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3 Thoughts After An Exhilarating Canucks Game One Win

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15 more wins. It’s playoff SZN.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vancouver Canucks at St. Louis Blues
The Vancouver Canucks celebrate a goal by defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the third period in game one of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

How are you feeling today Vancouver?

If you’re not feeling fan-fucking-tastic after a decisive Game One win against the Stanley Cup Champions, then you have no soul.

Or perhaps, your mind is percolating with some lofty thoughts of the Canucks going on a long run after seeing their performance last night.

Hey, 15 more wins baby.

The positivity was at an all-time high during Sippin’ on a 40 last night, the official Nucks Misconduct post game show. Keep the good vibes going by tuning into our conversation following the game last night.

Here are three more of my thoughts on the Canucks after their Game One win.

Troy Stecher is one of the most likable Canucks in team history

It so much easier to cheer for a team that employs lovable underdog try-hards like Troy Stecher.

And to those Leafs fans sending me angry butthurt emails (seriously), just know you’re always welcome to don the blue and green, and quit cheering for guys like this.

Stecher’s goal last night was not just a clutch game winner, but another emotional rallying point for a team that seems to be finding those in bunches right now. The salute to his father who recently passed away on Father’s Day was a touching moment, and the highlight of Game One.

It was more than just a goal, but something that all of us who’ve experienced loss can relate to.

That applies to his teammates as well. By now we all know the story about Boeser scoring on the anniversary of his friend’s death. This team is finding ways to channel their emotions on the ice, and it’s only going to allow them to grow stronger as a team.

As for Stecher, the dude just lays it on the line all the time. Many might have questions how the 5’10” defenceman would perform against a heavier St. Louis team, but he’s certainly off to a roaring start.

A third of the Canucks are playing at an elite level

One of the reasons why it’s so easy to get excited about the Canucks right now, is because a third of the team is playing at an elite level.

Last night was the perfect example. When you think of the Canucks top three players, it’s probably Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser that come to mind.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vancouver Canucks at St. Louis Blues
The Vancouver Canucks celebrate a goal by center Bo Horvat (53) during the first period in game one of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Place.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

However, you could argue that the Elite Trio 2.0 of Jacob Markstrom, Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller all had a more impactful game last night.

The point here is, one-third of the Canucks line-up are playing better than they’ve ever played. If that core continues to excel, they could carry the Canucks to at least a few more wins in this postseason.

The elephant in the room

While it’s great to be excited about the Canucks first playoff win in five years, I think there is some cause for concern at five-on-five.

Territorially, the Canucks were not the better team at five-on-five. When you look at the box score, Markstrom’s performance and their three power play goals were the difference in the contest.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vancouver Canucks at St. Louis Blues
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) makes a save as St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (90) tries to score during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was the classic example of a Blues team who was controlling play, leaving Jordan Binnington actionless for long stretches. It showed on the Stecher goal, which was the first shot Binnington had faced after a long stretch of play.

Despite the sneaky good shot over the pad and under the arm, it was probably a goal he wants to have back. Horvat then follows that up by beating him blocker side again just over two minutes later.

Penalties and bad goals against cost the Blues last night, but you have to imagine that they’re going to fill the net more if they continue to win the even-strength battle. The Canucks need to find a way to spend more time in the St. Louis zone at five-on-five if they actually want to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champions.