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To quote Forrest Gump “I’m pretty tired, I think I’ll go home now”.

The Vancouver Canucks season is now over after a 3-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

It was a magical run for the Canucks.

The Knights decided to reunite the trio of Reilly Smith, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault. This trio plays excellent hockey together and posed a real threat to the Canucks in game seven. The Knights decided to go with Robin Lehner between the pipes once again in game seven. Lehner has posted horrible numbers in his career when playing in back to back nights, but it didn’t seem to matter tonight.

Once again, the Canucks went with Thatcher Demko in net. Mr. Playoffs has been excellent so far in this series. He had faced 169 shot attempts in his two starts and of those 169 attempted shots, only one found the back of the net. He went on to get another load of shots coming his way in game seven and needed to be on his game to keep the Canucks hopes alive.

The Canucks went with the exact same lineup as their two previous games. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Lines

It was time to drop the puck in game seven.

Do you remember where you were during the Canucks last game seven? I was in grade twelve and spent the night at my best friend’s house watching the Canucks battle for the Stanley Cup.

Well, for one last time until next year:

Let’s go!

First Period

The first period played exactly into the Knights’ favour. They were able to play their game and limit the Canucks from breaking out of their own zone.

Vancouver struggled to string together two passes to get the puck through the neutral zone. The Knights defence was able to pinch at the right time and meet the Canucks’ forwards at the red line where they were looking to receive breakout passes.

Both teams had a powerplay opportunity and both teams were unable to score on their man advantage. The Canucks powerplay bled into the second period for a few seconds as well.

Even though the Canucks were dominated in the period they were once again kept in this game from a big period from Mr. Playoffs, Thatcher Demko. Demko made 11 saves in the period including a big glove save at the beginning of the game and a sprawling right pad save to shut the door on Paul Stastny.

The Knights attempted 27 shots in the first period while the Canucks only mustered up six attempts on Lehner. This was simply not good enough and the Canucks needed to be better in the second period.

Second Period

Well, it was much of the same in the second period.

The Canucks had a bit more jump, which was good news as the momentum could potentially be swinging in their favour towards the third period. The Knights outplayed the Canucks again though, who fired a ton of shots at Demko.

It was beginning to feel like every period was Groundhog Day as Demko continued to stand on his head and not allow the Knights to get anything past him.

The Canucks had an excellent scoring chance in the period when Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser came in on a 2-on-1. Horvat faked like he was going to shoot before passing it across to Boeser for the quick shot. Lehner must have been watching Demko’s tape because he made an incredible save of his own that kept the game scoreless in the middle of the period.

The teams traded powerplays in the period but were unable to get any offence going with the man advantage.

Tonight’s story was simply Thatcher Demko. He was once again unreal in this game.

The Canucks were severely being outshot by the Knights 21-6 after 40 minutes.

With three and a half minutes left in the period, Ryan Reaves was assessed a five minute major for an illegal check to the head of Tyler Motte.

This was a direct hit to the head of Motte and he was laying on the ice for a while before being helped off the ice. Reaves was rightfully ejected from the game and the Canucks went to the powerplay for five minutes.

It was a tough hit to watch after the amount of blood, sweat and (happy) tears that Motte has given this Canucks team in the postseason.

Even with the extended time, the Canucks were unable to get anything going on the three and a half minutes of powerplay time to finish the period.

They had a minute and a half remaining on the powerplay in the third period.

Let’s go there now.

Third Period

The Canucks were unable to score on the remainder of their powerplay.

It was a great moment for the team when we saw Tyler Motte walk down the tunnel and onto the bench to return to this game just a minute into the period.

The teams battled back and forth for most of the period. The Canucks got a powerplay at the midpoint but were unable to get a goal past Lehner.

The Knights went to the powerplay with just over six minutes left in the period and they wasted no time as BC boy Shea Theodore seems to be the only Golden Knights player who can get the puck past Demko. 1-0 Knights.

That ended a 98 save streak for Demko and the Canucks were down to their last life in these playoffs. You could feel the desperation coming through the television.

The Canucks threw everything they could at Lehner late in the game but the Knights were able to score two empty-net goals and seal their ticket to the Western Conference finals.

This was the end of an incredible run for the Vancouver Canucks.

The Fancies

It doesn’t matter, the Canucks were heavily outshot.

Top Performers

For the third game in a row, there is one man who stands head and shoulders above the rest. Thatcher Demko stopped 33 of 34 shots on Friday night. His performance in these past three games should seriously give Canucks management a headache on if they want to sign Jacob Markstrom or not. Demko looked like a premier goaltender in the three biggest games of the year for the Canucks.

He looked so calm in these past three games. With pucks coming at him from all angles, he was able to stand pat in net and be a beacon of light on a team that was caved in from the dominance of possession.

Things couldn’t have gone much better for Demko as this was a huge opportunity and he seized every single ounce of it.

The goaltender controversy is real.

Wrap-Up

I’ll tell ya what, this was fun. Maybe not game seven but this playoff run has been so much fun. This young, underdog team blew expectations right out of the water. They knocked off the Stanley Cup Champions in their first-round series, battled back from a 3-1 deficit in a series against a potential cup champion Golden Knights team and they got some much needed playoff experience in a bubble world that amplified team unity.

I didn’t think I’d be writing a post-game about the Canucks losing in game seven to the Knights in the semi-finals. But here we are, this team was damn impressive. I am excited for the years to come with this young core.

For now, we will turn our attention to the offseason, the prospects overseas, and will begin to look at what this team looks like next season. Whenever next season is…

It’s been a privilege writing these postgame reports for you all.

Thank you so much for all the comments, shares, likes and clicks on these articles. I’ll be transitioning to becoming a full-time student in the Radio Arts program at BCIT for the next two years. I’m not sure how much writing I will be able to do over the next few months and the transition to becoming a student is going to be tough but I promise that my content will improve over the next two years and I’ll bring it here at CanucksArmy.

It’s time to shift into prospects mode though! Follow along for my updates on Nils Höglander, Vasili Podkolzin and other prospects playing their 2020-21 seasons overseas.

Cheers,
Faber