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

The Canucks are now in offseason mode and GMPA has to make some crucial decisions with remaking this team for next year. Some of this years free agents were very important pieces to changing this teams identity and some can just move on. We are here to tell you our uneducated thoughts on this and give a clue as to how we would spend Franny's money. I mean besides buying alcohol. I know this sounds easy in theory, but remember that each had a role to play in this very successful season and it might not be easy to replace their actual value on the ice....but that is for another post.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Teddy Bluegar, Dakota Joshua, Elias Lindholm, Sam Lafferty, Ian Cole, Mark Friedman, Tyler Myers, Nikita Zadorov, Casey DeSmith


Priority #1 - Nikita Zadorov for me. The disappearance of Filip Hronek highlighted the importance of Nikita. His physical presence and steadiness on the back end was crucial for the second half of the year and the playoffs. It was nice having a big defensive core to keep players to the outside. Nikita has earned his raise....I hope he really wants to stay in Vancouver. 5 years at 5.7 million/yr.

Priority #2 - Dakota Joshua was a fourth liner would ended up on the 2nd line many times throughout the year. The speed, physicality and surprisingly the hands that led to 18 goals in the regular season is enough to catapult his salary from $825000 to a lot more. I think there might be a bidding war for Joshua, so Allvin is going to have to make his case early and sell the idea that this team will have the pieces to go farther next year. Joshua doesn't have the numbers to get term and length, so he might get a bit more for shorter length or Allvin makes a offer for length at a discount. 4 years at $3.5 million/yr

Priority #3 - Tyler Myers wants to stay in Vancouver and Tocchet has found a way to get him with the right partners at the right times. Myers is now a 3rd pairing guy who can play 2nd line minutes when needed. After the Benning 6x6 contract, the reality of being 34 is that Myers shouldn't make more than $3 million a year. So......2 years @ $3 million/yr

Priority #4 - Teddy Bluegar matched his career high of 28 points this year, but I don't think any team views him as a great 3rd line player who can get 40 points +. Teddy is a good penalty killer who found a spark with Joshua and Garland. He is a piece that is needed...for the right price. 2 years @ 2.1 million

The Rest:

Elias Lindholm can take a walk. He has to be looking for $6 million+ for at least 5 years. No thanks

Casey DeSmith was great this year.....Arturs Silvos is here to stay. Bye Casey.

Ian Cole is no longer worth $3 million a year. If he wants $2 million...sure, sign him.

Mark Friedman at $800,000 a year is ok.

If GMPA can re-sign Arturs Silvos to a 3 year deal for $1.2 million a year, that leaves just under $8 million in cap space. I personally think that Hronek should be traded for picks or a winger that can score. Free agents will be available to fill a defense or winger spot. Let the fun begin in July.


Priority #1: I'm with Westy. Zav is the priority signing for all the important reasons listed above. And because he has the wit and sarcasm to survive a NM playoff thread.

"How much you think I should be making?" Zav asked a reporter, "You gotta stop listening to the Edmonton reporters" - His quotes are gold, nay, priceless. But we can't afford that. I know he wants to stay in Vancouver, unlike Ronnie and a few others, so expect he'll be happy to sign for 5 years at $5M per.

Priority #2: Going off label, the Westy label and say that Myers should be the #2 priority. I know that sounds weird, but this season with the Taco structure, he's logged alot of minutes, many outside his summer cottage. Was a +16 in the regular and +1 in the playoffs. He's already had his big payday, at 34 expect he wants to stay close to his actual summer cottage in the OK valley. Might sign for 2 years at $2.5M just to cover miscellaneous jetski and firefighting expenses.

Priority #3: Be nice to sign Josh to a contract that pays him what he's worth. But we can't afford that. He provided amazing value this past season. PA needs to find a younger version of Josh for under $1M, because some team is going to overpay as much as we underpaid him this season.

Priority #4: Resign Teddy. He was a valuable addition to the PK. And drove the 'Best 3rd Line In Hockey' most of the season. Unfortunately, another bottom six player that wants to get overpaid - likely somewhere else.

The Rest:

Basically in full alignment with Westy. Savour the moment. Likely won't happen until the parade planning sessions next spring.

Elias Lindholm can take a walk hike. $6 million for at least 5 years? Hilariously unaffordable!

DeSmith was a wonderful backup this year season.....Arturs Silvos is here to stay. Au Revoir Casey.

Ian Cole is no longer worth $3 million a year. If he wants $2 million $1.2M then maybe, sign him. Maybe the Oil will cover half his contract

Mark Friedman at $800,000 a year is good deal for a good guy.

