April 10 2011 11:30PM
Will History Be Made? For much of this season, it already has.
The Vancouver Canucks ended their season on Saturday night with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames. That win put a cap on a spectacular season for the Canucks, a season filled with firsts and bests.
It is truly remarkable how many ways this year's edition of the Canucks set the tone for the franchise for its first forty years and for the 2010-2011 edition of the NHL.
It was quite an amazing year for the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks. It is legitimately the first year where Canucks media and fans feel that their team is a favourite to win the Stanley Cup. The team has depth, scoring power, a strong defense and rock-soild goaltending. How deep was the Canucks defense? They finally played their top six defensemen together for the first time in game #82... and they still led the league in goals-against. Whenever the team hit a minor stumble, the trip was only temporary and they recovered quickly and kept themselves moving onward and upward. They climbed up the standings and up the statistical categories. If not for a late season blip in their PK, the Vancouver Canucks would have been the first expension-era team to finish the season by leading in Goals-For, Goals-Against, Power Play % and Penalty Killing %. It almost feels a little too odd to be real. But face it, the Canucks have been just that good all season long.
A lot of Canucks fans feel that this may just be the year that their team finally captures ultimate hockey glory. Why? Well, based on the fact that they have set franchise records and led the league in so many different categories. Let's look first at the new franchise marks that the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks set this year.
This year marked the first time that the Vancouver Canucks:
- Won the President's Trophy (best regular season record in the NHL)
- Led the Western Conference standings
- Won 50 or more games
- Led the league in Goals Against
- Led the league in goal differential
- Led the league in Power Play %
- Led the league in faceoff %
- Won the Jennings Trophy for best goaltending stats
- Won the Art Ross Trophy in consecutive years
This year, the Canucks were ranked first in the league in:
- Points Percentage
- Regulation Losses
- Total PP% and Road PP%, along with total PPG and 5-on-4 goals.
- Home PK%
- Goals-For, along with GF in 3rd Pd.
- Goals-Against, along with GA in 1st Pd.
- 5-on-5 GF/GA
- Winning % when outshot
- # wins when leading after 1st period, and after 2nd period
- # wins when scoring first, and least # of losses when scoring first
- Least # losses when trailing after 1st, and after 2nd period
Yes, Canucks fans. Your team is good. VERY good. And this IS the best edition of the Canucks that you've ever seen. But none of it matters, does it?
None of it matters until the Canucks finish the season with one more "first". There are 16 teams left fighting. And for 15 of them, the season will end in a loss. But for one, the season will end in victory and with the ultimate prize in their hands. And the legion of Canucks fans are hoping that this is the year that their team becomes the last team with a victory.