1970/71: Vancouver’s hockey roots go deep, one of the strongest teams in the old Pacific Coast Hockey Association was the Vancouver Millionaires who the Stanley Cup in 1915, and lost in the finals to the NHL Champions four other times before the PCHA disbanded. With the NHL’s westward expansion it was inevitable that Vancouver would get a team. After failing to land one of the first expansion slots in 1967, Vancouver was awarded an NHL team in 1970. The Canucks would play their first game on October 9th losing to the Los Angeles Kings at the Pacific Coliseum 3-1 in a National Televised game. The Canucks would beat the Toronto Maple Leafs two nights later for their first win. The Canucks would go on to finish their first season which they played in the Eastern Division by finishing in sixth place with a typical expansion like record of 24-46-8.
1971/72: The Canucks continue to struggle in their second season as they finish dead last with a NHL worst record of 20-58-8. Leading the second year Canucks in scoring is Andre Boudrias for the second year in a row as he notches 27 goals and 34 assists.
1972/73: Bobby Schmautz and Andre Boudrias each top 70-points providing a 1-2 scoring punch. However, the Canucks continue to struggle finishing in seventh place in the Eastern Division, with an awful record of 22-47-9.
1973/74: The Canucks continue to struggle in the Eastern Division finishing in seventh place again with a horrid record of 24-43-11.
1974/75: The NHL would finally rectify the problem of the Canucks playing in the Eastern Division by realigning into four divisions, which would be named after the founding fathers of the NHL. Playing in the Smythe Division the Canucks would finally get a taste of success winning the division title with a solid record of 38-32-10 to edge the St. Louis Blues out by two points. However, in the playoffs the Canucks would be overwhelmed by the Montreal Canadiens in five games.
1975/76: Despite a mediocre record of 33-32-15 the Canucks battle all season for the Smythe Division title falling just one point short. The Canucks would still make the playoffs, but once again they would make a quick exit, as they are swept in two straight games by the New York Islanders in the preliminary round.
1976/77: After two straight trips to the playoffs the Canucks would take a step backward finishing in third place with a disappointing record of 25-42-13, missing the final playoff spot by a tiebreaker.
1977/78: The Canucks continue to struggle missing the playoffs for the second straight season with an awful record of 20-43-17, as nobody on the Canucks even manages to score 30 goals.
1978/79: Ron Sedlbauer becomes the first Canuck to notch 40 goals, as the team ends a two year playoff drought by grabbing the final playoff spot with a record of 25-42-13. In the playoffs the Canucks would throw a scare into the Philadelphia Flyers by taking Game 1 on the road. However, the Flyers would rebound to take the next two games and win the preliminary round series in three games.
1979/80: Stan Smyl has a breakout season scoring a team best 31 goals while adding 47 assists as the Canucks make the playoffs for the second straight season despite a less then stellar record of 27-37-16. In the playoffs the Canucks would be one and done again as they are beaten by the Buffalo Sabres in four games.
1980/81: The Canucks would make the playoffs by finishing in third place with a record of 28-32-10. Along the way Tiger Williams in his first full season with the Canucks becomes a fan favorite by notching a team high 35 goals. However, in the playoffs the Canucks would fall in the first round again as they are swept in three straight games by the Buffalo Sabres.
1981/82: The Canucks were playing mediocre hockey again, however, by sitting in second place in the Smythe Division they were heading for their fourth straight playoff appearance, when their season took a strange turn on March 20th. Facing the Quebec Nordiques on the road Canucks Coach Harry Neale gets involved in an ugly brawl with Nordiques fans behind the bench. The NHL would suspend Neale for the playoffs forcing assistant Coach Roger Neilson to take over. Under Neilson the Canucks would suddenly play their best hockey of the season as they swept the Calgary Flames in three straight games for their first ever playoffs series victory. In the Smythe Division Finals the Canucks would stay hot as they beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games to reach the Campbell Conference Finals. The Canucks magic rider under Roger Neilson would continue as they knocked off the Chicago Black Hawks in five games. Facing the two time defending Champion New York Islanders the Canucks had a chance to steal Game 1 on the road, as they went into overtime tied 5-5. However, just a little over a left minute in the first overtime the clock struck midnight on the Canucks Cinderella season, as Mike Bossy scored to give the Islanders a 6-5 win. The Islanders would go on to sweep the series in four games to win their third straight Stanley Cup.
1982/83: Roger Nielson is named head coach, as the Canucks hoped they could carry over the momentum of their stunning run to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, the Canucks would continue to play below .500 hockey as they finished in third place with a mediocre record of 30-35-15. In the playoffs the Canucks would bow out quickly as they are scorched by the Calgary Flames in 4 games.
1983/84: Harry Neale who was suspended two years earlier, before the Canucks magical run to the finals returns to the bench replacing Neilson in the middle of the season as the Canucks continue to play mediocre hockey finishing in third place. In the playoffs the Canucks would make another quick exit as they are beaten in four games.
1984/85: The Canucks struggle all season as their run of five straight playoff appearances comes to an end as they finish in last place with a horrible record of 25-46-9, as Tony Tanti is the only Canucks to score more then 30 goals.
1985/86: Despite a horrendous record of 23-44-13, the Canucks are able to make the playoffs as the beat out the Los Angeles Kings by five points for fourth place in the Smythe Division. In the playoffs the Canucks would naturally be eliminated in the first round, as they are swept by the Edmonton Oilers in three straight games, while being outscored 17-5.
1986/87: The Canucks continue to play miserable hockey as they miss the playoffs for the second time in three years by finishing in last place with an awful record of 29-43-8. Tony Tanti would provide the only bright spot by leading the team with 41 goals.
1987/88: The Canucks would miss the playoffs for the second straight season by finishing in last place with a terrible record of 25-46-9. However, Tony Tanti continues to play solid hockey scoring 40 goals for the second year in a row.
