For a while now here at Nucks Misconduct, we’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen to “Embrace the Fake.”
Now that we’re through the play-ins and in the playoffs, it’s hard to say this feels fake anymore. Are you telling me that Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is brushing off these playoffs as fake?
Jim Rutherford didn't have many answers on Tuesday.— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) August 11, 2020
But he still had plenty to say.
"It’s very disappointing, and changes need to be made.”https://t.co/NlSvOyrRYR
Hmmm, how about in Toronto? Are the fans brushing it off as fake there?
Join us: we have talent and good management pic.twitter.com/ZR5w3cq93a— Huggy for the Calder (@KawaVulcanRider) August 7, 2020
Always room on the bandwagon here in Vancouver.
Look, I’m going to keep pumping the Embrace the Fake moniker because A) It sounds cool and B) Hockey in August still just feels like a really good dream.
If the Canucks pull off the upset and beat St. Louis, there is going to be this weird, dream-like, fake-feeling element to it.
If they lose, then the pain will start to feel real.
Just ask Edmonton, Toronto and Pittsburgh.
EMBRACE THE FAKE VANCOUVER!— silkynfilthy (@silkynfilthy) August 12, 2020
On the latest episode of Silky N' Filthy for @nucksmisconduct, hosts Trevor and Kyle rank the watchability of each First Round NHL series, and tell you why you should believe in the #Canucks.
LISTEN: https://t.co/ZXcOgP2it1 pic.twitter.com/9AcNYBzKcg
On the latest episode of the Silky N’ Filthy podcast, I let that jaded Canucks optimism flow through me like cold glacier water adding years onto my life.
Seriously, drink some glacier water. You’ll live longer, that’s
pure fake science baby.
Is it jaded optimism though? It is in the sense that this Canucks team should be a heavy underdog against a St. Louis Blues team that has an advantage at arguably every position. They’re also just preparing their defence of the freakin’ Stanley Cup.
However, is it crazy to think the Canucks could pull off the upset? Of course not. Look at some of the predictions from pundits around the league and you’ll see it’s evident that the Canucks are a sexy underdog pick.
Also, if the play-ins taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen. Perhaps most overestimated the McDavid effect, but Montreal beating Pittsburgh was more shocking that the prospect of a potential Canucks upset.
Here are three reasons why I think the Canucks can pull it off.
1) Pettersson and Hughes have the highest hockey IQ in the series. I know some people roll their eyes when they hear the term hockey IQ, but we’ve seen it time and time again in Vancouver just how quickly these guys can adapt and adjust to the game around them.
Even though both players are smaller in stature, that’s never been an issue for them as they continue to dominate at both ends of the ice.
Elias Pettersson blocked a pass on the backcheck and made a breakout pass in the same motion. Neat stuff pic.twitter.com/AiuQ5MIcIO— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) August 5, 2020
The Blues clearly have incredibly smart hockey players with the likes of Ryan O’Reilly and Alex Pietrangelo, but they still lack that dynamic playmaking ability that Pettersson and Hughes possess.
2) We haven’t seen the best of Jacob Markstrom yet. During their series against Minnesota, Markstrom had two great games, one okay performance and one weak outing to close it off.
He’ll need to step it up against the Blues, and why shouldn’t he? Markstrom continuously stole games for the Canucks during the regular season, and he rightfully deserved to be in that Vezina conversation.
Jordan Binnington is a great goalie as well, but I think there’s room for Markstrom to steal the spotlight in this series.
3) THE PRESSURE IS OFF. This Canucks team shouldn’t be playing with much pressure at all. Of course they’re professional athletes who are going to take this seriously, but this is still a young team that should consider it a success that they even made the playoffs.
There’s no pressure to win here, and that might just work to their advantage.
On the latest Silky N’ Filthy episode, we ranked first round watchability for the casual fan. You can listen to the episode for the full list, but here are some notes on the rankings.
- I do have the Canucks and Blues as my favourite series to watch in the Western Conference, even for the casual fan. The Canucks play a more exciting style of hockey than many teams in the dance, and it’s an interesting match-up for them to race a more defensive team, especially one that’s defending their Cup title.
- I had it as the third-best series to watch overall. Gotta give it to the east. There are some juicy storylines in almost every series, with Philly and Montreal being the least intriguing.
- When I think about the Colorado/Arizona series all I can think about is: Taylor Hall...future Colorado Avalanche forward.