(Editor’s Note: Bondi submitted this on Wednesday afternoon, but Beggsy was too busy having a pre-game nap...)
In this crazy year that is 2020, I think this series is going the distance. I don’t put that much stock into the season series, but the Blues look disinterested in their Round Robin games. They had the lead and lost it in all games, got out shot, and go into the series limping. Although their five-on-five play in Game One was superior to Vancouver, they’re still having trouble hitting that top gear.
In a simpler breakdown, the Blues are a better version of the Wild. They play well defensively (at least during the regular season) and have a ton of depth both up front and on the blueline. For that reason, I’m going for the Canucks in 7.
And who better to have before this series than a longtime media member in this market, Blake Price of TSN 1040. You can check out the full episode below.
The latest episode of Power Of The Towel is now out!— Power Of The Towel (@powerofthetowel) August 11, 2020
We talk to @BlakePriceTSN about the #Canucks upcoming series against the #stlblues, is the passion back in the city about this team, and get some solid parenting advice.
Quinn Hughes, Our Short King
Is Quinn Hughes already the best defencemen in Canucks history?
Quite possibly. The team has never had the type of player like Hughes where if everything goes right, can win a couple of Norris trophies.
And that series against the Minnesota Wild affirmed that for myself. He controlled the blueline all throughout game 4, and was the best defencemen for either team.
Is the Passion Back??
A simple question to start off the interview with Blake Price. Is the passion back in this city for your Vancouver Canucks?
Host @nickbondi asked @BlakePriceTSN a simple question to start off: Is the passion for the #Canucks in this city back?— Power Of The Towel (@powerofthetowel) August 11, 2020
The latest episode of Power Of The Towel is out now!
Hey, I’ve seen a lot more car flags around the city than before. And for the first time in five years, we finally have meaningful games to talk about.
The weird format and the pandemic hasn’t really affected that. Now that the Canucks are officially in the playoffs, I feel that this city is ready to get behind this team.
One of the most interesting things heading into the series will be the advantage the Blues will have on the blue line.
You can make the case that Quinn Hughes might be the most dynamic defencemen in the series, but after that the advantage clearly goes to the Blues.
St. Louis can roll three solid defence pairings that could neutralize the Canucks top six forwards. If that happens, the Blues could very well move on.
How much will the #stlblues defensive depth factor into the series against the #Canucks?— Power Of The Towel (@powerofthetowel) August 12, 2020
The latest episode of Power Of The Towel with @BlakePriceTSN is out now!
And Now, For Something Completely Different
I thought long and hard (hehe) about what the big takeaway is from the NHL qualifying round.
Some people might say the sample size and the format is too strange to draw anything from, but I believe there’s one thing everyone should agree on now.
Offensive and defensive depth matters. To a great degree. It wasn’t too much of a surprise to me that teams like Edmonton and Toronto lost because they didn’t have the depth like their opponents. Hockey isn’t like the NBA where you can ride two to three really good players for the entire game.
The most a player like McDavid is playing in a night is around 28, 29 minutes in regulation. The rest of the time, you better hope the depth players won’t cave you in.
Also, luck matters a lot. Especially in a short series.
From the Canucks perspective, what I took away was that having Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes on the team won’t guarantee you jack shit. You have to be able to improve the pieces around them and surround them with players who can pick up the slack when they’re on the bench.
Think back to 2017 when the Oilers were a game away from the Western Conference Final and had McDavid and Draisaitl just entering their primes. If I had told you the Canucks would make the playoffs before the Oilers did next, you would have told me I’m crazy. But that’s what just happened.
Maybe it’s time to reconsider the notion that hockey is a strong link game and is instead, more of a weak link game.