The Paper Feature: The five best, and five worst games of 2013

We’re nearing the end of 2013, which means it’s time to look back at the past year and judge it like a snooty celebrity fashion blogger. Personally, I’m disappointed that at no point did Snake Plissken make his way across Los Angeles Island to retrieve the Sword of Damocles, as I was promised would occur in 2013 in the movie Escape from L.A.

The Canucks didn’t play as many games in 2013 as fans might have hoped, particularly in May and June, but there were still some memorable games. Here are the 5 best and 5 worst Canucks games of the year.

BEST

5 | Canucks vs Blackhawks, February 19th: 4-3 shootout loss

While it may seem odd to peg a loss as one of the best games of the year, this game made up for it in entertainment value. The two teams combined for 75 shots on goal in a wide open affair, but the best part for Canucks fans was the late comeback. Down 3-1 with three minutes to go, the Canucks got goals from Edler and Bieksa to tie the game, with Bieksa’s tying goal coming with a minute left. Despite the eventual shootout loss, it was thrilling.

4 | Canucks vs Kings, March 2nd: 5-2 win

This game was the epitome of Canucks hockey: the Sedins were superb, the goaltending was excellent (apart from the contractually obligated one bad goal), and Henrik Sedin took a hooking penalty. That last one was the key, really, as his two minutes in the box gave him time to analyze and decode the game. After his penalty, he saw the game like Keanu Reeves at the end of the Matrix and was easily the best player on the ice, finishing with two assists.

3 | Canucks vs Predators, March 14th: 7-4 win

Games against the Predators are generally pretty boring, full of stifling defence that limits scoring chances. This game was the exact opposite. Andrew Ebbett played his best game as a Canuck, tallying three points, including opening the score just over a minute into the game and making a great pass on a 3-on-2 to set up Mason Raymond.

Jannik Hansen also had three points, while Henrik Sedin scored a pretty penalty shot goal, but the best part of the game was actually the first intermission, which featured the comedy stylings of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider riffing on their supposedly contentious relationship.

2 | Canucks vs Maple Leafs, November 2nd: 4-0 win

It’s hard to sum up exactly why it’s so satisfying when the Canucks beat the Maple Leafs, but it might have something to do with the west coast getting force-fed the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada for decades. In any case, this game was something special, featuring Pavel Bure’s number retirement ceremony to start things off, with a dominant effort by the Canucks to follow.

1 | Canucks vs Bruins, December 14th: 6-2 win

You don’t remember this game? It literally just happened this past weekend. It was pretty great.

WORST

5 | Canucks at Oilers, March 30th: 4-0 loss

Cory Schneider gave up two goals on the first two shots and the rest of the Canucks were equally terrible. They were so bad that one of Wayne Gretzky’s records was broken, as Taylor Hall scored the fastest hattrick in Oilers history, scoring his third goal less than 8 minutes into the game.

4 | Canucks vs Red Wings, March 16th: 5-2 loss

You could argue that the Canucks 8-3 loss to the Red Wings a few weeks earlier was worse, but this loss was immensely more disappointing. The Canucks showed up to start of the game in their fancy new Vancouver Millionaires jerseys, then forgot to show up for the rest of the game.

Making things worse, the Canucks opened the scoring just 6 seconds into the game, getting fans’ hopes up before dashing them horribly.

3 | Canucks vs Ducks, January 19th: 7-3 loss

Last season’s lockout was excruciating, depriving fans of NHL hockey for three painful months. When the lockout finally ended, fans were excited for the return of Canucks hockey, full of hope and optimism. The Canucks then went out and stunk up Rogers Arena with their season opener. Everyone was terrible, except for Dale Weise, who was still riding the high of being the best player in the Dutch league during the lockout.

2 | Canucks at Oilers, April 27th: 7-2 loss

With their playoff position already decided, the Canucks decided to phone in the final game of the 2012-13 regular season. Unfortunately, literally phoning it in wasn’t an option, so they dressed a skeleton crew and lost to the Oilers in embarrassing fashion.