1988/89: The Canucks end a two year playoff drought ends but the Canucks post their 13th consecutive losing record by finishing in fourth place with a record of 33-39-8. However, in the playoffs the Canucks would give the Calgary Flames all they could handle as they forced overtime in Game 7 against the Flames who had the best record in the NHL all season. However, as the first overtime period wound down Joel Otto would eliminate the Canucks, as the Flames went on to win the Stanley Cup.
1989/90: After the Canucks surprisingly strong playoff performance the Canucks fall back into last place missing the playoffs for the fourth time in six years by posting a horrendous record of 25-41-4. Illustrating the struggles would be Greg Adams, who sores a team high 30 goals.
1990/91: The Canucks continue to play awful hockey as they beat out the Winnipeg Jets for fourth place and a spot in the playoffs by two points despite a wretched record of 28-43-9. In the playoffs the Canucks would be bounced out in the first round again as they are crowned by the Los Angeles Kings in six games. Following the season Stan Smyl, the Canucks all time leader in games played (896), goals (262), assists (411) and points (673), would announce his retirement.
1991/92: With the retirement of Stan Smyl the Canucks need a young player to attach their hopes to. That player would end up being Russian star Pavel Bure. Nicknamed the Russian Rocket Bure would have a spectacular rookie season scoring 34 goals on the way to winning the Calder Trophy was the Canucks post their first winning season in 15 years by finishing in first place with a solid record of 42-26-12. However, in the playoffs the Canucks would dig themselves a deep hole as they fell behind three games to one in their opening round series against the Winnipeg Jets. However, the Canucks would come roaring back winning the next three games to take the series in seven games. However, in the Smythe Division Finals the Canucks would be beaten by the Edmonton Oilers in six games.
1992/93: In his second season Pavel Bure continues to take the Canucks to new heights as he becomes the first Canucks to score 50 goals and top 100 points in a season scoring 60 goals, while adding 50 assists as the Canucks top 100 points for the first time in franchise history by winning their second straight division title with a record of 46-29-9. Along the way the Canucks are nearly unbeatable at home establishing a franchise record 18-game unbeaten streak at the Pacific Coliseum. In the playoffs the Canucks would knock off the Winnipeg Jets in six games to reach the Division Finals for the second straight season. However, the Canucks would suffer another let down in the Smythe Finals as they are beaten by the Los Angeles Kings in six games.
1993/94: Amidst the cloud of Petr Nedved’s season long holdout the Canucks would play mediocre hockey all season. Eventually Nedved would be traded to the St. Louis Blues for Jeff Brown, Martin Gellinas, and Nathan LaFayette at the trade deadline. The Canucks would enter the playoffs as the 7th seed in the Western Conference after finishing second in the newly rechristened Pacific Division with a record of 41-40-43. The Canucks appeared to be heading for another quick exit as they fell behind the Calgary Flames three games to one. However, the Canucks would make a stunning comeback winning the next three games in overtime on goals by Geoff Courtnall, Trevor Linden, and Pavel Bure to extinguish the Flames in seven games. Buoyed by three straight overtime wins the Canucks cruised past the Dallas Stars in five games to reach the Western Conference Finals. In the Conference Finals the Canucks would get off to a shaky start as they dropped Game 1 on the road to the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime. However, the Canucks would bounce back to take Game 2 on the road before establishing a 3-1 series lead with back-to-back shutouts by Goalie Kirk McLean. Game 5 would also be in Vancouver as the game went into overtime tied 3-3. After a scoreless first overtime the Pacific Coliseum would be thrown into a frenzy 14 seconds into double overtime when Greg Adams beat Leafs goalie Felix Potvin to send the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals for the 2nd time in franchise history. In the Stanley Cup Finals the Canucks were a heavy underdog facing the New York Rangers. However, the Canucks would steal Game 1 on the road by scoring late in the 3rd period to tie the game, and send it to overtime where Kirk McLean would keep the game tied before Greg Adams delivered the game winner with 34 seconds left in the first overtime. After the Rangers rebounded to take Game 2 the Canucks got off to a fast start in font of a loud Pacific Coliseum as Pavel Bure got the Canucks on the board early. However, Bure would take a bad penalty and would be given a game misconduct as the Rangers roared back to win 5-1. The Canucks would rebound to a take and early 2-0 lead in Game 4. After the Rangers got within 2-1 the Canucks continued to control the game, however, they could not get anything else past Rangers goalie Mike Richter, including a failed penalty shot by Bure late in the third period. The Penalty Shot would end up being the turning point as the Rangers tied the game and won 4-2 to take a 3-1 series lead. However, the Canucks would not go down without a fight jumping out to a 3-0 lead in Game 5 in New York. The Rangers would battle back to tie the game 3-3. However, the Canucks would re-establish their three goal lead by with three quick goals of their own to win 6-3. Back at the Pacific Coliseum for Game 6 the Canucks had all the momentum as the Rangers looked tired. The Canucks would win easily 4-1 to force a seventh game as Vancouver partied like they won the Stanley Cup. Mocking the Rangers as they went home shaken tied at three games apiece. However, back in New York for Game 7 the Rangers would take a 3-1 lead into the 3rd period. Trevor Linden would quickly cut the lead to one with his second goal of the game. For the last 15 minutes the Canucks threw everything they could at Rangers Goalie Mike Richter however, they would be unable to get the tying goal as the Rangers barely hung on to win the Cup with a 3-2 win. Sadly fans in Vancouver who partied like they won the Cup a few days earlier would riot giving the city an unneeded black eye, and tarnishing a great Canucks run.
1994/95: After falling one game short of the Stanley Cup, the Canucks had to wait four extra months to try and get back to the finals as a lockout wiped out half of the season. When the season began the Canucks only played mediocre hockey finishing in secpnd place with a 18-18-12 record. However, in the playoffs the Canucks would get a slight measure of revenge beating the St. Louis Blues, led by Mike Keenan who had coached the New York Rangers in the finals a year earlier in seven games. However, their would be no return to the conference finals as they were swept by the Chicago Blackhawks in four games, losing three games in overtime, including Game 4 which ended up being the final game at the Pacific Coliseum.
