canucks and flames

I will tell you this right now, whether you are a Canucks fan or not, this will be the best series of the first round on the NHL playoffs. Without question.

The last 3 Canucks and Flames series have all had this in common: they’ve all taken in the 1st rd, all gone to game 7, all ended in OT and the winning team went to the Stanley Cup Finals.  A trip down memory lane perhaps?

1989: an underdog Canucks group led by Stan Smyl and some rookie named Linden pushed the Cup favorite Flames to overtime in the 7th game. A controversial finish with Joel Otto in front for Calgary, my Dad still insists this goal was kicked in. I insist that the shelf he tore down after the goal went in looked better on the wall where it was.

1994: The Canucks have a mediocre regular season and slip into 7th spot in the Western Conference to face the 2nd place Calgary Flames. The Canucks win game 1 but then drop the next 3. On the brink of elimination the Canucks stage a comeback. Geoff Courtnall scored in OT in game 5. The that Linden guy showed up again:

Game 7 was a wild back and forth affair. Double OT was required and the Russian Rocket scored what most consider the greatest goal in Canucks history. Try and see if you can pinpoint the moment Canucks broadcaster Tom Larscheid hits his head on the roof of the broadcast gondola at the Saddledome:

2004: It would be 10 years before the Canucks and Flames faced again in the playoffs and they would do so under strange circumstances. The Vancouver Canucks finished 3rd in the West in 03-04 but headed into the playoffs without Todd Bertuzzi who took out his frustrations on Steve Moore. In game 2 of the series Canucks goaltender Dan Cloutier went down with an injury, replaced by Johan Hedberg…who was then replaced by Alex Auld. Brendan Morrison’s triple OT winner in game 6 in Calgary set up a game 7 back in Vancouver where a former Canuck played the hero:

So whether you love OT winners, game 7 drama, or line brawls:

This series will be epic.

I’m coming back on Monday with a full breakdown of all 8 series including predictions. I’ll give you just 1 for now; Vancouver in 7. Feel like we might need some OT too