October 30, 2013

1994 Vancouver Canucks: Greg Adams! Greg Adams!

The following is an excerpt from my unreleased book: Remembering The 1994 Vancouver Canucks. Please see below for the full table of contents.

I still do not know who I was happier for – Greg Adams or Jim Robson.

Adams, of course, scored the overtime series winning goal against Toronto. With that goal the Vancouver Canucks would advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1982.

Jim Robson was the Canucks long time play by play man. He had seen virtually every National Hockey League game ever in Vancouver. Robson was as professional as they came – that’s why he has since been honoured by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But he truly loved the Canucks, and particularly British Columbia boys like Greg Adams.

“Adams shoots . . . SCORES! Greg Adams! Greg Adams! Adams gets the winner! Fourteen seconds into the second overtime. The Vancouver Canucks are going to the Stanley Cup Finals!”

I still get chills when I hear those classic words. To this day I can hear the excitement, the pride and the hint of disbelief in Robson’s voice.

Adams called that goal against the Leafs “the biggest one I ever scored,” but he may have scored an equally as important of a goal the following game.

Game one of the Stanley Cup Final. The Rangers are all over the Canucks, but they can not beat Kirk McLean in net. Despite 54 shots the game is late in the first overtime period. “Last minute of play in the period” has already been announced Brian Leetch finally beats McLean with a clean shot but the puck rings off the crossbar. The Canucks break up ice with a three-on-one rush. Bure pushes the puck up to Cliff Ronning. The undersized Ronning cleverly punches the puck over to an open Adams. Adams wastes no time in blasting the puck past Mike Richter.

Madison Square Gardens instantly fell silent. We did not even need the television microphones to hear CBC’s Bob Cole exclaim “Scooooores!!!”

The hair on the back of my neck still stands up on end even as I write this twenty years later.

The lanky Adams, who often played left wing on Pavel Bure’s line, was one of the most under-appreciated players of the ’94 Canucks. He was not flashy like Bure, or even Geoff Courtnall or Cliff Ronning. He was not unconditionally loved like Trevor Linden. But, in addition to his clutch goal scoring, he was this glue guy who was integral to the Canucks success. I do not think anyone realized just how important he was until he was traded in 1995.

June 11th/14th, 1994 - The Highs, The Lows

Bure-ing The Flames
The Russian Rocket
Captain Kirk

Shooting Down The Stars
The Elbow
The Mighty Pat Quinn
Cliff Ronning: The Little Man That Could

Be-Leaf It Or Not!
Forever A Canuck: Trevor Linden
Greg Adams! Greg Adams!

New York: All The World Is A Stage
The Penalty Shot
Nathan Lafayette And That Damn Goal Post
What A Mess!
Doug Lidster: The Lone Ranger
It Was A Riot!

June 15th, 2011: Looking Back At 1994

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