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Revisiting the Canucks Loss in Round Two to the Oilers

In reviewing the Vancouver Canucks loss to the Edmonton Oilers, what happened that resulted in the Canucks losing?

A few days after the dust has settled on the Vancouver Canucks’ loss to the Edmonton Oilers, it’s time to reflect on what went wrong in the series. Despite a promising start, the Canucks faltered in the last two games, allowing Edmonton to come back from a game down to win the series and move on to round three.

Related: Oilers Catch Significant Break Heading Into Game 1 vs. Stars

Seven Quick Critical Factors That Led to the Canucks Series Loss

Here’s a quick breakdown of seven critical factors that led to the Canucks’ collapse and eventual series loss to the Oilers.

Critical Factor One: The Canucks Had Offensive Zone Struggles

Throughout the series, the Canucks struggled with their offensive zone play. They relied too heavily on perimeter play, rarely driving toward the net or creating high-danger scoring opportunities. This conservative approach allowed the Oilers’ defense to manage threats effectively, minimizing the Canucks’ offensive impact.

Credit should go to the Oilers for taking away many of the dangerous chances and high-danger shots, but the fact the Canucks couldn’t figure out a way to make life more difficult on the goaltenders was an issue.

Critical Factor Two: The Canucks Power Play Was Inefficient

The Canucks’ power play, which had been a strength during the regular season, was ineffective in this series. Their inability to capitalize on power play opportunities was a significant issue, particularly in the crucial final games where a goal or two could have swung the momentum in their favor.

Again, the Oilers penalty kill was fantastic and has been tops in the NHL. They found success against the Los Angeles Kings too. However, the Canucks had more offensive weapons than the Kings and should have been able to find a way.

Critical Factor Three: The Canucks Forechecking Was Inadequate

A recurring tactical error was the Canucks’ tendency to dump the puck into the offensive zone and immediately change lines. This lack of sustained forechecking pressure allowed the Oilers to regain possession and transition quickly, negating the Canucks’ offensive efforts.

The Canucks did try to be more physical than the Oilers, but by the end of the series, Edmonton was starting to even out the hit totals in games. That was a big swing in Games 6 and 7.

Critical Factor Four: The Canucks Suffered from Key Injuries and Fatigue

Injuries and fatigue played a crucial role in the Canucks’ downfall. Elias Pettersson revealed he was playing with a sore knee, which limited his effectiveness. By Game 7, core players like J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes appeared exhausted, contributing to the team’s lack of offensive output—they failed to register a shot on net after scoring their second goal on Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner.

JT Miller texted Rick Tocchet to apologize for Canucks loss

As everyone already knew, the Canucks were missing Thatcher Demko. Silovs played extremely well, but having Demko out was a factor. Ian Cole didn’t want to use anything he was going through as an excuse, but it sounded like he was dealing with something. Filip Hronek denied rumors he was dealing with an injury. Few believed him, especially when he paused before answering.

Critical Factor Five: The Canucks Were Missing Scorers and Had Poor Finishing

Brock Boeser’s absence was felt, as his scoring ability could have made a difference. Additionally, players like Ilya Mikheyev failed to finish their chances, which was detrimental in a tightly contested series.

Critical Factor Six: The Canucks Missed Their Game 6 Opportunity

Game 6 was a pivotal moment where the Canucks failed to test Edmonton’s goaltender Skinner effectively. A better performance in this game would have given them the series win and avoided Game 7, but they failed to capitalize on this opportunity.

This was a game where Vancouver had a chance to put the hammer down on a goalie who was coming back into the lineup and being scratched for Games 4 and 5. For some reason, they didn’t test him like they should have to try and get to him early.

Critical Factor Seven: The Canucks Seemed Mentally and Physical Exhausted

By the time Game 7 arrived, the Canucks looked drained both mentally and physically. This exhaustion was evident in their play, as they couldn’t muster the necessary intensity and focus to close out the series. Their inability to generate any significant offense after their second goal in Game 7 demonstrated their depleted state.

