The Canucks’ Recent Point Streak Is Potentially Damaging Long-Term

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Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder – USA TODAY Sports

The Canucks haven’t been a particularly good team for the better part of the past four years. For that reason, the team getting a point in nine of their last ten outings has offered a brief respite from what’s otherwise been a rather dreary four and a half seasons. Unfortunately, it’s also been ultimately damaging to the long-term health of the franchise, and not for the reasons you may think. 

Fans and pundits have spent countless hours discussing the topic of tanking, the merits and drawbacks, and whether or not it compromises the integrity of the game, so much so that the NHL felt the need to change the draft lottery odds to dissuade teams from purposefully icing a sub-par lineup.

All that has really served to distract from the larger picture of what it means to be in a rebuild: it’s not so much a race to the bottom as it is the ability to recognize when your team will be in its competitive window and planning accordingly. Obviously, a top five pick helps matters along, but it’s more of a means than an end. The true goal remains to assemble a competitive team.

Ask anyone throughout the hockey world, and they will tell you the Canucks’ best days are three or four years down the road. That’s not the Smylosphere talking — you can hear Ray Ferraro drive that point home a couple of times a month on TSN 1040. That’s what makes the team’s recent hot streak potentially damaging to their long-term goals. It can be exceedingly difficult in a market like this for the front office to keep their eyes on the future, with an apathetic fan base, an ownership group that desperately wants playoff revenue, and a GM that was brought in on the pretense he could turn things around in a hurry.

The Canucks currently sit just one point back of a wildcard spot in the awful Western Conference. That’s cause for comfort if you believe in the team’s stated mission to compete for the playoffs while building for the future, but it’s ultimately misleading. The Canucks have played more games than any of the teams in direct competition for that wildcard spot, and currently sit 21st overall in points percentage and 24th in ROW. 

Perhaps just as importantly, they’re a bottom-ten team in score-adjusted Corsi, score-adjusted Fenwick, shots for, shots against, goals for, goals against, PP%, and PK%. If you’re not a supporter of advanced shot metrics, that’s fine, because the Canucks don’t need them to look bad. The mainstream stats do a fine job of painting that picture.

But this situation isn’t exactly rare, or noteworthy. Bad teams get lucky and move out of the top five in the draft almost every year. It’s the team’s mindset that creates concern over what the team’s accomplished over the past few weeks. Jim Benning and Trevor Linden have been at the helm for almost three years now, and they’ve given us a window into their thought process over that time. Based on their actions and public statements, it appears to be, at times, an incredibly reactive one, prone to quick shifts based on however the team is playing this week. 

This is a team that saw six playoff games of Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata and decided they weren’t in their future. 

A team that, upon the realization their defence was lacking, traded for two defensemen, signed one in free agency, and brought another over from the KHL, forcing them to demote the best of the crop to the AHL briefly

A team that wanted to trade for a 20-goal scorer, just months after sending a promising forward prospect to Florida, and letting a veteran goal-scorer walk for nothing in free agency. (Vrbata, by the way, has just one less goal than Loui Eriksson, for about 16% the money and term, but nobody saw that coming.

A team who’s president questions the idea that the Canucks can be turned around in a hurry; an idea that was put forth by his own general manager. 

You’ll have to forgive me if I remain unconvinced that this team makes decisions in a patient, calculated manner. 

So, how does a reactive front office behave when the team is two points out of a playoff spot? Anyone dreaming the Canucks will do the right thing, and trade veterans for futures at the deadline can put those hopes to bed right now. They couldn’t even get deals done for Dan Hamhuis and Vrbata when it was evident they weren’t making playoffs. If they’re still in contention by the deadline, there’s no way they’ll jeopardize that by shipping out Jannik Hansen or Alex Burrows. 

So, the team will most likely enter the NHL entry draft with five picks. They’ll enter the expansion draft with three players likely to be claimed by Las Vegas if left unprotected in Hansen, Sven Baertschi, and Markus Granlund, but the space to protect only two of them. 

That’s assuming they don’t buy at the deadline, which, crazy as it sounds, is a distinct possibility, if we look back at other teams that have been in similar situations. 

Just seven teams have been in the bottom ten by score-adjusted shot shares and made the playoffs since 2012-13: the 2012-13 Leafs, the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Canadiens, the 2013-14 Avalanche, the 2013-14 and 2015-16 Wild, and the 2014-15 Flames. 

