You can't judge who is the better team in the playoffs by how lopsided the goal scoring is. I remember watching that entire series and i clearly remember the Canucks being the better team in at least 5 out of 7 games, sure they lost a few games but overall they were the better team.
All teams in the playoffs are hard to beat, they're there for a reason, just because a team has the edge over their opponent does not mean they will blow them outa the water by 4 or 5 goals. In the regular season that may be more common, but in the playoffs? Get real.
The Canucks did not necessarily dominate the Hawks, after all it went to 7 games. But the Canucks were the better team and i can say that pretty confidently. They were more physical, they had better goaltending, they had better puck possession and better scoring chances overall. Those stats in my opinion, carry much more weight when judging who the better team is rather than simply scoring goals (which the Canucks also had the edge obviously i might add). Especially when, like i said, in the playoffs not many teams get blown out.
To me it's simple.. the name of the game is to score more goals than the other team. That's actually my fundamental problem with the coaching philosophy. It takes up too much energy to try to physically dominate, play hard D and hang on to the puck but to be stuck on the perimeter and have low value chances.
If teams are hard to blow out in the playoffs, how come the Canucks got blown out multiple times but they only blow out teams a few times? The majority of the games the Canucks do put in great effort but if "dominating" is only winning by one goal then I question the strategy.
Other teams can physically dominate but they use that momentum to carry the offense. The Canucks will physically dominate at times to get puck possession and as a defensive strategy but they don't have much in terms of a fast break game.
I've heard Canucks players say you keep hitting because you never know when that will result in a turnover which can lead to a goal. I agree with that but what I would emphasize more is sharpening up on fast break skills, sniping, getting easy goals when they come and picking your spots. Over the years I've seen teams score easy goals on the Canucks. Sometimes it is weak goaltending but most other times it's seizing the opportunity. The Canucks aren't trained that way though.. they're trained to play it safe and keep to the outside so that these chances can't materialize.
There are very few games where I felt the Canucks really left it out there on the ice on offense. When they play 110% for 60 minutes that usually means they were solid defensively and had the puck a lot but not dominating on offense in a way where they have swagger. It's a methodical statistical edge they get but nothing that I feel is championship material.
For the amount of work the Canucks put in, they don't get a good output. My standards are Laker championship type standards. NBA ppl seem to get it... they said because the Lakers barely squeaked by lower seeded Denver, they are in trouble. Regular season record and division championships mean nothing. Being a champion is a whole another level. The coaching staff hasn't displayed that. If you're content with being blown out many times and working hard just to keep the game close with this team then I question how good the coaching really is or if the team is overrated and the coach really does maximize their weak talents to give them a chance to win.