The Canucks have performed a bit better than people expected. They’ve been in more games, their defense has improved and their wild card players (Baertschi, Granlund etc.) have performed as well or better than expected. Coupled with the highly competitive Western Conference, the Canucks are right in the thick of things for a wild card spot.
With that in mind, I asked both the writers and the readers for their input on where they think they’ll end up. Here’s what they think!
We are at the midway point of the season, where do you see the Canucks finishing in the standings at this point?
My best guess, based on the team’s stated goal of making the playoffs and their reluctance to jettison veterans or players on expiring contracts, is that they’ll finish just outside of the bottom 5, probably in 22nd or 23rd. The Canucks are a bottom 10 team in just about every metric, but they’re not competing with Arizona or Colorado for worst in the league. Unless they suffer more injuries or a bunch of teams below them in the standings go on some major runs, I’d imagine the Canucks probably finish ahead of those teams, plus Buffalo, Winnipeg, and then whichever of Detroit, New York, Tampa, and Dallas can’t get it together. They can probably scratch 80 points, but I wouldn’t expect much better. It’s a shame too, they could really use a shot at Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier.
I think the Canucks are feasting on the easiest part of their schedule, and that sooner or later they’ll crash back down to earth. The Western Conference is bad this year. Perhaps far worse than I originally anticipated. It’s likely not bad enough for the Canucks to eke out an eighth place finish, though. Unfortunately, I see the Canucks finishing around 10th overall. In another word, they’re charting a course directly for sports purgatory.
At the outset of the season, in this very space, I predicted the Canucks would finish seventh and last in the Pacific Division. Like others around these parts, I did not foresee the regression of the Western Conference (at least not to this degree). I still see the Canucks finishing out of the playoffs, but this time in sixth position in the Pacific Division. The Coyotes have been an absolute disaster thus far, and even with three games in hand, I do not see them making up the 12 point difference on the Canucks in the standings. The Canucks are in 10th place in the West as of this writing, and I see them probably finishing in that position when the season ends – perhaps even in 11th – as most every team around them has at least one game in hand.
I think the Canucks are going to finish around where they are now: 6th in the Pacific but still technically “in the hunt” for a wild-card spot. They are and have been a bottom third team for the whole year, so I’m fairly certain they’re going to finish in that area. I think the days of finishing 28th, 29th or 30th are gone, so I predict they’ll end up 25th or 26th. They’ve been a roller coaster team all season and I expect that to continue. A wild-card spot is still reachable, but I don’t see enough consistency from the team to capture and maintain a playoff position.
I think the Canucks will end up where the Leafs and Flames teams of the past did, good enough to finish close to the playoffs. They’ll finish a couple points away from the 2nd wild card and end up with an average draft position. Colorado and Arizona are just too bad to be worse than.
— Chris Golden (@lyteforce) January 14, 2017
@CanucksArmy too high for their own good
— kyle robinson (@Kyl3_robinson) January 14, 2017
— Andy Cole (@AndyCole84) January 14, 2017
@CanucksArmy They got some winnable games coming up, but Feb & Mar, ESP March, are BRUTAL. IMO they will be in the bottom 7 of the league.
— Tambo (@DinoTambo) January 14, 2017
— VHL Sim League (@Official_VHL) January 14, 2017