Top 10 Moments of 2006-07 - Part 1
Here's part one of a countdown of the top ten moments from the 06-07 season.
10. THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA
It's hard to pinpoint an exact moment for this one. Maybe it was the day Canucks GM Dave Nonis announced his acquisition, on the eve of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver.
Or maybe it was the press conference media storm at General Motors Place to announce the trade.
But for most Canuck fans, the dawning of the new era was officially ushered in on October 5th, 2006, at the Joe Louis Arena, when Roberto Luongo recorded his first official start in a Canucks uniform.
Facing the offensively-gifted Detroit Red Wings, Luongo recorded 27 saves in a 3-1 victory, many of them spectacular, including a point-blank save off Henrik Zetterberg in the slot; a save which would remain part of many Canuck highlight reel packages for the rest of the season.
Little did Canuck fans know at the time that the new guy in net would go on to set a new club record for wins in a single season, be voted an NHL All-Star, and be nominated for three major NHL awards by season's end.
9. TWINS SPILL OIL
If laying the boots to a divisional rival is one of the sweet joys of hockey, then having a career game while doing it is surely icing on the cake. But then what do you call it when your twin brother does exactly the same thing? That must be the cherry on top.
The Canucks went three-for-three on that checklist on February 6th as they rolled into Rexall Place to face the Edmonton Oilers. With the game tied 2-2 at the midway mark, the Canucks took over scoring three unanswered goals for a 5-2 victory.
Both Daniel and Henrik factored in on every goal - all against Dwayne Roloson. Daniel Sedin added another point on an unassisted empty netter.
Daniel's five points (3-2-5) and Henrik's four assist marked personal highs for the two respective players. It was also Daniel's 2nd career hat-trick and marked the only hat-trick by a Canuck in 06-07.
8. AN ALMOST ALL-STAR: THE RORY STORY
One of the most unique stories of the 2006-07 centered on one of the most unheralded Canucks. Rory Fitzpatrick, who entered the season with nine goals in 210 career NHL games, found himself among the top of NHL All-Star fan voting along with the likes of Nik Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer, and Chris Pronger.
Thanks to a campaign started by 22-year old Steve Schmid's through his voteforrory.com website, the 32-year old journeyman found himself a media darling in some corners, and the subject of much criticism in others. Still, the veteran took it all in stride soaking up his 15 minutes.
"It's kind of funny actually, there's no other way to comment on it, I guess. I'll just have fun with it and all the guys are having fun with it as you can see so just enjoy it and see what happens," said Fitzpatrick two weeks into the campaign.
Fitzpatrick would reach as high as second place for Western Conference defencemen in votes, which would have garnered a starting spot at the All-Star Game, but fell to third place by the time voting finished. Still, he finished with 550,177 votes; an NHL record for write-in votes.
7. OH CANADA!
Making their one and only road swing of the season through Eastern Canada - their last for the next three years - the Canucks left what was surely a lasting impression.
The road trip kicked off with a 6-1 shellacking of the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 13th on Hockey Day in Canada. They scored five of their six goals with the man advantage, including five unanswered goals, and set a new record for fastest two power play goals (13 seconds apart by Trevor Linden and Taylor Pyatt).
The Canucks had two days off before meeting the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The time off proved more eventful than they had hoped. The day after their win in Toronto, Roberto Luongo took a puck off the throat in practice and spent the night in hospital. Undaunted, Luongo bounced back making 30 saves for his third shutout of the season. Former Hab Jan Bulis made a triumphant return to Montreal notching a goal and an assist.
The Canucks wrapped up their Eastern Canadian excursion with a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Roberto Luongo once again came up huge making 34 saves while almost All-Star Rory Fitzpatrick scored the game-winning goal. The win marked Vancouver's 10th in 11 games.
If there was one common theme during their sweep of Eastern Canada it was Luongo, a fact pointed out by Fitzpatrick following the game in Ottawa.
"[Luongo's] been spectacular this whole road trip," said Fitzpatrick. "Obviously the other night in Montreal with the shut-out and even in Toronto, he's the best penalty killer we have and he showed it in the third."
6. A BRA-BARIAN IS BORN
Cast off by the Los Angeles Kings in late December, Jeff Cowan was an unheralded plugger when Dave Nonis plucked him off the waiver wire. By mid-March, he had become a cult hero in Canuckland.
After going pointless in his first 23 games as a Canuck, Jeff Cowan began his torrid scoring stretch on March 1st, picking up his first goal of the season against the Phoenix Coyotes.
He doubled his output the following game on March 4th picking up two goals in a victory over the Minnesota Wild, but it was during the game on March 6th against the Tampa Bay Lightning that Cowan attained his mystical status with Canuck fans.
Cowan picked up his second two-goal game in as many outings prompting one fan to show her support for Cowan, literally, by tossing a bra onto the ice. And thus, the legend of the Bra-Barian was born.
And for those wondering whatever happened to that fateful piece of undergarment, you'll have to ask the Bra-Barian.