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HSH’s Canucks Scouting Report (Pro-Con-Clusion #32): The EP40 magic has dissipated

Harsunder breaks down the best and worst of the last 2 Canucks games as well as a concluding thought in his 32nd feature of the Pro-Con-Clusion series on the morning of the trade deadline.

NHL: MAR 19 Flames at Canucks
Vancouver Canucks Left Wing Elias Pettersson (40) warms up to play the Calgary Flames during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on March 19, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Having gone 2-3-2 on this recent 7 game homestand, it appears that any hope the Canucks had of making the postseason this year have diminished significantly.

After falling 5-2 to the Calgary Flames on Saturday and 3-2 in overtime to the Buffalo Sabres in the second half of a back-to-back on Sunday, the Canucks find themselves sitting at 68 points which puts them 4 points out of a playoff spot.

While there are 18 games still remaining to be played this season, there is a minuscule chance that the Canucks can still make the playoffs. They are just 4 points behind Vegas for the last Wild Card spot. However, accomplishing that goal seems very unlikely at this point.

With that, let’s take a look at 1 pro and 1 con from the last 2 Canucks games, as well as a concluding thought before the Canucks take to the road and pay a visit to Denver to play the red-hot Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Luke Schenn #2 and J.T. Miller #9 of the Vancouver Canucks look on from the bench during their NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at Rogers Arena March 20, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Pro: Luke Schenn going out with a bang?

At the time of writing this article, the trade deadline is 11 hours away and Luke Schenn is a player who is certainly being mentioned quite a lot in trade rumors as of late.

If indeed these previous two games were the last we see of Luke Schenn in a Canucks uniform, it is fair to say that the big man is certainly making a heroic exit.

After having a strong showing against the Calgary Flames in over 12 minutes of ice time on Saturday, the 32-year-old capped off the game against the Sabres with an assist and a gutsy effort in terms of physicality as well as defensive play on Sunday night.

The Saskatchewan native has been a great fit alongside Quinn Hughes for most of this season and has certainly made his mark as one of the most respected players in the Canucks locker room.

In addition to that, Schenn has been a consistent physical force for this team and there is no doubt that he brings a great work ethic to every game and puts everything out there to protect his teammates and help keep the puck out of his own net.

If this was indeed the last time the 32-year-old donned the Canucks jersey, all we can say is, we salute you Schenner!

Con: Petey forcing the issue again?

Over the last 2 games, aside from the constant slow starts, if there is one sight that has reemerged that Canucks fans were hoping to not see again, is the lack of confidence being displayed by Elias Pettersson.

The production is one thing, as Pettersson only managed to put up 1 assist in these last 2 games which also came on the powerplay.

However, the 23-year-old has also started showing some hesitation and lack of confidence with the puck again which is exactly what hindered him at the start of the season.

Now there is a bit of an asterisk on this, as Pettersson did kind of reaggravate his wrist injury from last season this past week and that has certainly been one of the main catalysts for his lack of results recently.

As such, the Canucks should keep a close eye on their young star over the next few games and see if he starts at least seeming more comfortable with his wrist and starts consistently producing again. Otherwise, the team may be better off just shutting Pettersson down for the rest of the year and allow him to heal up in time to start next season on the right note.

Obviously though, this is a decision that can only be made if the Canucks indeed completely fall out of the playoff race in the next few weeks or so.

Concluding thought: What will this Canucks roster look like on Wednesday?

As far as the Canucks game on Wednesday is concerned, it is obviously going to be interesting to see how this team performs against one of the best teams in the league in the Colorado Avalanche.

However, it will be even more interesting to see who’s not on the roster and which new faces are in the lineup come Wednesday evening.

Numerous reports insinuate that the new Canucks management regime led by Jimmy Rutherford and Patrik Allvin is preparing for some big moves, possibly even “fireworks”, ahead of the NHL trade deadline at 12 pm on Monday.

Whatever the case, these next 11 hours would be very interesting to monitor, and it will be quite exciting to see what direction this team takes from here, whether it involves a complete rebuild, a quick retool, or some type of a “push” for the playoffs.