There’s been a lot of misery in Vancouver over the last 52 seasons.
That’s why this start to the season has been so shocking.
Prior to this year’s putrid start, the Canucks had never lost more than three games in a row to begin a new campaign.
With seven straight losses, they’ve more than doubled that horrendous mark in 2022-23.
What’s even more shocking about the Canucks putrid start is that there was legitimate hope entering this season.
Look, the Canucks entered this season as a complete Wild Card. They had the potential to make some noise based on their elite offence (on paper) coupled with a Vezina-worthy goaltender.
(Not to mention, Gary Bettman’s world of parity helps their cause, but that’s a different story).
Here’s the other thing about the Canucks though...they also had the potential to suck. Their defence (on paper AND in real life) is one of the worst units in the league. They’re supposedly “good” offence was below average last season, and they relied on elite goaltending to remain competitive.
However, I don’t think anyone thought they would suck this bad.
There was an element of bad luck (coupled with beer-league level blunders) on the season-opening five-game road trip.
With normal luck, they probably would have won three of those games, but this is Vancouver, after all.
The last two games at home told us something very different though.
This team just quit playing in the third period for two straight games, despite being right there when the puck dropped on the third period.
Performances like that might give fans hope that this team could actually tank for a player like Connor Bedard.
Unfortunately, it’s a false hope.
The Canucks aren’t getting Bedard, they’re going to go on a streak and finish 10th in the West.— Niq (@NiqhilVelji) October 25, 2022
By many metrics, the Canucks are league average in terms of both creating and preventing chances at even-strength.
Once again, special teams has sunk them. And, for a new twist, below average goaltending performances also haven’t helped.
This streak of hopelessless has provided one silver lining though.
Remarkably, the Canucks could have the chance to draft a generational player in the 2023 NHL Draft.
Not just a generational player, but a generational player that hails from North Vancouver.
The recent stories about Bedard and the Canucks certainly should pique your interest.
Last spring, he cited Tyler Motte as his favourite Canuck, which clearly wasn’t a generic answer. More recently, he picked the Canucks to win this year’s Stanley Cup.
Connor Bedard has to become a Canuck one day.— Faber (@ChrisFaber39) October 12, 2022
Not sure when it happens but it’s got to happen one day.
Video from Regina Pats’ TikTok. pic.twitter.com/775aGZhcLz
Finally, we learned that Bedard “cried for a week” when the Canucks lost in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
Drancer: Connor Bedard told me this summer that he cried for a week after the 2011 SCF.— Taj (@taj1944) October 24, 2022
Yes, Bedard was five years old at the time...but I know some of you reading are grown men that cried over that 2011 team.
It’s okay, no judgment here.
The likelihood of the Canucks drafting Bedard is extremely low. Nevermind the Canucks history of bad lottery luck even if they were a bottom-feeder, but this team is too talented to realistically give the organization strong lottery odds.
That’s really too bad, because the Canucks are right now headed towards another year of mediocrity where they miss the playoffs by a few points, cementing themselves in hockey purgatory.
Vancouver has already been stuck there for 50+ years. We don’t need to see anymore near playoffs misses. We don’t need to see another slow start followed by a February run where the games kind of, don’t really matter.
And, we don’t need to see this team double down on aging veterans.
Having a shot at drafting Bedard (or another star at the top of the 2023 draft class) is truly what’s best for this organization...because what we’ve seen for the last 10 years isn’t working.
At least a bottom-feeding finish would give Canucks fans hope...something that this city hasn’t truly had in over a decade.