“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” - Dr. Seuss
- Nick Bondi
That is the theme of this week’s episode of Power Of The Towel.
It was a great playoff run for the Vancouver Canucks, one that helped the city and fans around the world distract from the tire fire that is the year 2020.
But now the real work begins. Jimbo and company not only have to try and improve the team, but they also have to do so with the knowledge that the salary cap is not going up — plus there’s no guarantee when the season is going to restart of what’s it is going to look like if so.
The Canucks exceed anyone’s wildest expectations this season. Now the question is, is this the sign of better things to come? Or was this all a mirage.
I discuss this and plenty of other topics with Malcolm Ert, co- hosts of the Area 51 Hockey Podcast.
The latest episode of Power Of The Towel is now live!— Power Of The Towel (@powerofthetowel) September 8, 2020
In the inaugural postmortem episode, we talk to @malcolmert about the upcoming goalie controversy, and if the JT Miller trade is officially still bad.
Markstrom or Demko?
Are you tired of this debate yet?
I hope not, because it’s going to be the dominant storyline in an offseason where we’re not sure when it is going to end.
As I said last week, the decision comes down to when the Canucks window of contention is and which goalie is better suited in that window.
If you think the window is right now — i.e. next season and the year after — then you go with Markstrom. He gives you a certainty you can’t afford to lose if you want to go for it immediately, and let’s not forget that he was the team’s MVP this year. Without Markstrom stealing a few games, they made not have been in a position to make the play-in round.
However, if you think the window is 3-4 years down the road when the Canucks have a bit more depth and are out from under some of these self-inflicted bad contracts, then you go with Demko. He’s younger, cheaper, and cost-controlled for a few more seasons. He fits the age of the core four — Pettersson, Hughes, Boeser and Horvat — a lot better than Markstrom.
I will personally be shocked if Markstrom isn’t a Vancouver Canuck next season. I don’t see any way Jim Benning and ownership see their team make game 7 of the second round and say “let’s wait a few more years”. They want to win, and they want to win now.
You know I had to bust Malcolm’s balls over the JT Miller trade after he previously ripped it (not that he was alone). Remember folks, it’s not gambling if you win. It’s just winning.
We finally settle the classic #Canucks Twitter debate: was the JT Miller trade good or bad?— Power Of The Towel (@powerofthetowel) September 9, 2020
The latest episode of Power Of The Towel with @malcolmert is out now!
Green with envy?
Is Travis Green a top 10 coach in the NHL?
Official vote totals for— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) September 10, 2020
Jack Adams Awards for Coach of the a Year. pic.twitter.com/gmAeoDLoJP
That is the question I posed to Malcolm, and I’m going to pose to all the listeners/readers. I was convinced of this during the game 5 line switching/hiding the lines against the Blues, and the in-series adjustments he was able to make throughout the playoffs. Travis Green is here to stay as the Canucks head coach.
Lessons from Sin City
As I mentioned in this clip, I hope people in the future don’t forget how close the Canucks really were to moving on to the next round.
It was a scoreless game with 10 minutes to play in a Game 7. That’s as close as you can almost get.
And yet, the series still showed the discrepancy between Vancouver and Vegas. The Golden Knights could role four lines no problem, and still control the game. Vancouver could role two lines, and the other two were just trying not to get hemmed in their own zone too long. Let’s be real.
The Canucks have two building blocks in Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes that every team would kill for. In that sense, the hardest part is already done. Now, the trick is can they build the forward and defensive depth to look more like Vegas — because they are a true Stanley Cup contender.
Don’t take for granted that having Petey and Quinn will ensure this version of the Canucks will have an upwards trajectory for years to come. More work needs to be done.