THE CANUCKS: While it wasn’t as bad as the game before in Arizona, it was still dreadful. Like, ‘Why in the hell did I stay up until 1AM Eastern time?’ dreadful. The Canucks are without a doubt at the lowest point this franchise has seen since it’s inception, where the first 4 years were an embarrassment tempered only by the knowledge that the rules for new teams the NHL had certainly weren’t there to help them get a leg up like we see with Vegas. That and some unbelievable ownership issues that will give you a new appreciation for the stability of the Aqualinis (read 100 Things Canucks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Thomas Drance and Mike Halford to learn all about this stuff).
This is the 3rd time VAN has missed the playoffs for 3 (or more) straight seasons. 1st: 70-74 (expansion team), 2nd: '96-'00 (Keenan, Messier etc). Even the brutal 80s teams had postseason/meaningful games. This is, quite literally, one of the worst periods in franchise history.— Mike Halford (@HalfordTSN) March 13, 2018
And as it goes with bad teams, everything they try to do blows up in their faces. It even affects those around them, as we saw with this well-intentioned tweet from the Vancouver Whitecaps last night:
Our friends at the @Canucks play in LA tonight..— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 13, 2018
And we host LA Galaxy at home next Saturday, March 24...
So, we're thinking it's the perfect time to do a ticket giveaway
Every time the #Canucks score a goal tonight, watch our feed for a chance to win a pair! #VWFC
Well, the Canucks predictably did not score.
I know, right? The Whitecaps handled it well, though.
Welp...— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 13, 2018
We still wanna share the love, so RT these cute @Canucks fans for a chance to win a pair of tickets to our next home match (March 24) vs. LA! #VWFC pic.twitter.com/kCtviuqtIJ
So now the debate is raging as to the newest Vancouver Canucks Goaltending Controversy(tm): What to do with a problem like Thatcher? There’s a segment of the fan base and media who believe that calling him up and giving him a few games down the stretch will go a long way to preparing him for next season. The other side of this debate thinks there’s nothing to be gained by bringing him into a dressing room so obviously down and out right now, and exposing him to one of the dreariest existences in the NHL. Add in that the Utica Comets, despite struggling over the last couple weeks, are going to be in the post season in the AHL, unlike the parent squad, and taking their #1 goaltender away during the stretch drive could impact their first round matchup, possibly even home ice. I am eager to see him play. I want to see him get his shot. But you have a couple possible scenarios and neither are attractive. One, is that the Canucks and the D that’s gonna be playing in front of him continue to be awful and he gets shellacked, setting him up with confidence issues before his first full season in the bigs. Or, he comes in and plays well in spite of them, winning enough that it keeps the Canucks from finishing last and leads to another deep tumble in the draft lottery. It’s not just about the first round, finishing last means picking first each consecutive round. There’s a lot at stake for the future here, and it’s more than just the career of Thatcher Demko.
AROUND THE LEAGUE: A couple big milestone moments last night in the NHL. Alexander Ovechkin became the 20th player in history to score his 600th NHL goal in his 990th game.
Alex Ovechkin became the 20th player in NHL history to reach the 600-goal milestone, doing so in 990 GP (600-509—1,109). Only 3 players achieved the feat in fewer GP: Wayne Gretzky (718), Mario Lemieux (719) and Brett Hull (900). #NHLStats #WPGvsWSH #600VI pic.twitter.com/3J26b2fkPK— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 13, 2018
And the Vegas Golden Knights had a lil history of their own, as G Marc Andre Fleury won his 400th career game last night.
Ain't no better Flower out there. 400 wins for Marc-Andre Fleury. Congrats on an unreal milestone!#NHLMilestones via @SAPSports: https://t.co/rI3E1dcul5 pic.twitter.com/FC6VLrTRta— NHL (@NHL) March 13, 2018
TANKWATCH 2018: Tonight there’s a handful of games that could impact the Canucks, so let’s take a look at them. Most importantly the Arizona Coyotes look to continue their streak of hot play as they take on last night’s opponents, the Los Angeles Kings. Maybe the Canucks will have softened them up for the Coyotes? An Arizona win will move them over Buffalo and to within 2 points of Vancouver. Next we have a Battle Of Alberta game that really might be worth watching. With the Flames scrapping for a playoff spot, the Oilers might be looking to play spoilers. The Ottawa Senators are in Tampa after a big win over the Panthers last night. I wouldn’t hold my breath for another win in the Sunshine State. And finally the Montreal Canadiens try to keep pace as they take on Dallas. There is one non-tank related game worth your attention tonight, a clash between Winnipeg and Nashville that could be a playoff scenario at some point this spring.