Canucks: 3 takeaways from 3-0 game 7 loss to Golden Knights

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 04: Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks reacts after allowing a goal to Shea Theodore (not pictured) of the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period in Game Seven of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on September 04, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 04: Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks reacts after allowing a goal to Shea Theodore (not pictured) of the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period in Game Seven of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on September 04, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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EDMONTON, ALBERTA – SEPTEMBER 04: Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks consoles Thatcher Demko #35 after their teams 3-0 defeat against the Vegas Golden Knights during in Game Seven of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on September 04, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, ALBERTA – SEPTEMBER 04: Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks consoles Thatcher Demko #35 after their teams 3-0 defeat against the Vegas Golden Knights during in Game Seven of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on September 04, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Power play dries up

The power play couldn’t have picked a worse time to go quiet.  Vancouver went 0-for-4 on the man advantage last night. The magic was gone.

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The zone entries were very sloppy, as Vegas was consistently able to clear before the Canucks could even get set up. They were passing way too much, and some of the passes didn’t even connect properly. They didn’t get enough shots on goal, as many were blocked or missed the net.

It felt like the Canucks were too passive on the entries and were trying to do too much with all the extra passing.

It also hurts that the Canucks couldn’t convert on a five-minute power play when Ryan Reaves was penalized and given a game misconduct for a hit to the head on Tyler Motte. Fortunately, Motte returned in the third.

They only managed one shot on that five minute power play, and if they had scored on that opportunity, it could have changed the outcome of the game.

Hardly any zone time

It’s been one of the Canucks flaws throughout the entire series. They hardly had any time in the Golden Knights zone and spent more time in their own instead. It unfortunately happened again last night.

From the opening faceoff, Vegas was on the attack. The Canucks were trapped in their own zone while the Golden Knights moved the puck around with ease and got some quality scoring chances. Vancouver failed many times to clear the zone, and when they did it, was very relieving. You could have celebrated as if they scored a goal.

Once again, Demko was there to bail them out.

When the Canucks were in the Golden Knights zone, it felt shorter than Target’s time in Canada.

Like on the power play, the zone entries were poor and too passive. The passes weren’t connecting and there were hardly any shots on Robin Lehner. It was also hard when there wasn’t a lot of traffic around him.

Plus, they weren’t doing much shooting to begin with. Vegas was easily able to clear the puck or break out and counter. Their best chance was when Lehner robbed Brock Boeser on the rush. So it was safe to say the Canucks were “zoned out” last night.

Conclusion

Despite last night’s disappointing  loss, I am proud of this Canucks team and am pleasantly surprised on the season as a whole.

At the beginning of the season, I didn’t have the Canucks making the playoffs. I would have never imagined that they’d knock off the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues and take the Golden Knights to seven, let alone playing hockey in the summer amid a global pandemic.

This Canucks team surprised me in many ways, and hopefully this is the start of something special. You can be disappointed by the loss, but the playoff bar has been raised.

Next. Canucks' young core has championship mentality. dark

On behalf of everyone here at The Canuck Way, I would like to thank everyone for reading our articles throughout this crazy season. Your support means a lot to us and without you, we wouldn’t be here. Expect more content in what should be a very interesting offseason.