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That sound you hear is mass amounts of people clad in blue and green ripping of their jerseys and jumping off the bandwagon. And, hey, it’s hard to blame them.
In the aftermath of the Vancouver Canucks’ Game 1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights—a 5-0 crushing that felt pretty inevitable from puck drop— it was hard to feel optimistic about Vancouver’s chances. The Golden Knights didn’t just dominate the Canucks, they were like your older brother when he learns you’re afraid of the dark: opportunistic, suffocating and completely relentless.
So while the Canucks are currently locked in the closet with a blanket zip-tied to their heads (having brothers sucks), this series is only 1-0. Yes, this seems like it’ll be much tougher than beating the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, but hey, this Canucks team is nothing if not resilient. (Hint: be prepared and hide tiny scissors in your pocket for the zip-ties.)
We squinted really hard and tried to find the best reasons for optimism in the Canucks’ 5-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
That’s how many shots Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes collectively threw on the net. I know what you’re saying: that’s actually very bad. And it is. But we mentioned the resiliency of the Canucks earlier, and much of that comes from their young stars. You have to think that Pettersson, in particular, will come out with a vengeance next game. Game 1 will probably bug him for a few years. That just seems to be how he’s wired.
The difference in penalty minutes between the two teams which, based on how referees call games in the playoffs, means that the Canucks will have more powerplays than Vegas in Game 2. That’s a lock.
The Canucks won 40 faceoffs in Game 1 for a 63-percent win rate. Pretty good! Though the importance of faceoffs is often overestimated when it comes to controlling play (see the game that just happened), it certainly doesn’t hurt to be on the winning side of the battle in the dot.
Thatcher Demko had a perfect save percentage in his first-ever NHL playoff game. Not bad! (Please ignore the part where he only faced five shots after starter Jacob Markstrom was mercifully pulled in the third period.)
That’s Tyler Toffoli’s number. Given what the Canucks showed tonight, they need some reinforcements. And getting back forward Toffoli (along with defenceman Tyler Myers) would be a shot in the arm. According to reports, it’s possible both return for this series, and Toffoli seems like a decent bet to show up in the next couple of games. Let’s hope it helps.