The Stanley Cup Playoffs are heating up, especially in the Western Conference. On Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks have a big opportunity ahead of them. A win over the Edmonton Oilers would see them in the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2011. But coach Rick Tocchet wants his team to avoid looking ahead.

Tocchet spoke to the media on Friday ahead of Game 6. He knows that looking ahead is an enticing prospect for players. You need just one more win to move on to the next round. But the Canucks bench boss knows the Oilers won't roll over. Especially with their backs to the wall like this.

“The message is it's going to be really hard,” Tocchet said Friday, via “And that's all you should be thinking about and whatever it takes to get it done, you do. I've said it a bunch of times, you got to get back to Earth. We really got to get back to Earth. It's going to be our toughest game. That's the way you've got to approach it.”

Canucks won thrilling Game 5

Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) and defenseman Tyler Myers (57) and forward J.T. Miller (9) and defenseman Carson Soucy (7) celebrate after the game winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period in game five of the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena.
Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The Canucks and Oilers played a close Game 5 in their second-round series. Vancouver was firmly behind their players as they searched for any advantage they could get. Unfortunately, the home team was a bit off the mark early in the game. Edmonton took full advantage, taking a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

It didn't take too long for Rick Tocchet to see his team tie the game, though. The goal came from a rather unlikely source, though. Forward Phillip Di Giuseppe scored his first goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs a little more than five minutes into the period. Vancouver and Edmonton went back and forth, but the game remained tied after two periods of play.

The third period saw little separation between the two teams. Calvin Pickard and Arturs Silvos made big saves when their teams needed it most. And it appeared as if overtime was on the cards. However, J.T. Miller prevented that from happening. He scored the game-winning goal with 33 seconds left in regulation to secure the Game 5 victory.

Oilers are still a threat

The Oilers are down in this series to the Canucks. But Tocchet knows Edmonton is still a major threat in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is especially due to the team's power play. They are lethal with the man advantage, especially in the playoffs. In fact, Game 5 was the first time Edmonton failed to score a power play goal in a game this postseason.

The Canucks bench boss acknowledged how special the Oilers are offensively on Friday. “That's one of the best power plays I've seen since I've been a coach. They do a lot of different looks, so I give our guys a lot of credit. There were some pressure points we were a little more aggressive [on],” he said, via

But Tocchet is a former player in his own right. He understands that teams such as Edmonton won't simply rest on their laurels. That rings even more true when those teams have very little margin for error. “They're going to probably adjust a few things, so we got to be ready. It's going to be hard to do. It's hard to shut that power play down,” he said, via

Rick Tocchet and the Canucks are one win away from the Western Conference Finals. But it will take quite the effort to take down the Oilers in Edmonton. These two teams hit the ice once again on Saturday with puck drop currently scheduled for 8 PM Eastern Time.