Lafferty wasn't mentioned by Westy. So I will. Sam Lafferty had 24 points and a +4 in the regular. 0 points in the playoffs and a -2. His contract was $1.5M. Will he expect a raise? If so, then no. He's 29 and his role could be filled by younger, cheaper players from Abby. Ageism is rampant in the NHL. Sorry.

Ronnie wants too much term and USD to even consider... already turned down $56M from Frannie's slush fund. Trade him for picks, perks, wingers, dingers and centers. There was talk, cheap talk it should be noted, the Nucks talked to the Canes about Necas for Ronnie. Probably not so cheap now that Necas is lighting up the worlds. Or maybe it was Necas and picks for Pete. Doesn't matter now.

Looking forward to July? Me neither. Stupid hot and only hot talk, to get us through the sunburn season.


Because the Nucks Hockey Ops braintrust takes the advise of NM with a dose of WTF and stronger, we can help JR/PA navigate this tricky time of the off season.

Select Your Top 3 Players to Resign

The first round is over and Kent was the big winner, as he chose every series winner in the first round of the west. I want what he is drinking

Dallas Stars (1C) vs. Colorado Avalanche (3C)

Game 1: Avalanche at Stars -- May 7, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 2: Avalanche at Stars -- May 9, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, MAX, truTV, SN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Stars at Avalanche -- May 11, 10 p.m. ET (TNT, MAX, truTV, SN, SN1, TVAS)
Game 4: Stars at Avalanche -- May 13, TBD (ESPN, TVAS)
+ Game 5: Avalanche at Stars -- May 15, TBD (TBD)
+ Game 6: Stars at Avalanche -- May 17, TBD (TBD)
+ Game 7: Avalanche at Stars -- May 19, TBD (TBD)

Westy - I didn't pick any of these teams to make it to this round. You can tell what type of expert I am. I really hope that Dallas can keep up with the firepower of Colorado and after beating Vegas, maybe they can. If I am a true believer, I want the Stars to win, as the Canucks don't have a shot to beat Colorado. I said it. Unfortunately, years of cheering the Canucks and hoping for the best led me to choosing this....Avs in 6

jimmi - Well... I did pick the Stars to beat the Long Term Indebted Knights in 6 games. Fortunately they stretched it to 7, to give us and the Nucks and extra day of rest. Unfortunately, I need a few weeks of rest and my hindsight field glasses to definitively pick this tilt. This could be an interesting series. If it wasn't about central div teams that I dinna care about until Round 3. In that spirit of ambivalence, going to say the Avs are too well rested and Stars are just beat up enough to win in 7 to 9 games... so Stars in 7, because it would be nice to see Gumby back in the ROG getting beat once again.

Kent- No surprise at all to see these two teams battling it out for the Central crown, and while it's definitely going to be a close series, I feel like one team has some advantages over the other, and that would be them thar Dallas Stars. Marginally better goaltending, and better depth overall for the Stars should help them to win out over the firepower of the Avs here. Colorado's still in their window, but it feels like they're in need of a couple upgrades to get back to the finals. Stars in 7

Vancouver Canucks (1P) vs. Edmonton Oilers (2P)

Game 1: Oilers at Canucks -- May 8, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, SN360, CBC, TVAS)
Game 2: Oilers at Canucks -- May 10, 10 p.m. ET (TNT, MAX, truTV, SN, SN360, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3: Canucks at Oilers -- May 12, 9:30 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, truTV, SN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Canucks at Oilers -- May 14, TBD (ESPN, TVAS)
+ Game 5: Oilers at Canucks -- May 16, TBD (TBD)
+ Game 6: Canucks at Oilers -- May 18, TBD (TBD)
+ Game 7: Oilers at Canucks -- May 20, TBD (TBD)

Westy -

Such a weird narrative to occur from the actual results from the year. The Oilers did suck at the start of the year and then changed coaches and had a long winning streak, like Nashville, so I guess that's enough for the pundits to see for them to choose Edmonton. I do realize that the Oilers have a 50-goal scorer and two 100-point scorers, plus a deadly PP and good PK....but fuck Edmonton. They are perennial chokers. The Canucks need to stay out of the box and play the boring style of hockey and pounce on mistakes. Van in 7

jimmi - This series is going to fun! It is! We're right back where we've been so comfortable for so long. The Underdog team. Sure, we may have won the division, but now that we're playing our 3rd goalie and 5th (or is it 6th) narrative, all the pressure is back on the tOilers. Where it belongs. All the 'experts' are picking the Oil to win. Just like they picked them to win right at the start of the season. Be hilarious if the Nucks could bookend the season...

