The Vancouver Canucks’ bubble has been popped.

After getting by the Minnesota Wild within the play-in spherical after which cruising previous the defending champion St. Louis Blues within the Spherical of 16, the Canucks’ postseason run lastly got here to an finish by the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night time. That collection vs. Vegas went the complete seven video games, which is additional than most anticipated it to — particularly after the Canucks fell right into a 3-1 collection gap. 

However, finally, the Golden Knights prevailed and might be heading to the Western Convention Finals for the second time of their three-year historical past. So, the place did issues go incorrect for Vancouver? Let’s study.

Possession dominance

There’s actually solely place to begin with this collection, and it is with the 5-on-5 possession numbers, that are fairly gorgeous. It is nearly a miracle that the Canucks even pressured seven video games thought-about how outplayed they had been at even energy. I imply, they completely stole Recreation 6 (and by “they” I imply Thatcher Demko) and had an actual shot to steal Recreation 7 too, so this collection had fairly a bizarre end.

Listed below are some 5-on-5 collection stats actual fast, courtesy of Pure Stat Trick:

  • Shot makes an attempt: 414 – 256 Vegas
  • Pictures on aim: 210 – 117  Vegas
  • Excessive-danger probabilities: 78-48 Vegas
  • Anticipated targets: 16.89 – 8.85 Vegas
  • Objectives: 12 – 8 Vegas

It is arduous to win a seven-game collection when you do not have the puck and might’t maintain strain at 5-on-5, and that was an issue for the Canucks right here. Vegas is an elite forechecking staff that loves to use strain wherever and in all places, and Vancouver simply appeared like that they had a whole lot of bother coping with the Golden Knights’ pace and tenacity on the puck. The Canucks struggled to get clear zone entries, they struggled to get photographs off and so they struggled to counter Vegas with that very same type of strain.

In a do or die Recreation 7, Vegas held Vancouver to only 14 whole photographs on aim — together with simply six by the primary 40 minutes.

Vegas simply type of outmatched Vancouver for a lot of this collection and the Canucks could not appear to do so much about it. Their goalies had been below siege from the get-go and if it weren’t for the unreal play of Thatcher Demko, who made his first profession playoff begin in Recreation 5 and caught round by the remainder of the collection, this most likely would have been over so much sooner.

Underperforming energy play

In case you’re not going to manage play at 5-on-5, you are typically going to need to depend on your energy play to hold a whole lot of the offensive weight. The Canucks had the league’s fourth-best energy play through the common season and their prime unit is as enjoyable and harmful as they arrive, however the man-advantage fell flat and failed to provide a lot this collection. 

Vancouver went 3-for-27 (11.1 p.c) on the ability play towards Vegas, falling effectively in need of their common season conversion price (24.2 p.c). The ability play struggles had been particularly devastating in Recreation 7, when the Canucks bought an prolonged energy play alternative after a five-minute main was assessed to Ryan Reaves for successful to the pinnacle. Locked in a scoreless tie with an opportunity to interrupt the ice on the finish of the second interval/starting of the third, the Canucks managed to get only one shot on internet throughout that main penalty. 

Depth contributions

One of many Golden Knights’ best strengths is their skill to roll 4 efficient traces and hold their foot on the fuel for 60 minutes. Their top-nine is about nearly as good as you may discover and their third line gave Vancouver a little bit of bother on this sereis. Alex Tuch was been spectacular throughout these playoffs and he shared the Vegas staff lead for targets on this collection, scoring 4 occasions. Vancouver, in the meantime, bought nearly no offensive contributions from bottom-six forwards on this collection. 

Shea Theodore

We have knocked out a very powerful causes already so let’s simply take a second to understand Shea Theodore’s work on this collection. In case you did not fairly know the way good the Golden Knights defenseman was earlier than this, you must have a fairly good thought now. 

Theodore led all Vegas skaters with 9 factors (two targets, seven assists) and had arguably the perfect aim we have seen these playoffs when he straight-up minimize by the Vancouver protection prefer it was microwaved butter.

That type of offensive talent is not an anomaly from Theodore, who’s steadily making a reputation for himself as one of many league’s greatest defensemen. With Theodore on the ice at 5-on-5 on this collection, the Golden Knights managed 64.5 p.c of makes an attempt (171-94), 68.4 p.c of photographs (91-42), 67.2 p.c of high-danger probabilities (37-18) and outscored Vancouver 6-3. He was a power.

Simply not prepared but

Thomas Drance of The Athletic could have stated it greatest: The Golden Knights’ time is now, and the Canucks’ time remains to be to come back. This Vancouver group has a really enjoyable, younger, thrilling core and so they’re constructing towards one thing fairly particular if they’ll proceed to fill out the roster with good personnel selections. However proper now this staff remains to be fairly flawed, particularly defensively, and possibly not able to be a respectable contender simply but. 

Vegas, in the meantime, is a staff that’s constructed to win now and so they’re persevering with to show that they have nearly as good a shot to boost the Cup this 12 months as just about anybody. Regardless that the collection was by some means there for the taking in Recreation 7, the Canucks cannot actually really feel too dangerous about their season coming to an finish right here. The long run is vivid however they had been clearly the inferior staff on this collection. 

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