Different Path's To The Stanley Cup Playoffs For Canucks And Blues Game 1
The Canucks and Blues game 1 got underway Wednesday night from Rogers Place in Edmonton Alberta. The path for both teams to get to the Western Conference Quarter-Finals was extremely different.
Vancouver was able to beat out the Minnesota Wild 3-1 to move on to the Playoffs. Quinn Hughes looked amazing in the series and Tyler Myers took 9 minor penalties in 4 games so there were takeaways on both sides. Oscar Fantenberg was healthy enough to go after missing game 4 against the Wild. J.T. Miller didn't take pre-game skate and gave Canucks fans a bit of a scare but was good to go when the puck dropped at 7:45 pm.
While St. Louis finished the regular season tops in the Western Conference with 94 points. A full 16 points clear of the 7th place Canucks. The Blues failed miserably in the play-in games going 0-2-1 getting outscored 9-3 in the three games. They were coming in on only 2 days rest to play some meaningful hockey. It showed a bit early as it took the Blues some time to find their playoffs legs.
An Even 1st Period Canucks And Blues Game 1 Stanley Cup Playoffs
If the first period of Canucks and Blues is any indication of how this series is going to go then we are in for a treat. Both Goalies were tested early with Loui Eriksson being stopped by Binnington before Markstrom had to make a stop on Zach Sanford. The teams would continue to trade chances to start the 1st period as they felt each other out.
Tanner Pearson had a partial breakaway but sent his shot wide of the net. Vancouver was skating to come out which made sense as they had played 4 meaningful games coming in. Brandon Sutter would split the D and go in a breakaway for Vancouver at just after 4 minutes into the game. He was able to get a backhand shot off that was saved by Binnington while being slashed by Justin Faulk.
The Canucks would make the blues pay just 12 seconds into the powerplay. Captain Bo Horvat found a soft spot in the zone and ripped a pass from Quinn Hughes for the 1-0 lead 4:29 into the game. A great start for Vancouver fans! J.T. Miller who looked as if he might not play got the second helper and lead the forwards with 7:33 of ice time in Canucks and Blues Game 1.
This seemed to wake up the defending Stanley Cup Champions as Tyler Bozak had a shot go wide off the rush before David Perron was stopped by Markstrom in close. Bo Horvat was skating well and could have made it 2-0 when he walked in front but was saved by the Blues goalie. Antoine Roussel was up to his normal antics drawing crowds before a T.V. Timeout at 11:40 into the first period.
The Canucks and Blues game 1 would pick up in physicality. St. Louis was getting a more aggressive forecheck and was able to create a couple of nice chances. Markstrom made a huge save on Vladimir Tarasenko after some nice possession by the Blues top line. They would continue to press and take the lead 7-5 in shots.
The Canucks were playing with fire after Oskar Sundqvist was stopped by Markstrom, Roussel went a bit far and took a slashing call. 16:37 into the first period and St. Louis would equalize on the powerplay with a similar goal to Vancouver's. David Perron was able to find a way through the bodies in front of his shot to beat Markstrom. Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo got assists on the 1-1 goal.
The captain really showed his skating in the opening frame drawing a penalty late on Pietrangelo. Vancouver wasn't able to muster much on the man advantage to end the frame the Canucks and Blues game 1 would end in a one-all tie after the first period. St. Louis was leading slighting in shots 12-9 with both teams having 4 high danger scoring chances.
2nd Period Stanley Cup Playoffs Under Way With A Bang
The Canucks and Blues Game 1 second period would start tied up at one-all. Vancouver had a brief powerplay that had trouble breaking into the zone past the clogged up St. Louis penalty killers. Vancouver would fizzle out on the rest of the powerplay.
Tyler Myers would Tyler Myers and take a penalty for holding on Oskar Sundqvist at the 3:13 mark of the 2nd period. St. Louis was able to work it around and Pietrangelo on a one-timer from the point that was stopped by Markstrom. Tyler Bozak would take the defending Champs off the powerplay when he tripped Alex Edler in front of the net.
Once again the Canucks couldn't penetrate the Blues Line, get it! The Canucks and Blues would dump it back to each other until Myers was able to redeem himself by drawing a tripping call on Brayden Schenn 7:43 into the second period. This time the first unit was able to set up with some great puck movement. Hughes held the puck in and was able to work it down to Brock Boeser.
He walked out in front and tried to get a shot away but fanned and the puck would find its way back to Elias Pettersson. The Alien provided an out of this world shot as he was falling backward to once again give Vancouver the one-goal lead 2-1.
The lead didn't last long for the Canucks and Blues game 1 after Pettersson scored. Just a 1:12 after Jaden Schwartz took advantage of a Chris Tanev fumble at the point. He was able to break in, despite Hughes trying to stick push Tanev forward but knocking him down, and sneak it through the arm of Markstrom. 9:49 almost halfway through the game and things were once again even between the Canucks and Blues game 1.
St. Louis would continue pressing looking for their first lead of the game. Some strong shifts in Vancouver's zone and they were able to get a powerplay. It was a rather soft call for roughing on Zack MacEwen. Canucks head coach Travis Green definitely thought so. Tell us how you really feel coach?