There's only a couple things the Nucks need to do to win the series. Score moar goals! And not do. DO NOT take stupid penalties. Or any penalties. The other thing is... Millsie, Lindy, Bluesey and our Big-D need to hound, frustrate and pound McD, his DrySadler and his Hyman maneuver. If those uberistas are frustrated, Pete can compete with 3 to 5 points a game. Simple.

With that simple formula in place, it will simply be the Nucks in 7. Hockey is a simple game, with simple plays to entertain the simpleminded.

Kent- Oh, the toxicity! *makes wanking gesture* I think the most overrated thing about this matchup is the fan bases. Seriously, who gives a shit about whose fans are worse, like every fan base isn't filled with obnoxious online assholes you'd cross the street to avoid acknowledging? So much bandwidth is being pumped into talking how awful Canucks and Oilers fans are, and the majority of it comes from the rest of the country who find themselves having to take Boston Pizza's horrible ad campaign's advice and pick a team to cheer for. Here's my advice: Don't like the Canucks or Oilers? Cry harder. Seriously, after the shit people spewed in 2011 (and since), I couldn't possibly care less about what other fan bases have to say, especially when it comes to the Canucks. Pick the Oilers to win. Some might get upset about that. I'll just add you to the list of those who were made to look foolish for thinking this was all some kind of fluke.

So, what's this going to boil down to: the Canucks needing a miracle to somehow beat a year-long Cup favourite, or do the Canucks really have the Oilers number, as they showed during the regular season? I'm not gonna troll and say that the Oilers didn't look impressive against LA, but at the same time, LA's game plan was so easily countered by Edmonton, it's a shock they didn't sweep. The Kings weren't the tough opponent everyone thought, and the Oilers showed that.

The Canucks will need some miraculous work in the crease from Arturs Silovs, and they'll need their defensive corps to continue the strong work they did against Nashville. They were outstanding against McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins and Hyman this year, and this team's defensive mindset was built to counter the Oilers and their attack. They must get more offensively from damn near everyone on this team, but since we don't expect the Oilers to trap the shit out of every game the way Nashville did, expect more scoring. Also, Stuart Skinner may be a good story, and a decent enough goalie, but he's not Juuse Saros. If the Canucks vastly improved PK can keep the Oilers relatively in check, they can pull off the (slight) upset. I think it's a coin toss, honestly, but I believe that Cinderella's time at the dance is far from done. Canucks in 7

Round 1 isn't done yet, but Round 2 is already starting....wait what?

Round one predictions went like this:







NYR in 5

Car in 6

TB in 7

Bos in 7


NYR in 5

Car in 5

Fla in 6

Bos in 6


NYR in 7

Car in 5

Fla in 7

Tor in 7


Boston vs Florida

Monday, May 6

8 p.m.

Boston at Florida


Wednesday, May 8


Boston at Florida


Friday, May 10


Florida at Boston


Sunday, May 12


Florida at Boston


*Tuesday, May 14


Boston at Florida


*Friday, May 17 


Florida at Boston


*Sunday, May 19


Boston at Florida


Westy - The Panthers have been out sunning themselves for quite a few days, while the Bruins were lucky to survive this series. Things are not going to be any easier for the Bruins…in fact, there are in serious trouble. But…but, Westy, the Bruins won all four games this year against the Cats? The playoffs are a different beast. The Bruins are coming in this series looking old and slow and the Cats have confidence from not only beating Tampa quite easily, but because they beat the Bruins last year. If the Bruins can get a little rest, they might make a series of this. Florida in 7

jimmi - They're still playing out east.. er... west? Jeez... what a weird league. Anyhow, despite the new uni, Boourns are not going  to keep playing for much longer. Especially when 18 year old Sam Bennett returns to flip flop hockey. With whatever sand hockey drugs Lu is pushing on SoBeach ice, expect Cats in 5.

 Kent - Now that the annual humiliation of the Leafs is over with, we can get down the cold hard truth: the Bruins aren't as good as anyone thinks, and could have easily been on the other side of that Game Seven outcome. Florida is ready to push for another run at their first Cup, and I don't feel like Boston's the team that's gonna stop that in it's tracks. Florida in 6

NY Rangers vs Carolina

Sunday, May 5

4 p.m.

