Third-best regular season in Canucks history comes to a close

The Vancouver Canucks had their moments but ultimately fell short in a 4-2 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. The game concludes what has been an amazing 2023-24 NHL season for the Pacific Division champions.

The 109-points they finished with is the third-best mark in franchise history, just behind the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

The Canucks will participate in the playoffs for the first time since 2020 and in front of fans for the first time since 2015.

The stakes were low in this game as both teams had already clinched their playoff spot. The Canucks sat four regular players for this game including Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller, Filip Hronek and Ian Cole. The Jets also sat plenty of regular players.

Elias Lindholm was perhaps the Canucks best player as he finished with a goal and was instrumental in both goals. It was a nice step for the player who recently returned from injury.

The visiting team got the scoring started in this game when a puck banked off Conor Garland into the net. It was the winger’s 20th goal of the season, making this the second time he’s hit that mark.

While Garland’s marker was unassisted, it was Lindholm who caused a turnover in the offensive zone that led to the goal.

The Jets tied the game later in the first period when Sam Lafferty and Carson Soucy had a miscommunication. Highly-rated Jets prospect Brad Lambert got his first NHL point in his first NHL game.

The second period mirrored the first with each team adding another goal, although the Jets struck first this time. It was Lindholm who tied the game for the Canucks with a power play goal after he deflected a Quinn Hughes shot from the point.

The Jets added two more goals, including an empty-netter to take this contest.

Thatcher Demko made 22 saves in the loss as he makes his way back from a knee injury. He will be the starter for Game 1 of the playoffs.

The focus is now on Sunday for the Canucks when they will start their first round playoff series against the Nashville Predators.

More to come…