Canucks: The fans waited a long time for a moment like this

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

After nine years of frustration and misery, Vancouver Canucks fans can finally celebrate another magical playoff moment.

Imagine telling a Vancouver Canucks fan back in 2011 that their team would fail to win a single playoff series in each of the next eight years.

Imagine telling them that a star-studded core consisting of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Alexandre Burrows, Ryan Kesler, Cory Schneider, Roberto Luongo, Kevin Bieksa and Alexander Edler wouldn’t get it done again. That 2011 was simply the last real dance for this group.

That a team, led by future Hall of Famer and head coach Alain Vigneault, would quickly fall apart after spending a decade as a top team in the Western Conference.

Well, that turned out to be just the case. The Canucks were eliminated in the first round during the 2012, 2013 and 2015 playoffs. They weren’t anywhere close to qualifying in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019.

But that’s all in the past now.

The ineffective method of “rebuilding on the fly.” The many questionable and head-scratching trades and free agent signings. Those are done with. Take those eight years of frustration (2012 to 2019) and throw it out the window.

A new era of promising Canucks hockey began after they dispatched the Minnesota Wild in the qualifying round to officially qualify for the postseason. Simply getting to the round of 16 was good enough.

But head coach Travis Green didn’t want it to end there. He led a determined and energized Vancouver team that absolutely dominated the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

They always say how experience matters in the postseason. The Blues captured Lord Stanley’s mug 14 months ago, but they’re the ones who looked overwhelmed throughout the series. They were the ones who looked completely out of sync.

It was the Canucks who looked like a heavily experienced playoff team. Rookie blueliner and Calder Trophy candidate Quinn Hughes looked more like an in-his-prime Nicklas Lidstrom or Scott Niedermayer.

Bo Horvat? He sure reminds me of Trevor Linden, Henrik Sedin and Markus Naslund. You know, former Vancouver captains who always turned it on in the big moments.

Jacob Markstrom? Let’s just say the Canucks now have an easy choice to re-sign him this offseason. His heroics in Game 5 made this series victory possible. Without Markstrom, who knows if the Canucks would still be playing right now?

Everything has slowly but surely come together in Vancouver. General manager Jim Benning needed time (plenty of it, actually) to build the Stanley Cup contender he envisioned.

Eliminating the Blues was not a fluke by any means. It’s a sign that this young team is ready to compete for championships now. Their Stanley Cup window is slowly opening. The rest of the NHL better take note.

Next. The Canucks can accomplish something special. dark

Fans waited nine years for another magical and unforgettable playoff moment. The patience has finally paid off. Now, Canucks fans just need to sit back and enjoy the ride as they prepare for a second round showdown with the Vegas Golden Knights.