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*Worth a Thousand Words

*Worth a Thousand Words
Memorable Quotes
Captured moments...
Seasons Re-lived
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Seasons Re-lived

Update
(May 18th, 2007)
Due to many of the updates I still have to do, I do not think I am able to do a full recap of the 2005-2006 season like I did for the 2003-2004 season. Unfortunately the moments are not fresh in my head and right now I cannot do extensive research on 14+ months! Hopefully I will have the time to do a detailed recap for the 2006-2007 season, but it is still not certain!

SEASON 2003-04: A ROLLERCOASTER RIDE

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+ The 2003-04 season was one hell of a roller coaster ride, and it was one of the more emotional seasons. The season started with smooth sailing and high hopes but the ride got pretty rough. A lot happened during this season, unpredictable, chaotic or even amazing. There was the usual loses we had to take and wins we had to grasp, even the ties we were obligated. The hearts of these players really shone this season, in many ways, and the fans gratefully appreciate the love they bring to the ice every night. This season was a test…a test to encourage and determine the faith of the fans in their team; will they be there when they’re down 2-1 with only seconds left on the clock? Will they be there when they face another losing streak? Will they be there to pull them up when they’ve fallen? Will they show their faith for their team? Will you ever lose hope?

 

Questions were raised and answers were questioned, the NHL was at its utmost decisive year. Many games ended with the fans arguing about the fairness of a game they had just experienced, but asking questions about the past won’t always solve anything. Nothing in this world is fair and that includes the game of hockey; this season was also one of the most controversial and critical.

 

However, one thing is for sure…with all the overtime wins, hard hits, beautiful saves, pretty goals and tight loses, this team will always have something up their sleeves for a more exciting and inspiring season.

 

- The Canucks start the season with an impressive 4-1 win vs. The Calgary Flames. Todd Bertuzzi was the first on the scoreboard, rookie Jason King along with pest Jarkko Ruutu and center Artem Chubarov add to the win.

 

- It's Johan Hedberg's first game and he shines with a shutout vs. The Oilers in a 3-0 win. Mattias Ohlund assisted the first of Cooke’s 2 goals; it was a special day for Ohlund because it was his 400th career game, all games played with the Canucks. Jiri Slegr scored the 3rd goal.

  

- The Canucks show their skills on October 20th and 28th as they score 2 6-goal wins in 4 games vs. Buffalo which ended in a 6-1 win and Columbus which ended with a 6-3 win.

 

- Magnus Arvedson played his 400th career NHL game, October 22nd, 2003 vs. St. Louis. The Canucks won 3-2.

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- Brendan Morrison played his 400th career NHL game [277th straight], October 31st, 2003 at Phoenix. The Canucks won 4-1; Morrison scored the 3rd Canucks goal.

- After losing to the Red Wings on October 16, the day Bertuzzi recorded his 400th career point, the Canucks thought they’d get some revenge…and so they did with a 5-1 win. Canucks rookie Jason King scored 2 goals after being bullied on front of the Red Wings net…that’s just sweet revenge.

 

- Marek Malik played his 400th career NHL game, November 8th, 2003 vs. Minnesota. The Canucks won 4-3.

 

- Nov. 18th, 2003...Ohlund scores to a 5-4 OT win against the Montreal Canadiens. Seven days later, on the 25th, Dan Cloutier would learn his lesson as they defeat the Canadiens 5-2.

 

- Two nights after the OT win in Montreal comes another OT win in Chicago and the winner? It was another defenseman by the name of Sami Salo. Allen and Jovanovski scored the regulation goals, which led to the 3-2 OT win. It was the fourth consecutive game the Canucks had to skate in overtime to earn a decision.

 

- Trevor Linden played his 1100th career NHL game, November 22nd, 2003 vs. Toronto. Unfortunately the Canucks lost 5-3.

