(Ed note: I realize the Province and others wrote last night about how bad Chicago used to be. I wrote this thread after the Blues game Friday night so since I touch on the same subject just didn't want ya'll to think I was copying others.)
Eight games remain between you and a welcome respite from the sport of ice hockey.
The stars are aligning...THE STARS ARE ALIGNING.
I'd point to something remotely positive about the last game, but holy hell they were flatly smothered (check the Corsi events here and hide the children). It's as if Vancouver, with all those youthful legs, forgets the game has three periods and phones the final frame in.
No one said rebuilds are fun. The Keenan teams were poor, a few of the Crawford ones as well, even the mighty AV had his share of failures (still does too!). The Torts team had 16 more points than this squad does right now and he got canned quicker than you could say "Vancouver is playing from behind." But none of them were full-blown, back-to-front wholesale rebuilds.
We're strangers in a new land here.
#Canucks have lost an NHL-worst 12 games this season when leading after 2 periods— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 25, 2016
Take our friends across the ice. Before Chicago started winning Cups left and right, they were fiercely, comically terrible. Their previous owner Bill Wirtz defined "atrocity" and helped create such a toxic atmosphere that ESPN called the Hawks the worst franchise in sports in 2004. They had one playoff appearance between 1997 and 2007 and their current crop of All Star talent didn't start showing up until Seabrook in 2003.
How about the current Conference leaders? Dogshit since 2008.
#Canucks are averaging a Western Conference-low 2.26 goals per game this season— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 25, 2016
So these skids where they can't score, can't skate, can't defend and can't drive play is part of the deal. Maybe down the stretch they can fine-tune small parts of their game shift by shift, but it's boys among men until April 30, June 24 and whenever Benning's plan (there is one...right?) gains traction.
For grin and bear it for now. Booze helps.
Human Guinea Pig Formations
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Jake Virtanen
Alexandre Burrows - Linden Vey - Emerson Etem
Brendan Gaunce - Jared McCann - Chris Higgins
Ben Hutton - Nikita Tryamkin
Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber
Matt Bartkowski - Alex Biega
Andrew Ladd - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Tomas Fleischmann - Teuvo Teravainen - Richard Panik
Andrew Desjardins - Marcus Kruger - Andrew Shaw
Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Viktor Svedberg - Brent Seabrook
Erik Gustafsson - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Vancouver was officially eliminated with Friday's loss to St. Louis, but in reality they haven't had a better than 75% chance at the playoffs since early November. Maybe that's why this season has felt so damn long.
See? There's that booze again.
For all the horrible trends this season, the biggest one we've known since October is the team doesn't play well at home. On their current skid against the defending Cup champions who need an easy win to get things going on their own end, you know well how this story ends.
3-0 Redskins feels about right.
But the #1 pick inches just a bit closer...#playforthis indeed.