Merely two months into the NHL season, and it feels like the Canucks should be tanking.
Unfortunately, this team is stuck in a far worse place — the mushy middle of the NHL standings.
Perhaps the Canucks could take a lesson or two from San Jose on the art of tanking later tonight.
SAP Center, San Jose, CA, 7:30 pm
TV: SN Pacific /// Radio: SN 650
Opposition Blog: Fear the Fin
Jokes aside, we know the Canucks aren’t tanking. It’s just that our hopes of such a feat were faintly alive during the Canucks disastrous start to the season.
Alas, as you look at the bottom of the NHL standings this morning, it appears as though there are at least eight teams who have broken away from the pack as front-runners for the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.
Sure, the Canucks might round out the bottom 10, but they’re now closer to the playoff bar than they are to the bottom of the standings.
Even with Thatcher Demko now out of the lineup for a prolonged stretch of time, the difference will likely be negligible since he’s largely struggled.
On top of that, the Canucks have a fairly easy schedule in December, including tonight’s contest against the San Jose Sharks.
The Canucks managed to beat the Sharks in overtime just 10 days ago, despite being a tired team on the second night of back-to-backs.
Poor San Jose. Their home rink has been a house of horrors this season. Their home record is 2-8-4 this season. Even though one of those losses came overseas that’s still incredibly sad.
Once again, the Sharks are currently masters in the art of tanking, while the Canucks continue to coast towards another middle-of-the-pack kind of campaign.
Ilya Mikheyev — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Nils Hoglander — Bo Horvat — JT Miller
Andrei Kuzmenko — Sheldon Dries — Conor Garland
Jack Studnicka — Nils Aman — Curtis Lazar
Quinn Hughes — Luke Schenn
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Ethan Bear
Riley Stillman — Tyler Myers
Starting Goalie: Spencer Martin
Backup: Collin Delia
Scratched: Kyle Burroughs
Injured: Dakota Joshua (undisclosed), Tucker Poolman (concussion), Travis Dermott (concussion), Tanner Pearson (hand), Thatcher Demko (lower body)
San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Kevin Labanc
Alex Barbanov — Logan Couture — Luke Kunin
Evgeny Svechnikov — Nick Bonino — CJ Suess
Jonah Gadjovich — Steven Lorentz — Oskar Lindblom
Jaycob Megna — Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Matt Benning
Nick Cicek — Radim Simek
Starting Goalie: Kaapo Kahkonen
Backup: Eetu Mäkiniemi
Scratched: Noah Gregor, Scott Harrington
Injured: James Reimer (lower body), Matt Nieto (undisclosed), Mario Ferraro (foot), Nico Sturm (upper body), Markus Nutivaara (lower body)
The Sharks have recently sent four players to the infirmary. Reimer, Nieto, Ferraro and Sturm all suffered injuries over the past week.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
The Canucks could read this and be inspired to up their tanking effort tonight.
Otherwise, there’s no excuse for losing.
Enjoy the game, folks.