The Vancouver Canucks head back to enemy territory for a massive game six on Saturday night as the second-round series continues between the two remaining Canadian teams in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was a wild game five at Rogers Arena on Thursday night as J.T. Miller broke the tie with 32 seconds remaining. This gave the Canucks their third win of the series and a chance to advance to the Western Conference Finals with a win against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night in Edmonton.

The Canucks now have a chance to close out the series, and the coach and players know it will not be easy as the Oilers are expected to bring their very best in game six.

From the Coach

Rick Tocchet spoke about what he’s been impressed with in terms of his group learning through the playoffs.

“It's been a resilient group,” said Tocchet. “I've said that before, but they're really good at blocking out the noise. To be a successful team, you’ve got to block it out. You can't let the demons come in. ‘What about this or what about that or what happens if this happens?’ You can't think that way and I give them a lot of credit. They've been rock solid. It's been a cocoon in that dressing room. I like to call it a safe environment. Guys can be vulnerable, and they're not worried about it. [They] trust the room and that has really helped.”

He talked about the morale boost that game five gave to the group.

“After the game when they gave PDG (Phil Di Giuseppe) the puck, he was pretty emotional. That's what we talked about. Anybody can be a hero at any time, even a guy that doesn't play and gets back in the lineup. That's what playoff hockey is all about. So hopefully that inspires guys.”

Tocchet touched on the penalty kill after a five-for-five performance in game five.

“First of all, that's hard to do. I mean, it's one of the best power plays I've seen since I've been a coach. So, give our guys a lot of credit. I think there were some pressure points that we were a little more aggressive. Saying that, they're going to probably adjust a few things. So, we got to be ready for them so it's going to be hard to do. It's hard to shut that power play down but that was one of the reasons why we won the game.”

In the Room

Quinn Hughes talked about Artūrs Šilovs.

“Sometimes you just don't even realize what he's doing,” said Hughes. “But it's obviously incredibly impressive with how young he is and some of the big-time saves he makes. He never looks nervous. He just looks like it's another game and I think we can all learn a little bit from him to be honest.”

He then talked about his team being comfortable in one-goal games.

“We saw an 82-game sample this year where we played in a lot of one-goal games and some games we let slip away and a lot of other games we learned how to win the hockey game and that's what we've learned how to do. And obviously, there's games where good players are going to make plays, but for the most part, we do a good job.”

By the Numbers

  • J.T. Miller, Elias Lindholm and Brock Boeser each have six points through five games in the series. The only Oiler with more points in the series is Leon Draisaitl – who has 11 points.
  • Miller is tied for fourth for primary assists in the playoffs. He has picked up seven primary helpers through 11 games.
  • Nikita Zadorov is tied with Evan Bouchard for third in goals from a defenceman. Each of Zadorov and Bouchard have four tucks so far through the postseason.
  • In his NHL playoff debut, Vasily Podkolzin skated 2.23 kilometres with a top speed of 34.8 km/h in his 7:46 of ice time. Podkolzin had one shot one net, four hits and one blocked shot while spending 48.6% of his time in the offensive zone, 20.1% in the neutral zone and 31.3% in the defensive zone.
  • The Canucks won 57.1% of the faceoffs in game five. Notably, Miller won 14 of 21 (67%) and Nils Åman won four of five (80%).
  • Their 59.6% faceoff percentage in the offensive zone is 6.5% better than the next-best team remaining in the playoffs (New York Rangers). Miller has won 65.7% of his offensive zone draws in the playoffs.
  • Game five was the first game of the playoffs where the Oilers did not score a power play goal. The Canucks were five for five on the penalty kill.
  • The 35 shots on net in game five were the most the Canucks have had in the playoffs.

Saturday night’s game six takes place at 5:00 pm PT and can be viewed on Sportsnet or listened to on Sportsnet 650 with Brendan Batchelor on the call. You can join fellow Canucks fans at the Rogers Arena and Abbotsford Centre viewing parties to get your towels spinning and cheers heard by the masses.

Get some rest tonight, Canucks fans. Saturday’s game will be served up very soon!