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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Roundtable: Mid-Season Predictions

It’s a new year and a new edition of the roundtable after a long holiday-induced hiatus. The Canucks are now just past the halfway point of the season, which makes now as good a time as any to take stock of how they’ve performed so far and what we can expect heading into the remaining 41 games of the season. Do you think the Canucks will be better or worse than they’ve been over the first half of the schedule

Ryan Hank

We’ve been given a large enough sample to work with to see they won’t be worse than what we see currently and that basically would mean they’ll get better. The play of Jacob Markstrom has been unreal and he’ll have a hefty pay day after this season.
Pettersson has put this team on his back and Quinn Hughes now has a shot to realistically challenge for the Calder. This team has a lot going for it but the hard games are just starting and it’s not time to take the foot off the pedal yet.
I said this team would be a playoff team when they played their first Skate jersey game and I still believe they are.
I don’t think they’ll storm the West but they’re going to be the annoying cousin that won’t go away.The suffering isn’t over but the wound is almost healed.

Danielle Huntley

Their second half of the season will be a lot like the first. They have been streaky at times but have maintained a positive goal differential that is currently third in the Pacific Division at +9.

Key factors to keeping up their pace will be Jacob Markstrom and Thatcher Demko continuing to play spectacularly, covering up defensive lapses and stealing games for the Canucks. They will need their secondary scoring to continue from the second and third lines. Of course, they will need to avoid injuries to key players like Alex Edler. Since Edler has returned from injury the Canucks have only allowed one goal 5-on-5 with him on the ice.

If they can ride one of their hot streaks into the playoffs, they might be able to steal a series.

Stephan Roget

The Canucks might currently be trending a little higher than they’ll ultimately finish, given that they’ve just come off  a seven-game win streak. That sort of success won’t last, but it’s hopefully an indication that the team won’t again sink to the depths they did in December. Hanging on to a top-three spot in the Pacific Division is doable, and grabbing at the very least a Wild Card slot seems probable – provided that the team avoids major injury issues. Given the competitiveness of the Western Conference in 2019/20, it’s also entirely possible that the Canucks end up missing the playoffs by a handful of points – but they won’t be going down with a fight.
The key takeaway here is that Vancouver has set the table for a very exciting end to the season. From here on out, every point is going to matter, and their final position is going to inevitably come down to the wire – whatever that position may be. The last few seasons, some fans have had a tough time finding a reason to tune in to late-season games – but this year they won’t be able to tear their eyes away. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Brett Lee

They are not the team that lost 10 games in November nor are they a team that can consistently string together 7-game win streaks. Their predictive metrics are middle of the league, 15th in controlling the shot-attempts and 17th in expected-goals. Their current 96 point-pace would have been good enough for 3rd in the Pacific last season. The key to continuing this pace will be in the crease. Canucks goalies had a 93.86% save-percentage during the month of December at 5-on-5 which was the second-best in the league. They rank 10th for the entire season. Above-average goaltending combined with a potent power-play and continued depth scoring will give the Canucks meaningful games in March and April. I expect the Canucks to hover slightly below the pace set in the first half of the season.

Chaad Gramlich

I think the Canucks are going to be exactly the same, or maybe slightly better than what we’ve seen (just factoring in injuries and projected increased health). Healthy Edler and Roussel and Gaudette maturing and becoming a legit offensive contributor/middle 6 forward should help to strengthen the team for the latter half of the season. The PP will calm down a bit due to inflated on ice shooting percentages, and I could see Markstrom coming back to earth a bit but really when you look at our division, who is going to finish higher than the Nux? Vegas, absolutely. Arizona with goaltending injuries, I don’t see it, even after the Hall addition. I think Calgary stands a good chance of finishing above us, but I’d still put my money on Vancouver. I see them 2nd in the division. Hughes development has been unbelievable to watch, just an immediate top pairing dman. EP, sophomore slump? Nope. Horvat taking nice strides forward. Miller is effective as forwards come. Gonna be fun to watch this all play out!

Jackson McDonald

My guess is they’ll take a step back, but not a significant one. I expect them to be in the fight for the last wildcard spot for most of the rest of the year, with the results only determined in the last week of the season or so. They aren’t as good as they seemed in October, nor as bad as they seemed in November. They’re right were we thought they’d be: a bubble team.