‘You can feel and hear the energy’: Marc Crawford talks Canucks’ performance in Game 1 vs Edmonton

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jagraj Lalli
1 month ago
Former Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford joined Thursday’s episode of Sekeres and Price to dissect the team’s recent victory, focusing on their defensive strategy against McDavid and Draisaitl, the contributions of depth players, and the decision to keep Silovs in goal.
Crawford, 63, is currently the head coach for the ZSC Lions in Switzerland, but spent multiple years in the NHL coaching for various teams, including the Vancouver Canucks. Despite having left the team 18 years ago, Crawford still keeps up with the current-day Canucks.
Reflecting on the defensive play against the Oilers, Crawford commended the Canucks’ size and mobility on the blue line.
“I really like their size and mobility. Soucy, in particular, is a standout player with his reach and ability to close gaps effectively. We saw Big Z at his best last night, performing like a top-four defenseman. And let’s not forget about Hronek and Quinn Hughes; they’re doing a solid job moving the puck and facilitating zone exits. There’s experience on the blue line with Myers and Cole, who might not get all the attention but consistently make crucial stops. As coaches, we love seeing those defensive stops because it allows us to transition to the attack.”
Discussing the Canucks’ strategy against Connor McDavid, Crawford emphasized the effectiveness of their defensive matchups.
“I think their matchups are really effective, with strong players out against him. When I was coaching, I always liked having two pairs that I felt comfortable playing against top opponents, and I think the Canucks feel that way right now. Even when they have Quinn Hughes and Hronek out there, they mix it up a bit. You’d see Hronek out there with Big Z at times, probably because Adam (Foote) sensed that Big Z had something going and could double him up on a couple of opportunities. But I really liked Soucy and Myers’ game last night. They covered so much ground, had great sticks, and made crucial stops. They kept the gap tight and didn’t give Connor many chances to break open, although he was dangerous a few times in the game. As a Canucks fan, you were probably holding your breath a few times.”
Turning to Quinn Hughes, Crawford praised the defenseman’s selfless play and puck-moving skills.
“The word that comes to mind is “selfless,” and what a selfless game he played last night. Despite having to absorb a lot of hits to make plays coming out of the zone, he remained controlled and composed. It’s always a concern when you see him go back with the likes of Evander Kane or someone else on their team ready to finish their checks, but he handled it well. He’s such a skilled puck mover, and there were numerous instances in the game where he managed to get the puck out on his own, which is a crucial skill in these playoffs. Whether it’s through a pass, a flip, a chip, or getting the puck out independently, those are the plays that really count because they minimize turnovers. I thought he had a strong game for them last night. Playing as a defenseman in the playoffs can be demanding, especially when you’re someone like Quinn Hughes or Hronek who carry the puck so frequently, exposing themselves to hits. It’s a risky game, but they’re executing it effectively.”
Regarding the decision to keep Silovs in goal, Crawford commended the Canucks’ defensive structure and solid play in the defensive zone.
“The decision? Absolutely brilliant. The proof is in the pudding; he (Silovs) didn’t have much work from that point on. So, real kudos have to go to the Canucks’ defensive structure. There weren’t many scoring chances, and their defensive zone play was solid. Their structure was excellent last night, and as a result, he didn’t face much action. The wraparound goal Lindholm scored at the end of the period was huge and gave them some momentum heading into the third. I was watching the game with my daughter-in-law, and I mentioned that if they could score by the ten-minute mark, they’d be fine. And then they did. It felt like there was so much life in the building, and I have to give credit to the Canucks fans—they were terrific. That kind of energy is what players thrive on. Some might say it doesn’t matter, but you can feel and hear the energy. It was palpable in the building last night, as good as I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve seen a lot of pretty good games.
Watch the full interview below:

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