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<< 1980-81

1982-83 >>

1981-82 Results

After eleven seasons in the NHL, nothing quite prepared the fans of the Vancouver Canucks for the twelfth edition of the team. The regular season was nothing special -- three games below .500 -- but the conclusion of the season is the stuff of legends. It began with a game in Quebec where several players and coach Harry Neale got into an altercation with fans behind the bench. There were two significant results. The first was that the players came together as a team, working together with an "us against the world" attitude. The second result was a ten game suspension to coach Harry Neale. Roger Neilson took over behind the bench with five games to go in the regular season. When asked if he would return to the bench if the Canucks made it past the first round, Harry Neale basically stated that if Neilson could lead the Canucks to a playoff series victory for the first time in team history, Neale wasn't going change a thing.

Neilson led the Canucks to a 4-0-1 record in the final five games of the season. On opening night of the playoffs against Calgary, Stan Smyl scored just eight seconds into the game. Moments later Curt Fraser rocked Flame Willi Plett in a fight and the momentum was all Vancouver's. Not only did the Canucks make it past the first round, but they did it decisively, sweeping the Flames in three games. When the Los Angeles Kings pulled the biggest upset of the playoffs (knocking out the Edmonton Oilers), they met the Canucks in the second round. The Kings were no match for the Canucks, as Vancouver took the series in five games. In the Campbell Conference Finals, the Canucks met the Chicago Black Hawks.

After winning the first game in double overtime, the Canucks lost a penalty filled second game in Chicago. During that game, Roger Neilson was so incensed by the refereeing that he held up a white towel on the end of a stick in mock surrender. Towel power was born. By the time the Canucks returned to Vancouver, the white towel became the rallying symbol for Canuck fans. The Canucks finished off the Hawks in five games. In the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time, the Canucks faced the powerful New York Islanders who were looking for their third straight cup. The Canucks performed admirably, but wound up losing in four games. Still, it was the most enjoyable spring Canuck fans had ever had.


