The Canucks were removed from the playoffs in the Western Conference second round by the Golden Knights after losing 3-0 in Game 7 on Friday at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Canucks Current Standpoint
The Canucks were the No. 5 seed after beating the St. Louis Blues in game 6 in the Western Conference First Round. Vancouver was the No. 7 seed in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers after ending the regular season with a .565 points percentage. Currently, Tyler Toffoli, F; Christopher Tanev, D; Oscar Fantenberg, D; Jacob Markstrom, G; Louis Domingue, G are Canucks players that are potential unrestricted free agents. While Jake Virtanen, F; Tyler Motte, C; Adam Gaudette, C; Zack MacEwen, C; Troy Stecher, D are potential restricted free agents.
Where Mistakes were Made
The Canucks averaged 24.1 shots per game to the Golden Knights’ 39.0, and 2.00 goals per game to Vegas’ 2.71. Vancouver was seventh on the power plays among the teams to reach the second round; they were fourth during the regular season.
Vancouver probably views the third period of Game 4 as a chance they didn’t take. After the Canucks scored twice in the second period to take a 3-2 lead, the Golden Knights scored three goals within 5:37 during the third period ending the game with a 5-3 win and a 3-1 series lead. Jacob Markstrom topped all playoff goalies with 491 shots on him, before he was unable to participate in the final three games. Thatcher Demko replaced Markstrom as the starter and played well especially during Game 6, where he had his first shutout in a 4-0 win.
Hope for Next Season
The Canucks did so well this season thanks to their new young stars. Elias Pettersson, 21, tied center J.T. Miller for their postseason scoring lead. Quinn Hughes, 20, leads all rookies in postseason scoring with 16 points and is a finalist for the Calder Trophy. Pettersson won the Calder Trophy last season.
Other than the gifted youths previously mentioned forwards Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Hoglander, defensemen Olli Juolevi and Brogan Rafferty, and goalie Michael DiPietro are several of the highest candidates in the pipeline. Podkolzin, 19, is the most intriguing following playing 30 games for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL, where he will probably play one more season. The mighty forward scored one goal and provided four assists in seven games for second-place Russia at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.