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NM Roundtable: Pondering Playoffs & the Canucks Unsung Hero

Also, which Canucks legend would you want to spend time with in self-isolation?

San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks
Tyler Motte has quietly been an important member of the Canucks forward group this season.
Getty Images

Despite the fact that the NHL (and the world around us, for that matter) have hit the pause button, the writers here at Nucks Misconduct still have thoughts about the unfinished Canucks campaign.

We know you have unrelenting thoughts about this team as well. We’ll let you know our thoughts here in the latest edition of the Nucks Misconduct Roundtable, and we encourage you to let us know how you feel in the comments below.

Without further ado, here’s what on our minds right now.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks
Will Micheal Ferland get a chance to show his potential in Vancouver next year?
Getty Images

1. Westy previously wrote about the Canucks cap situation, and picked his two choices for who he’d buy out. Let’s pose the question to the rest of our writers. If you would buy out two players, who would they be? And Westy, any change of heart over the past 72 hours?

Bailey_chambers12 - I would buy out Jordie Benn and Jay Beagle. Benn hasn’t been reliable enough for a depth guy this year, and Beagle is starting to show his age as his numbers has steadily dropped the last 4 years with no sign that that will change in the coming few years.

jimmi - They will all be bought out - but called severance pay. For pennies on the dollar. Except Loui, whose severance package will cost $126M. And well worth it.

westy - No. I just wonder if two buyouts will turn into three or four. I’m sure the NHLPA will go nuts, but if there is no NHL maybe more buyouts will be the bitter pill the NHLPA has to swallow.

Noah Strang - I think Beagle would be my first buy out. Gaudette and MacEwan are going to need to get their minutes somewhere and we have a glut of bottom-six forwards. It hurts me to say because when Roussel is going he’s great to watch but he’s struggled returning from injury. Buy him out and LTIR Ferland.

Beggsy - It will be interesting to see if more compliance buyouts become an option with the impending cap crunch, as Westy mentioned. I just wonder if the players association steps if indeed more than 10% of NHL players are subject to a buyout.

Regardless, If you’re giving me keys to the buyout bus, I’m buying out the two richest contracts on the Canucks, Loui Eriksson and Tyler Myers. Despite the fact that people might think Loui’s contract is tradeable, I have a hard time imagining that anyone trades for him if the cap goes down. With Myers, he’s a find second-pairing defenceman, but that contract is going to hurt in due time.

Kent Basky - Loui. After that, it’s hard. Could be Beagle, could be Sutter. I get wanting to 86 Myers, but I think the former two are more urgent.

NHL: DEC 23 Oilers at Canucks
Would the Canucks beat the Oilers in a seven-game series?
Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2. If the NHL were to come out of the hiatus and go straight to the postseason based on points percentage, the Canucks would draw the Oilers on the road for Round One. Who wins that series?

Bailey_chambers12 - While with a healthy Markstrom I’d like to say the Canucks, I think it would be the Oilers in 7 games. It’s too tough to shut down McDraisatl for 4 games out of 7, and while I think Marky would push the Oilers to the limit, I don’t see how Vancouver would win this matchup with the middling D-corps they have right now.

jimmi - The Nucks would triumph. Easily. Because they train the on the Grouse Grind. The Oil will tire after crossing the Rockies on foot.

westy - Healthy Canucks vs Healthy Oilers. If the third line of the Canucks can score and Horvats line can keep McDavid in check, Canucks in 6. Only because Marky will steal a game or two.

Noah Strang - I like the Canucks to beat the Oilers over a seven game series. We never really got to see a full power Canucks offense but I feel confident that the depth could match the Oilers duo. This question would be a lot easier if we still had the McDavid stopper, Cole Cassels...

Beggsy - Power of the Towel host Nick Bondi said on the latest episode of Sippin’ on a 40 that McDavid and Draisaitl likely steal two games. I tend to agree. However, I think a healthy Markstrom pushes the Canucks over the top.

Kent - Yeah, I like the Canucks over either Alberta team in this scenario. The Oilers, like the Canucks were marginally better this year, but the drop off after the Oilers top players is still a massive one compared to the Canucks.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks
MARCH 8: Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets congratulates teammate Elvis Merzlikins #90 after winning their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena March 8, 2020 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Columbus won 2-1.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

3. While it’s nice to think about the Canucks in the playoffs, the truth is that they were on a downwards slide before the hiatus. Do you think they would have made the playoffs if the NHL finished playing all 82 games?

