The Magical Misery Tour has wrapped up until their next jaunt in January, and they managed to win the final two outings of this trip. So what have we learned from all this? Well, we know that even when the team plays well, it’s quite often not good enough against a good majority of the teams in the NHL right now, as we saw in the games against the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets. We know they’re marginally better than the woeful Montreal Canadiens, and in a shocker, they’re far better than the Ottawa Senators.
At the end of the day, this changes little about how you should be viewing this team, and until they start winning games where they had to punch up rather than down to get the two points, you might want to hold your applause.
Sure, there’s a lot of positives to be taken from these two wins. Thatcher Demko was outstanding, and continues to be the Canucks MVP this season. Quinn Hughes is making us all forget about his play last season, as much for his improved defensive play as for the way he continues to fuel the offence and rack up points. Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Conor Garland and JT Miller all snapped goal scoring droughts, as did Alex Chiasson as the Canucks PP was solid. Apart from embarrassingly getting owned by Adam Gaudette on that early penalty kill (and god, could that whole thing have been more Canucks?), the PK was much better last night, especially that big 5 on 3 that they killed off. And while the Gaudette goal was entirely predictable, his play on the Canucks second and third goals and the subsequent lack of ice time was something you could set your watch to.
Yeah, it’s always good when the Canucks win, and the Ottawa Senators were never a threat to come back and even make this one close, but let’s not kid ourselves: The Vancouver Canucks won two games they absolutely should have. That doesn’t alter the course that this team is on. It doesn’t save anyone’s job and doesn’t keep them from possibly trading away pieces of what was supposed to be the core. Unless they play the rest of the season as though they were the 2010-11 Canucks, they’re going to miss the playoffs for the sixth time in eight seasons under Jim Benning. Sadly, he will still probably get more time, since some have pointed out how the media is clearly the problem in Vancouver.
I suppose, as Managing Editor and one of, if not the longest tenured writer here at Nucks Misconduct, I should apologize for making the Canucks bad. Sorry for our part in the teams that lost all these games. Forgive us for guys getting signed to big money contracts who never came close to justifying the money spent. And all those draft picks that either never amounted to anything, or the ones let go who’ve gone on to succeed after not getting a chance to do so here, that’s our bad.
Well, that feels so much better.
In all seriousness, as mentioned these wins should probably do little to stop whatever processes are already in motion, and one should not be shocked if there’s some sort of change with this team before their next game Saturday against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.
Anyway, let’s recap some of last night’s goings-on:
- Our pals over at Silver Seven Sens with their take on last night’s contest...
- The Province ponders a number of questions facing the Canucks, including an interesting concept: Tyler Myers as a winger or center...
- Pass It To Bulis as always gets down to the nitty gritty with their game review...
- Sheldon Dries had a hat trick last night as the Abbotsford Canucks won their second straight, in a thrilling 5-4 win over the Ontario Reign in Abbotsford. Dries has 10 goals in 14 games to lead the team in scoring, and is tied for third in the AHL in goals...
- Any of you jersey collectors thinking about getting a Coyotes jersey? You might wanna get going on that:
As per my Forbes colleague @MikeOzanian, the Arizona Coyotes are "for sale again with idea of buyer eventually moving team to a new arena in Houston."— Eric Macramalla (@EricMacramalla) December 2, 2021