Regular Season

 DATE  H/A OPPOSITION   SCORE OT GP  W  L  T  GF  GA PTS  AVG        HISTORICAL NOTES      
OCT  6  H  COLORADO     4-2 W     1  1  0  0   4   2   2 1.000 First NHL goal for Lars Molin  
OCT  8  A  CALGARY      1-1 T     2  1  0  1   5   3   3 0.750 Boldirev gets the tying goal   
OCT  9  H  EDMONTON     6-2 W     3  2  0  1  11   5   5 0.833 Gradin records the hat trick   
OCT 11  A  BUFFALO      2-2 T     4  2  0  2  13   7   6 0.750 McCarthy assists both goals    
OCT 14  A  NY RANGERS   1-2 L     5  2  1  2  14   9   6 0.600 MacDonald scores lone goal     
OCT 15  A  NY ISLANDERS 1-4 L     6  2  2  2  15  13   6 0.500 Islanders up 3-0 after first   
OCT 17  A  MONTREAL     4-10L     7  2  3  2  19  23   6 0.429 Fraser in on three of the goals
OCT 19  A  QUEBEC       3-6 L     8  2  4  2  22  29   6 0.375 Fraser has a two point game    
OCT 23  H  HARTFORD     2-2 T     9  2  4  3  24  31   7 0.389 Braser scores twice in first   
OCT 25  H  PITTSBURGH   4-6 L    10  2  5  3  28  37   7 0.350 Gradin nets a pair of goals    
OCT 28  H  WASHINGTON   3-0 W    11  3  5  3  31  37   9 0.409 Brodeur makes 34 saves         
OCT 31  A  PHILADELPHIA 8-4 W    12  4  5  3  39  41  11 0.458 Smyl scores three, two assists 
NOV  1  A  DETROIT      1-3 L    13  4  6  3  40  44  11 0.423 Gradin scores lone Canuck goal 
NOV  4  A  HARTFORD     4-1 W    14  5  6  3  44  45  13 0.464 MacDonald scores pair in first 
NOV  5  A  BOSTON       1-2 L    15  5  7  3  45  47  13 0.433 Smyl scores lone marker        
NOV  8  H  WINNIPEG     5-1 W    16  6  7  3  50  48  15 0.469 Gradin gets the hat trick      
NOV 11  H  QUEBEC       6-5 W    17  7  7  3  56  53  17 0.500 Brasar has a four point night  
NOV 14  H  MONTREAL     1-4 L    18  7  8  3  57  57  17 0.472 Boldirev scores only goal      
NOV 15  A  CALGARY      7-4 W    19  8  8  3  64  61  19 0.500 Boldirev 3 goals, 2 assists    
NOV 19  H  DETROIT      8-3 W    20  9  8  3  72  64  21 0.525 Snepsts plays in 500th game    
NOV 21  A  EDMONTON     3-8 L    21  9  9  3  75  72  21 0.500 Canucks down 4-0 after first   
NOV 22  H  COLORADO     5-5 T    22  9  9  4  80  77  22 0.500 Bubla scores first NHL goal    
NOV 25  H  CHICAGO      6-2 W    23 10  9  4  86  79  24 0.522 Williams has a three point game
NOV 27  A  COLORADO     6-3 W    24 11  9  4  92  82  26 0.542 Hlinka records three points    
NOV 28  A  LOS ANGELES  2-3 L    25 11 10  4  94  85  26 0.520 Williams, Fraser score         
DEC  2  H  MINNESOTA    5-0 W    26 12 10  4  99  85  28 0.538 Hanlon shutout, Bubla injured  
DEC  4  A  EDMONTON     3-7 L    27 12 11  4 102  92  28 0.519 Canucks up 2-1 after first     
DEC  5  H  EDMONTON     3-3 T    28 12 11  5 105  95  29 0.518 Canucks down 3-1 in third      
DEC  9  H  NY ISLANDERS 4-3 W    29 13 11  5 109  98  31 0.534 Boldirev scores twice          
DEC 12  A  LOS ANGELES  5-7 L    30 13 12  5 114 105  31 0.517 King Turnbull scores four goals
DEC 13  H  CALGARY      6-7 L    31 13 13  5 120 112  31 0.500 Boldirev records four points   
DEC 16  H  TORONTO      6-6 T    32 13 13  6 126 118  32 0.500 McCarthy has a three point game
DEC 18  A  COLORADO     1-3 L    33 13 14  6 127 121  32 0.485 First NHL goal for Edlebrink   
DEC 19  A  ST. LOUIS    0-5 L    34 13 15  6 127 126  32 0.471 Blue Liut gets the shutout     
DEC 22  H  MINNESOTA    4-4 T    35 13 15  7 131 130  33 0.471 Hlinka gets two points in third
DEC 23  A  EDMONTON     1-6 L    36 13 16  7 132 136  33 0.458 MacDonald gets lone goal       
DEC 26  H  LOS ANGELES  2-2 T    37 13 16  8 134 138  34 0.459 Brodeur gets tie and assist    
DEC 29  H  BOSTON       3-5 L    38 13 17  8 137 143  34 0.447 Delorme opens the scoring      
DEC 31  H  EDMONTON     3-1 W    39 14 17  8 140 144  36 0.462 Gradin gets two points in first