1995/96: Vancouver was all-abuzz as the Canucks acquired another Russian sharp shooter Alexander Mogilny from the Buffalo Sabres. After splitting the first two games of the season against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Tokyo the Canucks had their inaugural game at the state of the art General Motors Place on October 9th spoiled by the Detroit Red Wings 5-3. However, the Canucks season would be ruined early as Pavel Bure suffered a knee injury just 15 games into the season. Without their leading scorer the Canucks would struggle the rest of the way finishing in third place with a record of 32-35-15. In the playoffs the Canucks would be buried by the Colorado Avalanche in six games.
1996/97: Coming off a server knee injury Pavel Bure is limited to just 63 games as he struggles to score just 23 goals. With Bure struggling the Canucks would go on to miss the playoffs for the first time in seven years with a disappointing record of 35-40-
1997/98: Seeking veteran leadership the Canucks would sign free agent Mark Messier away for the New York Rangers. However, it would be clear early that the move would not work out as the Canucks struggled. In hopes of sparking the time to a second half comeback Coach Tom Renney is fired and replaced by Mike Keenan. However, not even a 50-goal season from Pavel Bure would save the Canucks season as they finished in last place with an awful 25-43-14 record.
1998/99: Under realignment the Canucks are placed in the Northwest Division where they would continue to struggle as Pavel Bure held out. Eventually they would be forced to trade Bure to the Florida Panthers along with Bret Hedican for Ed Jovanovski, Dave Gagner, Kevin Weekes and Mike Brown. The Canucks would also change coaches again firing Mike Keenan in the middle of the season. Under his replacement Marc Crawford the Canucks would go on to finish in last place with a record of 23-47-12.
1999/00: The Canucks begin the process of rebuilding by drafting Daniel and Henrick Sedin a pair of twins form Sweden labeled with can’t miss potential with the second and third overall picks. The Canucks continued to reshape their team during the season by trading Alexander Mogilny to the New Jersey Devils for Brendan Morrison, Denis Pederson, and Vadim Sharifijanov, as they finished in third place with a record of 30-37-15-8. Following the season the Canucks would allow Mark Messier to return to the New York Rangers after three disappointing seasons without the playoffs.
2000/01: The youth movement of the Canucks began to pay off as they ended a four year playoff drought by finishing in third place with a solid 36-28-11-7 record, beating out the Phoenix Coyotes for the final playoff spot. However, in the playoffs the young Canucks would be buried by the Colorado Avalanche in four straight games.
2001/02: The continued to improve as they finished in second place with a 42-30-7-3 record as Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi established themselves a potent 1-2 scoring punch. Facing the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs most expected the Canucks to be swept again. However, the Canucks would stun all experts by taking the first two games in Detroit. However, in Game 3 at GM Place the Canucks would unravel after a Niklas Lidstrom’s shot from center ice handcuffed Canucks Goalie Dan Cloutier. The Canucks would not recover losing the series in six games.
2002/03: Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi are among the league leaders in scoring all year as the Canucks enjoy their best season in franchise history with a solid record of 45-23-13-1. However, on the final day of the season Naslund would be past by Petr Forsberg for the scoring title as his Colorado Avalanche knock the Canucks out of first place after being in the top spot for most of the season. In the playoffs things would look bleak for the Canucks as they fell behind the St. Louis Blues three games to one. However, the Canucks would rally to win the series in seven games. The Canucks would stay hot in the second round as they jumped out to a 3-1 series lead against the Minnesota Wild. However, the Canucks would have the tables turned on them as they lost the next two games by combined score of 12-3. In Game 7 at GM Place the Canucks appeared to have righted their ship as they led 2-0 in the second period. However, the Wild would rally to win 4-2 on four unanswered goals including three goals in the final 12 minutes, to become the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit twice in the same playoff year.
2003/04: With some of the top scorers in the NHL the Canucks were one of the top teams in the Western Conference all season as they got off to a solid 7-2-2-0 start through the first month. With Marcus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi leading the way the Canucks were battling the Colorado Avalanche all season for first place in the Northwest Division. The battles with the Avalanche would lead to some bad blood. During a February 16th game in Colorado which the Canucks lost 1-0 Marcus Naslund suffered a concussion on a hit by Steve Moore that would force him to miss 3 games. This prompted calls for revenge and even a bounty on Moore by the Canucks. In their next meeting the Canucks and Avalanche skated to a 5-5 tie without incident. However during the final moments of an ugly 9-2 loss at GM Place on February 16th to the Avalanche Todd Bertuzzi decided to take justice in his own hand and skated up from behind to punch Moore then rode him to the ice, the hit would cause Moore to suffer a serious neck injury and would forever tarnish the image of Bertuzzi who would be suspended the rest of the season, while facing criminal charges for assault. The suspension of Bertuzzi, who had 60 points in 69 games threatened to sink the Canucks. However with a 7-3-2-1 record down the stretch the Canucks would end up finishing one point ahead of the Avalanche for the division title with a 43-24-10-5 record. In the playoffs the Canucks would face the Calgary Flames, after splitting the first two games at home the Canucks took Game 3 in Calgary 2-1. However along the way goalie Dan Cloutier suffered a knee injury. After backup goalie Johan Hedberg struggled in a 4-0 loss that evened the series 2-2 the Canucks turned to minor league goalie Alexander Auld for the remainder of the series. After a 2-1 loss at home in Game 5, the Canucks staved off elimination with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 6 after letting an early 4-0 lead go by the boards. In Game 7 at home the Canucks were down again 2-1 in the final seconds as they desperately tried to send the game to overtime. With six seconds left the Canucks found some magic as Matt Cooke tied the game 2-2. However, before the tying goal Ed Jovanowski took a penalty and was in the penalty box as overtime began. The Canucks would not be able to kill the penalty as Martin Gelinas scored the game winner for the Flames just 1:25 into the extra session, as Jovonowski’s penalty was just about to expire.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Coming off the Lock Out the Canucks were expected to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference as Todd Bertuzzi was allowed to return from his suspension. The Canucks would start the season playing as well as expected as they won eight of their first ten games. However, the Canucks would play just mediocre hockey the rest of the way as Bertuzzi, who was booed on the road struggled with a disappointing 25-goal season. March would see the Canucks go from bad to worse as they won just two of their first eight games following the Olympic break. After ending March with a 40-28-7 record the Canucks needed a strong April just to make the playoffs, instead they played horrible hockey losing six of their last eight games as they missed the playoffs by three points with a record of 42-32-8. The late season crash would lead to massive changes in Vancouver as Coach Marc Crawford was fired and replaced by Alain Vigneault. The Canucks then began to remake the roster trading Todd Bertuzzi along with Bryan Allen and Goalie Alex Auld to the Florida Panthers for Goalie Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and a draft pick. The Canucks would also let go longtime fan favorites Ed Jovanovski, Jarkko Ruutu and Dan Cloutier.