Those teams all have one thing in common. First, they all suffered major setbacks following their run to the playoffs. The Leafs fizzled out en route to an epic collapse to close out 2014-15, followed by a 30th place finish the next season. The Canadiens fell apart without Carey Price, the Wild fired their coach and lucked into the 8th seed in the Western Conference, and the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames became poster children for PDO. Calgary, Montreal, and Minnesota all appear to have righted the ship, but not without first collapsing and making some serious changes. (Or, in Montreal’s case, getting their star goaltender back.)

Second, they all bought. If not at the deadline, then in free agency. Troy Brouwer, Mikkel Boedker, Jarome Iginla, Thomas Vanek, and David Clarkson are all testaments to what happens when a front office gets an inflated sense of where they are in their competitive window.

Rookies didn’t staff these teams. Brian Burke, Brad Treliving, Chuck Fletcher, Marc Bergevin, Joe Sakic, and Dave Nonis all have years of experience in the game of hockey. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that Jim Benning and Trevor Linden are somehow immune to this type of shortsightedness. 

So, when Benning goes on the radio and tells Bro Jake the team has zero intention of asking it’s veteran players to waive their no-trade clauses, it’s enough to give you serious reservations about whether or not this team can ever be a cup contender under this regime. 

We’re midway through our midterm prospect rankings at the moment, and one thing above all else has become apparent during the process of reviewing, ranking, and profiling those prospects: the Canucks have a severe lack of talent coming up through their system. Outside of their top three prospects, most of these players are huge long shots that wouldn’t crack the top ten or fifteen in many teams’ systems. They desperately need to get talent into the system, regarding both quality and quantity, and this run of good luck is directly hampering their ability to do so.

Each minute the Canucks remain in the hunt is another moment the front office continues to believe their direction is sound, the plan working, that they can retain their veterans and lose them for nothing, and everything will be okay if they keep on doing whatever exactly it is that they’re doing. Not to mention the effect it’s having on their lottery odds.  

If history has taught us one thing, it’s that this house of cards will come tumbling down eventually, if not now, then soon. In many ways, the Canucks better hope their luck lasts long enough to get them into the postseason because I’m not sure this market will stand for two straight seasons outside the playoff picture, with a dearth of picks and prospects, no direction, and nothing to show for the time they’ve invested.

That’s the worst case scenario. The optimistic take is to hope the Canucks stay lucky and end the season with a surprise berth in the playoffs and a first-round exit with which to hang their hat.

But luck always runs out, eventually.

  • Steamer

    Bettman has officially turned the NHL into a corporate beer league ( 3 on 3/shoot-outs )
    thus the ‘false parity’/ ‘false competiveness’.
    Look at the Canucks ‘loser’ points – those are all old-school ties. Canucks real record = very few regulation wins + many ‘ties’ where they sometimes manage a false ‘win’ ( as opposed to a REAL 60 MINUTE WIN ). These ‘false’ wins disguise the true nature of the team & effectively submarine a real re-build. WD & crew are holding on by their fingernails courtesy of a system designed to obscure reality in favour of a league where losing is rewarded with points.

    • JuiceBox

      I agree 100%. We now have a 5 on 5 team game that is decided by a 3 on 3 gimmick, then by an individual skills competition with some games worth 2 points and some games worth 3 points. Under the current system there is no incentive to win a game outright in regulation and teams are rewarded for losing in overtime or a shootout by receiving the extra point and it is absolutely creating a false-parity. It’s a joke really, that a professional sports league rewards teams for losing.

      While I agree it keeps more teams in the playoff hunt longer and there is more volatility in the standings so there is more excitement for the fans, this year in the Canucks case it is going to hurt. Even though it is painfully obvious this team should be, not necessarily in a race to the bottom, but in a position to draft in the top 5 the reality of a weak western conference means the Canucks are still within spitting distance of a playoff spot.

      I just hope that management sees that even though they are only 2 points out of the last wild card spot, the teams ahead of them have a game(s) in hand. 92 points likely guarantees this team a wildcard spot and the Canucks would have to win 22-24 of their remaining 37 games. As much as I hate to be negative, there is no way this team is capable of doing that and I really hope management isn’t clueless enough to not see that.

