Canucks’ Playoff Hopes Hinge on Star Performance

Canucks Playoff Hopes Hinge on Star Performance

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing, and the Vancouver Canucks are right in the mix. Despite losing star goalie Thatcher Demko to injury in Game 1 of Round 1 against the Nashville Predators, the Canucks have stepped up. Rookie goaltender Arturs Silovs has risen to the occasion, helping the team eliminate the Predators. Now, they are battling Conner McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers in Round 2.

Arturs Silovs making a desperation save – USA TODAY

Last night, the Canucks had a chance to take a 3-1 series lead heading back to Vancouver. However, their late effort fell short due to a slow start, resulting in a 2-2 series tie, with Edmonton holding the momentum. Coach Rick Tocchet echoed the frustrations of many Canucks fans in the postgame scrum, saying, “We need five or six guys to get going here. Some guys I don’t know if they thought it was the playoffs. We can’t play with 12 guys. Some players are playing ‘pause’ hockey. You can’t win if you have five or six passengers.”

Rick Tocchet during a post game scrum – NHL

Tocchet also singled out star Elias Pettersson, who recently signed a significant $11.6 million AAV contract. Pettersson’s recent playoff performance has left many fans questioning that decision. Adding to the concerns, the Canucks have taken the fewest shots on goal through 10 postseason games in Stanley Cup Playoff history, with only 203 shots, averaging just over 20 shots per game—an unsustainable rate for a serious contender. Additionally, Pettersson has been outscored 2-1 while on the ice at five-on-five in Round 2, according to Natural Stat Trick. 

Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson lining up to the faceoff dot – USA TODAY

Despite these troubling statistics, every playoff game the Canucks have played, win or lose, has been highly competitive. With the potential return of Demko, Canucks fans still have reason to hope for their team’s success.

Conor Garland celebrates game winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period in Game 1 of the 2nd-round playoff series – Darryl Dyck – The Canadian Press
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