The last time the Vancouver Canucks were this bad, I stepped away from watching them, because I just couldn’t stomach how poorly they played on a nightly basis. Those mid-80’s teams were just bloody awful, and when they actually did make the playoffs, they got rolled by the Oilers or Flames in the first round. In the later part of the decade, Pat Quinn was brought in as General Manager and he began building the team that would make that Cup run in 1994, and it makes me wonder if there’s a Pat Quinn out there to save this franchise, because it is absolutely drowning right now, and there're no rescuers in sight.
Canucks playoff chance dropped to 16% with the loss to Anaheim last night. In order to be odds-on to make they'll need to take 80 points from their final 66 games. pic.twitter.com/OnnBGYAKHo— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) November 15, 2021
It’s hard to imagine a more disastrous road trip than this one. Over the course of four days, the Canucks have pretty much sealed their fate this season. So no, Jim, there’ll be no playoffs for you. The Canucks would have to earn around eighty points in their remaining sixty-six games to reach what should be the playoff bar in the West this season. I find it hard to believe there’s anyone out there who can look at this team, the way they are right now and tell me with a straight face that this is something they can accomplish.
After last season’s brutal campaign, we were willing to accept that a lot of what happened was due to catastrophic injuries, COVID ravaging the team, and an utterly merciless schedule as a result. I am still fine with all that. For this team, after all of the changes made by Jim Benning in the offseason, and since it began, to be in EXACTLY the same position they were after sixteen games last season is unacceptable. Well, it’s unacceptable to the fans, and the players aren’t happy. But Travis Green still has a job this morning. Jim Benning, the man who told us this was going to be a playoff year, still has a job this morning. It makes one wonder if it’s acceptable to Francesco Aquilini, though. We have no idea, because we hear so little from management and ownership, and you would think, in a time of crisis, after telling the faithful that you had full confidence in the leadership of this team, you would say something? But I guess it’s hard when your focus is the Sunday Night NFL game and not your team getting their collective heads caved in for the third game in a row.
It’s getting harder and harder to be angry about this, because what’s the point? Until the club shows us that this era is coming to an end, we’re just yelling about something they clearly don’t see as problematic. They’ve fallen so far in the last decade. They went from being the best team in hockey for an almost three year stretch, to the worst, and it’s their saving grace that Arizona and Seattle have been worse out of the gate.
Anyway, let’s take a look at what else happened last night, shall we?
Dan Vladar stopped all 27 shots he faced for his first career NHL shutout in a 4-0 Calgary Flames win over the COVID-addled Ottawa Senators. The Sens now have ten players on the COVID-19 protocol list. Andrew Mangiapane scored his 10th of the season for what stood up as the GWG.
Kailer Yamamoto scored with 0:28 left to give the Edmonton Oilers a 5-4 win over the St Louis Blues. Connor McDavid scored his tenth, and Leon Draisaitl notched his fifteenth goal of the season in the victory.
The Canucks weren’t the only team blown out last night, as Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins got stomped 6-1 by the Washington Capitals. And speaking of Sidney Crosby, he didn’t appear to appreciate Martin Fehervary scoring a short handed goal in this one.
Crosby taking out some frustration in his return to the lineup. Pens down 5-1 to Caps pic.twitter.com/zHD40mg7OW— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 15, 2021
We’ll wait with bated break for the Department Of Player Safety to announce Crosby has a hearing for this extremely dangerous play.
Speaking of guys who need to hear from DoPS, check out Kaapo Kaako absolutely gooning New Jersey Devils G MacKenzie Blackwood for his first goal of the season.
Here is the Kaapo Kakko goal ... pic.twitter.com/eBP2rKWN0a— Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22) November 15, 2021
Blackwood left the game and did not return. There was no goaltender interference penalty on this play, which seems ludicrous, for a goal that looked like an outtake from Slap Shot. Anyway, the New York Rangers won this one in Uncle Gary’s Super Fun Trick Shot Contest, by a score of 4-3.
ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS NEWS
Not a bad weekend for the kids on the farm, as they took 3 of a possible 4 points from the San Jose Barracuda. It started Friday night, which was Diwali Night in Abbotsford. The Canucks gave the crowd plenty to celebrate in a big 7-1 win. Jett Woo had a goal and two assists, while Sheldon Dries (1 G 3 A) and Phil DiGuiseppe (0 G 4 A) had four point nights in the win. Michael DiPietro stopped 28 of 29 shots for his second win of the season.
Sunday night these teams met again, and it was an eventful one. Vincent Arsenau got a 10 minute game misconduct for elbowing SJ F Joel Kellman in front of the Canucks net. Kellman was down for quite a while, and had to be taken off on a stretcher. Chase Wouters with his first AHL goal, and Jarid Lukosevicius scored for the Canucks, but they fell in the shootout 3-2.
The Canucks are now 4-4-2-1 and will host their Pacific Division rivals the Bakersfield Condors on Friday night at the Abbotsford Center.