The Vancouver Canucks are up 3-1 in their series against the Nashville Predators. Do they deserve to be up 3-1? With the way they played in game four, the answer is no.  After all, for 57 minutes in game four, it looked like the Canucks were on their way to a horrible loss. But the Canucks and their resiliency have powered through

What looked like an absolute stinker of a game turned into one of the most memorable in franchise history. Brock Boeser scored two goals in less than three minutes and Elias Lindholm won it early in overtime. Vancouver has had trouble generating shots on Juuse Saros all series and at times been suffocated by the Predators and their physicality. The playoffs are a grind and the Canucks are learning that.

The Canucks and their Resiliency with Goaltending Injuries

Thatcher Demko was one of, if not the biggest x-factor for Vancouver heading into the series. After a stellar performance in game one, it was reported he would miss the rest of the series with a knee injury.

Casey DeSmith had the opportunity to step in and become a hero. He gave up the first goal on the first Nashville shot in game two and the Canucks ended up losing 4-1. DeSmith was excellent in game three despite the amount of rebounds he gave.

But things got even more crazy. If you don’t believe in curses, you might have started to after it was reported that DeSmith would not suit up for game four because of an unknown injury.

So it was time for 23-year-old Arturs Silovs to make his first career playoff start. It was a baptism by fire. But the Latvian goalkeeper made 27 saves and kept his team in the game. For the vast majority of Game 4, he was the best Canuck on the ice.

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The Canucks have used three different goalies in this series and they have handled the crisis just fine.

The post in game four could also technically count as the fourth goalkeeper. If Colton Sissons scored that, the series would’ve been 2-2.

Heist Hockey

The Predators were the best possible opponent for the Canucks to play in round one. But it was never going to be an easy series.

As mentioned earlier, Nashville has been very physical with the Canucks. Vancouver captain Quinn Hughes has been knocked around a lot in this series, particularly in game four. Alexandre Carrier has 11 hits and leads the Predators in that category. Ryan McDonagh has 10 hits while Roman Josi has eight. Jason Zucker, Sissons and Michael McCarron have also laid out their bodies all series.

Speaking of injuries, Hughes clearly felt the effects of being hit in game four especially after he was sandwiched between Zucker and Sissons.

But he persevered and sent Gustav Nyquist to the Shadow Realm before Boeser tied it up.

Vancouver has also had trouble getting shots on Saros in the last three games. They managed 15 in Game Two, 12 in Game 3 and 21 in Game 4. Most of the shots would miss the net or the Predators would block them like their lives depended on doing so.

Yet, the Canucks have outscored the Predators in the last three games 7-6. It’s not much but they managed three wins.

They’ve constantly been hit, outshot and outplayed and looked gassed. Yet the Canucks and their resiliency came through. That was especially true in Game 4 as they stole the win and like 11 men stealing $160 million in cash from a Las Vegas casino, it was improbable but they did it.

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Closing the Series out in Five Must Happen

“The resiliency of the group all year, that’s a tough game to come back from,” said Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet to the media on Monday. “Obviously the last three minutes and overtime went our way, so can we build off of that.”

The Canucks can send the Predators to the golf courses on Tuesday night with a win at Rogers Arena. But like this series so far, it’s not going to be easy.

“After we won everyone’s high-fiving, but five minutes later guys are already focused on the next task,” said Tocchet on his team’s mentality per Jagrag Lalli of Canucks Army. “It’s like they come back down to Earth. I appreciate that attitude. There’s no lingering celebration, just an immediate shift to, ‘Alright, how do we improve?’ That’s been the attitude of this team all year, and I respect it. There’s no cockiness or satisfaction. Guys are always looking to elevate their game, not blaming others for shortcomings. That’s a positive for us.”

That is great to hear. Perhaps there will be more shots on Saros, fewer turnovers and hopefully, Elias Pettersson returning to form in Game Five.

It would be a lot better for the Canucks to wrap up the series in five. It’s clear they are gassed and some players are banged up. A few days off between the first and second round would be ideal. Flying back to Nashville with the momentum on the side of the Predators isn’t ideal.

More Pain than Pleasure

The Canucks resiliency has gotten them this far but it is time for the final blow. Again, the playoffs aren’t easy but it is a time where great moments can be made.

As Mike Shinoda famously once rapped: 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain. That pretty much describes what the NHL playoffs are like.

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It’s time for the Canucks to make people across the league to give them a 100% reason to remember their names.

Main Photo Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

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