It has been nine long years since the Canucks last won a playoff series, going way back to their run to the Stanley Cup final in 2011. The only remaining assets from that team were veteran Alex Edler and Chris Tanev, a little-used rookie in 2011 who provided the heroics by scoring 11 seconds into overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild and a pass to the real playoff marathon.
“I actually picked him in the pool to score,” joked Canucks coach Travis Green, “so I’m happy about that.”
Green actually had a lot more than that to be happy about after watching his team take three straight games after losing the first game of the series 3-0. The Canucks had 10 players and a coach who had never participated in an NHL playoff game before this series and there’s something about seeing a group grow up before your very eyes that is special. But it wasn’t as much that they won the series, but how they were able to do it. They not only lost the first game of the series, they failed to score a goal and watched as their star player was abused with impunity. Those are the kinds of things that can destroy the confidence of a young group. They went out and got Tyler Toffoli at the trade deadline to help them in these situations and lost him after Game 1. And in Game 4, they suffered a number of breakdowns to give the Wild a 3-1 lead in the game, but battled back and did not back down. And they won one for their goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who had an uncharacteristically shaky game. That’s huge.
“I really thought that (Game 1) loss was more devastating than a regular playoff loss when you just roll into the playoffs, because of the build-up,” Green said. “I felt like we had to pick our team up off the mat a little bit.”
VIA: The Hockey News