We are at the halfway point of this season and the Canucks are everything we hoped for and yet we crave more because we are greedy bastards.
1. Let’s start with the bad news. The Canucks are still 5 points out of a playoff spot. (I know you went to look at the standings because you didn’t believe me.) And while it looks like they are only one point out, there are only two teams that can’t theoretically pass Vancouver. (LA & Chi). That long losing streak maybe be the one thing that keeps Vancouver out of the playoffs.
2. Now let’s have some good news. The Canucks only play 9 games in January. After this next hectic week where they play 4 games in 6 days, the Canucks only play 6 games in 3 weeks. No one has talked about the fact Petey has never played a long season like this and tiredness is bound to set in. The multiple days of rest will hopefully help him get through the month of hell which February is.
3. If…and it’s a big if still, if the Canucks are to even have a chance at the playoffs, their special teams will have to become special again. The PP is at 18.3% and the PK is at 78.7%. (20th and 19th in the league respectively) If they were to make the playoffs with those types of numbers, they would lose quickly in the first round. Realistically the PP has to get to 20% and the PK needs to at least 83%. Those numbers would lead to a positive special teams result. Right now the Canucks are -3 per 100 chances (PP%-(100-PK%)). Being able to hit the goals above would lead to a +3 rating. For some perspective, the Lightning are +12.
4. Over at Canucks Army, Stephan Roget has written a piece about Brock Boeser and the comparables for his next contract. He put a lot of work into something that will be ripped apart by the masses, but you should go read it. Personally, I think Brock’s health is the main issue of this next contract. If he can stay healthy this year and keep producing, then the numbers might be pretty big. The question for GMJB, is will he pull a play out of the Gillis playbook and ask for the hometown discount. The Canucks did Boeser the favor of burning his first year for a small amount of games. Considering that contracts for Goldobin and Petey will be signed over the next few years, how much money do you put into Brock now? Nylander didn’t take a bridge contract, so how does that play out for others? Do you point out that the next CBA may change the salary environment completely and a bridge is a smarter way to go? The guessing game has already begun.
5. Buy, sell or do nothing at the deadline?
I truly believe that Alex Edler will be a Canuck at the end of the year. And looking at the pairing of Guds/Pouliot I understand why. Would Edler bring a first round pick…no, maybe a second round pick. For those thinking this is a playoff team, getting rid of Edler would end that dream.
Trading Tanev would also cause the end of those dreams. Tanev would bring a higher return. Pick your poison.
I would love to jettison Del Zotto, but I think the injury fairies aren’t done with us so he is there for insurance.
Loui’s contract isn’t going anywhere this year.
I think this might actually be the year to stand pat. The core of players seem to believe they can win and what better show of confidence than to keep this team together through the deadline.