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Semi-finals game #7 Vancouver Canucks (3-4) @ Vegas Golden Knights (4-3) – game recap

This one was for all the marbles. After successfully coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to force this 7th and deciding game. While the Canucks played better in game 6 than game 5, goalie Thatcher Demko still had to contend with over 90 shots in 72 hours with no day off between games 6 and 7. Jake Virtanen was injured late in game 6, getting smashed into the boards (he did his post-game interview and said he was just winded). Vegas’s players have been mouthing off during games and acting rather cocky. Could the Canucks complete the comeback for the 4th time in franchise history? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Golden Knights opened the scoring almost 14 minutes into the 3rd period as Shea Theodore sent a seeing eye shot through traffic and by Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko
  • Three minutes later, Alex Tuch tucked the puck into the empty net
  • Two minutes after that, Paul Stastoy added a second empty-netter
  • Thatcher Demko stopped 33/34 shots
  • Final score: Golden Knights 3 Canucks 0

My Take:

  • The best Canuck on the ice BY FAR tonight was Thatcher Demko, who was playing his third game in 4 nights, while the rest of the team had to play it’s 5th in 7 games. It wasn’t even the number of games in a short span, but also the quality of the shots he had to face and the number of shots. Tonight, he faced 34 more shots, bringing the shot total against him to 130 in this series, including 3 starts. With Jacob Markstrom about to hit free agency, Demko could well be the starting goalie next season.
  • The Canucks had a ton of problems getting any kind of offence going tonight. They had just 6 shot attempts through 2 periods, with the best chance coming off the stick of Brock Boesr, who was absolutely robbed by Robin Lehner, who recorded his third shutout of the series. It’s so quirky that Lehner has ONLY shutout wins. Every time the Canucks score against him, he loses
  • Special teams was the difference maker in this one. The Canucks failed on all 4 attempts, including a five minute major. The PP looked horrible tonight. Trying to be too pretty and not shooting to create a rebound. The Golden Knights opened the scoring with a man advantage and that proved to be the series winning goal
  • Two reasons why the Canucks were eliminated: the insane schedule to end the series and the physical beating they were enduring night after night. Tyler Motte had to leave the game after a brutal cheapshot by Vegas pest Ryan Reaves, who received a game misconduct.
  • The Canucks won 59% of the draws, led by Elias Pettersson and Tyler Motte, who both won every draw they took. Bo Horvat (64% success rate) and JT Miller and Jay Beagle (both won 58% of the draws they took) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks banged out 27 hits, led by Oscar Fantenberg, who had 4 hits today
  • The Canucks blocked 30 shots, led by Quinn Hughes, Troy Stetcher and Bo Horvat, who each blocked 3 shots
  • Up next, the off-season. The Canucks will leave the bubble and rejoin their families and start prepping for next year. Meanwhile, the evaluation process begins for Canucks management with exit interviews and dealing with expiring contracts. I’ll be doing a post-season wrap up post in the next few days.
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