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Brock Boeser dealing with a family tragedy in the midst of the playoffs.

Hard not to feel for Boeser.

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The Vancouver Canucks faced off against the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night in Game 3 of their second round series in the Stanley Cup playoffs and you could easily make the argument that it was the least inspired performance of the series from the Canucks. Despite outshooting the Golden Knights early on in the contest a few key mistakes resulted in a 2 - 0 deficit for the Canucks after the first period and that appeared to take some of the wind out of their sales. 

Following what ended up being a 3 - 0 loss to the Golden Knights several of Vancouver's players were heavily criticized by fans on social media and among those players was forward Brock Boeser. I can certainly understand why fans felt his performance was worthy of criticism but what many fans may not be aware of is the tremendous emotional and psychological burden that Boeser no doubt has to be carrying on his shoulders during these playoffs. Boeser, like every other player still participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs, is currently trapped inside the National Hockey League's bubble and is unable to be in contact with his family, a family that has been hit by a terrible personal tragedy. 

News began to leak out late last night that Boeser has lost a cousin, and of course he is unable to be with his grieving family at this time due to his commitment to the Vancouver Canucks, his teammates and of course the NHL. For a young man playing in what is effectively a high stakes hockey tournament that has to be an unimaginable burden to shoulder, and I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that it has seriously impacted his mental state and even his performance on the ice. 

Add to this recent tragedy that Boeser always has concern for his father on his mind as well and you can truly start to see just how much this 23 year old is dealing with on a day to day basis right now . His father has battled parkinson's disease and cancer during the pandemic, a pandemic that was all the more terrifying for the Boeser family due to his increased health concerns, and being away from him right now likely isn't easy for Boeser either.