2006/07: The Canucks began the season after a summer of wholesale changes with new hope, as Goalie Roberto Luongo gave them the reliable backstop they had been looking for. However, goal scoring became an issue as the Canucks struggled at times to put the puck in the net as they were below .500 on Christmas at 17-18-1. After the Holidays the Canucks began to see results from the Luongo acquisition as they won six straight and nine games in a ten games span, many of which were won in overtime or shootouts. In the second half the Canucks were among the best teams in the NHL posting a 21-7-3 record after February 1st. The strong finish enabled the Canucks to win the Northwest Division Title with all-time franchise best record of 49-26-7. A major reason for the Canucks strong season was Goalie Roberto Luongo who was a finalist for both the Vezina and Hart Trophies, with 47 wins, tying the former single season record held by Bernie Parent. While Luongo fell short in his quest for individual awards, he hoped to bring the Stanley Cup to Vancouver, as the Canucks faced the Dallas Stars in the first round. The first game of the series was a battle in of itself as Luongo allowed four goals during regulation as the game went into overtime tied 4-4. In Overtime Luongo would stand on his head, facing a playoff record 76 shots, as the game went into quadruple overtime, before Henrik Sedin ended the sixth longest playoff game in NHL history at 78:06. After losing 2-0 in Game 2 the Canucks won another dramatic overtime thriller 2-1 as Taylor Pyatt netted the game winning goal 7:47 into the first Overtime. The Canucks would take a commanding 3-1 series lead after beating the Dallas Stars 2-1 in Game 4, giving them a chance to close the series in Vancouver. Luongo was strong again in Game 5 not allowing any goals during the games first 60 minutes, however the Stars were blanked too as the game went to overtime for the third time in the series. This time there would be no heroics for the Canucks as Brendan Morrow scored a power play goal after the Canucks were caught with too many men on the ice. The Canucks would struggle again in Game 6, as the Stars forced a seventh game with a 2-0 win in Dallas. Back in Vancouver for Game 7 the Canucks goal scoring drought continued until late in the second period when Henrik Sedin scored on a power play with a beautiful setup from his twin brother Daniel to tie the score 1-1. The game would remain tied until the seven minute mark of the 3rd Period when Trevor Linden gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead on the power play. The Canucks would pull away in the final minutes scoring two empty net goals to win the game 4-1 and advance to the second round, where they would face the Anaheim Ducks. Game 1 would see Luongo struggle allowing five goals as the Canucks lost 5-1. However, Luongo and the Canucks would rebound in Game 2 evening the series with a 2-1 win in overtime on a goal by Jeff Cowan. As the series shifted to Vancouver the battle really heated up as the Canucks lost a heartbreaker in Game 3, as Roberto Luongo allowed a power play goal on a screen midway through the 3rd Period. The Canucks got off to fast start in Game 4 leading 2-0 entering the 3rd Period. However, the Ducks would rally to force overtime, where they would win the game and take a 3-1 series lead on a goal by Travis Moen. In Game 5 the Canucks would not go down without a fight as the game was tied 1-1 after four periods. However, they would be no match for the Neidermayer brothers as Rob Niedermayer made a big hit to jar the puck loose, which was picked up by Scott, who beat Roberto Luongo to win the game and the series.
2007/08: Coming off a division championship the Canucks entered the season with even higher aspirations. However, key injuries to defensemen Sami Salo, Lukas Krajicek and Kevin Bieksa put the Canucks in an early hole as they posted a 5-7 record in October. The players would return, but the Canucks never really got any momentum as Roberto Luongo had trouble living up to the standards he set in first year in Vancouver, as Mattias Ohlund dealt with injuries all season. Despite the struggles the Canucks never fell out of the playoff chase. However, by just winning one of their final eight games the Canucks missed the playoffs by three points with a record of 39-33-10. The season would mark the end of an era in Vancouver as Trevor Linden, who spent all but three years of his 20-year career wearing a Canucks sweater announced his retirement. While following the season Captain Marcus Naslund left for a more lucrative contract with the New York Rangers. However, the biggest loss was suffered on May 29th when promising young prospect Luc Bourdon, a defenseman picked tenth overall in the 2005 entry draft, died a motorcycle crash near his hometown of Shippigan, New Brunswick.