JAN  2  A  WASHINGTON   2-5 L    40 14 18  8 142 149  36 0.450 Hlinka, Smyl score             
JAN  4  A  NY ISLANDERS 1-4 L    41 14 19  8 143 153  36 0.439 Fraser scores lone marker      
JAN  7  A  NY RANGERS   1-4 L    42 14 20  8 144 157  36 0.429 Halward scores lone goal       
JAN  9  A  PITTSBURGH   3-4 L    43 14 21  8 147 161  36 0.419 Smyl scores twice in first     
JAN 10  A  CHICAGO      2-3 L    44 14 22  8 149 164  36 0.409 Brodeur stops a penalty shot   
JAN 13  H  CALGARY      5-1 W    45 15 22  8 154 165  38 0.422 Gradin two points in second    
JAN 15  H  LOS ANGELES  3-3 T    46 15 22  9 157 168  39 0.424 Brodeur faces 30 shots         
JAN 17  H  PITTSBURGH   3-3 T    47 15 22 10 160 171  40 0.426 Canucks up 3-1 in third        
JAN 19  H  ST. LOUIS    4-5 L    48 15 23 10 164 176  40 0.417 First NHL goal for Crawford    
JAN 22  H  EDMONTON     3-4 L    49 15 24 10 167 180  40 0.408 Hlinka in on all three goals   
JAN 24  H  LOS ANGELES  5-5 T    50 15 24 11 172 185  41 0.410 Canucks down 3-0 in first      
JAN 27  H  BUFFALO      4-3 W    51 16 24 11 176 188  43 0.422 Smyl scores natural hat trick  
JAN 30  H  PHILADELPHIA 4-2 W    52 17 24 11 180 190  45 0.433 Boldirev records three assists 
FEB  2  H  NY RANGERS   3-4 L    53 17 25 11 183 194  45 0.425 Canucks trail 3-0 after second 
FEB  3  H  TORONTO      3-1 W    54 18 25 11 186 195  47 0.435 Williams scores on his birthday
FEB  6  A  LOS ANGELES  4-5 L    55 18 26 11 190 200  47 0.427 Hlinka scores a pair of goals  
FEB 10  A  TORONTO      4-1 W    56 19 26 11 194 201  49 0.438 First NHL goal for Neil Belland
FEB 11  A  DETROIT      4-4 T    57 19 26 12 198 205  50 0.439 Two penalty shot goals in third
FEB 13  A  ST. LOUIS    3-2 W    58 20 26 12 201 207  52 0.448 Smyl has a two point effort    
FEB 15  A  CHICAGO      4-1 W    59 21 26 12 205 208  54 0.458 Brodeur makes 42 saves         
FEB 17  H  BOSTON       6-3 W    60 22 26 12 211 211  56 0.467 First NHL goal for Moe Lemay   
FEB 20  H  HARTFORD     4-2 W    61 23 26 12 215 213  58 0.475 Lindgren gets three assists    
FEB 23  H  CALGARY      2-2 T    62 23 26 13 217 215  59 0.476 Lupul scores tying goal        
FEB 25  A  CALGARY      4-11L    63 23 27 13 221 226  59 0.468 Gradin scores his 100th goal   
FEB 26  A  COLORADO     4-3 W    64 24 27 13 225 229  61 0.477 Boldirev gets eventual winner  
FEB 28  H  PHILADELPHIA 3-3 T    65 24 27 14 228 232  62 0.477 Belland records three assists  
MAR  3  A  COLORADO     2-3 L    66 24 28 14 230 235  62 0.470 Lindgren, Smyl score           
MAR  6  A  MINNESOTA    1-3 L    67 24 29 14 231 238  62 0.463 Crawford tallies lone marker   
MAR  7  A  WINNIPEG     2-5 L    68 24 30 14 233 243  62 0.456 Smyl scores his 100th goal     
MAR 10  H  BUFFALO      4-7 L    69 24 31 14 237 250  62 0.449 Gradin in on all four goals    
MAR 11  A  CALGARY      3-6 L    70 24 32 14 240 256  62 0.443 Currie scores first as Canuck  
MAR 13  A  EDMONTON     3-5 L    71 24 33 14 243 261  62 0.437 Rick Heinz makes Canuck debut  
MAR 17  A  WASHINGTON   6-6 T    72 24 33 15 249 267  63 0.438 Williams two goals, one assist 
MAR 18  A  MONTREAL     4-2 W    73 25 33 15 253 269  65 0.445 Darcy Rota gets the hat trick  
MAR 20  A  QUEBEC       3-3 T    74 25 33 16 256 272  66 0.446 Canucks brawl with spectators  
MAR 24  H  COLORADO     5-4 W    75 26 33 16 261 276  68 0.453 Neale suspended for ten games  
MAR 27  H  CALGARY      7-2 W    76 27 33 16 268 278  70 0.461 Neilson takes over as coach    
MAR 28  H  WINNIPEG     5-0 W    77 28 33 16 273 278  72 0.468 Heinz gets the shutout         
MAR 31  H  COLORADO     4-4 T    78 28 33 17 277 282  73 0.468 Final game against the Rockies 
APR  3  A  LOS ANGELES  6-0 W    79 29 33 17 283 282  75 0.475 Brodeur stops all 23 shots     
APR  4  H  LOS ANGELES  7-4 W    80 30 33 17 290 286  77 0.481 Crawford records three points  

