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Wake With Elias: Despite Devils’ drubbing, the Pacific Division is still wide open

The Canucks weren’t the only Pacific Division team to get walloped last night.

Vancouver Canucks v New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils celebrate a second period goal by Jesper Boqvist #70 (R) against the Vancouver Canucks at the Prudential Center on February 28, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

What a Jekyll and Hyde last few games it’s been for the Canucks.

Six of the team’s last eight games have been decided by three goals or more. Three of those wins went in the Canucks favour in victories over Seattle, the New York Rangers and the Calgary Flames.

Another three went against them in blowout losses against the New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, and last night against the New Jersey Devils.

The Canucks clearly aren’t a team you can trust. Usually, when Thatcher Demko is between the pipes, they at least have a chance to win.

Last night with Jaroslav Halak in net though, the Canucks brutal defensive miscues were badly exposed.

This team had similar miscues against the Rangers...we just don’t talk about it because Demko was able to shut the door.

Thankfully for the Canucks, there aren’t a lot of teams you can trust in the Pacific Division right now.

The Pacific Division standings as of February 28th, 2022.
NHL.com

The second-place Los Angeles Kings just got wallopped 7-0 by the Boston Bruins on home ice last night.

The Vegas Golden Knights have been treading water for the last 20 games, going 8-9-3 during that stretch. While they’ll likely start trending upwards as Jack Eichel finds his groove, injuries have prevented them from being as dominant as years past.

In Edmonton, the Oilers got that vaunted new coaching bump, but have shown over the past few contests that, like the Canucks, they are a Wild Card team at best.

Anaheim, despite clobbering the Canucks recently, haven’t been good in 2022.

So, how many of these teams are the Canucks better than? The answer could very well be none.

Talent-wise, however, they at least belong in the conversation with Edmonton, Los Angeles and Anaheim.

Canucks News

  • Have a laugh (and a cry?) with Jimmi in the post-game recap. [Nucks Misconduct]
  • Here’s a good recap on how the Canucks recently honoured black hockey players during their last home game. [Vancouver is Awesome]
  • From a couple of days ago, but a couple of updates regarding Canucks defencemen Tucker Poolman and Kyle Burroughs.

Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK TV reported that Burroughs could be out for two months with broken ribs. Tucker Poolman has already missed 10 games due to an injury illness Bruce Boudreau later classified as migraines.

Phil Di Guiseppe was also recalled last week after Jason Dickinson went down with an injury against the Flames.

  • Down in Abbotsford, the baby Canucks are coming off of a month where they went 6-5, while scoring a ton of goals in the process.

They now embark on an Eastern road swing where they’ll spend the next four games taking on the Toronto Marlies and the Laval Rocket (Montreal’s AHL affiliate).

On defence, both Jack Rathbone and Jett Woo are expected back in the lineup relatively soon, as reported by Chris Faber. [Canucks Army]

  • After scoring five goals in his last three games, Canucks prospect Aidan McDonough has a chance to lead the NCAA in goals scored. He’s one behind the league leader (Ethen Frank) with three games to play.
  • Mike Raptis writes about that and more in his weekly update of Canucks prospects. [The Province]

Around the NHL

  • Here’s a thorough write-up from Kent Basky about how the Russia/Ukraine situation has become intertwined with the NHL. [Nucks Misconduct]
  • Who is the best U.S.-born player in the NHL today? And where does Quinn Hughes rank among them? [NHL]
  • Brendan Perlini of the Edmonton Oilers recently got waived...and he only found out through his mom. [Yahoo Sports]
  • In Winnipeg, the Jets have been struggling, if you couldn’t tell from Blake Wheeler’s reaction.