It was part Minnesota Fats, part wiffle ball, and in the end Kevin Bieksa was the deserving hero who sent the Canucks to the Stanley Cup final.

Seventeen years to the day, the Canucks repeated their last Western Conference championship win on Tuesday night, even down to requiring double overtime.

In some ways not much has changed since May 24, 1994.

Canadians are still bumping drivers from the starting grid for the Indy 500, the Palm d'Or continues to confound, Israelis and Palestinians are still lobbing explosives at each other.

But Vancouver, which hadn't even been named the best place in the galaxy by any travel magazines yet back then, and its team have changed beyond recognition.

"We'll celebrate, we'll find out who we play and we got to get back to work here," Ryan Kesler said.

Down the hall, the Sharks sat in stunned silence, their reputation for blowing the big ones growing before their disbelieving eyes.

"The Canucks have done a lot of good things throughout this season," a quiet Joe Pavelski said. "They're a good team over there, they play a good system.

"They beat us, so how do you say anything else … but we believed we would beat them, there was no doubt about that.

"It didn't happen, though, so you have to give them some credit."

That's three series, three teams down now for the Canucks, and along the way they haven't exactly overawed their opponents.