2008/09: To replace Marcus Naslund as captain, the Canucks made the unique choice of selecting Goalie Roberto Luongo as Captain. It was the first goalie to be named a captain in the NHL since Bill Durnan of the Montreal Canadiens in 1947. Since goalies are not allowed out of the defensive zone, Luongo would need a proxy when the referee needed him at a center ice discussion. If the Canucks were going to return to the playoffs they were going to rely heavily on their new captain. However, after a solid 12-6-2 start the Canucks would lose Roberto Luongo for nearly two months with a groin injury. Without Luongo the Canucks only managed to play mediocre hockey, as they looked to improve their offense by signing Mats Sundin. However, the Canucks struggled upon Sundin’s debut, as they lost eight games in a row. Not even the return of Roberto Luongo could help the Canucks as they entered February in free fall with a record of 22-20-8, with rumors of a coaching change and team shake up flying all over. As bad as January was, February would be a complete opposite, as they won 12 of their next 14 games. The Canucks would continue their strong play in March as they quickly climbed the Northwest Division standings on the way to finishing in first place with a solid 45-27-10 record. In the playoffs the Canucks continued to scorch the ice against the St. Louis Blues, as Roberto Luongo got off to a strong start back stopping the Canucks to a 2-1 win in Game 1, Luongo would be even stronger in Game 2, as he stopped all 30 shots earning his first career postseason shutout 3-0. The Canucks would go on to sweep the series in four games with a pair of 3-2 victories in St. Louis. In the second round against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canucks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in Game 1. However, after the Blackhawks scored three third period goals the Canucks needed a Sami Salo goal with 1:13 remaining in the game to save the day, while Ryan Johnson added an empty netter for a 5-3 win. After suffering a 6-3 loss in Game 2, the Canucks appeared to be in great shape as they won 3-1 in Game 3, and led 1-0 in Game 4 late in Chicago. However, a goal by Martin Havlat forced overtime, where the Blackhawks would even the series on a goal by Andrew Ladd. Back in Vancouver for Game 5, the Canucks would suffer more frustration as the Blackhawks scored three unanswered goals to take control of the series with a 4-2 victory. The Blackhawks would go on to win the series in six games, with a 7-5 win in Game 6.
2009/10: Coming off a division championship there was a great deal of anticipation for the new season in Vancouver, as the city was to be host of the winter Olympics, which again would feature hockey’s best players playing for their home country. Canucks Goalie Roberto Luongo was naturally a fan favorite as member of Team Canada. In the early part of the season the Canucks struggled, as they dropped their first three games, as they split their first 20 games, as Luongo missed some time with an injury. Once he returned the Canucks were ready to take off as they won 17 of their next 24 games. Highlighting the Canucks surge was the play of the Sedin Twins, especially Henrik Sedin who was on his way to leading the NHL in scoring as the Canucks again were in front of the Northwest Division. As the Olympics drew near, the Canucks would go on the longest road trip in NHL history, a total of 14 games in six weeks with the two Olympic break in the middle as GM Place was made ready for the Winter Games. The Canucks would play winning hockey during the trip, posting a record of 8-5-1, as Luongo helped capture a gold medal for Canada, beating Team USA 3-2 in overtime, with Luongo becoming a fan favorite through the entire tournament. The Canucks would finally come home on March 13 and would beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1, as they closed the season playing solid hockey as they finished atop the Northwest Division with a record of 49-28-5. Henrik Sedin, who had a NHL best 112 points to become the first Canuck to win the Art Ross Trophy, also became the first Canuck to win the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. In the playoffs the Canucks faced the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. In the opener the Canucks needed overtime for a 3-2 win as Mikael Samuelsson scored twice including the game winner at 8:52. However, the Kings would overcome an early 2-0 Canucks lead to win Game 2 in overtime 3-2. After losing Game 3 in Los Angeles 5-3, the Canucks faced a must win Game 4 on the road. Trailing 3-2 entering the 3rd Period the Canucks turned to the Sedin twins as Daniel had three assists including one to Henrik who scored the game winner as the Canucks scored four goals in the final period for a 6-4 win to even the series. The Canucks would take control of the series with a 7-2 win in Game 5 as they went on to win the series in six games. In the second round the Canucks found themselves in a rematch with the Chicago Blackhawks who ended their season in 2009. Things started well for the Canucks, as they jumped out to a big lead early and took Game 1 on the road 5-1. However, the Blackhawks would rebound from an early 2-0 deficit in Game 2 to win 4-2 with three goals in the 3rd period to even the series. The Blackhawks would scorch the Canucks in Vancouver, winning the next two games by a combined score of 12-6 to take a 3-1 series lead. The Canucks would stay alive with a 4-1 win in Game 5 on the road as Kevin Bieksa scored twice. However, back at GM Place in Game 6, the Blackhawks would eliminate the Canucks for the second straight season with a 5-1 win.
2010/11: As the Canucks celebrated their 40th Anniversary there was a feeling it could be a dream season at the newly renamed Rogers Arena. The Canucks who already were one of the top teams in the Western Conference had a big off-season, landing players like Manny Malhotra a terrific two way forward, and Dan Hamhuis a defenseman aimed at making the Canucks a tougher team. Early on the Canucks got off to a slow start, losing their season opener at home to the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout 2-1, as they posted a mediocre 4-3-2 record in October. With the exception of a four game losing streak in the middle of the month, the Canucks played better in November, posting a record of 8-4-1. December would be the month the Canucks began to look like the team Vancouver fans had expected to see, as they only lost one game in regulation on the way to an 11-1-2 record, as they entered the New Year in contention for the best record in the West at 23-8-5. The Canucks would continue to be among the top teams in the NHL as they posted winning records in January and February. At the trade deadline, the Canucks would acquire Maxim Lapierre and the recommendation of Coach Alain Vigneault who wanted another enforcer who could spark the team. The move would pay immediate dividends as the Canucks would pull away in the race for the best record in the NHL in March, as they posted a 13-2-0 record, while winning nine straight on the road. The Canucks would go on to finish the season with a record of 54-19-9, the best mark in franchise history as they won the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL for the first time in franchise history. The Canucks became the first since the 1977/78 Montreal Canadiens to finish the league with the most goals scored and fewest goals against. They also finished the regular season with the top ranked power play and second ranked penalty kill. Leading the way was Daniel Sedin, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer, with 104 points, a year after his brother Henrik won the honor. Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin would each score a team high 41 goals, as Kesler won the Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward in the NHL. However, as the playoffs began the Canucks learned they would be without one of their key players, as Manny Mahlotra suffered a severe eye injury on March 16th against the Colorado Avalanche.