Bailey_chambers12 - I’ll be an optimist and say yeah, they would have. The one game sample size with Brock back in the top-6 provided hope that the consistent scoring would have returned, along with Demko’s last three solid performances in goal. With those two factors and the fact that Vancouver had games in hand, I think the Canucks could have been able to leapfrog the Flames for 3rd in the Pacific.

jimmi - Absolutely they would have. After trending down, they were on the way up. The league realized this and shutdown the game before the Nucks embarrassed pundits from NY to CoTU.

westy - I said it in October and I will keep saying

Noah Strang - Demko rounding into form, Boeser returning from injury, things seemed to be looking up for the team. I would like to think this would have continued and they could have snuck into the playoffs. Would have been fun to see how the Pacific played out.

Beggsy - Let’s be real, the Canucks were never much more than a #strongbubbleteam. Alas, they were one of the stronger bubble teams, with a thicker, soapier surface than some of those other bubble teams.

I’d agree with Bailey on this one, I think the Canucks could leapfrog the Flames. Calgary has struggled all season and I believe they would have, wait for it, flamed out down the stretch.

No? Anyone?

Kent- They weren’t making the playoffs. All this has done is saved us the heartbreak of them missing on the last day or something close to that.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks
Foundational photo of Brandon Sutter right here.
Getty Images

4. According to many unreliable online sources, an Unsung Hero is someone who does great deeds but receives little or no recognition for them. With that in mind, who is your Unsung Hero for the Canucks this season?

Bailey_chambers12 - I’m gonna go with Chris Tanev. One, because he stayed healthy all year (at least before the Islander game), and two for his steady defensive play and strong play in his own zone and shot-blocking ability.

jimmi - Ferland. Because he didn’t want to upstage any other players, he unselfishly took himself out of the lineup forever. Just as the NHL has now taken itself out of pro sports.

westy - Sutter. He’s foundational.

Noah Strang - I’ll nominate Alexander Edler. Guy is the longest tenured Canuck and continues to be a solid offensive defenceman. He got taken off of the first unit power play this season but has only ever been a great guy in the dressing room from what we can see.

Beggsy - All great answers boys, a lot of, um, variation there...but the correct answer was: Tyler Motte.

Ferocious penalty killer, tenacious forechecker, and he had the bravery to share his story of mental illness this season as well. Also, the Canucks were 21-11-2 with Motte in the lineup, and 15-16-4 without him. Basically, they’re the Golden Knights with Motte, and they’re the Ducks without him.

Kent- Westy and Jimmi are gonna be written up for this, folks. In all seriousness (glaring at those two as I type this) it’s Tyler Motte. The most consistent 4th liner all season (and look how bad the 4th line was when he was out). I will scream bloody murder if they don’t bring him back next season.

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two
Goaltender Eddie Lack #31 of the Vancouver Canucks is pictured during a break in play while facing the Calgary Flames during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on April 17, 2015 in Vancouver, B.C, Canada.
Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images

5. If you had to be locked in self-isolation with any current or past Canucks player for 24 hours, who would you choose?

Bailey_chambers12 - Zack MacEwen. We don’t know him too well yet, but all I’ve seen so far shows us he’s a fun, positive guy that would help pass the time and keep things light. And that’s exactly what we all need in these dark days.

jimmi - That is an oxymoron test question, right? Self-isolation implies being alone and isolated. Like some recent NM game threads.

If I could choose to virtual-isolate across the interwebs, I would want to chirp with a small group - the Sedins and Juice. The Sedins because they are smart and funny, without the cheap shots. Juice because he’s smart and funny with the cheap shots.

westy - Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! I would ask him how bad his contract was.

Noah Strang - Eddie Lack. He’s always cracking jokes and seems like a funny guy to just hangout with and kickback. Sign me up.

Beggsy - Cliche as all hell but I’m picking Alex Burrows. I want to hear off the record about his best chirps to other players.

Kent- Jannik Hansen. Listening to him always made me laugh, so that seems like a good thing for this.