Canucks: Early playoff success isn’t that surprising

The Vancouver Canucks have won four of their first five games since returning to play, and the early success isn’t too surprising.

There’s still a long way to go, but so far, it’s hard not to be impressed and excited about the Vancouver Canucks‘ overall performance in the NHL’s return to play.

After defeating the Minnesota Wild in the qualifying round — thanks to Chris Tanev‘s overtime heroics in Game 4– the Canucks soundly defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in Game 1 on Wednesday by a final score of 5-2.

Before the start of the qualifying round, core players such as Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Quinn Hughes, Adam Gaudette and Jacob Marksrom had never competed in a playoff game.

But head coach Travis Green certainly didn’t fail in getting this inexperienced team ready for the big games. These young stars have actually played like seasoned veterans with years of playoff experience on their resumes.

Defeating the older and less skilled Wild in the qualifying round was predictable, but the Canucks’ dominance of the Blues in Game 1 proved one thing: Regardless of postseason inexperience, this team came to play. And they’re going to be a tough out.

Vancouver’s early dominance in the playoffs shouldn’t be all that surprising, either. When your core consists of players like Pettersson, Boeser, Hughes and captain Bo Horvat, you’re always going to have a chance.

Markstrom has been stealing games for two years now, and a red-hot goalie is sometimes all you need to go on a deep run. Markstrom hasn’t been at peak form yet, but once he finds it, this Vancouver team is going to be even tougher to beat.

The Canucks also have Stanley Cup winners Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Jay Beagle on the roster. Tanev and Alexaner Edler were both part of the 2010-11 team that fell one game short of winning it all. They know what it takes.

Next: Canucks: How they match up against the Blues

With a strong mix of veterans and young stars who are only entering their primes, along with a superb starting goalie, these Canucks look poised to make some serious noise throughout the postseason.

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