Fans of the Vancouver Canucks are excited to see their favorite players make their NHL Playoffs debut, but nobody stands out more than Elias Pettersson.
The Vancouver Canucks have landed in Edmonton.
That’s right, folks. Elias Pettersson and the 29 other Canucks’ players have landed safely and are now confirmed to be secured inside of the Western Conference bubble, where they will remain until they either lose out or win the Stanley Cup.
A week from now, Vancouver will enter the Qualifying Round to faceoff in a head-to-head best-of-five series with the Minnesota Wild. The winner will advance to the round of 16, where they’ll play one of the top four seeds out west: The defending champions of St. Louis, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, or Vegas Golden Knights.
The play-in is where a handful of the Canucks’ core players will make their highly anticipated NHL Playoffs debut, which may not technically be considered as either regular-season games or playoff games, but trust me, the passion to win amongst NHL players never changes.
This will be a great opportunity for fans to set their sights on their favorite Canucks, and it’ll give everyone a good grasp on how they perform under the tremendous pressure of the NHL Playoffs.
The Canuck Way took this as a chance to ask the fans themselves what they thought.
Names like Jake Virtanen come to mind when thinking about this exact situation. He’s been a Canuck for six years, he’s yet to play in the playoffs, and he’s been considered by many across Canucks Nation to be the perfect playoff performer when given the opportunity.
Brock Boeser is another one. He’s a fourth-year player on this team, an absolute sniper for his age, and if he can get the puck in the net more often than not, he can help Pettersson drive that 1-2 offensive scoring threat.
Thirdly, Quinn Hughes can’t be forgotten. After 50 years without a No. 1 defender, the Orlando native showed Vancouver what it’s like to really have a power play quarterback and true all-around blueliner. He was a record-breaking gamechanger for the Canucks this year, and I don’t expect that to change when the puck drops in Edmonton.
But with as much talent as the Canucks have, it wasn’t too surprising to see that Pettersson tops the list. Fans are thrilled he’s on the team, and there are just so many questions that need answers when it comes to his NHL playoff experience.
The kid absolutely lit the lamp and won it all for the Vaxjo Lakers of the SHL back in 2017-18. Despite only being 165 pounds at the time, the Swede had one of the best rookie seasons in SHL history and followed it up with an MVP-calibre performance in the SHL Playoffs. His six goals and nine points over 11 games scream, “Clutch performer”.
But we all know that the SHL is a completely different league, it’s a step down from the NHL and not nearly as rough and tough. Can Pettersson handle the heightened physicality of the NHL Playoffs? Can Pettersson remain a consistent point producer? Can Pettersson be the team MVP when it matters most?
There are so many questions surrounding the Swedish star, and the Canucks are leaning on him to come out on the right side of those questions. Either way, it’s very exciting and fans can’t wait to see him work his magic.
Puck drops versus the Wild on Monday, August 2nd.