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‘It was a relief to join such a great team’: Maxim Lapierre talks 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks season

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Jagraj Lalli
1 month ago
Former Vancouver Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre recently hopped on the Sekeres and Price show for a discussion about his career and what being a part of the 2011 team meant to him.
The fan favourite shared insights into the team’s journey, highlighting the challenges, triumphs, and moments that defined their quest for the Stanley Cup. “It truly was the best time of my life,” Lapierre said. 
Lapierre now hosts a French-language hockey podcast called La Poche Bleue. Reflecting on his transition from player to media personality after retirement, Lapierre expressed gratitude for finding a new passion beyond hockey.
“It’s pretty tough when you’re done playing, trying to find your next thing. I was fortunate; the pandemic sort of nudged me out of the hockey world as a player and into the realm of media,” Lapierre said. “I started a podcast with Guillaume Latendresse, my old teammate, and it just took off from there. We’re having a blast with it, discussing hockey and reminiscing about the good times in our careers. I guess this is the dream after retirement for me.”
Lapierre also recalled the pivotal moment when he was traded to the Canucks during the 2010-11 season. 
“That was the best time of my life. It was really tough at the beginning of that year when I got traded from the Canadiens to the Anaheim Ducks. I didn’t feel at home in Anaheim. But then, when Alain Vigneault, my old junior coach, gave me the call, it felt unreal. It was a relief to join such a great team and organization. The teammates were phenomenal. I still remember my first meeting with AV — he told me, ‘Listen, you’ve got Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Manny Malhotra—I don’t even know if I’ll have ice time for you. So you’ll need to show me a little something.’ At the start, I didn’t have much, but once we got into the playoffs, I think I found my role within the team.”
Recalling his unforgettable goal in Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Lapierre revealed the intense pressure he felt as a fourth-liner. He described the overwhelming emotions that followed, including the immense support from fans and the surreal atmosphere in Vancouver.
“First off, the stress of that game, when it’s 2-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals? It’s nerve-wracking. It’s really tough. I remember struggling to sleep in the afternoon. It was a different feeling altogether. And as a fourth-liner, you’re not going into the game thinking you’re going to score a big goal. You just want to do your little job, play well defensively, be physical, and then you’ll be satisfied with your contribution for the night.
“Then, I scored that goal in the third period, and I remember just praying on the bench, thinking, ‘There’s no way it’s going to go down like this. I’m not going to be the guy to score the lone goal in a 1-0 game.’ Obviously, the team played exceptionally well. But afterward, I was in shock because my dad was living with me during the finals in Vancouver, and a lot of friends were around all the time. We decided to go out for dinner afterward, and it was crazy. I basically needed a bodyguard to go to the restroom. People were outside the window cheering, knocking on the glass, telling me it was the biggest goal in Canucks history and that if we won the cup, I’d get a bronze statue. It was overwhelming, to be honest, with so much emotion. Despite not winning, that moment will always be special to me. I made some incredible friends, and it truly was the best time of my life.”
Talking about the team’s travel schedule during the playoffs, Lapierre highlighted the bonding experience that occurred during extended road trips.
“Playing in Vancouver, we all know there’s a lot of traveling involved, but at the same time, I think that’s what made our group special. Spending so much time on the road and on planes allowed us to bond and build team chemistry. Especially during the playoffs, having that time to rest on the road and focus solely on hockey was invaluable. Sure, you get tired, but most of the time, you’re not really thinking about it.
“The finals were a bit different, facing Boston that year. But overall, the grind on the ice is tougher than traveling. I’d say our biggest challenge that year was facing Chicago in the first round. Mentally, it was tough for Vancouver to beat them, but something clicked after Burrows’ special goal, and we knew we were ready to go all the way. Looking at the playoffs now, it reminds me that there’s nothing easy. Sure, people might underestimate teams like the Nashville Predators, but they’re a really good hockey team, and they came into the playoffs confident. Whether you win in six or seven games, the important thing is winning the series. There’s no room for disappointment as long as you come out on top in the end. They’re a great team, they compete, they battle, and ultimately, winning is what matters most.”
Lapierre also emphasized the difficulty of securing the fourth win in a playoff series, citing adaptability as a key factor in achieving success.
“The toughest thing to do is to secure that fourth win, especially in a playoff series. The teams that succeed are the ones that can adjust quickly, whether it’s the coaching staff adapting strategies or the players making necessary changes on the ice. You need to be smart enough to realize that what worked during the regular season might not work in the playoffs. Take Toronto, for example; it felt like it took them a bit too long to put Woll in the net. They struggled with Samsonov, who had been in the minors and then returned. So, for me, their goaltending situation wasn’t stable. Adaptability is key in playoff hockey.”
Watch the full interview below:

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