• Marcus Bender

Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild Series Preview

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Western Conference Qualifying Round Series Preview - Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild


Tale Of The Tape


Vancouver

36-33-6

PP% 24.1 (4th) | 3.25 GF/G (8th)

PK% 80.5 (16th) | 3.10 GA/G (21st)


Minnesota

35-34-7

PP% 21.3 (11th) | 3.16 GF/G (12th)

PK% 77.2 (25th) | 3.14 GA/G (24th)


Summary


Our initial reaction here was to predict the Canucks in a heartbeat. But not so fast Nucks’ Fans! The Wild are a team of wily under-the-radar veterans who managed to get hot near the end of the season. Vancouver will have their hands full against this Wild and Crazy Team.


Goalies


Jacob Markstrom will be back in goal for the Canucks this playoffs, which is great news for the Vancouver faithful. He has been a beast for this team in the past two years; confidence radiants around this team through their goaltender.


Devan Dubnyk had a season I’m sure he’d like to forget. Dubnyk: 12-15-1, .891, 3.35. This is no good, unless maybe you’re playing baseball, and I'm not even sure which categories. Stalock: 20-11-4, .910, 2.67, and really was the catalyst beginning the Wild push for the playoffs. Stalock should be the starter for the Wild here, but I’d still rather have Markstrom.


Slight Advantage: Canucks.


Fiala Nation


Who is this guy named Kevin Fiala, and what has he done with Kevin Fiala? 14 Goals, 26 Points in his past 19 Games. To say he’s been on a heater would be an understatement. It’s unfortunate for him his momentum was broken due to the stoppage. It will be interesting to see how he plays after this.


Canucks Sizzling Power Play


24.1% for 4th in the League could be a very decisive factor. A budding Superstar in Pettersson receiving soft one-timer saucers from “sexiest new player in the NHL” Quinn Hughes. JT Miller banging in rebounds. Boeser picking corners. The Canucks Power Play will be hard to handle.


Wild Veteran Leadership


The Wild are a pretty “boring” team, but don’t overlook them too easily. Their veteran leadership might be something difficult to handle in a Playoff Series. This will really be best shown on D: Suter, Dumba, Spurgeon, Brodin, are about as strong a top four as you are going to get. They will have their work cut out for them with a younger, and possibly hungrier, Vancouver squad.


Toffoli-rone, our favourite chocolate bar


Toffoli has been a solid addition with 10 points in 10 games since joining the team, and will offer some much-needed secondary scoring for the Canucks during this series.

Conclusion

This is Vancouver’s chance to take the next step. A Team like Minnesota is exactly the sort of stepping stone to pass to the next level. They are like the Piston Honda of Punch-Out; a tough opponent, but beatable. With Markstrom back in the lineup, the Nucks seem to have the edge. They are ready to show the world they are ready for the Playoffs, but it will be close.

On the other hand, The Wild have the edge in terms of veteran leadership with Parise, Staal, and Suter all may be past their prime years, but they showed this season at times they still have the ability to turn it up a notch. They are 8-3-0 under interim coach Dean Evason, and are very sneakily under-the-radar here.

Prediction: I originally picked Vancouver in 5, then I switched to Minnesota in 5. Now, I have no idea.


I'm going back to Vancouver. I think this series will go to five, and in a fifth and deciding game you have to go with the Goalie and Star Players. Plus, Brandon will be crushed if this doesn't happen. Therefore, Vancouver in 5.


More Stats


Goalies:

Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom 23-16-2, .918, 2.75

Thatcher Demko 13-10-0, .905, 3.06


Minnesota

Alex Stalock 20-11-4, .910, 2.67

Devan Dubnyk 12-15-1, .891, 3.35

Key Players:

JT Miller: 72 Points

Elias Pettersson: 66 Points


Kevin Fiala: 54 Points

Ryan Suter: 48 Points

X Factor:

Tyler Toffoli has 6 Goals, 4 Assists in 10 Games with the Canucks. He could provide the Secondary Scoring necessary.


Mats Zuccarello: Had an off season with only 37 points. He has been a great playoff performer in the past, and could play a key role.

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