Jason Garrison, Dan Hamhuis, Alex Edler, Alex Burrows, and Daniel Sedin all sat this one out in order to avoid injuries heading into the playoffs, while Henrik Sedin played one 22 second shift so he could keep his iron man streak alive, then watched the rest of the game from the locker room.

1 | Canucks at Sharks, May 7th: 4-3 overtime loss

This one hurt: down 3-0 in the series and 2-1 heading into the third period, the Canucks came out and, in the words of Ryan Kesler, “competed like bastards,” scoring twice and taking the lead. But then two questionable calls, both drawn by Tommy Wingels, ruined everything, as the Sharks scored on the power play to tie the game with less than 5 minutes left, then again in overtime to sweep the Canucks.

 

***

Tweet Podium

This feature takes a moment to recognize the best tweets of the week, because we’re online-type writers and Twitter is an online-type thing. If you see a great Canucks-related tweet, send us a link. Or plagiarize it and bask in its glory.

BRONZE

I know, I know.

SILVER

 

This incredible statistic probably explains why the Canucks’ PK is so good. Probably.

GOLD

 

And Corey takes down Brad Marchand’s Cup-lift and ring-kiss mimes in one fell tweet. Ba-zing.

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10 comments

  1. madwag
    December 18, 2013

    corey’s tweet is spot on! a classic shaft.

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  2. shoes
    December 18, 2013

    The calls that Tommy Wingels “drew” from referee Sutherland, still rankle. The Canucks likely would not have come back in that series, but to lose because of Sutherlands ongoing and mysterious feud with the Sedins still rankles.

    Don’t forget he was the ref that allowed his friend Pinky Marchand to repeatedly punch Sedin. He was the ref that did not “see” Keith hit Daniel.

    And Mr. Kelly Sutherland, IMO is a disgrace to the majority of good referees in the NHL.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      December 18, 2013

      Crazy, I had not noticed that so many of those blatant blown calls were all by one referee. Stephane Auger has already been quietly dismissed from the league for his actions (the Burrows controversy was not the only set of accusations to come up against him during his career). Perhaps Sutherland should be next?

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      • Brent
        December 18, 2013

        Yes please, Sutherland begone.

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  3. jimbob
    December 18, 2013

    And Tim Peel following shortly thereafter please!

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  4. the real bob
    December 18, 2013

    If the TSN insiders are to be believed, not even Boston thought the Rat’s crap was appropriate.

    That says a lot when your own team thinks you’ve crossed the line.

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  5. PD
    December 18, 2013

    Worst #2:
    It stinks that the team would ever take that approach to a game. Boo-urns.
    I like to think Torts wouldn’t do that.

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  6. smj
    December 19, 2013

    We were at Best #5 in Chicago. Such an exciting game, even if a loss. Just the potential of being the team to break the streak (and maybe prevent a record? I think it was at 17 or 18 on that night?) was awesome!

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  7. arjay
    December 19, 2013

    just read this list and under “best” cannot believe the St Louis win…their 7th game in 11 nights with 5 starters injured….a win which gave them a 5-1-1 road trip…. was not the #1 game of the year….it proved that Torts’ system would work despite the players involved.

    Hope this doesn’t mean i get coal in my stocking, H and D, but seriously think you missed one here.

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  8. jrc
    December 19, 2013

    “his two minutes in the box gave him time to analyze and decode the game. After his penalty, he saw the game like Keanu Reeves at the end of the Matrix”

    So we now know how to determine whether there really is a conspiracy against the Canucks. The secret of Henrik’s “The One”-ness is revealed, so Sutherland, B*ttman, et al, will likely >prevent< hooking penalties being called against the Captain, to avoid allowing his two minutes of strategic zen mastery. If we suddenly see a drop in penalties, we know they really hate us. Either way, we win. That's how I'm looking at this.

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