Carolina at NY Rangers 


Tuesday, May 7


Carolina at NY Rangers 


Thursday, May 9


NY Rangers at Carolina


Saturday, May 11


NY Rangers at Carolina


*Monday, May 13


Carolina at NY Rangers 


*Thursday, May 16


NY Rangers at Carolina


*Saturday, May 18


Carolina at NY Rangers 


Westy – This is a tougher series to call as the season series was 2-1 in favor of the Rags, but the one game they lost was a blowout. The two teams had a relatively easy series to start, so they should be good to go. Both goalies are top notch and this series will probably be determined by a goal each game. Both teams have top 3 special teams, so this will be a great battle and a coin flip. Rangers in 7

jimmi - If there was a series where I'd prefer both teams lose this would be it. Except for a bunch in the 1st round... but it's still the 1st round in some places. Or one place. Weird, weird league. We know some at NM, will be rooting for the Rags, eh, Yankee. As much as I'd like to see Rempe getting a 100 game ban for laying out Upchuck, I expect our (almost) Guentzel will be the difference-maker - dammit! (despite not being a difference-maker in Round 1. He's saving his magic for Round 2, just like Pete. He is, isn't he?) This means by random disconnected logic, Canes in 6. Dammit. Then again, it could be Rags in 6 - probably will and I still couldn't care less. 

Kent- The Rangers are good. Not great, but good. We saw the Canucks play them twice this season and the Rangers had to get officiating help to get an OT win in the first meeting before getting embarrassed on home ice in the second meeting. One thing I do know: they're better than Carolina. I don't know how Carolina has as much success as they do, but they always seem to be hanging around. They'll have their hands full with a Rangers team that has a lot of weapons and a clear advantage in goal. Rangers in 6

Well here we are...the postseason...the second season...the promised land

And to all of our come your Vancouver Canucks! There were 4 of us at the start of the year who did not believe this team was playoff capable and questioned how long this team could stay competitive. Hell, I wondered if Petey would even be around by the tradeline. Instead, now we are talking about how far we think this team can go.

Before we start dreaming about the Canucks playing in what Francesco calls "The Money Round!", let's look at the other series that are there to watch on off nights.

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals

Game 1: Capitals at Rangers -- Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, TVAS, MSG, MNMT)
Game 2: Capitals at Rangers -- April 23, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNW)
Game 3: Rangers at Capitals -- April 26, 7 p.m. ET (TNT, truTV, MAX, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Rangers at Capitals -- April 28, 8 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN360, TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNP)
Game 5: Capitals at Rangers -- May 1, TBD
Game 6: Rangers at Capitals -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Capitals at Rangers -- May 5, TBD

Westy: Start spreading the news...Messier sucks...nevermind. The Caps snuck into the playoffs in their last game and get the pleasure of playing the best team in the East. This might be a bad thing for Ovie, as the teams split the season 2-2, with the home team winning every game. Playoff hockey is all about the special teams, which the Rangers have. You could also go with the theory that the hot team has the advantage going into the playoffs....Rangers again. Or you could just go with the better team.....Rangers in 5.

jimmi: In all the excitement, drama and inflated expectations of the West being the Best, I may haven forgotten the Best of the West still has to play the leftovers from the east. It's not fair! Actually, I'd be just fine if the NHL was actually two distinct leagues - the WnHL and the EnHL. And met once every 4 to 10 years for some sort of hockey summit thingie. But, again, the NHL doesn't care about my preferences. So... Caps aren't last year's Panthers, no upset prediction. Rags in 5.

Kent- At first glance, you'd think that the Capitals would be hard-pressed to even win a game in this one. Of the 16 teams that qualified for the dance this year, the Caps are by and large the worst of the bunch, and it would be reasonable to expect the team in first to have no problem here. The thing is, the Rangers are giving off real 2023 Boston Bruins vibes. That's not to suggest that the Caps are this year's Florida Panthers, but a) this is not going to be the cake walk everyone thinks it is, and b) the Rangers won't get much further. Rangers in 7.

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Game 1: Lightning at Panthers -- Sunday - Panters Win 3-2
Game 2: Lightning at Panthers -- April 23, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Panthers at Lightning -- April 25, 7 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Panthers at Lightning -- April 27, 5 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, TVAS, SNE, SNW, SNP)
Game 5: Lightning at Panthers -- April 29, TBD
Game 6: Panthers at Lightning -- May 1, TBD
Game 7: Lightning at Panthers -- May 4, TBD

Westy - The Battle of Florida should be entertaining. Unlike last year, the Panthers didn't slink their way into the playoffs, while the aging Lightning played just good enough to get into the dance again. The Panthers had the 2-1 advantage in the season series and while the Lightning won the last meeting, I don't think the Lightning have a real chance against the Cats. The Tkachuk-Hubradeau trade looks more lopsided every day. I predict lots of goals and Panthers in 6.

jimmi: Again, I'm just not interested in Floridian hockey - and neither will our great grandchildren. One upside to global warming at least. Despise both teams equally. The Covid-Cuppers and Lu's SoBeach team of pastel flipflop wearing sun-stained hockey players. Ugh. With that distaste fresh in my thoughts, picking the Bolts in 7.

