Flashback Friday: Canucks dethrone the Blackhawks

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 21: Brent Seabrook
VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 21: Brent Seabrook /

The Vancouver Canucks haven’t experienced any playoff success in six years, but Alexandre Burrows’ iconic goal to take down the Chicago Blackhawks lives on.

Vancouver Canucks fans haven’t had a whole lot to celebrate since reaching the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. This team has only qualified for the playoffs three times since dropping Game 7 on home ice against the Boston Bruins, and they haven’t won a single postseason series in six years.

Obviously, it’s been a rough transition for Canucks fans. From 2001 to 2013, this team made the playoffs every year with the exceptions of 2006 and 2008. They were always a force in the Western Conference, and fans knew this team was capable of winning a championship

Very few players remain from the 2011 team that almost got it done. Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev are the only players left from that team. Times have changed, indeed.

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Instead of talking about the despair that’s taken place from 2012 to the present times, we should be thinking more positive. It is Friday, after all. So let’s take a look back to one of the greatest moments in Canucks history — Game 7 of the opening round against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011.

The background

The Blackhawks had defeated the Vancouver Canucks in the second round of both the 2009 and 2010 playoffs.

Who can forget 2009? The Blackhawks beat Vancouver 7-5 in Game 6 to close out the series. We all remember Patrick Kane‘s hat trick, Roberto Luongo tearing up and blaming himself. And oh, that annoying Chelsea Dagger goal song:

But in 2010, the series was highlighted by ultra pest Dustin Byfuglien constantly wreaking havoc in Luongo’s crease, and the Canucks had absolutely zero answer for the 6-foot-5 power forward:

Chicago defeated Vancouver in six games, and they’d go on to win the Stanley Cup over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Canucks were so fed up with losing to Chicago, and destiny seemingly would set them up in the playoffs for a third consecutive year.

2011: Vancouver’s turn

The Canucks were the Presidents’ Trophy winner, and the Blackhawks got into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. Chicago had absolutely nothing to lose in this series, whereas this series would be a defining moment in Vancouver’s history.

Vancouver dominated Chicago early on in the series, stealing the first three games in hard-fought contests. But the Blackhawks would blow out the Canucks in Games 4 and 5, before taking Game 6 in overtime.

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So the defending champions needed one win to erase a 3-0 deficit. The pressure was on Vancouver. Burrows scored early in the first, and the Canucks held onto the lead until Jonathan Toews tied it with 1:56 left. Overtime needed.

Canucks fans held onto their seats, as the most successful regular season in franchise history was one goal away from being wasted completely in heartbreaking fashion.

Burrows slays the dragon

Burrows took a penalty early in overtime, but the Canucks killed it off to keep their season intact. That led to Burrows scoring arguably the biggest goal in franchise history, as the Canucks finally defeated their Kryptonite:

So the Canucks got through their rivals and finally advanced to the second round of the playoffs. They’d go on to defeat the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks before reaching their first Stanley Cup Final in 17 years.

Canucks fans will never forget that goal Burrows scored for the team. It ended two years of frustration and ensured this team’s remarkable 2010-11 season continued. The goal brings chills to many fans this day.

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Yes, times have been frustrating for the franchise. But it’s the weekend, so just enjoy reliving the greatest goal in Vancouver Canucks history.