2011 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Canucks would face an old nemesis in the first round in the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks who eliminated the Canucks in the last two seasons. The Canucks would get off to a good start as they won the opener 2-0, with Roberto Luongo stopping 33 shots. In Game 2 it was Daniel Sedin who played the key role, scoring two goals as the Canucks won 4-3. In Chicago, the Canucks continued to roll, winning 3-2 as Mikael Samuelsson third period goal proved to be the difference. However, suddenly things began to turn for the Canucks, as the Blackhawks won the next two games 7-2 and 5-0. In Game 6 things would get even tighter as the Blackhawks won in overtime 4-3 on a goal by Ben Smith. With the specter of blowing a 3-0 series lead hanging over Vancouver, the Canucks and Blackhawks battled into overtime tied 1-1 after Jonathan Toews tied the game on a shorthanded goal with 1:56 left. The Canucks would need to kill off a penalty by Alex Burrows as overtime began, Burrows who missed a penalty shot in the third period would make up for the penalty by scoring the game winner at 5:22 as the entire city of Vancouver let out a big sigh of relief with the Canucks moving on with a 2-1 win. In the second round the Canucks would face the Nashville Predators. Game 1 would be all defense as Roberto Luongo stopped 20 shots as the Canucks won 1-0 on a goal by Christopher Higgins. Luongo looked like he was on his way to another shutout in Game 2, with a 1-0 lead. However, Ryan Suter scored with 1:07 left to force overtime. The game would go to a second overtime before the Predators evened the series on a goal by Matt Halischuk. Game 3 in Nashville would also go to overtime, this time it would Ryan Kesler who would save the day for the Canucks scoring a power play goal to give them a 3-2 win and control of the series. Kesler would have another big day in Game 4 with a goal and an assist to give the Canucks a 4-2 win. However, with a chance to close things out in Vancouver, the Canucks suffered a letdown in Game 5 as the Predators won 4-3. In Game 6 in Nashville, Kesler would set up two first period goals for the Canucks; the Preds would answer with a goal by David Legwand early in the second period. From there it was up to the Canucks defense and Roberto Luongo to preserve the win, as they held on to their 2-1 lead to advance to the Western Conference Finals. In the Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks, the Canucks would again get off to a fast start winning the first two games by a combined 3-2 and 7-3. As the series shifted to San Jose, the Sharks bit back; winning 4-3 in Game 3, on the strength of three first period goals. In Game 4 it was the Canucks power play that ruled the day as they scored three times with the man advantage, as Henrik Sedin had four assists as the Canucks took a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 4-2 win. Down 2-1 late in Game 5, the Canucks forced overtime on a goal by Ryan Kesler with 14 seconds left in regulation. The game would go to double overtime, when a strange bounce off the boards on a dump in by Alexander Edler came up to Kevin Bieksa whose soft shot barely got passed Antti Niemi and crossed the goal line for the game winner. The 3-2 win nearly blew the roof off Rogers Arena as the Canucks were on the way to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 17 years.
2011 Stanley Cup Finals: In the Finals the Canucks would face the Boston Bruins, a team dedicated to hardnosed defensive play. Game 1 would take the tone of a hardnosed defensive series as the two teams from the start showed they did not like each other as Alex Burrows took a bite out of Patrice Bergeron’s finger. The game was chippy and scoreless until late in the third period when Raffi Torres scored with 18.5 seconds left to give the Canucks a 1-0 win. After their series opening win the Canucks received a surprise boost, as Manny Malhotra who was expected to miss the entire postseason, wearing a special shield to protect his injured eye. Game 2 would be much like the opener, with both teams playing physical hockey, as the game went into overtime tied 2-2. Overtime would be over before fans had a chance to even settle back in their seats, as Alex Burrows scored his second goal of the game to give the Canucks a 3-2 win just 11 seconds into sudden death. As the series shifted to Boston, the Bruins got back into the series with an 8-1 win. The Canucks would also struggle in Game 4, as the Bruins evened the series with a 4-0 white wash. Back in Vancouver for Game 5, the Canucks bounced back behind Roberto Luongo who stopped all 31 shots, as Maxim Lapierre’s third period goal was the difference in a 1-0 win as the Canucks with a 3-2 series lead needed just one more win to take the Stanley Cup. However, the Canucks struggled in Boston again, allowing four goals in the first period as the Bruins won 5-2 to send the series to a decisive seventh game. The first six games of the Stanley Cup Finals were all won by the home team. Thanks to winning the President’s Trophy this meant Game 7 would be at home for the Canucks. There was an air of anticipation in Vancouver on the night of Game 7 as a win meant the dream come true and a loss meant the ultimate heart break. Things were tight from the start, as the Bruins physical play continued to frustrate the Sedin Twins. The Bruins would strike first on a goal by Patrice Bergeron late in the first period. The Bruins continued to shutdown the Canucks in the second period, as Brad Marchand made it 2-0 in favor of Boston. The Canucks needed a spark of life and a power play late in the second period seemed to be the answer, but Bergeron added a shorthanded goal to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead that sucked all the life out of the Canucks. Marchand would add an empty net goal as the Bruins would win the Stanley Cup with a 4-0 win. Making matter worse a riot erupted in the City of Vancouver, adding a black eye to the tear filled eyes of British Columbia.