Kent- Pay no mind to Jimmi, as we've learned over the years he cares not a squirt for fun things. This series is going to be an absolute war. Both teams are loaded with offensive talent, strong defence, excellent goaltending and most of all, some thoroughly unlikable players on both sides. While we're going to get treated to some amazing playoff hockey, the team that emerges from this one isn't going to have much left for the second round and beyond. I do believe that Tampa's window is continuing to close, though, and it could be an interesting summer. Panthers in 7.

Boston Boouurrns vs Toronto Maple Laughs

Game 1: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- Saturday 8 p.m. 5-1 Boourns Win
Game 2: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- April 22, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3: Bruins at Maple Leafs -- April 24, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, TVAS, CBC)
Game 4: Bruins at Maple Leafs -- April 27, 8 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS, CBC)
Game 5: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Bruins at Maple Leafs -- May 2, TBD
Game 7: Maple Leafs at Bruins -- May 4, TBD

Westy - This yearly event must brings night sweats to Leaf fans. The Bruins had their own nightmare last year after winning the President's Trophy and getting knocked out in the first round. This should be a "good" series between two teams that I hope lose. Like always, if the Bruins can stop Matthews, they can win the series...sounds simple. Boston swept the season series, and I think the have the system to get rid of the COTU. Bruins in 6

jimmi: It just keeps getting more disgusting. I predict I won't loathe Porn-Stache's team any less if they win, nor detest the Ratchand's last swipe at the CoTU, but the later team is more likely to 'advance' only to be eliminated in the 2nd round. So... Boooins in 7... despite the Laffs leading 6-0 in the 3rd period of that fateful game.

Kent- Remember back to the last time we were actually excited about this team, and the Canucks had to go up against the Chicago Blackhawks for a third time? The dragon was slain, and we got to witness a pretty amazing playoff run. I'm not saying that the Leafs are destined for greatness, as they're still in need of better goaltending and have bottom of the roster gaps that need to be filled. They are however, playing against a Boston team that isn't quite the same as the one that has haunted them three times previous. It won't be easy, but much like the Canucks in 2011, they'll finally slay their dragon and move forward. Leafs in 7.

Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Islanders

Game 1: Islanders at Hurricanes -- Saturday - Canes Win 3-1
Game 2: Islanders at Hurricanes -- April 22, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Hurricanes at Islanders -- April 25, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Hurricanes at Islanders -- April 27, 2 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 5: Islanders at Hurricanes -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Hurricanes at Islanders -- May 2, TBD
Game 7: Islanders at Hurricanes -- May 4, TBD

Westy - Bo is 2 for 2 when it comes to getting into the playoffs. Unfortunately, his team will also get knocked out early for the 2nd year in a row. The Islanders were 2-2 against the Canes, but Freddy Andersen is back and Brind Amour will have that neutral zone trap ready to bore the fans to death and beat down Barzal and Bo. Canes in 5

jimmi: Another pair of teams in the east that I neither care about or follow. Sure, have some sentimental Bo feelings and some unfulfilled Guentzelling to deal with - really PA? Did you even try? Sure does look like the Canes in 6 from the disgruntled outside.

Kent- Carolina's the team to beat in the East, and while they're not without their weaknesses, Rod Brind'Amour's squad are built for the post-season. They're up against an Islanders squad that had to grind to get into the playoffs, and while they're not going to be swept, they're no match for the Bunch of Jerks. Canes in 5.

Winnipeg Jets vs Colorado Avalanche

Game 1: Avalanche at Jets -- Sunday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Avalanche at Jets -- April 23, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3: Jets at Avalanche -- April 26, 10 p.m. ET (TNT, truTV, MAX, CBC, TVAS)
Game 4: Jets at Avalanche -- April 28, 2:30 p.m. ET (TNT, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 5: Avalanche at Jets -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Jets at Avalanche -- May 2, TBD
Game 7: Avalanche at Jets -- May 4, TBD

Westy - On paper, this might be a great series....of course on paper the Avs might also be overmatched. The Jets dominated the Avs this year, going 3-0 with a combined score of 17-4. Both teams are fast, but Winnipeg is a team that will finish all their checks and may even start some before they finish the first one. What I like about this series is one great team is going home. Having the best goalie in the league (sorry Canuck fans) gives Winnipeg a distinct advantage. Jets in 6

jimmi: Well... finally we make it to the interesting part of the playoffs. Agree with Westy, whoever wins means one less good team to worry about. I no longer have any affiliation with the Avs - didn't before, but pretending to sound like it makes internet rumours so much fun. Besides, the Avs already got their 21st century Cup. Bastards! Have to go with Chicky's 2nd fav team, Jets in 7.