                            Canucks finish second in Smythe Division               

Playoffs

 DATE  H/A OPPOSITION   SCORE OT GP  W  L  T  GF  GA PTS  AVG        HISTORICAL NOTES  
APR  7  H  CALGARY      5-3 W     1  1  0  0   5   3   2 1.000 Smyl scores at 0:08 of first   
APR  8  H  CALGARY      2-1 W OT  2  2  0  0   7   4   4 1.000 Williams scores overtime winner
APR 10  A  CALGARY      3-1 W     3  3  0  0  10   5   6 1.000 Gradin scores twice            
                       VANCOUVER WINS BEST OF FIVE SERIES THREE GAMES TO NONE                 

APR 15  H  LOS ANGELES  3-2 W     4  4  0  0  13   7   8 1.000 Hlinka scores a pair in second 
APR 16  H  LOS ANGELES  2-3 L OT  5  4  1  0  15  10   8 0.800 Steve Bozek scores in overtime 
APR 18  A  LOS ANGELES  4-3 W OT  6  5  1  0  19  13  10 0.833 Campbell scores in first and OT
APR 19  A  LOS ANGELES  5-4 W     7  6  1  0  24  17  12 0.857 Brodeur outshot 37-16          
APR 21  H  LOS ANGELES  5-2 W     8  7  1  0  29  19  14 0.875 Canucks first Smythe Champs    
                       VANCOUVER WINS BEST OF SEVEN SERIES FOUR GAMES TO ONE                  

APR 27  A  CHICAGO      2-1 W OT  9  8  1  0  31  20  16 0.889 Nill ends longest Canuck game  
APR 29  A  CHICAGO      1-4 L    10  8  2  0  32  24  16 0.800 Neilson surrenders to Myers    
MAY  1  H  CHICAGO      4-3 W    11  9  2  0  36  27  18 0.818 Towel power works at Coliseum  
MAY  4  H  CHICAGO      5-3 W    12 10  2  0  41  30  20 0.833 Boldirev scores a pair of goals
MAY  6  A  CHICAGO      6-2 W    13 11  2  0  47  32  22 0.846 Lindgren records three assists 
                       VANCOUVER WINS BEST OF SEVEN SERIES FOUR GAMES TO ONE                  

MAY  8  A  NY ISLANDERS 5-6 L OT 14 11  3  0  52  38  22 0.786 Bossy gets hat trick, OT winner
MAY 11  A  NY ISLANDERS 4-6 L    15 11  4  0  56  44  22 0.733 Canucks up 3-2 after second    
MAY 13  H  NY ISLANDERS 0-3 L    16 11  5  0  56  47  22 0.688 First Finals game at Coliseum  
MAY 16  H  NY ISLANDERS 1-3 L    17 11  6  0  57  50  22 0.647 Smyl scores lone marker        
                       New York Islanders win Stanley Cup four games to none        

Content copyright 2001-2010 David Marchak
This page last updated June 11, 2016