 

- Nov. 27th, here comes another OT winner and this one is a little more special than the previous. The Canucks and Senators are the NHL’s two highest scoring teams and this game would be the unofficial battle of Canada. It was a 2-2 tie taking it to OT and that’s where the net-minder shined. “Daniel Alfredsson curled around the Canuck goal and threaded a saucer through the crease. And there was a grinning Zdeno Chara waiting at the far post. All the giant had to do was swipe it in - and he tried. But Cloutier left the entire Corel Centre gob smacked. He broke the very laws that govern our universe and stretched his left toe so far across the goal line that it's a wonder he didn't split right up to his sternum. Chara had his arms raised in triumph before he realized the puck was under Dan's pad. The Canucks never looked back. Ohlund threw a Salo rebound back into traffic at 4:13 of OT after a key face-off win by Brendan Morrison. Naslund gets credit because it banked in off his skate, but you could say Overtime Ohlund struck again.” This was Cloutier’s 100th career win.

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- It’s New Year's Eve and once again they’d face the Chicago Blackhawks. Todd Bertuzzi scored the game-winner, the goal was Bert's 11th of the year and his second power play goal in two games. With the win, the Canucks became the fastest squad in franchise history to reach 50 points, doing it in just 38 games.

- Back-to-back games and wins against the 2 teams of California. The Canucks won 3-1 vs. The Kings and 5-2 vs. The Ducks which was Vancouver's franchise record setting seventh road win in a row. But once again it was Cloutier’s victory. “He stopped 15 pucks in the first, and 18 in the second. The saves were great on their own, but more importantly, stuffed Anaheim momentum. Every time Anaheim's speed created a chance, or a Canuck defender missed a rebound, Dan was there to smack 'em back down. Take Jason Krog for example. He was all settled in Cloutier's crease and had full access to a fat Salei rebound with seven to play in the second and Vancouver up 3-0. Krog spun off Brent Sopel and slid a sure goal far post. Cloutier twisted over on his back and kicked out a pair of stacked pads to steal the goal.” Naslund ended the game by putting his 22nd of the year into an empty net. Trevor Linden had two assists against the Ducks primarily on a line with Jason King and Ruutu. He now has 800 career points.

- Cloutier could have established a career-high 18 shutouts in a season but it seems like he has no luck with certain goals disturbing his shutouts. There were many occasions where he held his shutout till the final minutes of the third…and then a fluky goal makes it past the net. Jan. 13th, 2004 was a game like the others; the Canucks won 4-1 against the Phoenix Coyotes.

- The Canucks were on a 3-game skid until the Tampa Bay Lightning came to their rescue. What proved to be one of the most exciting games of the season was in fact an OT winner by non-other than the Captain himself. The Canucks were once again down 3-1 but resurrection enlightened the arena. "Naslund not only fed line mate Todd Bertuzzi late in the third to cap the Canucks' second comeback in the game, but salvaged a dismal overtime by scoring with 20 seconds left to win it. After failing to register a single shot on a rare overtime powerplay, Bertuzzi won a draw deep in Tampa territory. Sami Salo got a point shot away that Nikolai Khabibulin bobbled to the ice allowing Naslund to shovel it home." The Canucks won 5-4, 2 goals from Nazzy, 2 from Bert and one from Linden. Ohlund recorded his 200th career NHL point while assisting to Naslund’s 600th point [with Canucks].

 

- During a 5-game winning streak the Swedes broke out to win 4-2 against St. Louis. Magnus Arvedson turned in his second two-goal performance in consecutive games and Daniel Sedin had three points in the win. Markus Naslund was the only other Canuck to score.

 

- The last day of their winning-streak the power play played a role in scoring 4 out of 6 goals resulting in a 6-1 win vs. The Capitals.

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- Feb. 5th, 2004...Trevor Linden ties Stan Syml scoring a goal that added to the Canucks' 4-0 win against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the New Jersey Devils. Both Sedins assist to each other’s goals and Morrison scored a beautiful back-hander before Linden made his mark.

 

- Feb. 16th, 2004...The game that would in fact change everything. Naslund gets run over by Steve Moore. Although the Captain was lost that didn't stop the Canucks from the win. Todd Bertuzzi barreled into the Avalanche zone and steam rolled both Karlis Skrastins and Derek Morris to the ice freeing up the puck for a suddenly wide-open Daniel, who indeed scored the only goal of the game. This game also shined on Jarkko Ruutu as he was his usual monumental self: a pest. Trevor Linden played his 897th game to become the all-time leader in games played.

