Sizing up the Vancouver Canucks’ month of January: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
5 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal looked ahead to the month of January and what’s in store for the Canucks. Vancouver enters the month tied with Colorado and Vegas at 49 points and will look to build a cushion between them and the wild card teams.
The Canucks aim to recover from their recent loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, after a few extra days off and hard practice the club will look to take what they’ve worked on into tonight’s game. Despite slipping to ninth place in power play conversion at 23.6%, the team has scored four extra-strength goals in the last eight games while only conceding three. Tuesday’s game marks the final home match before embarking on a seven-game road trip extending to mid-January. Following this trip, the Canucks face one five-game road stretch and three three-game road trips for the remainder of the season. Vancouver faced a similar schedule in November, playing 15 games over the span of 28 days with 8 of them coming on the road and coming out with 9 wins and 6 losses. As is the case with this trip, they’ll have to play through some difficult travel on the East Coast along with some very early puck-drops.
“I was doing the math for January; I believe only three of the thirteen opponents the Canucks face are currently in a playoff spot,” said Harm. “The trip, as it starts going out east, is going to be difficult, but when you look at who they’re playing, it’s a lot of teams that either defend poorly and/or have bad goaltending. Ottawa struggles offensively and has bad goaltending. The Blues don’t defend particularly well, the Devils are a good team but don’t have stable goaltending. The Rangers and Islanders are different; they’re both pretty good in those areas but have issues with injuries. Then you get to Pittsburgh; they’ve tightened things up recently and have good goaltending, but with a loose defensive line, they’ve been among the worst in the league surrendering odd-man rushes. Buffalo is a mess, the same thing with Columbus. Then the Canucks return home and play teams like Arizona and Toronto, who have goaltending woes and don’t defend well either. I don’t think January is too challenging; I don’t think they’re going to have to work too hard for their offence, whereas if you look at February, it gets a lot tougher.”
Quads: “I looked at March and April, which is when the Canucks have basically all of their matchups against Vegas and L.A., so other than those teams, those months are a little easier, with less travel involved, so it gets easier in that aspect, but the opponents are tougher. January isn’t quite as daunting as I originally thought.”
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