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Five things to know about the NHL playoffs

There will be Victoria Day fireworks at Rogers Arena tonight as the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks tangle in Game 7 to determine who becomes "Canada's team" for the remainder of the playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers' Darnell Nurse (25) gets his stick in the face of Vancouver Canucks' Dakota Joshua (81) as they and Evander Kane (91) get into a scuffle after the whistle during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, in Vancouver, on Friday, May 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

There will be Victoria Day fireworks at Rogers Arena tonight as the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks tangle in Game 7 to determine who becomes "Canada's team" for the remainder of the playoffs.

The winner travels to Dallas for the Western Conference final. The loser has to listen to Oiler fans sing Country Roads again.

Here are five things you need to know about the NHL playoffs:


Brock (a.k.a. The Flow) Boeser, who along with teammate J.T. Miller are the only Vancouver Canucks on the top 15 post-season scoring list, will be a spectator for tonight's do-or-die Game 7 showdown against the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

Boeser, who did not practise yesterday, has seven goals and five assists in 12 playoff games. He reportedly has blood-clotting issues that will prevent him from lacing up for the biggest game of his team's bounce-back season. He joins all-star netminder Thatcher Demko on an inactive list of could-be difference makers for the Canucks.

So far the Canucks have not addressed Boeser's status, or what they will do to fill the void. Expect more details later this morning.

The Canucks' play-by-play radio announcer, Brendan Batchelor was among those wishing Boeser a speedy and full recovery on social media last night.


Leon Draisaitl (23 points), Connor McDavid (21 points) and Evan Bouchard (18 points), all from the Edmonton Oilers, are first, second and third in the playoff scoring race.

If the Vancouver Canucks hope to knock off the Oilers tonight they'll likely have to shut down at least two of the snipers and then hope that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (14 points) or Zach Hyman (12 points) don't pick up the slack.

The Oilers have outscored the Canucks 21-18 after six games and have outshot them 174-132. All the games in Vancouver have been decided by one goal.


Canuck Nation wasted no time jumping on the retired Raffi Torres when he showed up in Edmonton for Game 6 waving an Oilers' towel and leading the cheers in Alberta's capital.

Many called the aggressive forward a "traitor" perhaps not knowing that even though he played for the Canucks in 2010-11, he actually played for the Oilers from 2003 to 2008.

In fact, Torres played for seven NHL teams in his 635-game career, and his stint in Edmonton was the longest he stayed anywhere.


The Dallas Stars plan to watch Game 7 of the Canucks-Oilers' series to learn who they'll face in the Western Conference final that commences Thursday night at American Airlines Center.

The Stars are in the West final for a second straight season after eliminating the Colorado Avalanche in six games.

Refusing to tell anyone who the Stars prefer to play in the third-round series, the Stars instead point to their own strengths — goalie Jake Oettinger's 2.09 goals against, playoff experience, their road record, Miro Heiskanen's 13 points in 13 games, Jason Robertson and Wyatt Johnson, 12 and 11 points, respectively.


The New York Rangers won the Presidents' Trophy with 114 points. They swept the Washington Capitals in Round 1, eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes in six games in Round 2, and can't wait to play the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference final, which starts Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers expect the Cats to be just as aggressive as the 'Canes — bringing the speed, size, skill, goaltending and physicality.

The Rangers' power-play is third in the playoffs at 31.4 per cent, behind only the Oilers and Avalanche. And the Blueshirts have allowed the fewest goals of any teams left in the playoffs.

Rangers' bench boss Peter Laviolette said last night the Panthers are a bit different and more confident than the Hurricanes, and that they didn't get to last year's Stanley Cup final by fluke.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2024.

The Canadian Press