VANCOUVER — Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis feels his team’s troubles started long before their stunning first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings.
Speaking at an end-of-season news conference Tuesday, Gillis said he believes the Canucks never recovered from an emotional mid-season victory over the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
“It was almost like playing a Stanley Cup final game in the middle of the season,” Gillis said. “From that point on, I don’t think our team ever really collectively got their emotions together.”
The Canucks lost to the Bruins in seven games in last year’s Cup final, but went into Boston on Jan. 7 and pulled out a 4-3 win. Gillis said a combination of injuries and lacklustre play plagued the team for the rest of the season.
He added that goaltending was the main reason the Canucks were able to capture the Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record in the NHL.
Gillis also said he has confidence in head coach Alain Vigneault moving forward.