March 19 2014 01:05PM
It's not set in stone yet because they're technically still mathematically "in the hunt" (as I'm sure Sportsnet will waste no time in reminding you of!), but for all intents and purposes, Monday's loss in Tampa Bay put an end to even the most outside of shots the Canucks had at the playoffs.
We figure you'll need to hit the 95-point mark to have a chance at getting in, and even if the Canucks win their final 11 games, they'll top out at 94. Which is fine, because this is something we've been expecting and bracing for, for a while now. At least around these parts.
With that in mind, every loss the team takes over these final couple of weeks improves their draft position, helping them moving forward. It's more than a little disconcerting how quickly the priorities have changed, but it's the reality.
With that in mind, tune in tonight to not-so-secretly cheer against your favourite team. If that makes you feel like a bad person, you've got an out: it's the annual Canucks for Kids Fun Telethon night, so maybe helping out a good cause will help mitigate some of that aforementioned guilt.
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
[Rosters via Daily Faceoff]:
The Greatest Tank Battle
In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty important game. Here's a refresher on the landscape we're dealing with:
The Canucks are currently 20th in the league's overall standings, but their edge in games played on every one of their peers is a big advantage in this regard. Marshall Henson went ahead and put together a list of everyone's remaining schedule in their vicinity, to gauge their chances of dropping even further.
They're pretty decent, particularly if they fall to the Nashville Predators tonight. That'll be easier said than done, though. After all, we're talking about a Predators squad that went ahead and laid down for the Edmonton Oilers last night, getting hammered by a 5-1 score. After landing a guy like Seth Jones last year they've got the type of experience that'll surely make them a difficult foe in The Greatest Tank Battle.
Regardless, it's because of this that the final 11 games of the season still carry intrigue for the Canucks. They currently only have a 1.5% chance of winning the draft lottery, but if they're able to fall all the way down to 25th, that shoots up to 6.2%. It also positions them much more favourably in the pursuit of landing an impact player this summer..
HEY NOW! pic.twitter.com/1NQsleKMho— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) March 3, 2014
[Stats via Extra Skater]:
|5v5 Corsi For %||51.7 (10th)||49.7 (15th)|
|5v5 GF/60||2.13 (T-19th)||1.97 (25th)|
|5v5 GA/60||2.20 (T-12th)||2.62 (26th)|
|5v5 PDO||99.6 (T-16th)||97.7 (30th)|
|5v4 GF/60||4.66 (27th)||6.40 (11th)|
|5v4 SF/60||58.4 (4th)||48.9 (22nd)|
|4v5 GA/60||5.11 (6th)||6.77 (25th)|
|4v5 SA/60||40.4 (1st)||47.6 (8th)|
Disclaimer: this article is an "Insider" piece on ESPN, so unless you've got an account, you won't be able to read it.. but I'll pass it along anyways because it's so worthwhile. Craig Custance put something together yesterday on the future of the analytics movement in hockey, with some very choice quotes from smart minds like Lou Lamoriello, Dean Lombardi, and Doug Armstrong. My favourite one out of the bunch was this one from the Blues GM:
How does that apply to the Canucks?
LeBrun "odd dynamic in Van. Talked to a scout yesterday who said the Canucks D group is a puck moving core & they're playing a chip & chase"— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) March 12, 2014