Kevin Bieksa has provided his fair share of highlights over the years. From his days of a feared middleweight fighter, to his goal that sent the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final back in 2011, to his foray into glove tossing this past season, the man known as “Juice” is an integral part of the Canucks, both on and off of the ice. He and Dan Hamhuis form one of the best two-way defensive pairings in the entire league.
In 2011-12, Bieksa set a career high with 44 points in 78 games. The Grimsby, Ontario native now has three NHL seasons of 40 or more points. Even with a career year offensively, his play in 2011-12 could be best described as inconsistent, as his defensive game was a bit of an adventure at times.
One of those times was in early February in Colorado. He struggled mightily against the Avalanche that night, turning the puck over numerous times. However, just like Lloyd in Dumb & Dumber, Bieksa went ahead and totally redeemed himself at the end of the game.
The Canucks pulled Roberto Luongo late in the third period for the extra attacker, and Colorado looked to seal the game late. Bieksa had other ideas. The save (and the goal) from February 4th, 2012:
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Bieksa does what Roberto Luongo never could – make a save while lying on his stomach (I’ll be here all night).
After making the save, Bieksa now leads the rush up the ice. He has several passing options, including Cody Hodgson and Mason Raymond. Well, maybe just Hodgson… He chooses to dump it in.
Bieksa’s friend, Mr. Stanchion, makes a return here and delivers a perfect pass right onto his stick. Since Colorado was overplaying along the boards, Bieksa has all the time in the world to carry the puck into the middle of the ice.
[Insert lame diving joke here]
Bieksa makes a great play by dragging the puck in a bit to change the angle. David Booth (who sets a terrific screen here) is the one getting shot at, for once.
Bieksa finishes off with a fist pump that Danny Briere would be proud of. A great save and a timely goal, all within the span of less than a minute. The last player to do that was probably Martin Brodeur.