What went wrong for the Canucks in game seven vs Edmonton?: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
25 days ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal recapped Vancouver’s Game 7 loss to the Oilers and looked at what went wrong for the Canucks.
“In the first half of this game, the Canucks looked lifeless. The power play was embarrassing, pathetic; pick an adjective,” Quads started. “It wasn’t good to start the game. Edmonton came out looking like they had more gas in the tank.”
“The shots were 22-4 at one point, and that’s where they lost the game,” Harm agreed. “Yes, they made it interesting in the end, but the way they came out for the first period and the first half of the second was unacceptable for a Game 7 situation. There are a few reasons why. The underrated component was that as this series progressed, Chris Knoblauch made smart adjustments to shore up the weaknesses among the skaters. He couldn’t do anything about Stuart Skinner in net, but he split up Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci, which felt like a vulnerability for the Oilers. Game 7 was Nurse’s best game of the series. I’m not saying he was dominating, but he went from being unplayable to looking like a solid second-pairing defenseman. Splitting those two up was a massive adjustment. Also, Dylan Holloway emerged as a play-driver on that third line, elevating Derek Ryan into the third-line role instead of Corey Perry. From a play-driving perspective, it felt like Edmonton had more speed and could get their forecheck going.”
Vancouver was, of course, facing a tough situation with Boeser out of the lineup. Tocchet had some hard decisions to make in terms of the rotation.
“Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller loading up on that first line, I thought, looked great,” said Quads. “Miller had probably his worst game of the series, but he still looked good. That’s a totally different game if Ilya Mikheyev buries that breakaway. If they had a different winger, that line would’ve looked completely different.”
“Without Brock Boeser in the lineup, I don’t think this team had the horses to get it done,” Harm added. “The main focus is going to be the lack of offence, and they really put Skinner to the test. When they did get opportunities, they missed the net on them. PDG being with Miller after Tocchet went away from Mikheyev is where they really missed Boeser. In the second period, PDG had two great chances in the slot, and then in the third, Pettersson set him up all alone, and he air-mails it. He’s a fourth-liner; you’re not expecting him to bury all of them, but if you have Boeser there with those chances, he buries one of them.”
The guys noted how the Canucks’ aggressive style of manufacturing offence was always going to be difficult to sustain through the grueling nature of the postseason.
“The Canucks play such a hard-working, aggressive, in-your-face forecheck style; they’re not a team that creates a high volume of rush chances,” Harm said. “They have to execute such an intensive style to manufacture offence, and when you’re running on fumes deep into the playoffs, can you continue generating, or do you reach a point where you hit a wall physically and don’t have the juice to create offence anymore? The best offences can create both off the rush and off the forecheck. At some point moving forward, for the Canucks to get to the point of being a sustainable contender, they’re going to need to inject more dynamic skill. It’s not just playoffs; all 82 games of this balls-to-the-wall style of hockey are very taxing physically. The Canucks are going to have to think about that in the offseason.”
You can watch the full replay of today’s show below:

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