The win, elevating the team to the final stage of the NHL competition for the first time since 1994, wasn’t without its nail-biting moments for Canucks fans, however. With only a minute to go in regulation time, Vancouver were facing a 2-1 loss after great goals by the Sharks’ Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi. It came down to a 6-man push on San Jose’s goal and an eventual deflection goal by Kesler with a mere 13 seconds left on the clock, to force the game to extra time.
The Sharks, led by courageous captain Joe Thornton who, as it was revealed, played through game 5 with a separated shoulder suffered during game 4 of the playoff series, put up a hell of a fight in the extra periods, throwing everything they had at the Canucks. In the end, however, it took a Herculean effort from the Canucks goalie, Roberto Luongo, who amassed 54 saves for the night and allowed his team mates to battle on for the eventual win at the other end of the ice.
As expected, thousands of jubilent fans spilled out of Rogers Arena and onto Granville Street in downtown Vancouver for the biggest street party experienced since the triumphant 2010 Winter Olympics campaign by Team Canada.
It’s after seeing the photos and video captured of the party, including the shot above taken by Maurice Li and this awesome 360 degree panorama, that I am now longing to be back in the Great White North… but I guess I’ll just have to do my best as a passionate supporter of the team from down here in Oz!
We’ve no idea at this point who the Canuck’s opponents will be in the Stanley Cup Finals (Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning), but to be honest it doesn’t really matter. There’s a belief in the team, the city and fans around the world that this is the year the cup will be heading to Vancouver! I personally can’t wait for the finals to begin!
GO CANUCKS, GO!
Show your colours:
In a bid to have the social networks of the world flooded with green and blue, I urge ALL Canucks fans to update your Twitter, Facebook and other social profile pictures with something that screams your support for the team.
To help you out, I’ve put together a selection of images which you can download and use for your profiles.