      • Killer Marmot

        The current points system encourages low scoring.

        Why? Imagine a team that goes into overtime every game. They would automatically get at least 82 points. Even if they were terrible in overtime, losing most games, they would easily make the playoffs.

        So how do you maximize the number of regulation ties — that is, getting at least one point per game? By playing defensively, as low-scoring games have a better chance of going into overtime than high-scoring games.

      • Steamer

        Thanks Juice! Going back to your case for Gaunce – I agree with you on his defensive play & thought last year he made incredible improvement in his offensive game – at AHL level. He seems to be fighting the puck offensively this year, some of that may be line-mates, or just the fact the NHL is so hard. Aside from the corporate beer league crap, the changes to goalie equip have really hurt the game; footage from 2o+ years ago shows the difference. Lose the Lacrosse gear, we’ll see more goals. Remember back in the 70’s the older guys were all complaining that no one played defence any more; now everyone wants a return to games like yester’s
        Wash vs. Pit. Hey, great Youtube clip – check out ‘John Ferguson vs Eric Nesterenko’ April 27, 1965; Fergie gives Nester a legal body check, Nester hits Fergie on top of the head with his stick…not a good career move for Nester:)

        • It would help if Gaunce was playing more than 8:46 minutes and 13.5 shifts per game. Many hockey players feel that they can’t be effective if they’re sitting on the bench most of the time. Assuming 30 second shifts, Gaunce is only hitting the ice 4 times per period (skating once per 10 shifts). In the AHL, Gaunce was a first-line player, he got way more ice-time and likely some power play time too.

          Add to that his crap linemates and designated limited role (Desjardins just wants him to grind the other team, no powerplay role), anyone that would measure Gaunce by his offensive performance would be insane.

  • Hockey Warrior

    Guys, cutting to the chase it’s a complete DISASTER being in mid table PURGATORY for the Canucks future. Here’s why..

    There are TWO TOP LINE NHL ready centres available (Patrick and Hischier) and for me, THE TOP priority, an ELITE offensive defenceman in Timothy Liljegren all sitting in the TOP THREE. ANY of those coupled with the ASTUTE UFA signings of elite goalie BEN BISHOP and LW cup winner CHRIS KUNITZ would turn this sorry franchise around in a heartbeat.

    With an NHL coach and EXPERIENCED GM like DALE TALLON also in place this could happen… but of course it won’t because the DAMAGE is already being done by these current shysters in charge…

    I know it and YOU know it… don’t you?

  • The_Blueline

    I agree with this article. I don’t mind that the coaches dress a competitive team trying to win games. I do believe that it’s important for the young players.

    What really concerns me is that Benning and Linden seem to live in denial about the state of the team, as their moves at the TDL and off-season (not trading for picks, signing long term FA) show.

    If they do not cash in on Miller, Burrows and Hansen this TDL, I’m gonna literally throw up. Even more so, if they lose Granlund or Baer in the expansion draft as a consequence of not dealing Hansen.

  • cthulhu

    Nobody actually knows when a team is ready to compete. Ponder and theorize all you want but in reality it’s just a gamble. You win some, you lose some. In sports it’s best to always assume you can win now. That’s what teams do: they try to win, regardless of what bloggers think.

  • JuiceBox

    What I find amusing about all this is that Jackson and most of the commentary here are writing and providing feedback under the presumption that management are indeed in denial or completely clueless about the state of the team and where they sit in their “competitive window.” Without knowing what is really going on behind the scenes this entire article is based on nothing but assumptions, presumptions, and a jaded or negative view of the direction this team has decided to take. Yes management and coaches have said a lot to the media, but who’s to say they are saying one thing to the media and another behind the scenes? The truth is, we have no idea where Benning and Linden are at, what they are thinking, or where they are going. One thing we do know for sure is that as long as the Sedins are wearing a Canuck jersey we are not going to see a complete tear-down & tank re-build. That’s the reality that we live in. As long as the Sedin’s are Canucks we are going to see a management group that is going to do everything it can to be competitive right now and that means trading young players like McCann, trading mid-round picks, and signing free agents like Eriksson in the hopes that they can catch lighting in a bottle, receive a small miracle and get this team back to the SCF one more time with the Sedins. Is it likely to happen? No, but that isn’t going to stop this management group from doing everything they can to stay competitive while the Sedins still draw breath as Canucks.

