Di Giuseppe shines in Canucks’ Game 5 win after welcoming newborn son

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jagraj Lalli
29 days ago
Phil Di Giuseppe scored a goal on three shots, added four hits, and went +2 in the Vancouver Canucks’ 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 on Thursday. The win gives the Canucks a 3-2 lead in their second-round playoff series.
Di Giuseppe rejoined the team for practice earlier in the day and played in Game 5, following a brief absence for personal reasons. The 30-year-old forward had stepped away for Games 3 and 4 to be with his wife, Maggie, as they welcomed their newborn son, Sam, on Sunday.
Di Giuseppe, clearly inspired, scored off a turnover in the second period for his first career playoff goal. Reflecting on the past few days, he said, “It’s been crazy, but it’s good emotions, I guess. Kind of on a high right now. Yeah, it’s nice to be able to celebrate it with a goal.”
The forward’s performance was notable given his limited ice time this postseason. In discussing his goal, Di Giuseppe praised his linemates: “(Aman) and (Podkolzin) played amazing. They won every puck battle, and I felt like anytime I was moving my feet, they were giving me the puck. So kudos to those guys, they really brought it tonight, and I think we did a good job.”
Di Giuseppe also detailed the play leading to his goal: “Got in on Ekholm, and then (Aman) came flying in on Bouchard. I don’t know if he coughed it up or if Aman poked it off him, but I gotta watch it again. But I think he took that away from me, so I spun around.”
The winger’s return to the lineup came after a whirlwind few days balancing family and professional commitments. “It was a whirlwind, so I didn’t really think too much. I was watching the boys—they won the first game, lost the second—but, you know, I was just trying to stay ready mentally. But at the same time, with all that was going on, I wasn’t thinking too much. And then, you know, got the opportunity to come in tonight, trying to make the most of it.”
Di Giuseppe emphasized the importance of his wife’s support during this period: “I might choke up again like I did during the bench interview. But yeah, it’s been a battle, those nine months for her and obviously with my job. I’ve been away a lot and spent a lot of time, so we’ve had a lot of family coming in and out for support. Like I said before, it takes a village, and it’s a blessing. We got a lot of time off from the Canucks. And of course, especially with how everything’s gone and obviously, you know, as with any pregnancy, you never know.”
Reflecting on the pressure of playoff hockey, Di Giuseppe added, “I think for me, it might have been a good thing. It just puts life in perspective. You know, this is a dream we’ve all been working for—like, I’m 30 years old, so I’ve worked for this for 27 years. There is pressure that mounts, and then, you know, when a situation like that happens, you care, but obviously, your number one priority is taking care of that. So yeah, maybe it took the pressure off.”
Di Giuseppe also acknowledged the electric atmosphere at Rogers Arena: “First and foremost, this building’s unbelievable. You know, there are times I might be tired on the bench and I just close my eyes and try to charge up with all that energy. So, you know, they bring it, and I’m glad we could bring it for them.”
Despite the challenges, Di Giuseppe and his team have demonstrated resilience throughout the playoffs. “You can’t be perfect, and I think it’s a testament that, you know, if we have a bad game or we slip, we get back on the horse and start pulling again. So, you know, in any sport, that’s huge. And, you know, that’s why we’ve come this far.”
The Canucks now look to Game 6 with hopes of closing out the series against the Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday night.

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