The Play-in round has come and gone, and the Vancouver Canucks have knocked off the Minnesota Wild. Therefore qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Canucks finished the Play-in as the fifth seed. Matching up against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues.
Game 1: Wednesday, August 12th 7:30 p.m. PST
Game 2: Friday, August 14th 3:30 p.m. PST
Game 3: Sunday, August 16th 7:30 p.m. PST
Game 4: Monday, August 17th 7:30 p.m. PST
Game 5: Wednesday, August 19th TBA*
Game 6: Friday, August 21st TBA*
Game 7: Sunday, August 23rd TBA*
Head to Head
The Canucks and Blues met three times during the regular season. Although in those three games, the Canucks went 2-0-1 including a shootout win early in the season. That one loss the Canucks suffered can very well be attributed to the biggest blooper of the 2020 NHL season. Sorry Canucks fans. Resulting in the infamous three on zero in overtime. Where the Canucks left Jacob Markstrom out to dry.
During the regular season, both team’s powerplay were almost even with the Canucks having the third-best powerplay and the Blues having the fourth, split but just .1 of a percent. Likewise, their penalty kills were also close with Vancouver ranking 16th and St. Louis ranking 18th. The two teams were also neck in neck with goals scored. Vancouver had 224, while St. Louis had 223. While the teams were close in the stats above, they were not in goals against. The Canucks had 214, while the Blues only had 190.
Players to Watch
The paly-in round had a couple of storylines right out of the gate for the Canucks. Such as Tanner Pearson getting hurt in game one and Jake Virtanen watching game one from the press box. Although those two players could be the ones gaining the most attention this series. Fans should keep a close eye on Canucks agitator Antoine Roussel. Although he may very well be getting under the Blues skin. He may also contribute on both ends of the ice.
The second player for fans to watch is the electric rookie Quinn Hughes. The Blues play an extremely aggressive forecheck and Hughes is a brilliant skater. Hughes sees the ice so well that these combos can bring exciting hockey for everyone.
On the other side, the defending Stanley Cup Champions have a lot to watch. The main players for fans to keep an eye on would be goaltender Jordan Binnington and last seasons Conn Smyth winner Ryan O’Reilly.
Although the Blues being regarded as heavy favorites in this series, fans should not count the Cnaucks out. With the Canucks coming off a play-in round victory over the Wild. The Blues are coming in as losers of four straight in the round-robin. If Vancouver can manage to play their own style of hockey and not get pushed around by the Blues. This series could very well go the distances. Indeed fans are in for a treat.
Follow me on Twitter at @cdemp45 for more of my content!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!