  • Burnabybob

    I agree that last year’s trade deadline was a mess. Wasn’t crazy about the Miller and Eriksson signings, either.

    But I’m not sure I agree about Jared McCann, who seems to be alluded to above. He has a mere 4 points in 28 games this season.

    Not sure about the wisdom of tanking, either, given the new draft lottery system. Canucks finished 3rd worst last year, and still only picked fifth. Who knows what might happen this year? If they finish where they are, they could still get a top three pick. Their luck is likely to change at some point, given how many times they’ve been burned by the NHL’s games of chance.

  • DJ_44

    Hmmm…I wonder if we have read this piece before.

    First off, some factual corrections: Vegas can only claim one player off each roster, not three.

    While it is possible, it is highly unlikely that two of Hansen, Granlund and Baertschi will be exposed; if things stay as they are, one will be exposed, along with the far more enticing Luca Sbisa.

    Over the course of three drafts and two and a half seasons, the new management team not only had to try to stock the prospect cupboard, that was, for all intensive purposed bare except for Horvat; they also had to fill out the NHL roster that had a massive gap, in both age and talent.

    The prospect pool has improved every year under the new regime, thanks mostly to making good decisions at the draft table. No mention of one of the youngest defence corps in the league that has been holding up quite well despite the top pair losing over a quarter of the season to injury? Solid goaltending? Yea, they need more scoring. Some of that is already in the system; more is needed.

    Winning is never a bad thing. Ever. Ray Ferraro also states the Sedins are the perfect players to rebuild a team with (at this stage in their careers). Following your suggested path would be disastrous. Like Phoenix….Colorado….they all have better prospects/young talent in their system/team, but they do not understand how to win and have a brutal attitude.

    As far as trading players at the deadline, there are really two players with moderate value. Hansen may fetch a second, maybe an additional prospect. Burrows….maybe a 5th or a 6th. All later in the rounds. Miller is not worth a huge amount either since there will be 4 or 5 goalies on a very limited market. It is a buyers market this TDL, for sure.

    The Canucks are competitive most nights. There recent win streak was against teams that were in playoff positions. If their PP would get straightened out, they would easily be in a wildcard position.

    My expectation at the start of the season has not changed: be competitive most nights, fight for a playoff spot. Will they make the playoffs? Maybe, maybe not.

    • Jackson McDonald

      This isn’t a case of my piece needing correction, it’s a case of you not understanding what I wrote.

      I know how the expansion draft works, thanks.

      What I said was, if they don’t trade Hansen, they’ll lose one of Baertschi, Granlund, or Hansen, in the expansion draft, assuming they protect Horvat, Sutter, and the three forwards they are contractually obligated to protect.

      I never said more than one player could be selected. You inferred that, some some reason.

      • DJ_44

        “So, the team will most likely enter the NHL entry draft with five picks. They’ll enter the expansion draft with three players likely to be claimed by Las Vegas if left unprotected in Hansen, Sven Baertschi, and Markus Granlund, but the space to protect only one of them.”

        Jackson, it is exactly what you wrote. Yes, I kinda think you know how it works; I was being a dick. The problem is the word “claimed” (they can only claim one player from each team), rather than the correct term “exposed”.

        Your math still doesn’t add up. 7F/3D/1G — Sedin, Sedin, Eriksson, Horvat, Sutter, plus 2, not one.

      • DJ_44

        “So, the team will most likely enter the NHL entry draft with five picks. They’ll enter the expansion draft with three players likely to be claimed by Las Vegas if left unprotected in Hansen, Sven Baertschi, and Markus Granlund, but the space to protect only one of them.”

        Jackson, it is exactly what you wrote. Yes, I kinda think you know how it works; I was being a dick. The problem is the word “claimed” (they can only claim one player from each team), rather than the correct term “exposed”.

        Your math still doesn’t add up. 7F/3D/1G — Sedin, Sedin, Eriksson, Horvat, Sutter, plus 2, not one.

  • Killer Marmot

    If I read this throw-everything-against-the-wall rant properly, it would be a bad thing if the Canucks were competitive this year because they might make a bad trade decision as the deadline approaches.

    Did I get that right?

