Canucks officially eliminated from playoffs during 5-2 win over Seattle

Apr 26, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (43) scores on Seattle Kraken goalie Joey Daccord (35) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vancouver won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 26, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (43) scores on Seattle Kraken goalie Joey Daccord (35) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vancouver won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /

The fat lady has officially sung for the Vancouver Canucks.

After back-to-back regulation losses against Minnesota and Calgary last week, the team travelled back to Vancouver, looking to keep their extremely slim playoff hopes alive against Jared McCann and the Seattle Kraken.

Prior to Tuesday night’s contest, the Canucks sat six points back of the Dallas Stars for the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference, making their penultimate home contest both extremely important and extremely unrealistic at the same time.

Vancouver was also forced to climb their impossibly uphill battle without Thatcher Demko, who was sidelined with an undisclosed injury earlier in the morning.

Initially, it was reported that Demko would just be “day-to-day”, but hockey insider Elliotte Friedman was quick to change that narrative, sharing that Demko’s year could very well be done.

As a result, the Canucks turned towards Spencer Martin between the pipes.

Martin, who recently signed a two-year, one-way contract with the big club, has been lights out in Abbotsford this season, posting a 19-4-2 record to go along with a 2.43 GAA and .914 SV%, and was hoping to carry that momentum into his sixth-ever NHL contest.

The Canucks made sure to help out Martin early on, creating a 3-on-1 opportunity in the opening minutes. The puck made its way to Sheldon Dries, who elected to hold onto the frozen biscuit before snapping it past Joey Daccord to open the scoring for the home team.

Vancouver wasted no time hitting the scoreboard again, this time relying on their big guns in Conor Garland and J.T. Miller to set the tone.

Like we’ve seen many times this season, Garland was able to quickly gain entry into the offensive zone before leaving a drop-pass for Miller, who sent an absolute one-timer bomb past Daccord for Vancouver’s second goal of the night.

The tally marked Miller’s 97th point of the campaign, tying him with Todd Bertuzzi for fifth-most points registered in a season in franchise history.

More importantly, the secondary assist was given to Quinn Hughes on the play, helping him officially break the franchise record for most points by a defenceman in a single season with 64.

The record was previously held by Doug Lidster, who hit the accomplishment back in 1986-97 at just 26 years of age.

Hughes, on the other hand, is only 22.

The Canucks were able to wrap up their strong first period on the powerplay, thanks to a Carson Soucy cross-checking penalty in the final few minutes.

After Garland collected the puck near the boards, the shifty winger moved towards the middle of the ice before once again leaving a drop-pass for his teammate, this time in Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who was able to hammer home a slapshot for his fifth goal of the year just as the man advantage expired.

Despite the impressive opening frame, Vancouver came out flat-footed and lethargic to start the second period, surrendering two separate penalties in the first three minutes to send Seattle to their second 5-on-3 advantage of the evening.

Fortunately for the team, Martin was up to the task, turning aside a few high-danger scoring chances early on in the powerplay to keep his team up by three.

Unfortunately, the Kraken continued to apply the relentless pressure, and were eventually able to break Martin’s shutout, thanks to a nifty passing play that led to Jordan Eberle’s 20th goal of the season.

This was a double whammy for Canucks fans, who also saw their postseason hopes officially disappear on the out-of-town scoreboard. Just seconds after Seattle scored, the clock also struck zero on the third period in the Dallas-Vegas game, sending the contest into overtime.

With the extra point, Dallas was able to climb to 94 in the standings, mathematically eliminating Vancouver from the postseason for the sixth time in the past seven years.

To make matters even worse, Seattle also wasted no time finding more offence.

Shortly after Eberle’s tally, the Kraken were able to gain entry into Vancouver’s zone. The puck eventually came to Conor Sheahan behind the net, who sent it out front to Morgan Geekie for the easy tap-in to bring Seattle within one.

Seattle could’ve easily drawn level with Vancouver in the final few minutes, but were once again foiled by Martin, who did his best Demko impression to reserve his team’s one goal lead heading into the second intermission.

Like the second period, however, Martin was once again forced to keep the Canucks ahead on the scoreboard, turning aside six shots while his teammates appeared to be on their heels.

Fortunately, the Canucks were able to return the favour to their netminder in the final 10 minutes, thanks to two goals from Luke Schenn and Hughes to seal the deal for the home team.

Hughes registered the secondary assist on Schenn’s goal, giving him his sixth three-point contest of the year, while also bringing his point total to 66 with still six periods left to go on the season.

Garland also managed to record three assists of his own, marking his 50th point of the year, while Martin finished the evening with 30 saves on 32 shots.

11 of those chances came shorthanded during Seattle’s eight separate powerplay attempts.

With the victory, the Canucks also managed to sweep the season series against their Pacific Northwest foe, a rivalry that will hopefully have more snarl and excitement next year.

Of course, none of this means much to the organization and fanbase after what happened during the Dallas-Vegas game. The Stars even managed to come away with the victory in the shootout, further increasing their point differential over us in the Western Conference standings.

The Canucks are back in action on Thursday night, facing off against the Los Angeles Kings in the final home game of the season. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST.

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What are your thoughts from Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Seattle? Let us know in the comments!