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Dakota Joshua gets the first Canucks playoff game puck after two-goal outing in Game 1

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks have started a little something new for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Teams around the National Hockey League have long recognized key contributors in the locker room after wins with commemorative keepsakes — a team jacket, a special hat, or, once upon a time in Vancouver, a WWE championship belt.
The idea behind those prizes is that the recipient for one game holds onto it until the next win, after which he hands it off to whomever he sees fit, and so on and so forth.
After kicking off their playoff series against the Nashville Predators with a 4-2 win on Sunday night, the Canucks introduced a new token of appreciation for their top performers — this one tailored specifically to the postseason.
“We’re gonna start a little tradition here. We have 16 pucks, 16 wins,” Canucks captain Quinn Hughes said after the Game 1 victory. “Could give it to Demmer, made some big saves; Lindy, way to get us going; but this is going to Playoff D!”
Yes, for the uninitiated, ‘Playoff D’ is none other than Dakota Joshua, who tallied twice and added an assist while being ferocious on the forecheck in 17:48 of ice time on Sunday. He was rightfully named the game’s first star for his efforts.
Joshua, 27, fully came into his own as one of the best third-line forwards in the league during the 2023–24 regular season. The Dearborn, Michigan product set career highs with 18 goals, 14 assists, 32 points, and a +19 rating in 63 games with the Canucks this year.
Monday’s game was only the second playoff contest of Joshua’s young career, but it’s been apparent ever since he arrived in Vancouver that he plays a style tailor-made to the postseason. His line with Elias Lindholm and Conor Garland fared particularly well in its shifts in Game 1.
The Toronto Maple Leafs originally selected Joshua in the fifth round (No. 128 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. The Leafs traded Joshua to the St. Louis Blues shortly after he concluded his four-year career at The Ohio State University.
After collecting four goals and nine points in 42 games over parts of two seasons with the Blues, Joshua signed with the Canucks as an unrestricted free agent in 2022. He is eligible to become a UFA once again this coming summer.

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