 

- A 4-game unbeaten streak was one that would include another roller coaster game. Daniel Sedin joins Markus Naslund in the 4-goals list as he led the Canucks to a beautiful 4-2 win vs. The Red Wings. After Daniel opened the scoring one-timing a crafty Malik slap-pass from a near impossible angle at the side of the net 12:33 into the first, the Red Wings stormed back with consecutive power play goals. But Danny came back to tie the game…now all he needed was his hat-trick. Bert fought for the puck; he won the battle and through his legs he passed the puck to Hank. Daniel took a backhand feed from his brother at the Detroit line, stepped around 6-foot-5 defender Jiri Fischer, and driving the net, lifted the game-winner over Manny Legace's shoulder from a near impossible angle. He threw his 4th goal into an open-net.

 

-- The next game was, of course, one to remember. The Canucks haven't won vs. the Sharks in years and that was all about to change...in OT, as Brent Sopel scores with an assist from Naslund, who dressed for the first time since missing three games with a concussion.

 

--It was another Saturday night with a great performance from Johan Hedberg in a 2-0 win against St. Louis. With four seconds left to play, the Blues' Pavol Demitra was awarded a penalty shot but the Moose shot the glove and received first star honors.

 

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-- The next game was split and both teams came out with a point. The Canucks were down 2 goals 3 times during a game vs. their rivals, The Avs. Cloutier was a little shaky during the game but he also kept the score steady leading the 2 teams to a tie.

 

- Trevor Linden finally surpasses Stan Syml on the all-time Canucks points list with 674 points on March 8th, 2004 with 2 assists. It wasn't the best night for something so great to happen but it happened and that’s all that matters. This was a night to remember in so many ways: good & bad. He assisted to both Brad May’s goals; they were less than 2 minutes apart.

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- Todd Bertuzzi was suspended and Burke needed reinforcements, he brought in Martin Rucinsky, Geoff Sanderson and Marc Bergevin. On March 10th, Sanderson was the first to make fans happy as he scored late in the 3rd to tie the game against the Wild.

 

- Two days later, the reinforcements would once again rule as they win in OT. Sanderson and Danny assisted to Allen’s 2nd goal of the season before Martin Rucinsky stepped up and scored. Morrison then roofed a beauty and all things were once again tied up…it was Sanderson who prevailed. “It's ironic, that Sanderson's goal came because the Oilers finally gained the Canuck zone and applied pressure. A turnover high created the two-on-one rush finished with flair by Sanderson.” Naslund assisted to both Rucinsky’s and Sanderson’s goals, Rucinsky and Danny assisted on Morrison’s goal.

 

- Mike Keane Recorded his 300th career NHL assist, Mar. 6th, 2004 at Columbus. He assisted to rookie Tyler Bouck for the last goal of the game. The Canucks won 4-0 with Hedberg in net.

 

- Brad May Played his 800th career NHL game, Mar. 21st, 2004 vs. Columbus. May assisted to Chubarov’s goal but it wasn’t enough for the win, the Canucks lost 5-4.

- After the controversial incident on March 8th, the Canucks were on a winless streak and things were going downhill. Until March 24th, #24 himself scored a goal that would win the game and start a revelation. The Canucks shutout the Kings 1-0.

- The Canucks would be riding the rest of the season with a winning streak and quite an impressive one as well. The next game was another infamous OT win against a team that the Canucks struggled with, the Dallas Stars. With 9:38 left in the 3rd a "replacement" scores the tying goal. Sanderson would then lead the Canucks into OT and it was all up to Morrison to finish things up.

 

-- March 29th, 2004...After many games of lost goals Markus Naslund finally scores along with Jason King, who was excellent in the beginning of the season but his fame slowly came to a halt...but unlike the lost goals this player has not been lost, he will find a way. And so he did as his goal helped the Canucks to a 6-1 victory vs. the Phoenix Coyotes.

 

-- The Canucks have lost 2-1 twice against the Mighty Ducks but their luck was about to change. With only 21 seconds left on the clock Sami Salo hammered home a slapper and led the Canucks to the win. Earlier in the period it was Salo's shoulder that deflected an Anaheim goal...his goal was a way of getting them back.

