This article should have come out a couple of games ago at the half way part of the year, but I was at the beach turning red. The Canucks came into this year with a lot of expectations…for the 2020-21 season, but not a lot for this year. 65 points wasn’t it….and dead last in the NHL. Most of the “non-expert” writers on Nucks Misconduct thought the Canucks wouldn’t be that bad, but still not a playoff team. As of game 41, the Canucks could hypothetically get 86 points. I know, I don’t believe that either but I never thought they would be 8 points out of first place in the division.
1. The Canucks have one of the best home records in the west, 15-6-2. This goes against nature. The Canucks also have one of the worst road records. I can believe that. So, in my point of view, Willie has done a better job of matching lines against other teams. I can hear the screams of “no” throughout the land. Could the lines have been different? Sure…but that doesn’t mean better.
2. The PP is terrible. (14.4% - 27th in the NHL) On the road the PP gets even worse than terrible…wait, what is worse than terrible? Atrocious….absofuckinglutely disgusting at 10%. I think every Canuck blogger has looked and somewhat analyzed the PP and come up with their own theory as to why it sucks. I know I have talked about it several times. The Sedins and the PP. The Sedins are the masters of getting the puck around the ice on the PP, but they use the boards. Their pattern has become studied and do you know what kills the cycle, a hard hit on a Sedin. Teams have collapsed down against the cycle and made sure the point shot can’t get through. Hesitation when it comes to shooting and passing has also killed the effectiveness of the PP.
3. With the position the Canucks have put themselves into, I am actually confused as to whether I should be cheering for a playoff appearance or hoping for another 9 game losing streak. I always want the Canucks in the playoffs and getting into them this year would be particularly sweet. But I do understand that higher draft picks at this point would be beneficial 3 years down the road. I won’t cheer for losing, but I know this team is average at its very best and if they lose I don’t usually get as frustrated as the voices on twitter. Speaking of….I don’t understand those that cheer for losing and then criticize for poor play. Make up your fucking mind.
4. I am calling this my “almost sure thing” prediction. Ryan Miller will get injured in the second half. He has played great. In fact I’m sure we could get a second rounder for him. But Willie might ride him into the ground because he trusts his players when they say they’re fine and want to play. Markstrom might be able to gain the confidence to earn the #1 spot next year.
5. Chris Tanev….the Canucks have played well when he is in the lineup. What was the key word in the last sentence? “When”. Tanev might be the one piece that could…might….may…bring us a higher draft pick. Remember next season Tanev has a modified NMC. And most importantly….Tanev is a hit…shot…dull skate away from another injury.