On to the stellar Canadian city of Vancouver today for this NHL Saturday miniseries take on the Canucks. They started as an expansion team in 1970, and in 52 seasons north of the border, the team has made the postseason 28 times—reaching the Stanley Cup Finals three times (1982, 1994, 2011) … but never winning it. The franchise has fallen on hard times lately, too, reaching the playoffs just twice in the last decade of play. But hope springs eternal for all Canadian teams with us!

No. 5: 2001-02 Vancouver Canucks

Finishing second in the Northwest Division with a 42-30-10 record for 94 points, these Canucks were No. 1 in goal scoring but just No. 17 in goal prevention. That still left them with the No. 3 overall ranking in the SRS, however, and a legit shot at the Cup. In the first round of the postseason, however, Vancouver had the misfortune of facing the eventual NHL champions, the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks won the first two games on the road—but still lost the series in six.

Left wing Markus Näslund (40G, 50A, 50 PIMs) and right wing Todd Bertuzzi (36G, 49A, 110 PIMs) led the team in scoring, with 10 skaters posting at least 32 points on the season. Goaltender Dan Cloutier (31-22-5, 2.43 GAA, 7 shutouts) was pretty competent, too, despite the team’s overall defensive ranking. Game 1 in Detroit was won in overtime, and the Vancouver scored 5 times to win Game 2. However, after that? It was all Red Wings with no more one-goal games at all.

No. 4: 1992-93 Vancouver Canucks

A 46-29-9 record and 101 points helped this team to first place in the old Smythe Division; it balanced the No. 4 offense with the No. 5 defense, for an overall No. 4 rank in the SRS. The Canucks beat the Winnipeg Jets in the first round (six games), but in the second round, they had to face Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings—who would eventually reach the Cup Finals. It was a high-scoring affair that the Kings won, mostly thanks to a Game 5 2OT victory on the road.

RW Pavel Bure (60G, 50A, 69 PIMs) and center Cliff Ronning (29G, 56A, 30 PIMs) were the top skaters on a team that had five players post at least 71 points—and 14 guys notched at least 25 points as well. Gs Kirk McLean (28-21-5, 3 SOs) and Kay Whitmore (18-8-4, 1 SO) were mediocre at best, but they didn’t need to be stellar for this team to win a lot. The Kings outscored the Canucks, 26-25, in the six-game series loss, despite only one game being decided by a single goal.

No. 3: 2009-10 Vancouver Canucks

Another top finish in the Northwest Division came on the heels of a 49-28-5 record for 103 points. With a No. 4 ranking in the overall SRS, this Vancouver squad was formidable with the No. 2 offense and the No. 11 defense. A six-game series victory over the Kings opened the playoffs, and then the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks were up next. The home team won just one game in this matchup: Game 2 in Chicago. It was a tough series to lose for the Canucks, that’s for sure.

The Wonder Twins—C Henrik Sedin (29G, 83A, 48 PIMs) and LW Daniel Sedin (29G, 56A)—were the leaders of this team on the ice, with Henrik winning the Hart Trophy. Eight skaters put up at least 42 points, as well. In net, G Roberto Luongo (40-22-4, 4 SOs) started a whopping 67 games. He may have been tired come playoff time, though, as in his 12 postseason starts, only 5 of them registered as quality starts: Chicago scored 5 goals three different times in its series.

No. 2: 2002-03 Vancouver Canucks

This team posted a 45-23-14 record for 104 points to secure second place in the Northwest, on the back of the No. 2 offense, the No. 10 defense, and the No. 5 overall ranking in the SRS. But the postseason was a grind, as the Canucks played two seven-game series, and the first one took its toll, for sure. After beating the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 at home, Vancouver was out-hustled in the next round by the upstart Minnesota Wild, losing three straight after taking a 3-1 lead.

Once again, Näslund (48G, 56A, 52 PIMs) and Bertuzzi (46G, 51A, 144 PIMs) led the way, with 13 skaters posting at least 25 points. Cloutier (33-16-7, 2.42 GAA, 2 SOs) was stable again in the crease, too. But the Canucks spent a lot of energy coming back from a 3-1 deficit to the Blues, and they were caught off guard when the Wild turned around and started to do the same thing back to them. Cloutier’s .826 save percentage against Minnesota was particularly poor, of course.

No. 1: 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks

With a team record 54 victories and 117 points, this Vancouver squad won the Northwest Division crown again. It was No. 1 overall in the SRS rankings, with the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense. Yes, expectations were high, and they were met in the first three rounds of the postseason: the Canucks escaped Chicago in seven games, before dropping the Nashville Predators next in six games. Then, San Jose fell victim in five games, before Vancouver got soul crushed in the Finals.

Daniel Sedin (41G, 63A, 32 PIMs) led the team this time in scoring, followed by Henrik Sedin (19G, 75A, 40 PIMs). Thirteen players registered at least 22 points, and with Luongo (38-15-7, 4 SOs) only starting 60 games this year, he was more rested for the postseason. But the Game 7 overtime win in the first round was a sapping experience, even if it didn’t catch up with the team until the Finals against Boston: the Canucks lost Games 6 and 7 to lose, the last game at home, too.