Vancouver Canucks eliminated the reigning NHL champions, St. Louis Blues in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Canadian side beat the Blues 6-2, after a superb performance, in which they controlled the match from the start until the end.
The Canucks won the series with 4-2, and will face one of the biggest candidates for winning the Stanley Cup trophy, Vegas Golden Knights. The team, which was 18th overall in the entire NHL, managed to deliver something similar St. Louis did the year before. To fully repeat the sensation from the previous NHL campaign, Vancouver would need to win the trophy, which isn’t going to be easy.
Yet, if they play like in Game 6 of this series, that outcome wouldn’t be just a dream.
Jay Beagle opened the game perfectly for the Canucks, scoring with 3:45 since the start. Antoine Roussel doubled it with 2:09 in the second, and Troy Stecher extended the advantage to 3-0 at 6:49 of the same. The Blues were knocked out at 8:06 when Brock Boeser blasted a one-timer from the left circle to hit the back if Jordan Binnington’s net and to seal the champs’ faith.
Binnington was replaced after this goal, concluding his terrible stretch since the COVID-19 comeback. During that time, he would start in five playoff games, lose all, and experience nothing but defeats throughout the seeding games. The ultimate hero of St. Louis’ miracle in the previous playoffs experienced the different side of the medal now.
Jaden Schwartz scored the first goal for the Blues 6:32 into the last frame, but Tyler Motte replied with 6:41 to go. These two guys added one more goal each until the end, and that was it from this match.
Just want to remind all my friends up north that the Canucks are now CANADA'S TEAM. As Canadians, you are obligated to throw your support behind this Canadian team. Never mind that all the other teams have great Canadian players. This is CANADA'S TEAM. You are Canadian. #CONFORM
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 22, 2020
Even though the champions had more shots towards the goal, their goalie was much worse than Canucks’ Jacob Markstrom, who saved his side on numerous occasions during this series. The Swed had 34 successful stops last night, a total of 427 in all six contests.
The Canucks now await the Golden Knights, who eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks with 4-1 in the series. Game 1 is set for this Sunday.
The franchise from Vancouver is the only one from Canada that remained active in the playoffs. If by any chance they win the Stanley Cup trophy, that would be the first time that one Canadian team did that since 1993 and Montreal.