Kent- After the Canucks, the Jets were one of the surprises in the NHL this season. They're pretty similar, apart from a stingier defence, and have a goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck who seems like he was born for a long Stanley Cup run. It's a shame that they're going to have to go up against the Colorado Avalanche, just two years past their Cup win and still very much a threat. As good as the Jets are on defence, I can see Nathan MacKinnon feasting on them. Avalanche in 6.

Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings

Game 1: Kings at Oilers -- April 22, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 2: Kings at Oilers -- April 24, 10 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS, CBC)
Game 3: Oilers at Kings -- April 26, 10:30 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Oilers at Kings -- April 28, 10:30 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, SN1, TVAS)
Game 5: Kings at Oilers -- May 1, TBD
Game 6: Oilers at Kings -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Kings at Oilers -- May 5, TBD

Westy - I approve of this series. If there is a team that can play a stifling type of playoff defense that could frustrate McDavid, it's LA. Now having said that, the Oilers have a lot of weapons at their disposal besides McDavid. The Oilers have a top 5 PP and the Kings have the #2 PK. I believe the goaltending edge goes to the Kings. I usually don't watch other teams, but this series might make me go back after the Nucks game and take a peek. I am wishing for a Kings victory, but cold hard stats point at the Oilers moving on. Oilers in 6

jimmi: Finally. I get to disagree with Westy. Again. There's no fun in watching either of these teams play. Not the LA 'no hockey' form of hockey, nor the cyber-McD-legs darting here are there around/through the stifling one-three-one. I'm not wishing for a victory for either team. Just a tough series that wears down the winning team. Which is the Oil in 7.

Kent- Forget what the regular season told us about Los Angeles: they might be the biggest frauds of the sweet 16 this year. And while I'm not entirely sold on the Oilers turn-around with new Head Coach Chris Knoblauch, the Kings don't have what it takes to stop McDavid, Draisaitl and company. Oilers in 5.

Dallas Stars vs Lost Vegas Gollum Knights

Game 1: Golden Knights at Stars -- April 22, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN360, TVAS, FX)
Game 2: Golden Knights at Stars -- April 24, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Stars at Golden Knights -- April 27, 10:30 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Stars at Golden Knights -- April 29, TBD
Game 5: Golden Knights at Stars -- May 1, TBD
Game 6: Stars at Golden Knights -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Golden Knights at Stars -- May 5, TBD

Westy - Does anyone else feel that Vegas has done something dirty and wanted this matchup? Will anyone be surprised when Mark Stone strolls out of the dressing room for game 1? The Stars did a lot of good things to get #1 overall in the Western conference only to face a Vegas team that beat them 3 times this year. While I pointed to stats to predict a winner in the Edm/LA series, I am going the opposite with this series. The stats lie. Vegas always finds a way into the playoffs, even when they play mediocre like this year, and then they are able to hit playoff mode and win. And when Vegas beats Dallas, they will face a team in Col or Winn, who they also have a winning record against. Cheaters. Vegas in 5

jimmi: Sorry, Westy, it's not cheating when you're the house. The house that bribed its way past the cost accountants in Gary's employ and bent the 'rules' for a new franchise. Iron Spleen Stone will return in game 2, to portray a semi-miraculous recovery narrative - one as true and tall as the Eiffel Tower - of Vegas. Doesn't matter. I predict that hockey karma - which is like a Hindu Hockey Gawd story - will see the Nighties getting beaten by not just the Stars, but their own sleazy hubris. Stars in 6.

Kent- It can take a while, but bastards always get what's coming to them. And Uncle Gary's Little Darlings and the NHL's most obnoxious fan base are going to know what actual playoff misery is like this year as they get exposed by a very good Dallas squad. It's gonna be tough to knock off the Stars as they start their quest for a second Cup, but they won't have to worry much about the defending champs. Stars in 6.

Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators

Game 1: Predators at Canucks -- Sunday, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 2: Predators at Canucks -- April 23, 10 p.m. ET ( ESPN2, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Canucks at Predators -- April 26, 7:30 p.m. ET (TBS, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Canucks at Predators -- April 28, 5 p.m. ET (TBS, truTV, MAX, SN, TVAS)
Game 5: Predators at Canucks -- April 30, TBD
Game 6: Canucks at Predators -- May 3, TBD
Game 7: Predators at Canucks -- May 5, TBD

Westy - I asked for this series. I liked Vancouver's chances against a Preds team that they beat every time this year. i like playing against a team that has worse special teams numbers than the Nucks. I like playing against a team that went 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. And I like the fact that there is no shootout in playoff. I don't like playing against a Preds team that hits anything and everything on the ice, especially if the refs lose their whistles. I don't like playing against guys Forsberg, Josi and O'Reilly in the playoffs. I don't like playing in Nashville. I don't like whatever refs they assign to this series. Since I asked for this series, I guess I better be optimistic about our chances. Canucks in 6

jimmi: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Also WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The outcome of this series is uncertain, but WOOOOOOOOOOO! We're in a playoff series!!! Sure, I would have preferred Nucks meet and beat the Yotes in the Mullet. In a SCP series. Just to rub a little sand in Gary's 28 year money-losing desert fever dream. However, I'm happy to watch the Nucks play in any SCP game in the ROG. It's been so long, I don't even recall what SCP stands for, except something something about owner profits. And it's about time our poor down-trodden billionaire owner recoups some of his lost ego-strokes. With that vital priority in mind, Nucks in 7 with an extra home game to feed the NHL greed machine's furthest outpost. And to give NM Playoff gamethreaders the anxiety boost they have longed for since 2012... 2011.

(Disclaimer: Prefer the Nucks sweep the Preds, but that denies extra profit - and Franny has to cover that extra $92M on the books)

Kent- As fun as it was to have that little jaunt in the bubble back in 2020, I don't feel like that counted. It's been 9 years since the Canucks hosted a playoff game in Rogers Arena, and it's a fine reward for a team that is the biggest surprise in the NHL this season, as well as a fan base that was patient through years of utterly inept management and coaching. They're up against a team that looked like they were destined for lottery pick a couple months ago: the Nashville Predators. And while it's hard not to be impressed with the run Nashville had, they did it against mostly teams who aren't in the playoffs, struggling against true contenders. It's not that they're bad, but they're more like their overall record than the way they played in the final two months of the regular season. After getting a taste in 2020, JT, Brock, Demko, Petey and Huggy Bear get to show this management team that keeping the core together and giving them a better supporting cast was the right thing to do. This team plays much like their Head Coach Rick Tocchet did back in his prime, and while it's a legit surprise they're here, it's time to show the doubters this team is actually good. Canucks in 5.

Let us know what you think about these series! Don't you dare pick the fucking Preds to win.

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.

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?

Hi everyone!

For some reason, some of you wanted to hear my voice again. Here are my thoughts as the Canucks reach the halfway point of the season.

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

It seems like every year one of us at NM writes this particular article and it's been going on for too fucking long.

While there is no secret formula to making the playoffs, except winning....which be a secret to the Canucks front office, there are certain areas that can certainly make it easier to get to the second season.

1. 5 vs 5 hockey

Most of this sport is played at even strength and so it should be no surprise that a non-playoff team like the Canucks have trouble in this area. The Canucks were -24 when it came to GF VS GA at 5vs5. To give you some context, the Bruins were +85 and the Golden Knights were +38. Having better overall players would sure help this or at least having a better defensive system to reduce this deficit. A better system might also reduce the amount of penalties that this team took last year, which leads us to point #2

2. Penalty kill or death by penalties

The Canucks were short-handed 243 times last year. That was actually in the lower half of the league for total times....unfortunately, teams were scoring on them almost 30% of the time they were short-handed. The penalty kill has been a sore spot for a couple years and besides not taking penalties, the Canucks need to come into this year with a new way to put pressure on the other team's shooters. A bright spot for the Canucks was the 15 short-handed goals they had....of course karma made sure it got paid with the 14 PP goals against.

3. Finding a 3rd line that can do something.

And by something...I mean anything. Scoring goals or preventing them...something. Strong teams have 4 lines that usually have a label attached to them. The Canucks have struggled to have three consistent lines. It would be great to have a 3rd line that can put up 50-60 goals, but It might almost be better for this team to have a shutdown line against teams like the Oilers and Vegas.

4. Brock scores 30+ goals

Did you know that potential 30 goal scorer Brock Boeser has never scored 30 goals in 6 full seasons? That first season where he had 29 has created some high expectations that Brock has been unable to live up to. I would love Brock to go on a Bo Horvat like tear at the start of the season. The team would surely get some more wins and if he plays better defense....all the better. And then at the deadline....they trade him.

5. Quinn Hughes scores 90 points.

The day that Quinn decides that he wants to score goals is the day that he gets into the top 3 of Norris trophy voting. Quinn has all the talent to dictate play on the ice, but his unselfishness makes it a little easier to cover the other 4 guys on the ice. McDavid was challenged last year to score 60 goals by Draisaitl and that greediness led to teams having to cover his shot...which made it easier for the other guys to score.

