The Vancouver Canucks 2023-2024 season ends in the Western Conference semifinals with a 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in game seven.

The Canucks made a late push in the third period, scoring two goals in the last ten minutes, including when they pulled the goalie with two minutes remaining. Head Coach Rick Tocchet liked the compete level his team approached game seven with, and appreciated that his group kept pushing through to the final horn.

“I told them tonight before the game, they put respect back on that jersey and the city. Fans have got something to be proud about, so that's all because of the players,” Tocchet said.

“I thought there were stretches in the second where we were good, we just missed the net. I think we were a little bit off on our execution, would have liked to see that power play four-minute - that's a big factor. But other than that, the second half I was really proud.”

Through this playoff run, they’ve gained valuable experience and Tocchet says going through tough losses makes teams hungrier.

“I was talking to [Adam] Footy after and he thinks we're going be better for this. But experienced does certain times in a game, how to handle when a team makes a push, I thought maybe we can get maybe better at, whether it's the right play, execution, not icing the puck, you know what I mean, you’ve got to stop them. I think we can get a little bit better at that, but that's experience. You’ve got to go through it,” Tocchet said.

Quinn Hughes agreed that the playoff experience is big moving forward and that the fan support is special.

“It’s the first playoff run for a lot of us, and we can look to this and keep growing,” Hughes said.

“It’s a special place to play. It’s partly due to the city and the passion the people have here, but also to this group and what we’ve accomplished the entire year, our work ethic and how we’ve endeared ourselves to the fans. It’s a special atmosphere here in the playoffs and my first go-round in five years here and very special for myself.”

Conor Garland, who scored the Canucks’ first goal of the game said they made some uncharacteristic mistakes, but with their belief in themselves, they knew they were going to get looks, they just needed to execute.

After Garland scored his goal, fans were chanting his name, and he says they wished they could give the fans and themselves a win.

“They’re the greatest, they really are. It’s hard almost not to get emotional there at the end, they are the best, it’s too bad we came up short. We’ll be better for this, but they’re the greatest, this past month has been a blast,” Garland said.

J.T. Miller said it was a hard-fought game on both sides and the Canucks kept their confidence, knowing that they’re a resilient group.

“I thought they outplayed us in the beginning, and I thought in the second period we started to take control of the game and couldn’t get that extra bounce tonight. I love this team, I love that we don’t give up ever, it’s a good sign,” Miller said.

Game Summary

It was a physical first period, the Canucks planting 13 hits and the Oilers making 11. It was in line with how the series had played out thus far – the Canucks with 251 hits in this series through six games, and the Oilers with 195.

Artūrs Šilovs’ made a sprawling save at the start of the first period denying Leon Draisaitl of an early goal.

"Arty played his ass off for us, what a playoff for that kid,” Tocchet said.

In the second period, Cody Ceci scored from the point to put Edmonton on the board.

Šilovs made another jaw-dropping save in the second, leaping across the crease, trapping the puck between his glove and the ice.

Evan Bouchard scored from the point and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored on the power play to take a 3-0 lead going into the second intermission.

In the third, Conor Garland scored at 11:27 to get things started for the Canucks.

Filip Hronek scored his first goal of the playoffs in timely fashion from the point to bring Vancouver within one.

The Canucks battled until the end, the Edmonton Oilers taking game seven 3-2 and moving on to the Western Conference Finals.