Abbotsford Canucks clinch Calder Cup Playoffs spot with 3-2 overtime loss to Ontario
Photo credit:Abbotsford Canucks/ Instagram
8 months ago
The Canucks are back in the playoffs, baby!
AHL playoffs, that is.
The Farm’s overtime loss to the Ontario Reign made it three straight defeats on their three-game California road swing.
However, thanks to the Bakersfield Condors and their 4-1 defeat of the San Jose Barracuda, the Abbotsford Canucks secured a spot in the 2022-23 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Against Bakersfield and Ontario, the Farm outshot opponents 87-70 across all situations, including 74-47 at 5v5, but couldn’t find a way to score. The club held the lead twice this past road trip, with both leads coming during their OT loss on Sunday. This recent skid saw Abbotsford outscored 9-4. The team’s power play has gone bone dry, with zero goals in their last five games against 12 opportunities.
Best non-Judd-based bracket
With only seven games left on the docket, six points up on the Ontario Reign and 11 points on the Bakersfield Condors, the club is almost assured playoff hosting duties for the first round, barring a spectacular collapse down the final stretch.
A collapse isn’t out of the realm of possibility, especially without Jack Rathbone in the near future. The club could go winless over their final seven and lose their hosting duties.
The collapse that sees Abbotsford go from host to visitor isn’t unheard of! The Farm was guaranteed playoff hosting duties last season during their inaugural season. Then, the team lost their final two games of the season against non-division opponent Manitoba, gifting the Bakersfield Condors playoff hosting dates for their two-game series.
A series in which they were swept.
Best “positive vibes only!”
But let’s ignore the recent struggles and future hypothetical Canucks’ sadness. Let’s focus on the positives of a second consecutive year in the Calder Playoffs.
Marc Gatcomb maintained his streak as an Ontario Reign killer, picking up the opening goal of Sunday’s game, his team-leading fifth point against the Reign. Aatu Räty picked up his fourth point in five games with a primary assist on Gatcomb’s goal.
After registering just a single point in his first eight games as an Abbotsford Canuck, Räty returned to the lineup following a brief stint in Vancouver and has opened the proverbial production floodgates. His 8 points in 10 games—0.80 points-per-game pace—significantly improved from the 0.56 points-per-game pace he experienced in 27 games with the Bridgeport Islanders.
Arshdeep Bains picked up his 11th goal of the season with a mid-air Ohtani’ing of a Chad Nychuk rebound.
Bains has been one of Abbotsford’s most prolific producers down the stretch. Since losing Phil Di Giuseppe to Vancouver, Bains has led Abbotsford in scoring with 10 points in 11 games. Räty is a close second with 8 in 10, and Linus Karlsson sits one point back with 4 goals and 3 primary assists in that same time frame.
Best “SUPER positive vibes only!”
With Vancouver’s 4-2 defeat of the Chicago Blackhawks—I can’t believe I’m writing this—the team legitimately may push for a second wildcard spot, should Nashville, Winnipeg, and Calgary continue to flounder down the stretch.
Sure, they would have to win outright, and those three would have to lose outright to make a playoff chase possible. Still, we must note that much to #TeamTank fans’ chagrin, the Canucks organization could have two teams in the playoffs this season.
Again, the odds of Vancouver making the playoffs are about as good as their odds of finishing low enough to win the lottery and draft Conor Bedard. But, for “jim_carrey_so_you’re_telling_me_there’s_a_chance.gif” reasons, we must point out the potential positivity for #TeamPlayoffs’ sake.
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