One of our favourite traditions here at Pass it to Bulis is our annual countdown of the best goals of the year. We started this year’s edition with two games remaining in the season, because we are incredibly confident that they won’t result in anything that tops the 30 we already have.
Of course, the Calgary Flames and Philadelphia Flyers give up a lot of goals, so there’s always the chance they pull a couple highlight reel moves out of the hat, ruining this entire enterprise. In the meantime, here is the middle third of the list, featuring a trio from Daniel Sedin, a couple each from Zack Kassian and Jannik Hansen, a spattering of defencemen, and a soupçon of Henrik.
20 | Alex Edler (January 20 vs. Oilers)
This goal is all Edler, as he makes a great defensive play at one end of the ice, then takes the puck through the netural zone, and blasts a slap shot past the goaltender on the opposite end of the ice. Fortunately, he does each at the right end. Would’ve been lousy if he broke up a Canucks rush, then beat Luongo with a slapper.
19 | Daniel Sedin (October 30 vs. Red Wings)
You know this is some Wizardous Sedinery when you see the goaltender, in this case Jimmy Howard, executing a cartoonish pratfall. Daniel skates in 1-on-1, which of course means he’s going to spin, drop the puck to Henrik, and head away from the net. That’s what makes sense to a Sedin. The only person on the ice who understands is Henrik, who finds Daniel for the one-timer.
18 | Zack Kassian (January 25 vs. Ducks)
There is so much to love here. Henrik’s between the legs backhand pass to Daniel. Daniel’s sly hook-pass around a defender. Kassian’s great finish from a tough angle. There’s only one thing that’s impossible to love: the orange and black of the Ducks’ jerseys, which clash horribly with the Canucks’ white, green, and blue.
17 | Dan Hamhuis (March 2 vs. Kings)
Hamhuis starts and finishes this play, picking up a giveaway and feeding Henrik, then peeling around and slapping in the one-timer, but the real stars are Henrik and Alex Burrows. Henrik holds onto the puck for what seems like forever, but it’s really only five seconds before he drags in his defender and threads the pass to Burrows, who holds onto the puck for far less time before making a superb backhand feed to Hamhuis.
16 | Jannik Hansen (February 12 vs. Wild)
My goodness, Mason Raymond. This is one of his best plays as a Canuck, exiting a puck battle in the corner, then executing a ridiculous toe drag around Matt Cullen. This serves to somehow bring three Wild players out to the blue line, leaving all sorts of room. Ballard activates from the point, Raymond finds him with a saucer pass, then Ballard flings the puck across to a wide open Hansen for the finish.
15 | Zack Kassian (January 20 vs. Oilers)
Zack Kassian could never work with the Sedins, clearly. Daniel does a great job to escape from behind the net with possession of the puck, then finds Kassian heading to the net with a blind, spinning backhand pass. There’s no way in hell Kassian should be that open, but it’s the Oilers.
14 | Daniel Sedin (April 22 vs. Blackhawks)
What a play by Henrik. Under pressure in the defensive zone, he kicks the puck up behind his own skate, then springs Daniel on a breakaway with a perfectly placed bank pass. Daniel makes the kind of move he never seems capable of in the shootout, making a quick deke, then lifting a backhand over Corey Crawford while Duncan Keith futilely slashes him.
13 | Jannik Hansen (February 7 vs. Wild)
Like many great Canucks goals, this one is all about the pass. Instead of trying to thread a pass through a defender, Raymond throws an aerial pass to Hansen, who catches it and drops it to his stick for a breakaway. He makes no mistake on the finish, ripping a wrist shot off the post and in.
12 | Daniel Sedin (November 2 vs. Maple Leafs)
This goal is proof that Ryan Kesler can do finesse when the moment calls for it. Hamhuis throws the puck to Kesler’s stick in front of the net and he tips it back between his own legs to a waiting Henrik, who one-times the puck off Daniel’s jersey and in. This goal had the added bonus of breaking a long power play slump.
11 | Henrik Sedin (February 21 vs. Stars)
To quote John Garrett, “Oh man, was that nice.” It’s not a question. He knows it was nice and so do we.goals