For the first time in 9 years, there was pure jubilation following a Canucks victory. No, it wasn’t Lord Stanley’s mug, instead it was Vancouver’s first ever qualifying round win.
A toothless Chris Tanev’s shot-heard-round’ Vancouver and the Dallas Stars’ late comeback over St. Louis has set-up a first round battle between the Canucks and the defending champion Blues.
It’s the young, up-and-coming Vancouver Canucks against the veteran champion Blues. Needless to say, it’s one of the more intriguing matchups of the First Round.
That intrigue has carried over to the two fanbases. Let’s take a look at what the fanatics of the Vancouver and St. Louis hockey clubs are saying as we await Wednesday night.
First, here’s a poll from Matt Sekeres from TSN 1040. Clearly there’s some belief in Canuck Nation:
Then there’s this take from Greg Wyshynski, ESPN’s top hockey writer. Very interesting:
I would be thinking about this Canucks vs. Blues series a lot differently if Vancouver didn't just figure out how to eliminate the best defensive team in the West.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 9, 2020
You might be wondering also, how many times have the Canucks played a defending Stanley Cup champion in the playoffs. Here’s your answer from the great Don Taylor:
Canucks vs. Blues. I think I have this right: Canucks 1 and 2 all time when facing a defending cup champ in the playoffs. Lost to NYI in ‘82 and Oilers in ‘86. Beat Hawks in ‘11.— Don Taylor (@DonTaylor5) August 9, 2020
And then you might ask, how many times have the Canucks played the Blues in the playoffs and how have they fared in those matchups? Fear not, voice of the Canucks Brendan Batchelor has your answer:
The #Canucks will face the St. Louis Blues in a playoff series for the fourth time in their history (1995 1st round, 2003 1st round, 2009 1st round). Vancouver won all three series and is 12-6 against the Blues in playoff games.— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) August 9, 2020
Ooof. Easy to get optimistic after seeing those numbers. Even easier to get optimistic when seeing this particular statistic from Harman Dayal of The Athletic:
In six games against STL the last two seasons, Elias Pettersson's line has outscored the Blues 10-0 at 5-on-5. #Canucks will need a similarly dominant performance in this series...— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) August 11, 2020
Wow. I’m not even going out of my way for these clippings on Twitter, these stats and takes just seem to all paint the Canucks in a flattering light. However, the Canucks will have to make some history against the Blues if they want to put the makings of a serious playoff run together:
It just struck me that the Canucks have never really pulled off a massive upset in the playoffs. The '94 win over the Flames was a 12-point deficit, and that Canucks team underachieved in the regular season. Beating the Blues would be way different.— Jason Brough (@JasonBroughTSN) August 10, 2020
TSN’s Jason Brough is right. Vancouver has never really upset anyone in the playoffs that I can remember. In fact, they haven’t been the underdog going into a series since the second time they played Chicago back in 2010.
These words are all very intriguing to break down and talk about. As we all know though, they will mean nothing when the puck drops in Edmonton on Wednesday night. Official playoff hockey is back in Vancouver, and it feels so good. Get hyped, Canucks fans.