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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Roundtable: Winning the Pacific

We’re nearly 3/4 into the season and the Canucks currently occupy the top spot in the Pacific. They’ve had a fairly easy time keeping their rivals at bay over the past few weeks, but the Oilers sit just one point back of them now with the same number of games played. Do you think the Canucks’ lead in the Pacific is secure?

Stephan Roget

I doubt that the Canucks’ hold on the division lead will be considered “secure” until at least the last week of the regular season. The Pacific Division, and the Western Conference in general, promises to be tight right down to the wire this year – so there’s definitely no time for the team to rest on their laurels. Even after three straight wins, the Edmonton Oilers still possess a higher points-percentage, which means nothing can or should be taken for granted quite yet.
I do expect that the Canucks will experience at least one more losing streak before 2019/20 reaches its conclusion, and they’ll almost certainly lose hold of the division lead and some point and need to battle to regain it. With that being said, I do expect them to at least be within a couple of points of the Pacific Division lead by the end of the regular season.
I might not be ready to bet on Vancouver winning the Pacific. But if I were forced to bet on somebody, I’d put my money on them.

Ryan Hank

I’ve known the Canucks for a long enough time and nothing is secure. The only thing secured is that i’m not getting out of debt anytime soon. Things are going well right now and everything else around the team is falling apart.
I think they can win the division (wow, actually said those words again) but it’s not secure. The final push after the deadline is going to be a whirlwind and there’s no way the Canucks hold that spot tight until the end of the year.
Again, I’m wrong a lot.

Brett Lee

I could throw out a bunch of numbers and compare and contrast the Pacific teams against each other but it would be a fool’s errand to try and confidently predict the outcome of the division. Teams will be jockeying for position well into March and the Canucks have as good a shot at finishing on top as any. I think the Canucks have a Vezina caliber goaltender in net right now and that could be the biggest variable that separates the Canucks from the rest of the division but I’ve watched enough hockey to know that nothing is guaranteed. The Canucks have a lot of work to do to capitalize on their opportunity. Let’s go!

Chaad Gramlich

I would put the Canucks’ odds at winning the division the highest of the teams in the Pacific, but it’s such a tight division and really injuries could easily derail any of the top teams’ runs. I have concerns about their play as of late too. They’re increasingly dependent on Markstrom swimming around his crease and making outlandish saves. Markstrom is proving to be the real deal, but you can’t hang your goalie out to dry like that as frequently as the Nux have been doing. We’re getting outshot on a way too regular basis as well. The PP has become very one dimensional and opponents are identifying Hughes as the focal point. We need that PP going, and we need it running more through EP and Boes for it to get back to clicking closer to 25%. So yes, I’m picking them to win it, but oh man, I think Vegas is RIGHT there too. Gimme some odds and I’ll place the bet.

Michael Wagar

I don’t think anyone believes the lead is secure with 20+ games remaining. As of now, I’d say there are at least four teams who have a decent shot at the division title, including the Canucks. It seems as though they’ll go as far as Markstrom will take them, which could be anywhere from 1st to 3rd in the division. I think that’s safe to say. To go out on more of a limb, I’ll say it’s mostly between Vegas and Vancouver for top spot in the Pacific.