  • Cal Buttercluck

    A team that, upon the realization their defence was lacking, traded for two defensemen, signed one in free agency, and brought another over from the KHL, forcing them to demote the best of the crop to the AHL briefly.

    Acquiring all those D men is looking like a pretty savvy move right now.

  • I can’t understand why anyone would want to count any other wins other than regulation or overtime. Last time I checked, the playoffs didn’t have loser points or shoot-outs. That’s the only important metric, can you beat a team cleanly? And the answer for the Canucks is “no”.

    Out of 45 games, we only have 11 regulation wins and 5 overtime wins. That’s a measly 35.6%. To contrast, the top teams in the league have a real win% over 60% (e.g. Columbus has 27 reg/OT wins out of 42 games = 64.2%). This team can’t and won’t win in the playoffs. I’ve been following the Canucks since 1987, I know better than to hold my breath at this point.

    https://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/team-win-loss-record-by-type-regulation-overtime-and-shootout/2016/

    The worst thing about the win streak is that it’s allowed Desjardins apologists to argue that Desjardins is a capable coach.

    Desjardin’s stubborness on the PP only reinforces his incompetence. The PP is at 13.4% and he can’t adapt. His belief that things will magically turn around, and this is a failure of analytics in general, is called the “Gambler’s Fallacy”. The belief that we weren’t clicking before but we will eventually because it has to turn around is complete garbage. If things change, like changing the personnel, strategy and to incorporate a “shoot from anywhere” mentality, he can complete revitalize a stale, static and ineffective PP. But who am I to say, since Desjardins had a 101 point season two years ago.

    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/the-gamblers-fallacy

    FIRE DESJARDINS IMMEDIATELY! The Islanders just let go Capuano, I can’t wait to read “Desjardins fired!” on NHL.com.

    • Steamer

      Badda bing, badda bang, badda boom, boom, boom!
      Persisting in the same behavioural pattern & expecting a different result is also one definition of insanity. Release WD – he’s had a solid opportunity – give Travis Green a shot so we don’t lose him to another organization. Green knows all the players very well – like Grenier ( & Boucher! ), he deserves a chance – let’s ensure he gets it here, not elsewhere.

    • DJ_44

      “I can’t understand why anyone would want to count any other wins other than regulation or overtime. Last time I checked, the playoffs didn’t have loser points or shoot-outs. That’s the only important metric, can you beat a team cleanly? And the answer for the Canucks is “no”.”

      The reason why teams count SO wins as wins is because the league does.

      There are no shootouts in the playoffs; they play on until it is decided. Not really practical in the regular seasons.

      The other way to look at it is a team the can win in overtime, or shootouts, are used to playing close games……..like the type of games one finds in the playoffs.

  • Steamer

    As per Jeff Paterson’s twitter feed: ” Why doesn’t Willie Desjardins want to improve the club?” ( paraphrase ). When Montreal’s PP shot blanks, their coach – Scotty Bowman – would put 4 or 5 Dmen out on the PP to stand in front of net- got the message across to the forwards in a hurry – also often resulted in goals. Scotty would also – like most GOOD coaches – be constantly tinkering with the bottom spots, looking for an edge, keeping the guys not playing hopeful, keeping the guys who were playing mindful ( ie: Chaput, Megna )that they could be sitting if not effective. Instead of delighting in getting ‘loser’ points
    & worrying about 4th line ‘chemistry’, how about some push from below? Bring up Grenier who has never been given a shot; SIGN Valk JB!
    These guys may be no better than Chaput/Megna, but then again, they may be better. Very least, they would push Chaput/Megna.

    • apr

      Did you just compare WD to the greatest coach of all time? Why can’t Megna just skate, score and have the same hockey sense as Crosby? Why oh why doesn’t Chaput play more like Gretzky?

      • Steamer

        Seems fair to compare someone who plays or coaches in the NHL to his peers. Problem is finding an NHL coach who isn’t better. I chose Scotty Bowman BECAUSE he was the best, thus an example to learn from. Bob Johnson would also try just about anything to jump start a PP. I think WD is likely a great person, only question his deployments/selections & (in)ability to adjust to the game & his overly cautious approach. Well aware that my opinion is only my opinion – but is based upon 50+ years of playing, coaching, refereeing & managing hockey. Could compare WD to Torts – would that be fair? Making allowances based simply upon talent is for losers – doesn’t matter if you’re facing Bowman, Crosby & Gretzky, you DO NOT tell yourself the other guys are ‘more talented’ – you find a way to be better.

