When the Canucks don their black skate jersey tonight against the Maple Leafs for the first time in almost 20 years the first thing that comes to mind for me is the 1994 playoffs. The second thing that comes to my mind is that I loved that jersey..both the home white version but especially the road black version. It's just so badass.
And speaking of badass, the 1994 Canucks were just that. They not only had skill players like Pavel Bure, Geoff Courtnall, Cliff Ronning and Jyrki Lumme. Most of that team was big and hardcore. The 1994 team had the super mix of both factors, along with the best goaltending performance in Canucks' playoff history and of course, the almighty heriocs of Trevor Linden, Mr. Game 7. I'm just going to provide a few Youtube clips to not only break the hearts of fans that are old enough to remember to feel the pain and joys of that run, but also as a bit of an education to the young punks who weren't old enough to experience that run. If you are anywhere from 0 to 27(ish) years old you likely can't appreciate what that team accomplished.
The first video clip is a compilation from Don Cherry's Rock 'Em Sock 'Em series, so, mostly violence (yay!) and goals and saves. Check this out:
What beautiful hockey. Count how many of those plays would be penalties and suspensions in today's NHL. Unreal. One of the best Stanley Cup Finals in NHL history and in my opinion no Finals since then have matched the entertainment level of 1994.
Since tonight is Canucks vs Leafs, allow me to provide a few more video clips of the Canucks-Leafs semi-finals series of 1994. It was the only time the Leafs have been that far in the playoffs since 1967. It was a war.
The great Greg Adams killed the Leafs in game 5 in the second overtime in the Pacific Coliseum:
No disrespect to John Shorthouse but I sure miss Jim Robson sometimes. Well done, Jim! What a call!
On to more video:
Pavel Bure scores his 11th goal of the playoffs...holy hell:
I believe this was game 3 of the Canucks-Leafs series...after Tim Hunter smokes Doug Gilmour a brawl breaks out:
Was that not entertaining? Hell yea it was! I think every fan in the stands was standing up. Anyway, that series ended in 5 games but was a lot closer than it seemed...but Captain Kirk was a stone wall.
My fave 1994 moment was Kirk McLean's save on Roberts in Game 7 OT round 1:
I also really loved this moment, that really topped off an insane 52-save performance from McLean in Game 1 of the Finals:
Woo! There were may crappy moments for the Canucks when they wore the skate jersey, but 1994 was gold, especially if you were old enough to watch it and appreciate/mourn it.
Is the skate jersey the best in Canucks' history? Let's go to a poll.