 

-- Things just kept on getting better...The Canucks had their first win against the Sharks just a few weeks back after many years but tasting victory for the last few games will keep them wanting more. The Canucks won 4-1 against a team they almost couldn't win against.

 

-- The Colorado Avalanche reigned as Northwest Division Champions for 9 consecutive years, last year the Canucks could almost touch Divisional Championship but the door was shut. This year we got our revenge. The Canucks pulled off a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers for the final game of the season. The veteran, Mike Keane, scored 2 goals. They were the new Northwest Division Champions.

 

- The Play offs had quite a start. The Canucks came into the game with the ugliest power play but they proved the numbers wrong. 4 out of the 5 goals scored were on the power play, including one goal during a one-man advantage. The game had a quick start for the boys as Rucinsky deflected a Jovo slap within 2:34 of the first period and the first power play of the night; Salo handed in one of his slappers before the Flames tied things up in the second. But the Canucks would come right back, Hank would get credit for a goal that bounced off Flames defensemen Jordan Leopold. The 4th goal was on the rush as Morrison passed the puck to the charging Ohlund and the puck bolted its way past Kiprusoff. The last goal of the night [for the Canucks] was the one that proved to be the most beautiful. Since patience rewards its holder, Morrison scored his 3rd point of the night. "Morrison picked up a powerplay rebound off the crease and put Kiprusoff on his pants with a nifty deke at 5:26 before tucking his first of the series just inside the post." The site of Morrison on his belly with his hands up in the air showed what kind of goals goal-scorers can score. The Canucks won game one 5-3.

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- The Canucks would struggle without Bertuzzi & Cloutier, who was injured early in game 3...so the Flames took the 3-2 series lead winning game 2: 2-1, game 4: 4-0 and game 5: 2-1...the Canucks needed game 6 heroics. The game started so good that there was no chance of the Flames winning but the Canucks blew their 4-0 lead and yes...the game would be decided in OT. Alex Auld proved to be one great contender, although the lead was shot down it was hard to prevent the goals that came through...they were all deflections. Despite the worried feeling in all their hearts Auld was calmer than anyone else in the arena. Now that the Flames revived themselves on home-ice there was a feeling that they would win this game...but this series was nothing but unpredictable. It was the longest OT game ever experienced by the Canucks...and someone had enough. The 3rd OT ended when Morrison silenced the crowds of Calgary and raised hell in Vancouver...Game Seven was coming home.

 

- This game, this team has been so controversial and it will be that way for seasons to come. It's 1-1 and an unlikely incident occurred. Matt Cooke, who had the Canucks' only goal, was charged for high-sticking...BUT it wasn't his stick that did the damage. He was sandwiched by 2 Flames men and one of them raised his stick which then lead Cooke to accidentally hit the other Flame...things were getting chaotic. The Flames scored on the power play and the score was 2-1. With 27 seconds left in the 3rd the refs were as crazy as ever...this time it was Jovo who took the blame. The game continued although there were many hearts crying out for a miracle, many fans were ready to leave the game. Cooke was about to make up for the refs' mistake...The net was open, Iginla had the puck...he shot it wide...debris landed on the ice...Ohlund took the loose puck and passed it to his Captain...Iginla trips over his own stick, he wants a penalty...game continues...Naslund drives to the net...stopped by Kipprusoff but the man chosen to pick up after Bertuzzi and join the Big Line...SCORES at 5.7 seconds left in the game. Jovanovski, still in the penalty box, goes crazy...he was overcome with happiness...the whole room was filled with life...the Canucks have come back...but that doesn't mean they'd win. Once again an unpredictable & chaotic series was unpredictable & chaotic. Jovo was still in the box for no such reason...the Flames win the game in OT. Unpredictable & Chaotic. A night with one too many thoughts.

 

+Games end, nights fade into the abyss, another season will begin...new faces will shine in Vancouver's brilliance, the old will be remembered and respected...the day will come. But you can’t help wonder why their time has yet to disembark…days are building up so high that when their night finally arrives everything will collapse down upon us and make us realize that maybe all those years of waiting meant one night that would astound us all. I'm awaiting to finally see 'those' smiles on their faces...

   CAPTURED MOMENTS OF THE YEAR
 Click the pics for a larger image

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