Boeser vs EDM

“We didn’t come here just to get one,” said Conor Garland in his postgame speech before he handed the game puck off to Linus Karlsson.

As Garly passed the puck to Karly, the focus of the locker room shifted to preparing for game four.

The Canucks head into game four with a 2-1 lead in the second-round series and they could take a strong lead in the series with another win on Tuesday night.

In today’s playoff notebook, we will hear from Dakota Joshua, Noah Juulsen, and Head Coach Rick Tocchet, discuss some interesting statistics we’ve found, and close it out with Chris Higgins joining us to chat about what he has liked in the series.

Let’s dive into today’s playoff notebook and get you all prepared for game four!

From the Coach

Rick Tocchet spoke to the media on Monday afternoon and began by talking about the physical play ramping up in the series.

“There's a lot at stake. There's a lot of passion out there,” said Tocchet. “There's a lot of different things going [on] out there and it's heated. That's what makes for good playoff hockey. This whole series, there’s great skill, great hits, you know, some unfortunate incidents that happened and that's what playoff hockey is all about.”

The coach went on to talk about balancing making adjustments in a series and also not over-coaching his team into problems.

“I think it's important,” said Tocchet. “We made a couple of changes that helped us last game, and I think we're going to have to possess the puck a little bit more and make some plays for the next game. There are opportunities for us to make a play to give us an odd-man rush here and there. I thought we took advantage a little bit, but not as much as I would like. So, we'll look into how we do that. Sometimes you just got to make plays under pressure.”

In the Room

Dakota Joshua talked about the physicality in this series and what he expects to see moving forward.

“I just expect to see another physical hockey game, nothing more, nothing less,” said Joshua. “I like it, it brings the most out of you. I like physical play and it makes for good hockey.”

Joshua then went on to talk about if the Oilers were to split up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

“Whatever they come with, you’ve got to be ready,” said Joshua. “Whether they’re together or separate, they are very dynamic, as we’ve seen. Our game plan will stay the same. You’ve got to be on your toes when you’re out there.”

Noah Juulsen spoke about potentially getting into the lineup for Tuesday’s game.

“Yeah, I’m excited for sure,” said Juulsen. “It’s an environment that everyone wants to play in so, I’m just excited if it happens and I get that call.”

As one of the Canucks’ better penalty killers in the regular season, Juulsen chatted about defending against the Oilers’ power play.

“They are a hot unit right now, but I think for us, it’s continuing to do the things that we need to do to be successful and not get away from that right now,” Juulsen said.

By the Numbers

  • The Canucks’ 52.6% faceoff win percentage is the highest amongst remaining teams in the NHL playoffs.
  • Artūrs Šilovs had a career-high 42 saves in game three and that is the most saves he’s made in a game since his time in the OHL during the 2019-20 season.
  • The Canucks have scored the first goal of the game in five of their nine games through these playoffs. They have a 3-2 record when scoring first.
  • In the four games where they have not scored first, they have a 3-1 record.
  • Five of the Canucks' six wins have come by one goal.
  • The Canucks are 2-0 when scoring two or more power play goals in a game and were 10-2-0 in the regular season when scoring multiple times with the man-advantage.
  • Pius Suter leads the Canucks with a 64.8% control of expected goals. He has been on the ice for 29 high-danger scoring chances for and just 14 against.
  • The line of Pius Suter, J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser played 23:37 against Connor McDavid at five-on-five in the first three games of the series and did not allow a goal against in that time. They have also controlled the scoring chances (9-5) and have been better at creating high-danger chances (5-2) in their matchup.
  • According to NHL EDGE, J.T. Miller leads the NHL with 16 shots between 80-90 mph. He also leads all forwards with three shots over 90 mph.

Insider Extra

We were joined by former Canucks’ Chris Higgins to discuss a variety of topics and began by asking about Artūrs Šilovs’ poise in these big playoff games.

“Well, he’s been on the big stage against some of the top players in the world just like we are seeing in this series,” said Higgins. “What I’m most impressed about is that he hasn’t seen the Oilers before. He hasn’t played against McDavid and Draisaitl, but he’s been able to adjust and make stops against those two. These moments aren’t too big for him and he’s staying level-headed. When your goalie stays calm, composed, and has good body language like his, it leads to confidence for the whole team.”

What do you like about the Canucks’ play at five-on-five?

“They’ve been able to keep their heads on those long shifts where your legs are burning, and they are continuing to have the mental awareness to make the right reads and have good stick and eye positioning in their own zone. You’ve got to fight through some of those shifts over the course of a game and that’s what we saw in game three.”

It feels like the Canucks are limiting the high-danger shots and keeping Edmonton to the outside, is that the mental awareness you are talking about?

“Yeah, it’s exactly that. You’re going to have tired legs but if you keep them to the outside and keep pushing them outside, and you don’t give up those high-danger scoring chances, that energizes the guys on the ice and on the bench. To have that mental stamina over those shifts while making plays defensively is going to be vital for this team’s success, especially in Edmonton.”

\Talk to me about Brock Boeser’s play in these playoffs. Specifically, his attacking in the dirty areas. \

“He's working off the puck a lot better. I know that’s not directly leading to goal scoring, but it has a direct influence on scoring more goals. He's the guy that has quietly gone about his business with his off-ice work and it's showing with how he is winning puck battles. And then obviously, as you know, that leads to him showing his ability where he just needs that one look to fire off a shot into the net. He's confident in his ability to score goals. He knows he only needs one chance in the game to score. Everything about his body language tells me that.”

In other news, Carson Soucy was suspended one game for his cross-check on Connor McDavid at the conclusion of game three. With Soucy out of the lineup, the Canucks will turn to one of Noah Juulsen, Christian Wolanin or Mark Friedman to jump in the lineup for game four.

Tuesday’s game is another 6:30 pm PT start time and you can watch the game on Sportsnet, listen to Brendan Batchelor on the radio broadcast with Sportsnet 650 or be alongside thousands of Canucks fans at our viewing parties at Rogers Arena or the Abbotsford Centre.