Markstrom was key on the penalty kill making 3 saves to keep the Blues one for three on the powerplay. The game would slow down and the puck would slide to Jordan Binnington and he would hold it for a whistle and a T.V. stoppage.
Vancouver would have a chance to take a lead into the 3rd period with a late powerplay. Mackenzie MacEachern tripped up Loui Eriksson. the Canucks and Blues game 1 were exchanging powerplays. Pettersson ripped one off the post with 3:55 to go in the period.
It was a really physical second and St. Louis would end things strong pinning Hughes and Chris Tanev in their own zone for a couple of minutes. Markstrom had to come up big on Pietrangelo but things would end 2-2 canucks and Blues game 1 Stanley cup playoffs.
Win Da Turd Canucks And Blues Game 1
If you happened to blink then you might have missed the first 5 minutes of the Canucks and Blues game 1 third period. It started back and forth with no whistles and the teams able to skate and get all lines into the final frame.
Shots were 24-17 for the Blues and Markstrom had to be sharp on Sanford. Vancouver, for the 3rd time in the game, would take the lead, The B.C. boy Troy Stecher received an errant pass from Brock Boeser. His wrist shot went through Binnington to make it 3-2, an emotional Troy pointed to the sky after losing his Father this last year.
It was a very special moment for him and the Canucks in general. He was embraced at the bench by Pettersson and Jacob Markstrom touched on it post-game. It lifted the team as less than 3 minutes later Bo Horvat unleased his playoff Super Saiyan self with a beautiful move on Vince Dunn. He beat Binnington for his second goal of the night.
Canucks and Blues game 1 of the Western Conference Quarter-Finals would play out unexpectedly for most with Vancouver holding onto a 4-2 lead late in the period. The 4th line of Tyler Motte, Jay Beagle, and whoever was double shifting help kill some important minutes. Travis Green had shortened his bench by this point.
St. Louis didn't quit and should have made it a one-goal game. But Justin Faulk skyed a great pass from Tarasenko on the rush well over Markstrom and the net. The blues would go on to outshoot the Canucks 31 to 22 in the game but could only beat Markstrom twice. The Canucks and Blues game 1 would be sealed up shortly after.
Head coach Craig Berube would pull his goalie with over 3 minutes to go only to have Pietrangelo take an interference penalty at 18:32. The Canucks and Blues game 1 would be finished off by some keep away and a pretty goal by J.T. Miller. Vancouver worked it around to Tanner Pearson and then Boeser who found Miller cross-ice for the open net.
The Canucks and Blues Game 1 would end 5-2 for the "Visiting" team. Vancouver was dangerous but it helped that Binnington let in 3 goals on 5 shots in the final frame. He will need to pick up his play or we might see Jake Allen sooner than later.
Canucks And Blues Prepare For Game 2
The Vancouver Canucks Social Media account was sniping them as good as Petey and Miller tonight and it showed after the 5-2 win...
A lot of people complaining about this on twitter. It hurts when it's you doesn't it? Maybe everyone slow your troll and just cheer on the Canucks. As Jackie Moon once famously said, "Everybody Love Everybody!".
Canucks and Blues game 1 had a bit of everything tonight. One of my favorite moments of the evening didn't get a goal but it was 20 seconds of pure Hughes genius. The edgework, the superb one-touch passing, the vision, and hockey IQ. He got his 7th point of the postseason in 5 games with his first period assist on the Horvat goal.
One thing to take note from tonight's Canucks and Blues game 1 was the dominance of Ryan O'Reilly, Zach Sanford, and David perron for St. Louis. They were able to shut down the Lotto Line 5 on 5 with shots 9-1 and expected goals-for percentage of 68.18%.
The Horvat Line or Horvat in general also stood out for the Canucks as he showed some pretty dangles on his 3rd-period goal. There were also some special moments with the Troy Stecher goal and his tribute to his late father. Markstrom talked about it post-game when asked by Thomas Drance of the Athletic,
"Yes, very emotional, Yeah you know for him, like I said, I always go through and it's not easy and for him to show that kind of emotion just, so happy he got it and I got emotional as well thinking about it so I gave him a big hug after the game."
He would go on to say on the play of Troy Stecher, "It's another guy who blocks a tonne of shots and works his bag off and to gets rewarded with a goal in a big game, that's with everything he's been going through, that's huge."
It is really important to see some of the things on ice as well as off the ice with this year's Canucks team. If they are able to build a long run it will help that they have become such a solid group of friends as well as teammates.
Sports Talk Line Will Have your Stanley Cup Playoffs Covered
The Canucks and Blues game 1 was an exciting 5-2 win for Vancouver. They take the early 1-0 series lead ahead of Friday nights game 2. It would be huge for the Canucks to get a 2-0 series lead but expect pushback from St. Loius. Especially Jordan Binnington who has only seemed to use a loose to fuel his fire for the next game.
Whether it's Canucks articles, YouTube highlights, or the Unnamed Sports Show Point 5 the Sports Talk Line Network will keep you ready for the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs.