Come For The Banter - Stay For The Disappointment
Nucks Fan Rebuild & Retool Center - Come For The Banter - Stay For The Disappointment

The end is near and the beginning is right after that. It’s been a long time since Wille D and the Sedins led the Canucks to their last true playoff appearance. And if you can’t pick up on it, I am not a fan of the play-in scenario that got the Nucks into the “Bubble” playoffs. A lot has gone wrong over the past 9 years with this team and so getting back to the promised land, especially in a year that still had so much doubt, is sweet for those of us who remember King Richard.

This season is not winding down the way I would have liked to have seen. I can only say that because of the start this team had and carried until the all-star break. I decided to look over the past 15 games to see what patterns emerge from this team, besides the inability to beat Colorado. Over that span over 15 games, the Canucks have gone 9-5-1, which has helped them hold on to first place in the division.

The Canucks never won a game where they allowed more 3 goals or more. That is a big change from earlier games this season, where the Canucks had won 13 games where team had scored 3 or more against them.  Some of this…if not all of this can be due to the fact that Coach Taco has this team playing a very tight shut down system that won’t cheat to try and get that odd-man breakout. Unfortunately, when the players don’t buy into the system, there are some games that get away from them fast as seen by a 5-1 loss to LA and a 6-3 loss to Vegas.

A fundamental part of Taco’s system is that the team can’t be static while defending. They have to be picking up players or getting to spots before the opponent. When that is not happening, penalties seem to pop up, which continue to be a problem against certain teams.

 GoalsOpportunities%
PP in wins72825
PK in wins12095
PP in losses21513
PK in losses71861

I think special teams might have to become more special in the playoffs. I am sure some will bring up the fact that Demko’s injury plays a part in the bad PK numbers in losses….and it does. But there is also something to be said about how this team gets out of position and takes the bad penalty, which Demko has to bail them out of. I have said all year that the Canucks PP has struggled against PKs that are aggressive, coming out to the point and rotate quickly. I apologize for putting this out on the net for all the other coaches to read, but I am sure they would have caught it by now. Kevin Bieska will always be right with his quote, “Shots, shots, shots..” That has to happen more frequently. Instead of looking for that perfect Sedin pass.

Thatcher should come off LTIR in time for Saturday’s game, but no one is really sure what the hell is going on with Elias Lindholm. Some rumors have him out for the remainder of the year, some say it’s a wrist issue that might be ready before the playoffs.  I don’t think Lindholm being out for the playoffs would have the same effect if it was Joshua missing. I know…bold statement, but Dakota provides that 3rd line speed, muscle and scoring touch that is needed for the playoffs. Hopefully, the Canucks can get three lines moving again. Speaking of scoring…wouldn’t it be nice to have Podz get a couple before the playoffs start? He has done of the little things right in his own end, but just can’t get his hard shot off in time.

Usually by this time of year, teams have an idea of who their opponent with be in the first round, but the playoff picture is so muddled that the Nucks may not know until the last day. I know this, the Nucks don’t want to face any team in the West right now. None of them. Unfortunately, it seems they have to. So if I had to pick a team to face in the first round, it would be Nashville. Two reasons for this, first off, the Canucks have beat them every time this year. Secondly, the Preds had their long winning streak, so it’s out of their system and the law of averages makes them a more favorable opponent.

What do you think?

Well...I guess GMPA didn't want to listen to me and keep this team together.

I guess this is the team we never expected and it nows seems to be the shot we have dreamed about since 2011.

No pressure there.

Calgary has done well to get rid of salary and gather up draft picks from the Canucks this year. The team is a hot mess. Does this mean we are the Vancouver Flames now?

Lindholm is the top six piece that hopefully can increase his offensive numbers while providing the defensive play that has made him a consistent mention for the Selke. It will be interesting to see where Taco slots him in. He can play center or wing and kills penalties and slots into the PP.

His price tag is great....unless you include the fact he cost 2 defensive prospects and a 1st rounder....oh and maybe a 4th.

I guess we need to shift gears around here and start thinking about this team as Stanley Cup contender.

I might need a moment to let that sink in.

The next homestand might be a very tough one for the Canucks.

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