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Category: Vancouver-Canucks

Great Goaltending For The Vancouver Canucks But Offense Dried Up

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

No matter how much a team soars past expectations, even doing things others thought impossible, no NHL season ever ends in defeat without sorrow and some regret.

The Vancouver Canucks weren’t even supposed to make the Stanley Cup tournament this season, but they won two playoff rounds and were a game away from advancing to the conference finals for just the fourth time in the franchise’s 50 years.

When their remarkable season, made more extraordinary by the summer of COVID-19, finally ended Friday with a 3-0 Game 7 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, the regret was that there was just nothing left for skaters to draw on to help goalie Thatcher Demko.

Demko’s arrival in the playoffs this week, with starter Jacob Markstrom injured and the Canucks down 3-1 and facing elimination, was the most incredible plot twist of Vancouver’s amazing six-week adventure in Edmonton.

In three starts, Demko’s first action since the league shut down in March, he stopped 123 Vegas shots and allowed only two goals – and still that was not enough to carry his teammates past the Golden Knights.

continued

Watch the game highlights below of Vancouver's 3-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Also the handshake line and Ryan Reaves hit on Tyler Motte.

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Videos- Canucks, Flyers Win To Play Another Day

from the CP at TSN,

 Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko sat on the bench for a month, waiting 14 games for his first ever start in the NHL playoffs.

On Tuesday he got it, and made the most of it.

Demko made 42 saves as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 at Rogers Place to stay alive in the post-season.

The Golden Knights still lead the best-of-seven series 3-2. Game 6 goes Thursday.

Demko got the nod after Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks' regular starter, was deemed unable to play and didn't dress. Demko battled a fierce Vegas attack all night long and an avalanche of shots: redirects, one-timers, odd-man rushes and goalmouth scrambles.

Prior to Tuesday, the 24-year-old had seen 8:26 of playoff action in 2020, mopping up for Markstrom in the third period of a 5-0 Vegas blowout in Game 1.

Demko said he has been preparing for it, putting in extra ice time to work on aspects of his game.

continued

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

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Early Morning Line- Cam Cole

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The Vancouver Canucks Need To Pick Up Their Game Quickly

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The problem with being an underdog in the National Hockey League playoffs? The further you go, the harder it gets.

Welcome, Vancouver Canucks, to Round 2.

What? You just beat the Stanley Cup champs, a big, rugged experienced St. Louis Blues club?

Great. Now you get the Vegas Golden Knights, who are just as big, likely faster and surely deeper, with better goaltending and a visit to the Stanley Cup Final as recent two springs ago. There, they lost to Washington. So they’re also hungrier than St. Louis was.

“They’re a fast team, they’re a good team,” Canucks head coach Travis Green submitted after Game 1. “We just need to play better.”

continued

The one-sided game highlights are below.

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The Vancouver Canucks Are A Win Away From Defeating The St. Louis Blues

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

If the Vancouver Canucks go on to win this mesmerizing series and eventually become as good as their young stars promise to be, at least we will know when the new team arrived.

It was Wednesday in the second period of Game 5 against the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, who appeared to have seized both the game and the playoff series only to have the precocious Canucks take it back from them.

Getting badly outplayed and outshot and trailing 3-1 — and not more only because Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom was sensational — the Canucks surged and scored three times in 6 ½ minutes, and then defended their lead over the final period to win 4-3.

They have a 3-2 series lead during their first playoff adventure since 2015 and on Friday can eliminate the best team in the National Hockey League last season.

But they may have to do so without paramount defenceman Alex Edler, who did not finish Wednesday’s game after suffering a frightening skate cut to the right side of his face late in the second period, one shift after speedy checker Tyler Motte scored the go-ahead goal on the night of his life.

Without Edler and top-four defenceman Tyler Myers, injured in Game 2, the Canucks held the Blues to nine third-period shots and Markstrom saved them all.

continued

Game highlights are below.

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The St. Louis Blues With A Much Needed Win

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

The St. Louis Blues didn’t quite have their Stanley Cup lineup Sunday, but they had their championship game.

They were fast, relentless, physical and punished the Vancouver Canucks for their mistakes. The Blues also had a goalie who could match Jacob Markstrom, as St. Louis coach Craig Berube played his ace card and replaced struggling starter Jordan Binnington with Jake Allen.

Brayden Schenn’s breakaway goal at 15:06 of overtime gave the Blues a 3-2 win and a rocket-boost back into their first-round NHL playoff series against the Canucks. Now trailing only 2-1, the Blues are suddenly a more dangerous team. They now remember what winning is like.

