Biggest concerns for Vancouver heading into Game 5: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
27 days ago
On yesterday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, Harman Dayal and Irfaan Gaffar discussed a fan poll question about the biggest concern for Vancouver heading into game 5 against Edmonton.
“There wasn’t one major thing that stuck out,” began Harm. “Of course, the power play; given how electric Edmonton’s man advantage is, it’s going to need to come through. As the series progresses, if you’re the Canucks, you’re hoping there are fewer special teams situations on both sides. The longer the series goes, the fewer penalties that are called. There haven’t been a ton of penalties called early in the series; Edmonton only had four power plays through the first couple games, but that’s something you’re hoping for as we get to games five and six, as that would mitigate the special teams differential. You have some hope the power play can get going, we’ve seen it produce in this series, whereas with Pettersson, how high is the confidence that he’s going to break out of this?”
“Not at all,” Irf responded. “Every time he touches the puck or is in a puck battle, he’s down on the ice more often than not. He could come out tomorrow night and score two goals, have an assist, the power play could cook, and we could say Elias Pettersson is back, but just for one game, and we haven’t seen it since the All-Star break. On January 24th, Rick Tocchet went out and said he needs more from Elias Pettersson. We’re now in May, in round two of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and he’s still saying he’s gotta be better. The confidence level for him breaking out of it is zero.”
The guys agreed the Canucks could have done a better job of putting pressure on Calvin Pickard in his first NHL Playoff start.
“Overall, this includes Pettersson, but it’s not just him; they need to generate more offence,” said Harm. “Pickard was solid when he needed to be, but the Canucks didn’t test him nearly enough. Here’s a guy who hadn’t started in the playoffs before, and if the Canucks could find a way to test him more regularly, he could break down and that could be a pathway to win games. As much as Edmonton’s defensive metrics have improved under Knoblauch, it’s still a group prone to defensive lapses. If you can find a way to apply more pressure, get the forecheck established—that’s one of the main reasons they weren’t able to generate a lot of offensive looks—they need to do it off the cycle and by retrieving pucks, creating havoc. If you put pressure on guys like Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci, those guys are vulnerable. You’ve got to create your own luck and force those guys into uncomfortable positions so you can capitalize on those weaknesses, because they’re there.”
As Irf said, it’s all about adjustments, and we’ll see what kind Rick Tocchet brings to game 5 at Rogers Arena.
You can watch the full segment below:
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