Despite an underwhelming Game 7 performance from pretty much any Canuck not named Demko, it shouldn't tarnish the progress they made this season. The Golden Knights also bounced around and ultimately dropped a fair amount, opening -235, briefly touching -245, then falling to -215 against the Canucks (+180) in the nightcap.
Speaking of power plays, the Canucks have to kick themselves for squandering some golden opportunities vs. the Golden Knights in Game 7.
Which is why their performance in Game 7, after failing to bury the Canucks in the last two meetings for no reason other than a failure to solve a hot netminder, was so unbelievably impressive. Hughes got the assist, his 14th of the playoffs. Thatcher Demko tossed the shutout on Thursday evening as he stopped all 48 shots that he faced, which is an National Hockey League playoff record for stops in anon-OT shutout.
Vancouver took the lead early, as Jake Virtanen tucked a wraparound through the legs of Robin Lehner just over two minutes into the game to put the Canucks up 1-0. He has six goals in the post-season. The Vegas Golden Knights came into this series having won nine of their last 10 games and then they had a 3-1 lead on the Canucks, before shockingly losing the last two games.
Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny added empty-net goals.
Brock Boeser had a fantastic chance to open the scoring in the second period, but Lehner came up with one of the greatest saves of the playoffs.
Demko has stopped 90 of 91 shots in two starts. The Canucks' power play ranked fourth during the regular season and helped them beat the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs.
Still, Vancouver is in a game seven against the team that many feel will make it to the Finals from the West.
The 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs have highlighted a few young defensemen, including Hughes, Heiskanen, and Cale Makar.
Although the Canucks lost in Game 7, they have raised expectations for next season.
The Vancouver Canucks are packing their bags and heading home from the Edmonton bubble after an unbelievable playoff run ended in disappointing fashion Friday night.
It's why despite being the better team, and being wise to it, but needing more games than they should have and in the end only narrowly avoiding another damaging postseason exit, the Golden Knights have accomplished more than they could with a series that better reflected the actual run of play. The club has gone from being a playoff-hopeful team to a potential Cup contender next season.
Roster stability: With a likely similar roster, the Avalanche should have a good chance to advance to at least the second round of the playoffs for the third straight season.
But here we are: the Canucks and Golden Knights are tied 3-3 in the series, hoping to come out on top to advance to the third round and play the victor of the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars matchup.