The NHL Playoff Push starts NOW! Post All Star Break is really when the feeling out process for a season ends and the real push for the post season starts!

The HNIC CBC team says it’s only 9 degrees outside in Denver. Cry me a river. It’s colder than -30 with the wind chill here in Edmonton right now!

Nikolay Goldobin is back in the lineup for the Canucks tonight. I still don’t understand why they scratched him. I know his defensive game isn’t great, but as long as he puts up points, you can just shield him from the other team’s best players. He’s too skilled to healthy scratch him. I suppose Canucks head coach Travis Green keeps sending him the message he needs to improve on his defensive game. At least they’re putting Goldobin with Pettersson and Boeser!

The HNIC team is saying the Avs are breaking up their top line (Rantanen-MacKinnon-Landeskog) for the night. I cringe when I hear a team is doing that. I find it rarely works. It usually means the head coach is getting desperate or he’s trying to send his top line a message. It’s usually counterproductive.

Both the Avs and Canucks need this game. Both are in a dog fight for the wild card spots. Both teams have 52 points in the standings. Avs have one game in hand. Avs hold the last wild card.

Pettersson had 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) the last time these two teams met on Nov. 2/18 in a 7-6 Canucks win. The Avs strike me as being the kind of team Pettersson could dominate.

Canucks start Markstrom. Avs starting Varlamov. Varlamov has been hot against the Canucks recently.

Both teams haven’t played since Jan. 23/19. Odd they gave breaks that long to both teams.

Virtanen SCORES off a nice pass from Antoine Roussel. Canucks fans sure put up a stink when the Canucks signed Roussel to a 4 year free agent deal, but the deal looks good right now. Roussel provides toughness and agitation that can play!

Baertschi gets a breakaway and he’s STOPPED. Nice save by Varlamov.

Boeser SCORES off a face off win by the Canucks. He shot the puck from outside the face off circle. How many players in the league can score from outside the face off circle? The Avs are complaining the face off drop was bad. It’s falling on deaf ears.

I fully expect Pettersson and Boeser to score at least 1000 goals with the Canucks if they stay healthy and they stay in Vancouver over the long term. They’re bothhsve first ballot Hockey Hall of Fame talent! It makes me excited to be a Canucks fan!

Pettersson goes in and makes the Avs D look bad. The Canucks don’t score on the play, you should watch this video and watch the Avs broadcasters gush over Pettersson in this video!

Even Avs broadcasters are impressed with Pettersson!

The Avs are pressing towards the end of the first period down 2-0. Markstrom looks good and comes up big. First period ends with Canucks up 2-0.

I’ve never been a fan of Markstrom. I thought he was just plain terrible last year, but he’s been a legit number 1 goaltender for most of this season. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep it up right to a playoff spot.

The Avs have one of the best power plays in the league, but the Canucks are doing a good job keeping the chances to a minimum. They kill a penalty off early in the second period.

The Canucks and Avs are the two most penalized teams in the league! I didn’t know this until the HNIC team say this! It doesn’t seem to hurt the Canucks much!

The much maligned $6 million US 4th liner, Loui Eriksson goes in on a breakaway and gets STOPPED. I can hear Canucks fans complaining about Eriksson all the way out here in Edmonton.

Roussel SCORES. I think even the most critical Canucks fans are beginning to get won over by Roussel's play. 3-0 Canucks in the second.

Avs respond. Calvert SCORES off a tip. 3-1 Canucks.

Motte SCORES off a tip. This is getting lopsided. 4-1 Canucks. That’s how the second period ends.

Third period starts- Avs in a huge hole. The Canucks are solid enough defensively to hold onto 3 goal third period leads.

Colorado gets their first penalty of the game. Soderberg gets the gate for interference.

Goldobin SCORES off a nice pass from Leivo. 5-1 Canucks. This Canucks team is looking dangerous! Goldobin’s first goal in 14 games.

They focus on Colorado gm Joe Sakic late in the game. Games like these must age him. He certainly doesn’t look young anymore. Then they focus on Colorado head coach Jared Bednar. You gave to wonder if they’ll keep their jobs if the Avs miss the playoffs.

Canucks win 5-1. Not a good night for Colorado. Canucks leap frog them for the wild card spot.

The trade deadline is coming up. It’s going to be interesting to see what the Canucks do with Alex Edler. He’s still the Canucks best defenceman. No way the Canucks are better if they trade him at the deadline.

Kelly Hrudey talks about the chemistry this Canucks team has. I certainly agree. I definitely think this team will make the playoffs if Markstrom keeps playing this well and they stay somewhat healthy!

Watch out for the Canucks everyone! Don’t underestimate them if they head to your city! The Canucks travel to Philadelphia on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see how they match up against the Flyers with the hot streak they’re on.

I have the feeling this is going to be a fun end to the 2018-19 NHL season, especially if you’re a Canucks fan!