This week in Canucks history: So close, yet so far away

A look back at Vancouver Canucks events from this week in 1994 and 2011, and their respective Stanley Cup matchups with the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.
Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two
Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The 2024 Stanley Cup Final began on Saturday, and for just the second time since the Vancouver Canucks’ 2011 run, the series features a Canadian team. (The other time was in 2021, when the Montreal Canadiens lost in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.)

Thirteen years ago today, June 10, 2011, the Canucks beat the Boston Bruins 1–0 to take a 3–2 lead in the final. Win one more, and they’d be champions.

We know how that ended. However, this week in Canucks history, we look back on some memorable — and forgettable — moments from the 1994 and 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

June 4, 1994: Canucks drop game three against Rangers

Despite Pavel Bure opening the scoring 1:03 into the game. Unfortunately for the Canucks, they were unable to build any momentum.

The New York Rangers took the lead later in the first, then quickly built on it. They defeated the Canucks 5–1 to take a 2–1 series lead.

June 4, 2011: Burrows’ quick OT goal puts Canucks up 2–0

Alex Burrows won game two of the 2011 final 11 seconds into overtime, as he finished a solo effort by wrapping the puck past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.

Burrows, the Canucks’ playoff hero, scored twice in game two. He opened the scoring 12:12 into the first period, and also assisted on Daniel Sedin’s tying goal midway through the third.

Despite taking a 2–0 series lead, Vancouver would only win once more as they fell to the Bruins in seven games.

June 6, 2011: Canucks annihilated in game 3 by Bruins

Jannik Hansen scored the only goal in a 8–1 Vancouver loss, as Boston in game three got their first win of the final, bringing the series to two games to one.

Boston scored two power play goals and two shorthanded goals. Michael Ryder was the Bruins’ leading scorer with a goal and two assists.

This was also the game where Canucks defenceman Aaron Rome hit Nathan Horton, which many regard as a turning point in the series. 

June 7, 1994: Canucks fall to 1–3 against Rangers

Cliff Ronning finished a rebound off a beautiful Bure rush to put Vancouver up 2–0 in the first period of game four, but the Rangers erased it in the second, tying the game at two.

The Rangers put the game away in the third period, winning 4–2 and taking a 3–1 series lead. Alex Kovalev scored the game-winner.

June 8, 2011: Canucks drop game 4 as Bruins even series

The Bruins continued their dominant play on home ice, shutting the Canucks out 4–0 in game four to tie the series at two.

This game featured the memorable third period scrum that ensued following Thomas slashing Burrows in the back of the leg.

June 9, 1994: Canucks stay alive with big game 5 win over Rangers

Bure’s 16th of the playoffs at 13:04 of the third period capped off a 6–3 Vancouver win to bring the series to 3–2. His goal was assisted by Ronning and Bret Hedican.

After giving up a 3–0 lead midway through the third period, the Canucks responded with another three goals to put game five out of reach for the Rangers and get themselves back into the series. The teams would come back to Vancouver for game six two days later.

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