Canucks aren’t getting enough offence from the bottom six forwards

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 30: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights makes a save on a shot by Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks during the second period in Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 30, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 30: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights makes a save on a shot by Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks during the second period in Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 30, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Vancouver Canucks are one loss away from elimination, due in large part to the lack of scoring from the bottom six forwards.

Going into this series, there was absolutely no denying that the Vegas Golden Knights are a better team than the Vancouver Canucks.

But Canucks fans had good reason to be optimistic about this second round matchup. They completely dominated the St. Louis Blues in round one, dispatching the defending Stanley Cup champions in six games.

If Vancouver could beat St. Louis in convincing fashion, why wouldn’t they have a chance against Vegas? The Canucks had the pivotal advantage in goal, after all.

But after a convincing 5-2 win in Game 2 to even the series, head coach Travis Green has seen his team implode in so many areas. Jacob Markstrom is no longer standing on his head, having allowed eight goals in his last two outings. The defence has had way too many breakdowns in its own zone.

And most importantly, the Canucks are way too reliant on its top forwards to do the scoring. The Golden Knights have received plenty of scoring up and down the lineup. And that’s why they’re one win away from the Western Conference Final.

Only four Canucks have scored a goal in this series: Bo Horvat (three), Elias Pettersson (two), Tyler Toffoli (two) and Tanner Pearson (one). On the flip side, nine different Golden Knights have scored a goal. Think about that.

There’s just no way the Canucks can expect to win the next three games and steal the series with the lack of secondary scoring.

The likes of Tyler Motte, Jay Beagle, Jake Virtanen and Antoine Roussel all contributed timely offence against the Blues. Those four have combined four zero points in the series against Vegas.

Adam Gaudette has also been held off the score sheet in this series. He’s yet to register a point in seven playoff outings.

That just isn’t going to cut it.

Brock Boeser has just one assist in four games. But given his track record and strong skill set, one can cite this as a minor slump. For all we know, he’ll bounce back with a goal or two in Game 5, and maybe more if the series requires a sixth and (hopefully) a seventh game.

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It doesn’t matter how well Markstrom plays from here. It doesn’t matter if the defence plays better in its own end. It doesn’t matter how much offence the top two lines can produce. If the Canucks don’t get more offensive production from the bottom six forwards, this series will end sooner rather than later.