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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Examining how the Vancouver Canucks stack up against the Vegas Golden Knights

Move over Gloria, it’s Pina Colada time.

“F—ing rights, turn the music on!” Travis Green said to his group following their series victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions as The Pina Colada Song got blasted in the background.

While the Canucks partied in the dressing room, Canucks fans took to the streets of Scott rd and 72nd.

Vegas baby

The Canucks advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and their opponents are the Vegas Golden Knights.

Arguably Vegas is the franchise that has given the Canucks the most fits historically, even if it’s short. The Canucks will need contributions throughout the lineup once again to beat the top team in the West.

The Golden Knights under Peter DeBoer are 22-5-2, which includes the round-robin and postseason play. Their only loss in the bubble came from the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.

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The Vegas Golden Knights play a style of waves, they can attack with all four lines while playing sound defensively. They’re physical, have speed and skill, while having the option of Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner in goal. These attributes are why many have Vegas going to the finals or winning the Stanley Cup.

So, in other words, Vegas is good.

Historically

Since entering the league in the 2017-18 season, the Canucks have gone 2-7-1 against the Knights

Gp W L OT GF/GP GA/GP PP% PK% Shots/GP SA/GP
10 2 7 1 2.50 4.40 19.1 79.2 28.4 36.6

The positive sign is that the Canucks went 1-1 in the season series against the Golden Knights.

However, it’s 2020, and in this weird and crazy year, anything is possible.

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Round 2

In this postseason, the Canucks have been running on all cylinders, and Green has hit the right buttons. Scoring 34 goals, which leads the postseason despite not having Tyler Toffoli in the lineup. Having the bottom six step up is a must for this team to have a chance to beat the Knights.

One area the Canucks can exploit Vegas is the counter-attack.

The Knights tend to have all their forwards in on the forecheck, meaning the F3 isn’t as high as usual, leaving an odd-man rush the other way, and the way Elias Pettersson is playing he can take over this series. Vegas tenacity, coupled with their hard, aggressive forecheck, will be an area of concern for then Canucks young, “undersized” d-men – Reeves will be knocking. If the series with the blues is any indication, Hughes and Stecher will be up for the challenge.

So a little more of this is what’s in store for number 40.

Vegas is the heavy favourites.

However, the Canucks were underdogs against the St. Louis Blues and we all know what happened in that series.

Green will have to use his poker skills in round two, and find ways to beat the Golden Knights. The players, on the other hand, have to keep playing “Canucks hockey.” Fast and never quit.