6. Someone needs to injure the injury fairies

Demko being injured at the start of last year, playing like shit and then being out while recovering, pretty much did the team in. The Canucks need their core to stay healthy becuase I don't see any of the youth making massive steps to fill in point production.

7. Someone out of the youth has to have a year.

Podz...Hogs...PDG....anyone. Please

Elliotte Friedman is paid to be a shit disturber. He would say he is a reporter, but I think he thrives on creating anger in Vancouver. (Again, he would say discussion, not anger) In the spirit of that, Elliotte hopped on a plane all the way to Sweden just to create a new shitstorm for Canuck fans.

You can listen to it here.

The Petey part starts around the 26 minute mark.

Now I will say that the interview was not a negative one, but as the media does...and the internet, they grabbed a piece and spun it. Petey has always said he wants to be in the playoffs. He said that before the last contract and of course, he still feels that way. So, it makes sense that he wants to wait and see how this season plays out. Seems logical to me. So on Twitter, it tends to be the opposite of that notion. Some Canuck fans want him signed to a 8 year/ $8 million a year contract. (They're drunk) I do believe that Petey will get a 7-8 year contract, but the number per year is the main talking point...especially after the Austin Matthews extension. I would hope that the idea of a hometown discount is still a thing and the Canucks can sign him for $10 million/yr, but I think Petey might have a bigger number in mind because of his value to the team. $11-11.5 is realistic, but I hope $12 is off the table.

The interesting part of this mental exercise is that Petey is still an RFA at the end of the year and arbitration eligible. Petey obviously believes in himself and thinks he can get 100+ points this year and solidify a high number if it goes to arbitration. The Canucks should never let this get to arbitration. I think Petey might be the type of player that gets an offer sheet if he doesn't want to go to arbitration. (I had to go fishing through the internet to get this info....and it might be wrong. Please correct me if I am) He

If it ever got to the point that a team could make an offer sheet, I think there are few teams that actually have the picks that would be needed for compensation. The other event that could happen, unlikely, but could happen, is that the Canucks trade Petey.

That kind of thinking infected a Boston blogger, Jimmy Murphy, thought the Bruins should trade for Petey. Of course he didn't speculate what Van would get in return. I did my research and in reality, the Bruins don't have the picks or players that would fill the hole left by Petey. So, clickbait is a real thing.

I know that is a natural trait for Canuck fans to over value their players, but I do wonder what kind of trade would bring equal value in the mind of Canuck fans.

The Canucks are not liked by the bookies of the sports betting world. In more than one site, the Canucks are not predicted to make the playoffs this year. Most have the Canucks around 88 points. Both Canucks Army and the Daily Hive have articles that cover this. You should go read them…Google it. I agree with the bookies and won’t reiterate the arguments made in the two other Canuck sites. Instead, I will go directly to the reason the Canucks have had trouble getting out of the western conference basement teams. It’s very simple….the Canucks can’t beat the east.

The Canucks record last year against teams from the Eastern Conference was 10-20-2.

Read that again….10-20-2. That’s terrible. Some would point to the early season losing streak and say that it skewed the numbers, but the Canucks also lost several games to eastern teams in the middle of their schedule. The interesting part of this is that Bruce was the coach for most of the losses…well most of the games against eastern teams (5-15-1). Tocchet’s record against the east was 5-5-1.

So maybe that’s the solution! Tocchet saves the team, because he can lead the team to a .500 record against the east. Of course, in 5 of those games the Canucks allowed 5+ goals. And in his limited games as a coach against east teams, he was unable to find a penalty kill system that worked against eastern teams. (67.7%)

I would love to say that I have solutions for this major problem, but it would be great if the Nucks could at least see the issues they have. I haven’t heard anyone in the organization mention how bad this team was against that conference. There is always talk about being better against divisional teams and conference teams, but the Canucks have done well against them. In fact, the Canucks were 28-17-5 against the West. If the Canucks could actually get to the playoffs, they might have a fighting chance.

In head to head match-ups against Eastern Conference teams, the Canucks only had winning records against Columbus and Ottawa. The Canucks never beat Washington, Tampa, the Rangers, New Jersey, Florida, Detroit or Boston. Brutal

I have the stats below for the Canucks games against last year. Take a gander and look at how bad this team was against the East.

If you get over to the Twitter, (I will never call it X...fucking stupid), you should ask the organization if they have a game plan for playing those teams this year.

I know I will.


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