After scuffling disinterested through the hub-city round-robin, then losing their first two games against the Canucks, the Blues hadn’t won a hockey game since the NHL shut down for the novel coronavirus in March.

“We knew they were going to come,” Canucks captain Bo Horvat said. “They’re the defending Cup champs for a reason. They know what it takes to win and they definitely weren’t going to shy away from a fight.”

continued

Watch the highlights below.

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The Vancouver Canucks Continue To Impress

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

The St. Louis Blues aren’t the Minnesota Wild. But then maybe the Vancouver Canucks aren’t the Vancouver Canucks anymore, either.

Validated, educated and emboldened, the Canucks looked Wednesday against the Stanley Cup champion Blues almost nothing like the jittery, uncertain playoff rookies they were just over a week ago against Minnesota.

They handled the powerful Blues’ intensity, size and talent and simply pulled the game away from the champions in the third period as the Canucks won 5-2 to begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ first round.

The Canucks have so many things going for them right now, including the angels on their shoulders. Troy Stecher scored the winning goal Wednesday then looked up to one of them. Stecher’s dad, Peter, died suddenly on Father’s Day in June.

continued

Watch the game highlights below.

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The Vancouver Canucks Are Growing Up Before Our Eyes

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

It has been nine long years since the Canucks last won a playoff series, going way back to their run to the Stanley Cup final in 2011. The only remaining assets from that team were veteran Alex Edler and Chris Tanev, a little-used rookie in 2011 who provided the heroics by scoring 11 seconds into overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild and a pass to the real playoff marathon.

“I actually picked him in the pool to score,” joked Canucks coach Travis Green, “so I’m happy about that.”

Green actually had a lot more than that to be happy about after watching his team take three straight games after losing the first game of the series 3-0. The Canucks had 10 players and a coach who had never participated in an NHL playoff game before this series and there’s something about seeing a group grow up before your very eyes that is special. But it wasn’t as much that they won the series, but how they were able to do it. They not only lost the first game of the series, they failed to score a goal and watched as their star player was abused with impunity. Those are the kinds of things that can destroy the confidence of a young group. They went out and got Tyler Toffoli at the trade deadline to help them in these situations and lost him after Game 1. And in Game 4, they suffered a number of breakdowns to give the Wild a 3-1 lead in the game, but battled back and did not back down. And they won one for their goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who had an uncharacteristically shaky game. That’s huge.

“I really thought that (Game 1) loss was more devastating than a regular playoff loss when you just roll into the playoffs, because of the build-up,” Green said. “I felt like we had to pick our team up off the mat a little bit.”

read on

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Young Canucks Advance

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

The youngest players on the Vancouver Canucks call defenceman Christopher Tanev “dad,” but it only seems like he is old enough to be their father.

The 30-year-old is one of only two Canucks who actually has first-hand memories of the last time the franchise won a National Hockey League playoff round before “dad” drifted an overtime wrist shot past Minnesota Wild goalie Alex Stalock very late Friday to get Vancouver’s kids out of the qualifying round of this extraordinary Stanley Cup tournament.

Tanev’s goal — nine years after he was a depth player on the Canucks team that went to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final — was scored just 11 seconds into overtime as Vancouver won 5-4 and took the series 3-1 in games.

Rebuilt in the five years since they last made the playoffs, these Canucks feel different than most of the teams that have unsuccessfully chased a Stanley Cup since Vancouver entered the NHL in 1970.

Led by dynamic, young stars Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser, supported by a few veterans and some key mid-career players still at their peak, anything seems possible for the Canucks.

continued

Below, watch the OT goal from Tanev.

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Lack Of Media Scrums Will Help The Vancouver Canucks

from Jim Morris of CBC,

Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom said it's nothing personal, but not having reporters in the dressing room will be a good thing for the young Canucks.

Speaking on a video conference call, Markstrom said he already has seen the difference during training camp as his Canucks prepare for their play-in series against the Minnesota Wild.

"It's for sure a lot different than it could have been, especially in a Canadian market," said Markstrom, who is usually cordial but often blunt in talking with reporters. "In previous years, when you've been in the playoffs, the locker room is pretty much full of media. We're not going to have that right now.

"That's going to be good for our team. Nothing against you guys [but] it makes it a little bit easier for a lot of young players who have never been in playoff games that play for us."

more

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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