2011/12: After the heartbreaking seven game loss in the Stanley Cup Finals the Canucks had to fight off the hangover as the season began with them looking to bring lord Stanley to Vancouver. Before the season opener Vancouver fireman, police and volunteers who helped clean up the city after the riots following the Game 7 loss were honored at Rogers Arena. The Canucks began the season with a frustrating 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the home fans began to get on Goalie Roberto Luongo who some blamed for the loss. For much of the first six weeks the Canucks seemed to have a hangover as they played sluggish hockey, posting a 9-9-1 record. However, as November came to an end they began to find their game, with a five game winning streak, as they took nine of their next ten games to climb the Northwest Division. During the win streak Roberto Luongo was sidelined with an injury, giving the team a look at back up Cory Schneider who played excellent in goal. Along the way Alain Vigneault became the winningest coach in franchise history. The Canucks would continue their strong play over the next few months, as Schneider began to see regular playing time. By the end of February they were once again the best team in hockey, as they lost just one game in regulation between January 17th through March 1st. Leading the Canucks again were super twins, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who led the team in scoring with 81 and 67 points respectively. Henrik had an impressive 67 assists, while Daniel led the team with 30 goals. Cory Schneider in 33 games would get 20 wins, with a 1.96 GAA, while Roberto Luongo won 31 games with a 2.41 GAA. Together they helped the Canucks win the President’s Trophy for the second straight season, with a record of 51-22-9, despite Daniel Sedin missing the last two weeks with a concussion.
2012 Playoffs: Once the playoffs arrived the spotlight turned to Roberto Luongo as the Canucks faced the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. Right away, the Canucks goalie struggled, allowing seven in the first two games, before Cory Scheneider took over, as the Kings won the first two games in Vancouver by twin 4-2 scores. Schneider would get the start in Game 3, and play well, but King Goalie Jonathan Quick kept the Canucks off the board, stopping 41 shots in a 1-0 win that allowed the eighth seed Kings to take a stunning 3-0 series lead. Daniel Sedin would return to the ice for Game 4, and had an assist as the Canucks avoided the sweep with a 3-1 win. However, they would return home and fall in five games, as they lost 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Jarrett Stoll. While stunning and disappointing to lose to the eighth seed Kings, who when adding overtime and regulation losses had a losing record in the regular season seemed embarrassing at first, the sting would be taken out of a bit as the Los Angeles Kings went on to become the first eighth seed to win the Stanley Cup. It marked the third straight season the Canucks were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup Champions.
2012/13: After winning the President’s Trophy two straight seasons, the Canucks continued to taste bitter disappointment as they were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup Champions for the third straight season. With a lockout delaying the start of the season over three months, speculation began that the Canucks would deal Goalie Roberto Luongo and turn to Corey Schneider moving forward. However, when the season finally began it was still Luongo was still on the team, though Schneider was getting most of the starts in goal early in the season. However, after dropping a few games early in the season, Roberto Luongo would get his job back. After posting a 3-2-2 mark in January, the Canucks showed improvement in February, winning seven games. After Luongo had a slump in March, Corey Schneider again took over in goal, and helped the Canucks win five straight games to take over first place in the Northwest Division. The Canucks would go on to win the division for the fifth year in a row, posting a record of 26-15-7. Both Roberto Luongo and Corey Schneider had strong seasons, with Schneider starting 30 games, and posting a 17-9-4 record with a 2.11 GAA and five shutouts. Luongo would post a 9-6-3 mark in 18 starts, posting a 2.56 GAA with two shutouts. On offense once again the Sedin twins led the way, with Henrik leading the team with 45 points, while Daniel had a team high 12 goals in the 48 game season.
2013 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Canucks would face the San Jose Sharks, with Roberto Luongo getting the nod in Game 1. Early on Luongo played well, as Kevin Bierska gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead midway through the second period. However, the Sharks finished the game with three unanswered goals to win the game 3-1. Luongo would also get the start in Game 2, as Ryan Kessler gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead with two goals in the third period. However, the Sharks sent the game to overtime on a goal by Patrick Marleau with 55 seconds left in regulation. In overtime, the Sharks would send fans in Vancouver home unhappy again, as Raffi Torres won the game at the 5:31 mark of overtime. As the series shifted to San Jose, Corey Schneider would take over in goal, and struggle allowing five goals as the Sharks won the game 5-2 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. With Schneider also starting Game 4, the Sharks would complete the sweep with a 4-3 win in overtime, as Patrick Marleau scored the game winner. Following the Canucks first round elimination, Coach Alain Vigneault would be fired. Vigneault would go on to become coach of the New York Rangers, who fired John Tortorella. Tortorella meanwhile would become the new coach of the Canucks, creating a unique job swab. The Canucks also ended the goaltending controversy, fully committing to Roberto Luongo as Corey Schneider was traded on draft day to the New Jersey Devils for the ninth overall pick used to select Bo Horvat.
2013/14: The John Tortorella era started with a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. However, in the Canucks home opener things would go much better as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-2 on the way to posting a solid record of 9-5-1 in October. After a rough November, in which they won just four games, the Canucks had a terrific December, winning ten games, while losing just once in regulation as they entered the New Year with a record of 23-11-7. Things would begin to fall apart in January, as Roberto Luongo fell in disfavor with Tortorella as Eddie Lack began to get more starts in goal. The Canucks new coach was also feuding with Ryan Kesler, the Canucks leading goal scorer with 25. Meanwhile the Sedin Twins were in a goal scoring slump, with Henrik Sedin scoring just 11 goals as he led the team with 50 points, as Daniel had 16 goals and 31 assists. Frustrations would boil over in January, as John Tortorella barged into the visiting locker room at Rogers Arena to confront Calgary Flames Coach Bob Hartley during the first intermission of a 3-2 shootout win on January 18th. Tortorella would be handed a 15 day suspension as the Canucks would dropped their final seven games before the Olympic Break, as Mike Sullivan ran the team in Tortorella’s absence. Returning with the playoffs in doubt at 27-24-9, Tortorella continued to alienate players and the fans, as he benched Goalie Robert Luongo, with Eddie Lack getting the start in the Heritage Classic against the Ottawa Senators at BC Place. A few days later, the Canukcs would ship Luongo along with Steven Anthony to the Florida Panthers for Shawn Matthias and Jacob Markstrom. The Canucks also would deal Patrick Mullen to the Senators for Jeff Costello, while Raphael Diaz who was acquired just a month earlier from the Montreal Canadiens for Dale Weise was sent to the New York Rangers for a late round draft pick. After the trades, the Canucks continued to fade, posting a record of 36-35-11 as they missed the playoff s for the first time in six years. The disappointing finish would lead to a complete shake up in Vancouver as General Manager Mike Gillis was fired along with John Tortorella. The Canucks would build a new management structure as Trevor Linden was named president of hockey operations. Jim Benning was hired as the team’s new General Manager, while Willie Desjardins was named the 18th head coach of the Canucks. The Canucks also made player changes as Ryan Kesler was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and two draft picks. The Canucks would also sign Free Agent Goalie Ryan Miller.
