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Vancouver Canucks’ 3 stars of the week: Dakota Joshua doesn’t skip a beat, while J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes were up to their typical MVP form

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Hall
17 days ago
The Vancouver Canucks have clinched the playoffs.
Okay, that felt good. Let’s say it one more time.
Everyone together on this one…
The Vancouver Canucks have officially clinched a playoff berth, and it will be the first time in nine years that Rogers Arena will see playoff hockey!
Oddly enough, their fate was set by the league’s bottom-dwelling team after the San Jose Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-0 on Saturday to ensure the Canucks stay put in the postseason race.
With 98 points (at the time), clinching was simply a formality, but it’s an incredible sigh of relief for an entire fan base starving for even a sliver of success in the province.
Of course, for Canucks ownership, it was their shot at gathering even a sliver of profitable merch!
Yes, clinching is one thing, but being successful is another can of worms. This week, the team did not give off incredible vibes as they dropped two out of three, both of which were against playoff-bound Western Conference teams.
They defeated the Ducks, but let’s be honest: With a 6-3-1 record over their last 10, their results have been somewhat “meh.”

Third star: Quinn Hughes

Considering the miles that Quinn Hughes has tracked this season, it’s hard to imagine a world where he’s not viewed as this team’s MVP.
J.T. Miller certainly bursts through the door as a contestant in the conversation, but the sheer situations the dynamic captain must play through, it’s got to be him, no?
This week was no different. Hughes logged an impressive 75:03 minutes of ice time and continued to lead the charge defensively, leading the team with 101 Corsi for (CF), a 65.58% Corsi rating (CF%).
Additionally, Hughes spearheaded the team’s offensive efforts, contributing a team-leading 50 individual scoring chances while maintaining an impressive 64.94% scoring chances for percentage (SCF%).
It’s been an incredible season for the young captain, to say the least. With 82 points and eight games remaining, there is a very real chance that this franchise will enjoy its first 90-point defender.

Second star: J.T. Miller

At this point, it may save everyone time to simply call this weekly piece the “two stars of the week, plus J.T. Miller.” Week by week, the edgy forward continues to bring the entire package and typically finds a way to put this team on his back in one way or another.
This week was no different; he scored a goal and had three assists, leading the team in scoring once again.
As he has done all year, Miller’s physical presence was felt with 13 hits. His strong performance in advanced metrics saw him with a Corsi rating of 62.30%. He out-chanced his opponents by a significant margin, tallying 76 scoring chances compared to their 46.
With eight games remaining, Miller is on the brink of surpassing his career-high of 99 points and looks poised to reach the coveted century mark for the first time in his career. In addition to points, he’s also posted career highs in hits (202), blocked shots (59), plus/minus (plus-29), and counting.
The Canucks have officially booked a ticket to the postseason, and if regular season J.T. Miller is any indication, playoff J.T. Miller is going to be lights out.

First star: Dakota Joshua

This season’s team MVP is undoubtedly a close call between Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller.
However, let’s not forget about the team’s unsung hero, Dakota Joshua. He has quietly put together an impressive case for this title and has not-so-quietly been one of this team’s driver’s two-way drivers all season long.
Not only has he achieved a personal best in nearly every statistical category, but he has also proven to be a significant energy boost and pivotal addition to this club’s success, re: one of the best third-line’s in the entire NHL.
After returning from a five-week absence from a hand injury he sustained completing his Gordie Howe Hat-Trick sticking up for a linemate, Joshua wasted no time showcasing the energy and spark he brings to the team.
He scored two crucial goals in his two games back, including the game-winner against the Ducks. It’s safe to say he injected instant life into the forward group, which had been lacking since his absence.
Can we be honest? Who would have predicted that we’d see this from Joshua? Simply incredible.
Then there is his physical presence, in which he provided nine hits across just two games (six hits against the Dallas Stars).
With all of the positivity and stellar play, how could there be a catch? Well, unfortunately, his stellar play is likely leading him to a nice pay raise — perhaps one that is too rich for an extension in Vancouver.
Although, perhaps Cody Severtson was onto something with his contract scheme…
After a whopping nine-game home stand, the Canucks set out for their final trip to the USA in the regular season, taking on the Vegas Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers.
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