The St. Louis Blues will take on the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blues enter the series as the four seed in the West while the Canucks enter as the seven seed. The Blues went 1-1-1 against the Canucks this season while the Canucks held a 2-0-1 record. It is the reigning Stanley Cup Champs and a bunch of vets against an up and coming team filled with young, explosive talent. This is Vancouver’s first playoff appearance since 2015 when they lost in the first round to the Calgary Flames
Expierences in Edmonton
The two teams have had vastly different experiences so far in the Western Conference Bubble. The Blues quite honestly looked terrible in all four of their games, making Blues fans have a Krusty the Clown moment where they looked at the screen and yelled “What the hell was that?” The Canucks meanwhile played a best of five series against the Minnesota Wild. After getting shut-out in Game 1 the Canucks rattled off three straight. Jacob Markstrom was steady posting a .918 save percentage including a shut-out of his own in game three. Bo Horvat led the series for Vancouver in goals with two along with Brock Boeser and Tanner Pearson. Quinn Hughes led the way in points with six.
Vancouver Players To Watch
Quinn Hughes: The rookie defenseman and Calder finalist is going to be an absolute stud folks. Hughes, the 7th pick in the 2018 NHL draft, finished the season with 53 points in 68 games. Hughes had six points in the Canucks four-game series win over the Minnesota Wild. The 20-year-old will need to be better in his own zone as he gets older, but that’s the thing…he’s 20. He will only get better as he ages.
Elias Pettersson: The 2019 Calder Trophy winner is another young gun NHL fans need to pay attention too (looking at you Eastern fans.) Pettersson, the 21-year-old Swedish native, finished with 66 points in 68 games. He also finished with 66 points the previous season. He can skate, score goals, and has a bit of a nasty streak he showed off against the Wild.
J.T. Miller: Miller was the Canucks leading scorer this season with 72 points. 72 points including 27 goals were a career-high for Miller. Playing on a line with Pettersson and Boeser he was all over the place being a skilled skater while also a physical presence. He is one of the few Canucks players with a lot of playoff experience. In 65 playoff games, Miller has only posted 29 points and just four goals.
Canucks defense: While Hughes is a phenom the rest of the Canucks defense leaves a lot to be desired. Alexander Edler would be the 2nd best defenseman on the roster but he isn’t a top pairing guy anymore. The rest is a mix and match of guys including a massively overpaid Tyler Myers. Blues fans may remember Tyler Myers from this play.
If the Blues are going to win this series they will need to take advantage of a porous Canucks defense.
Blues Players To Watch
Vladimir Tarasenko: The Russian winger missed all but ten games this season. Before the exhibition against Chicago, it had been eight months since he had played his game. When he is on his game he is one the best goal-scorers in the league, evidenced by five 30 goal seasons prior to this one. Last playoffs he had 11 goals and 17 points in the Cup win.
Alex Pietrangelo: We all know how good the Blues captain is. This could be his last hurrah in St. Louis however. The UFA to be will command a lot of money especially after the wonderful season he just had. Petro had a career-best 16 goals and was at his best defensively.
Robert Thomas: So many people (myself included) have been beating on the Robert Thomas is going to be amazing drum. He finished the season with 42 points in 66 games and just got better as the season went along. The 21-year-old also looked like one of the few players who remembered how to play hockey in the round-robin games.
Jordan Kyrou: With an injury to Sammy Blais, and Ivan Barbashev being at home with the birth of his first child, Kyrou may get a chance to show off his skills in this series. The former OHL MVP has shown some bursts off an explosive top-six forward but struggled with physicality at points. The options to replace Blais are Troy Brouwer or Kyrou and good lord please by Kyrou.
The most recent playoff meeting between the two teams took place in 2009, a series that saw the Canucks sweep the Blues. Mats Sundin played for that Canucks team that’s how long ago it was. Each team has one player that played in that series. Edler for the Canucks and David Perron for the Blues. The teams also met in the 2003 playoffs where the Blues blew a 3-1 series lead before it was cool and the Canucks took it in seven. The only other time these teams have met was all the way back in 1995 when once again the Canucks took the series in seven. So safe to say the playoff history between the two teams is all Canucks.
TV Schedule (American Audiences)
Game 1: Wednesday, August 12 @9:30 P.M. On NBC Sports and Fox Sports Midwest
Game 2: Friday, August 14th @5:30 P.M. On NHL Network and Fox Sports Midwest
Game 3: Sunday, August 16th @9:30 P.M. on NBC Sports and Fox Sports Midwest
Game 4: Monday, August 17th @9:30 P.M. on NBC Sports and Fox Sports Midwest
Game 5: Wednesday, August 19th TBA and TBA
Game 6: Friday, August 21st TBA and TBA
Game 7: Sunday, August 23rd TBA and TBA
WEAR A MASK
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