What the Canucks Will Take Away from the Series Loss

There is one thing that the Canucks will take away from the series loss. That is Arturs Silovs’s goaltending excellence. Despite the team’s struggles, Silovs was a standout performer, keeping the Canucks competitive and pushing the series to seven games. His performance was a bright spot, but it also underscored the team’s reliance on goaltending to stay in games, highlighting the deficiencies elsewhere on the ice.

In conclusion, the Canucks’ series loss to the Oilers was a result of tactical shortcomings, key injuries, fatigue, and missed opportunities. While the Canucks had a solid series, they couldn’t pull it off. They had two chances in Game 6 and Game 7 to win. However, they simply could not. Ultimately, they allowed the Oilers to rebound and advance to the next round.

Related: Elias Lindholm Shines in Playoffs, Future with Canucks Uncertain

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. kinkaf

    May 24, 2024 at 10:14 pm

    The series was lost in Game 2 when the officials (Sutherland and Furlatt) and the League showed their TRUE colours.

    At least 3 of the 4 on-ice officials would have seen McDavid high-stick Hughes in the face as it happened directly in front of where the puck was.

    But they had a “huddle” and agreed to not give ANY penalty at all. That way they didn’t have to review it and maybe assess an even bigger penalty (as it was obvious that McDavid’s high stick was DELIBERATE and not the result of any contact with anyone and could have been a 5 minute major).

    And later in the same game, they decided that McDavid’s cross-check on Zadorov wasn’t worthy of a penalty either. Zadorov was about to check an Oiler that had the puck so you KNOW 2-3 officials would have been looking directly at that spot on the ice when McDavid knocked Zadorov down. Could have (should have) been a cross- checking or maybe an interference call but because the officials didn’t want to give Vancouver a powerplay – they deliberately chose not to call anything.


    Kane got away with at least one blatant slew-foot as well in that game.

    THAT is when Vancouver lost the series.

    I’ve been saying it for years, the ONLY way Vancouver can win is if they can outscore – the OFFICIALS.

    The Canucks have to score enough goals that the officials CAN’T “manage” the game to get the outcome THEY want without being blatantly obvious that they are trying to rig the outcome.

    One goal games give them plenty of opportunities to give one team penalties while not calling them on the other team.

    And they showed their TRUE colours again at the end of Game 3.
    Games over, Soucy is against the boards behind Vancouver’s net with McDavid in his face. He pushes McDavid away from him. (NOT “shoves”. NOT “in anger”. Just a push.)

    McDavid childishly reacts by giving Soucy a viscious two-handed slash to the leg.

    If he DIDN’T slash Soucy, then Soucy wouldn’t have cross-checked him in retaliation and Zadorov – who SAW McDavid slash Soucy – wouldn’t have hit McDavid either.

    But McDavid got away with it – AGAIN – and Soucy got a 1 game suspension and Zadorov got a fine.

    Explain how that works ?

    And further proof was Game 1 of the Edm-Dal series. McDavid AGAIN high-sticks someone in the face.
    It’s the SAME officials as in Game 2 of the Van-Edm series (Sutherland and Furlatt).

    But this time they DO call a double-minor – because they wanted to review it and see if they could wave off the penalty.

    Watching McDavid’s reaction when they annouced that showed HIS true character. HE thinks HE shouldn’t be penalized for anything !

    And when they reviewed the videos and saw it WAS McDavid’s CARELESS stick that hit the Dallas player in the face – hard enough the guy had to go to the dressing room for stitches – and has NO choice buy to uphold the double-minor – McDavid KEPT barking at the officials all the way to the penalty box.

    Because he is the “great McDavid”. “Bettman’s Boy”. The “Greatest Hockey Player in the League”.
    And HE doesn’t think HE should be penalized for ANYTHING.

    There was no way Vancouver was going to win that series unless they were able to score 7-10 goals per game and keep Edmonton to just 1 or 2.

    Because THAT would have been the ONLY way to keep the officials from “managing” the outcome of the games.

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