        • apr

          Torts is a good example because he has more talent in Columbus than in Vancouver. We just don’t have the horses. And Torts flunky, and our former assistant, GM also won the Stanley Cup last year. Funny how Austen Mathews and Mitch marner have helped the Leafs $50 million coach recoup from finishing dead last, last year. Or a healthy McDavid is sure making McLennan not look like the inept coach he was last year.

          I am not belittling coaching, and I hear what you are saying – but come on, we just don’t have the talent, yet. Torts success (and failure here) underlies that. What WD is at least doing is creating a culture where its completely not appropriate to mail it in. Like the Islanders, who fired their coach last year and is now unemployed, not signing Oksposo, Neilsen, Martin must have had some impact. Florida is even more of a joke.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I agree that Canucks only have 3 good prospects in their system right now, though I would qualify that with the fact that Tryamkin, Stecher, and Hutton have all made the team when really you would have expected them to be in the prospect list. I’d say the same thing about Baertchi and Gaunce as well. Virtannen I consider to be a bust, and I think that Subban has a good chance of making it to the NHL.

    That said, they have traded away too many draft picks and they now need to get some of those draft picks back. Linden and Benning are not listening to the fans, and the fans are responding by not going to games. Canucks ticket prices have plummeted as a result of their pigheadedness to rebuild too.

    I love Burrows and Hansen, but it is time to trade them for max value, and trade the twins next year if they have any value left.

  • Steamer

    One last comment – just want to say that Alex Burrows could play in the NHL in ANY era – ok, maybe he wouldn’t have taken anybody’s job in the 6-team league – as Gretzky says, with only 6 teams, you had to be GOOD – but Burrows is a ‘throwback’ to the old days – can play any style of game & great hockey IQ. Been watching
    NHL since 1960 – Burrows is a player’s player.

  • birdie boy

    By the end of Feb and March Willie will have this team near the bottom of the standings , simply because he has no flexibility ,his structure that he wants will bring him crashing down and the canucks to the bottom with the opportunity for a top three pick.I am sure his past record which was very respectable has alot to do with having teams with a better lineup.His blind loyalty will be his demise book it.So if you want the team to get a high pick he is the man.

  • KCasey

    Few points to touch on here.
    1. To the writers of these articles….I generally feel that you all do a very detailed job and look at all angles including great stats and metrics….but stop with the ‘eventually’ propaganda. ‘At some point’ It cant last’ ‘Will come back to reality’. This doesnt make you insightful or look like your predicting the future…it makes you a fly in the ointment. Next you will say right after we win the cup ‘oh who cares they wont be able to do it again next year’. Some people enjoy the ride of competing and putting up a good fight if even for a while.

    2. To all the people that hate the overtime point otherwise coined as ‘the loser point’. The NHLPA as well as owners and GMs and the commisioner meet and decide things as a group so while you have an opinion as to whats what and how things should be….the people that are actually affected both financially and career wise clearly disagree with you.

    3. While I wouldnt exactly be against potential veteren trades for picks/pospects there it remains a very nice secondary prize to potenially have players remain career Canucks. This applies less to Miller of course and more to Burrows and Sedins…maybe Hansen in the best case future moving forward scenerio. Dont like dampening the future by any means but theres sliver linings in things sometimes folks.

    4.Jared Mccann. Stop being butt hurt. He isnt a savior to all our problems. May not even be a full time NHLer. Not that Guddy has been the hero either but this trade hasnt changed anything positively or negetively. May never change anything ever. Wish all the best to the kid and hope he does prove us wrong in the trade but no one has a crystal ball and no one can say for sure we didnt win this trade.

  • Betty

    C’mon, parts of this are just silly. Technically, the Canucks only have 3 top level prospects, but that’s because their others have turned into viable players. (Tryamkin, Granlund, Bae) as well as our new young darling, Stecher. So, saying they only have a few prospects is more than a little disingenuous.

