa’s so exhausted that he doesn’t even have the energy to give everyone on the bench a fist-bump.
07 | Mason Raymond (January 15)
Mason Raymond skates around the net a lot. He also falls down a lot. Here, he does both, and it’s amazing. This is a pure video game goal, complete with a fake slap shot and a wrap-around. The bank pass from Alex Burrows is great, recognizing that Raymond has the speed to get to the puck first, but the finish is sublime.
06 | Alex Edler (March 17)
Yes, the defence opens up like the Red Sea for him, but this is still a fantastic goal, as Alex Edler takes the puck end-to-end with casual ease and beats Steve Mason with a great move. My favourite part, however, is the massive grin on Edler’s face after he scores. It’s not often that the cool, calm, and collected Edler shows that much emotion.
05 | Alex Burrows (April 3)
Henrik Sedin’s hands are softer than yours. Henrik completely undressed Saku Koivu, forcing Lubomir Visnovsky to leave his man, Burrows, to help out. Henrik immediately spins off Visnovsky and finds the now wide open Burrows with a backhand pass. That is some of the slickest stick-handling you will ever see.
04 | Henrik Sedin (April 18)
I like to think of this goal as a sequel to the previous one. Once again, Henrik eludes two defenders with some nifty stickhandling, then makes a spinning backhand pass to a linemate. This time, that linemate is Daniel, who performs a spinning backhand pass of his own. Edler drives the puck toward the net, but it deflects high up into the air. The only person who sees where it goes it Henrik, who volleys it into the open net.
03 | Manny Malhotra (February 18)
The Canucks scored a lot of pretty goals in this game (seriously, most of them are in the top 30), but this was the best of the bunch. Maxim Lapierre’s pass isn’t very good, unless you subscribe to the quarterback view of passing: put it where only your own player can get it. Malhotra cuts inside his defender at exactly the right moment, then dives out and connects with the puck at full extension. It’s an unreal effort from Malhotra, as he deflects the puck just inside the post.
02 | David Booth (April 7)
My favourite part about this goal is that it came right after it was announced that David Booth had been named the Canucks’ Most Exciting Player, which upset a lot of people who felt that Booth underachieved last season. So Booth went out of his way to demonstrate exactly why people find him exciting, scoring on a fantastic individual effort. It was like someone had just told him that an Oiler was a mammal whose meat tasted great as a sausage.
01 | Cody Hodgson (January 7)
This is indisputably the best Canucks goal of 2012. It has everything: it’s a throwback to a bygone era when slapshots while coming down the wing were a common occurrence. It’s auditory heaven, as Hodgson’s slap shot makes the crossbar ring out like the most beautiful-sounding bell. It’s full of hope for the future, since it came from a highly-regarded rookie. And best of all, it’s against Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins. What a goal.