Lots of things went wrong for the Vancouver Canucks this post season. Daniel Sedin was out. Henrik Sedin was almost knocked out. Ryan Kesler pouted so much he played like he was out. Coldplay completely stole their momentum after game 4. Guts McTavish’s Twitter ball avatar simply would.. not.. change. Still, you can’t dwell on the negative. Instead, let’s take a leaf out of the Zombieland Rulebook and enjoy the little things about the 2011-2012 edition of the Vancouver Canucks.
- Jannik Hansen had a career year offensively. He finished the season with 16-23-39 and a +18. That’s 7 goals and 10 points higher than last season’s totals. Plus he earned himself a new nickname:
- Maxim Lapierre still has a face every opponent of the Canucks wants to punch but he backed up his extra curricula activities with strong play between the whistles this season. He led the team in hits with 244 in the regular season (good for 11th in the NHL) and did something many people never thought he would – fight. Max dropped the gloves 7 times this season, including once at center ice at TD Garden against Gregory Campbell. He played at center and wing in the bottom 6 and when called upon to fill in on the 1st and 2nd lines he never looked out of place. Plus, he’s responsible for this:
- David Booth was traded for in October, got hurt, then came back to be voted the Most Exciting Canucks Player by the fans. Not sure I agree with that one, but he had his moments. Strangely enough, for me it wasn’t his goal scoring that was the highlight, it was his fight with Mark Olver. Booth is very Christian, so you wouldn’t expect him to lay the smack down like this:
- Manny Malhotra may not quite be the same player he was before his horrific eye injury last year but the simple fact that he is out there is truly incredible.
- Cody Hodgson made the pipes sing on 2 of the most memorable goals of the Canucks season:
Such sweet music. I’m concentrating on the positive so I’m not even going to mention “the trade” here. Oh wait, I just did. Damnit.
- But it was Aaron Rome who kicked off the impressions this season, doing his best Ray Bourque as he scored 3 goals in 4 games back in November. Rome finished the season with a career high 4-6-10 but was a career low -4. (Sorry, I’m trying to be positive!)
- January 7th 2012. Rematch day against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. In many ways this was the semicolon that punctuated the sentence that was the Canucks’ season. After this game things changed – nothing was quite the same. The Canucks won in Boston, which is something many thought they could never do. They won it on the back of special teams, which was something they could not do in the Stanley Cup Finals. Cory Schneider was in goal – the first true sign that the Canucks may go to him in vital games. It was a memorable win, one that partially soothed the wounds left behind from last season.
- Finally, the Vancouver Canucks won a 2nd straight Presidents’ Trophy. Despite what everyone says this is a great achievement and one the Canucks should be proud of.
It’s a long wait until next season and there will be lots of head scratching and cynicism to deal with during that wait. I’ll do my best to remember the good times (I’ll probably read this post 20 times) and remain excited and hopeful for the next NHL season.