With everything that has happened this season, it’s easy to forget that the Vancouver Canucks turned 50 in 2019-20. But instead of developing a paunch, losing their hair and screaming at those rotten kids to get off their lawn, the Canucks are looking young and spry and ready to launch.
It has been nine long years since the Canucks last won a playoff series, going way back to their run to the Stanley Cup final in 2011. The only remaining assets from that team were veteran Alex Edler and Chris Tanev, a little-used rookie in 2011 who provided the heroics by scoring 11 seconds into overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild and a pass to the real playoff marathon.
“I actually picked him in the pool to score,” joked Canucks coach Travis Green, “so I’m happy about that.”
Green actually had a lot more than that to be happy about after watching his team take three straight games after losing the first game of the series 3-0. The Canucks had 10 players and a coach who had never participated in an NHL playoff game before this series and there’s something about seeing a group grow up before your very eyes that is special.