Last night, Game 7 between the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights showed the true definition of defense. It took us till over halfway through Period 3 to even have a goal, and by this point when it happened, I’m sure a lot of us believed this Game would go to overtime as Dallas had to punch their ticket to the West Conference Final. Thankfully, this game didn’t go as late as others in the past because once S. Theodore scored his first goal, there was no looking back, only forward for the Golden Knights. They scored again with the Canucks goaltender and a third time with an empty net, as the Canucks tried to make a comeback with an extra man on the ice, but it wasn’t to pass.
The Golden Knights won Game 7 with their third shutout of the series 3 – 0 over the Canucks. In doing so they eliminated the only remaining Canadian team in the Playoffs, and although they are out, I have a strong feeling they will be back next year better than ever. A loss like this is tough to swallow, but only one team could go on, the Golden Knights were eliminated last year deep in the playoffs, as were the Dallas Stars, both of those teams are now going to the Conference Final. Given another year of practice, the Canucks can use this loss to drive them into the 2020 – 2021 season, and the playoffs again, if they work just as hard as we’ve seen here in the bubble.
Looking ahead for the Golden Knights, they will have little rest, as their series against the Stars will begin tomorrow evening. The biggest benefit for the Golden Knights is their opponent, the Stars, also play a Game 7, giving each equal time to prepare. Even though this time is short, only a day and a half, both teams should be getting used to this rhythm at this point in the playoffs. If they can’t, it would be near impossible to get past this round, as I foresee it being another long and arduous one.
I actually had a strong notion these 2 teams would face-off for the West Conference Final, however, at this point even I can’t decern who will pull out the win and advance to the Stanley Cup 2020 Final. Each has shown their skill on defense, offense, and especially their ability to come back when their season progression was in jeopardy. All I’m sure of at this point is we have a series that could go long yet again, with 2 teams ready to leave it all on the ice. In a year where we have seen so many multiple overtime games, history-making moments, and impressive young rookies shine, I look forward to this matchup. I strongly believe that although the other teams brought their all, these are the two meant to be in this moment and this conference final. Buckle up for one tremendous series, because in live hockey anything can happen and with each team knowing this its the series that stands between them, and the Stanley Cup 2020 Finals, it’s going to be a wild ride!