The sound of silence could profit the Vancouver Canucks after they open their best-of-five Stanley Cup qualifying collection towards the Minnesota Wild Sunday evening.
For the 9 Canucks who have by no means appeared within the NHL’s post-season, the depth of the playoffs and the sudden momentum swings will probably be a brand new expertise. Not having followers in Edmonton’s Rogers Place because of COVID-19 issues will assist get rid of any additional nerves or jitters generated by a big, hostile crowd.
“After all it should have an impact,” mentioned ahead Elias Pettersson, 2019’s Calder Memorial Trophy recipient as high rookie, who positioned second in Canuck scoring this season with 27 objectives and 66 factors. “Followers make the sport a lot extra thrilling, they create a lot vitality.
“It’s what it is, we simply should take care of it.”
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Defenceman Quinn Hughes, a nominee for this yr’s high rookie, has skilled huge crowds whereas enjoying within the NCAA playoffs with the College of Michigan.
Ahead Jay Beagle is one in every of three gamers on the present Canucks who has received a Stanley Cup — Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson had been each members of the 2014 Cup-winning L.A. Kings.
Beagle says crowd noise can influence gamers, particularly rookies, in a decent playoff recreation.
“I do not assume any participant will get intimidated by the group, nevertheless it positively can swing momentum and make you are feeling such as you’re in your heels when they’re actually coming at you and the group is into it,” mentioned Beagle, who received with the 2018 Washington Capitals.
“It might probably make you are feeling just like the ice is tilted towards you. I’ve had that occur in playoff collection the place you are feeling like the entire group is skating uphill.”
Head coach Travis Inexperienced mentioned there will probably be a studying curve for a few of his gamers.
“Till you’ve got performed in a playoff recreation, you [don’t] perceive the depth stage and the feelings within the constructing [and] what it does to a group or a participant,” he mentioned.
Vancouver had a style of enjoying in an empty enviornment of their 4-1 exhibition loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Captain Bo Horvat referred to as the expertise “manner completely different than enjoying in entrance of a crowd,” and it compelled him to change one in every of his heat up routines.
“Normally in my pre-game I throw a few pucks to followers,” he mentioned. “I wasn’t going to be throwing them to the world workers.”
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Inexperienced needed to keep in mind to maintain his voice down.
“You are slightly bit aware to not yell fairly as loud,” he mentioned. “We talked to our group about staying off the refs. You hear rather a lot on the market.”
The Canucks, who’re making their first playoff look since 2015, had been seventh within the Western Convention with a 36-27-6 document for 78 factors when the NHL paused its season March 12 as a result of coronavirus. They had been 3-6-1 within the closing 10 video games.
The Wild had one much less level and had been 10th within the West (35-27-7). After struggling early within the season, Minnesota was 8-4-Zero within the 12 video games after coach Bruce Boudreau was fired and changed by Dean Evason.
Since dropping to Boston in Recreation 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup closing, Vancouver has not received a playoff collection and has received simply three playoff video games.
Few picked the Canucks to make the playoffs this yr and Inexperienced mentioned the group relishes its underdog picture.
“I feel our group had lots of perception in themselves proper from day one,” he mentioned. “We have a group that is excited to play and so they need to win unhealthy.”
Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk mentioned the Wild are a greater group than their document exhibits.
“We count on to beat anyone we go up towards,” he mentioned. “I feel we’ve proven over this final stretch that we all know we are able to.”
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