    Yes, this team got rid of Vrbata and Bonino. The former couldn’t play without the Sedins (and was declining with them) so wasn’t much good to us. Bonino we flipped for Sutter, who’s been a PK beast, leads our team in fow %, has the second most shots and the most goals and centered one of our most consistent lines. (Yes, Bonino looked good in the playoffs, centering one of the games best offensive talent. But that was probably completely unrelated.)

    The team saw defence was a weakness and addressed it, gambling on Larsen, trading for Florida’s #1 minute man in the playoffs and signing a college prospect who turned out to be surprisingly good. Maybe Jared Mcann will put it together, but given how well Benning’s done at evaluating young talent, I’d give JB the benefit of the doubt over Mcann.

  • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

    Fans need to stop using the Sedins as the scapegoat for why we don’t tank. It’s not like the Sedins would ask for a trade. After the Torts year, they should’ve committed to a 2 year rebuild which is possible with some luck. So if you want to guess why the team is moving in the direction that they are, don’t be stupid and blame the Sedins. The owners are the ones who want to compete every year and want to spend money on players. I can’t blame them, it’s in their best interest to make money and we have a lot of fairweather fans who won’t buy tickets in rough times. And for any faults of owners, they want the team to win and are willing to spend anything to do so. I’ll give them credit there.

    This team should tank this year, no ifs ands or buts. We won’t catch Colorado or Arizona, but that 3 spot looks nice. Might as well go for that and worst case take 6th pick. Let’s be honest. How much satisfaction do you get in a SOL/OTL? They suck, a loss is a loss that feels no different than regulation loss. And when you’re in the bottom 3rd of the league, those points hurt even more. I’m team tank but I don’t mind winning if it makes any sense. I’m not one of those parrots who constantly whine about that 3 game sweep of California last year. Because we won those games, our players proved to be better than the opposition which is the ultimate goal in hockey.

    With some luck and a different draft plan we would be in great shape. Laine and Ehlers aren’t on winning teams because Winnipeg as an organization don’t know how to win. The Canucks know how to win games even with this somewhat anemic offense, it’s just that we don’t have great enough pieces yet. If Boeser is ready for a top 6 role next year and we draft a guy ready for middle 6, we will be much better than where we stand today. Hell if Virtanen comes through wed be flying high. Just a lot of “ifs” in play. Pack it in, sell expiring vets and let’s gear up for 2019!

  • Bud Poile

    “Perhaps just as importantly, they’re a bottom-ten team in score-adjusted Corsi, score-adjusted Fenwick, shots for, shots against, goals for, goals against, PP%, and PK%. If you’re not a supporter of advanced shot metrics, that’s fine, because the Canucks don’t need them to look bad. The mainstream stats do a fine job of painting that picture.”

    I find this typical stats bashing that CA has become noted for.

    The team is built behind Miller ,waiting for Demko.Benning.

    Defense adequately supports Miller.Benning.

    Scoring comes last as the team’s greatest scorers are now becoming supporting cast behind the new core.

    However,this team dominates the circle and are controlling play from puckdrop. Malholtra. Benning.

    Brock and Ollie make this team five games above .500 better than this team so that is a playoff team and contender.Benning.

    The stats guys don’t take into consideration the 10 game losing streak where the Canucks did not have their top d-men and one of the team’s best forwards.

    The Canucks are two wins above .500 despite that fact.

    You stats guys might want to do an Arizona ego check.

  • crofton

    So sick of the same trite argument about trade deadline mismanagement. Yes maybe, just maybe they could have gotten something from Dallas, but by the time Hamhuis agreed to be moved the deal they made with Calgary was all but done. So BFD! And Hamhuis earned the right to say no…to all of you that were calling him out for not accepting a trade. As to Vrbata, the other guy with contractual problems as to trades, they were never going to get anything for him because 1 he was injured, 2 he had a crappy year and 3 there were limited teams he would go to. Maybe other reasons as well, like how disinterested he looked on the ice, and how he would throw the puck away to avoid a hit. Of course, I’m just a part of the “apathetic fan base”. And, I think winning games and getting points is better for the long term health of the team. How can a team possibly be healthy if they were encouraged to lose? This year’s on ice product is far better than last year’s. Toss out the odd blow out and they have been in practically every game. Thinking back to last year, it was so bad a lot of nights, my wife and I would move from the front of the tv to the dining room table to work on a jig saw puzzle, just because we couldn’t stand to watch. Not so this year.