2014/15: Following their disastrous season under John Tortorella the Vancouver Canucks went through a complete house cleaning, as General Manager Mike Gillis was dismissed along with Tortorella. The Canucks would name Trevor Linden as the new team President, with Jim Benning taking over as General Manager. After a two month search, the Canucks would name Willie Desjardins as the new bench boss. The changes continued after the hiring of a new coach as Ryan Kesler was traded to the Anaheim Ducks Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and a two draft picks. The Canucks began piecing things back together by signing All-Star Goalie Ryan Miller. Miller was strong from the start, as the Canucks won their first three games, and seven of ten in October. After a fine November, the Canucks hit a mid-December slump, losing five straight, but they would things settled down and went into the New Year hold a record of 21-11-3. As the All-Star break approached, Ryan Miller went through one of the best stretches of his career, coming within three minutes of three straight shutouts. Miller had a solid season in his first year in Vancouver, winning 29 games with a 2.53 GAA and a .911 save percentage. Ryan Miller may have even had a better season if not for suffering a knee injury when Jannik Hansen of the New York Islanders crashed into him during 4- win at Nassau Coliseum on February 22nd. Miller would miss all but one of the Canucks final 24 games, but thanks to the play of Eddie Lack the Canucks remained solidly in playoff position. The Canucks would end the year with a record of 48-29-5, good enough for second place in the Pacific Division. The Sedin twins rebounding from a disappointing season once again led the Canucks in scoring, with Daniel Sedin having a team best 76 points, with Henrik posting 73 points. Meanwhile, Radim Vrbata led the Canucks in goals scored with 31.
2015 Playoffs: Facing the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs the Canucks gave Eddie Lack the start in the series opener. Lack played well as the Canucks held a 1-0 lead early in the third period thanks to a goal by Bo Horvat in the second period. After the Flames tied the game on a goal by David Jones, Kris Russell stunned the crowd at Rogers Arena by beating Lack with 30 seconds left to win the game for the Flames 2-1. The Canucks rebounded with a 4-1 win in Game 2, which featured a major fight that resulted in 132 penalty minutes in the game’s final minutes. The Flames would double up the Canucks with a 4-2 win in Game 3 as the series shifted to Calgary. Things would not get any better in Game 4, as the Flames scored three fast goals to chase Eddie Lack to the bench. Ryan Miller would finish the game, stopping all 15 shots over the final two periods, but it was not enough as the Flames won the game 3-1 to take a 3-1 series lead. Miller would get the start in Game 5, stopping 20 of 21 shots as the Canucks won the game 2-1. However, despite jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead in Game 6 at the Saddledome, the Canucks season would come to an end with a 7-4 loss. The game was a lot closer than the score would indicate as Flames netted two empty net goals, after Matt Stajan gave them a 5-4 lead with 4:17 left in regulation.
2015/16: After a successful bounce back season, the Vancouver Canucks spent the off-season getting younger, as they traded veteran Defenseman Kevin Bierska to the Anaheim Ducks for a draft pick that was later traded with Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening to get Brandon Sutter from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canucks played well early in the season as they got points in their first four games, winning three and losing once in regulation. Struggles in overtime would be a pattern early for the Canucks as they suffered four losses after regulation in October and another three in November. The points left on the table would begin to catch up with the Canucks in December as they found themselves in a hole in the playoff chase. As the New Year began the Canucks played slightly better as they held a record of 14-15-9. January would be the Canucks strongest month as they posted a record of 6-2-2 in their first ten games in the New Year. February would mark a month of missed opportunities as they won just two of eight games at Rogers Arena and began to fade in the chase for the postseason. March would be even worse as the Canucks lost seven of nine at home, and suffered a nine game losing streak. The Canucks would finish the year in sixth place, with the playoffs far out of reach holding a record of 31-38-13. The Sedin twins continued to lead the team, with Henrik posting a team best 61 points, with 28 goals while Daniel led Vancouver with 44 assists.
2016/17: Coming off a disappointing season, the Vancouver Canucks looked to rebound and return to the postseason. However, and older veteran team often look old and tired when playing the younger more talented rivals in the Pacific Division. The Canucks started the season well, winning their first four games, but that start was quickly forgotten about when they lost their next nine. Barely hovering near .500, the Canucks went into the New Year with a record of 17-18-3. January, saw the Canucks play well at home, as they posted a record of 5-0-1 at Rogers Arena, but finding wins on the road often proved difficult for Vancouver. In February, what little playoff hopes the Canucks had left faded away as they managed just three wins, March and April were just as difficult as the Canucks finished the season on an eight-game losing streak, finishing last in the Pacific Division with a record of 30-43-9. The Canucks scored a franchise low 182 goals, with Bo Horvat as the leading scorer with 52 points and a team high 20 goals. Following the season coach Willie Desjardins was fired.
©MMXVIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks or the NHL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
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