It’s possible by the time the puck drops between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers on Saturday evening, the Canucks will have already secured home ice advantage for its first round series.
That depends on how the Calgary Flames do in their regular season finale earlier in the day.
The Canucks and Flames will meet in the opening round, however where that series starts has yet to be determined. It all gets figured out on Saturday.
Calgary plays the Winnipeg Jets in the afternoon. A Flames win would then force the Canucks to earn at least a single point against the Oilers in order to clinch home ice advantage.
So, that late game between the Canucks and Oilers could end up being completely meaningless, or there could be something on the line for Vancouver.
Based on the comments of Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins following his team’s win over Arizona on Thursday, it sounds like Ryan Miller will start in net, no matter the situation.
Miller, in the first year of a three-year, $18 million deal, hasn’t played since Feb. 22 due to injury. The Canucks may need a strong performance — from someone who hasn’t started in almost two months — to ensure they begin their series with the Flames at Rogers Arena.
Miller backed up Eddie Lack against the Coyotes, with the Canucks sending Jacob Markstrom back to the AHL earlier in the day.
And there is only one chance remaining to get Miller into game action before the post-season begins.
“You have to have two goalies going into the playoffs. You have to have two guys,” said Desjardins.
“It would be tough for Ryan to end up playing in a playoff game (when) he hasn’t played in for however long. Eddie’s played great. He doesn’t have anything else he needs to prove right now. He’s played really well, but we need both goalies ready to play.”