It’s a page turner alright!
If you thought the Vancouver Canucks hadn’t seen Calgary in a while, take a wild guess at how long the divorce has been between the Nucks and Ducks.
Thirty-four games is the total and let’s just say not a lot has changed for the former Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
With a record of 18-13-4 since that fateful day of January 15th, the Ducks have a record of 18-13-4.
That’s not too shabby if we’re talking about the start of the season but in the stretch drive, that just isn’t good enough.
To boot, they didn’t actually have that great a start. Mathematics tell me their record previous to and including that game was 15-22-7.
That’s hard to come back from when you’ve got a platitude of teams ahead of you chasing the same final playoff spots.
We all know this of course but somehow after that game in January, the Canucks found themselves 1-2-0 against the lowly Ducks so far this season. It’s not a surprise to anyone to see the Vancouver having played down to an inferior team’s level but when you look at the standings now, it’s quite unacceptable.
If the Canucks win out, they win the West. The same almost applies to the President’s Trophy and you know they want it. So should they miss either of those by a single point or even two (knock on wood), a couple of the losses they can look back and hang their heads on are the ones to Anaheim.
VanCity’s team has been superior the entire season, October or March slump or what have you.
So heading into Game 80 of this once again incredible season for the Canucks, what can we watch for on the ice?
With or Without You
Daniel Sedin has been out of the lineup for 6 games and the Canucks have won all 6 games without him. This is quite the impressive feat given the fact that the loss to Chicago was the official end of the Slides of March. (Thanks Richard)
Heck, just looking at the injuries list in the Canucks.com Game Notes is disturbing. It’s gut wrenching to read “(out indefinitely)” beside Danny’s name. There have been no updates for several days now and we are only three games and nine days from the start of the playoffs.
Mozart once said however, “The shorter way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.”
The key here is focus and as mentioned, I think it’s pretty clear the Canucks WANT to win the West and the President’s Trophy. Their fate is in their own hands almost for both.
They can’t focus on Daniel right now; it has to be as Maxim Lapierre put it after practice Monday, “One game at a time.”
Where have we heard that before?
One guy who deserves a lot of credit for this six game win streak is Alain Vigneault. We’ve been on his case a lot lately and rightly so but you have to hand it to him. He’s without his best player, inserted a 4th liner with a known skill set into that gap and it’s worked magically; kind of like Emma Watson’s eyes.
Anyhow, it is what it is. Let’s ride this one out.
Much Ado About Canuthing
No offense to Teemu Selanne because he is a living legend in every way, shape and form. Regardless though of any god status he may have, it is not right for him to be leading a team in scoring that is chalk full of superstars.
Perhaps one reason or the main reason the Ducks are not going to see post-season action this year is because of the lack of productivity from guys like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan. Even then, Selanne only has 65 points.
It’s a funny thing with these California based teams. They’re brimming with All-Stars and yet all under-achieve in markets where the pressure is next to nothing compared to Canadian locales.
The point being that it’s quite sad to not have these players perform like they should. It’s bad for the NHL, it’s bad for competition when it comes to the Canucks and it sucks for the paying fan. As much as we want to see our own team win, it’s also nice to see the opponent at the very least go down fighting and we haven’t seen that.
The Ducks are toothless, even with Parros and the Canucks are very lucky to have them as one of their final three foes of the regular season.
The Hunger Games
The tributes have been chosen and the Canucks are one of the favourites to win the battle. They’ve been positioned to finish in the top echelon of teams this season, no matter how you slice it.
Just think about this for a second; when ¾ of Canucks Nation was pressing the panic button two weeks ago, the Henrik Sedin led Nucks had dropped 6 of 8 games. It was the apocalypse of slumps for fans province-wide…at least for the insane ones.
Then suddenly, a little silver parachute with a box attached fell out of the sky and inside was a head shot.
NOW HOLD THE PHONE! I’m not saying it’s a good thing Daniel was given a cheap shot and surely this team would be better off with him than without. However, it’s given this team something to rally around.
Obviously it shouldn’t have to take something like that but it did. As I said, or as Todd said, it is what it is. The Canucks won six games in a row now; not a single soul is pressing the panic button any longer and if you even have it arm’s reach, you’re a bigger bandwagoner than Milan Lucic’s girlfriend.
This team could enter the playoffs on a NINE game win streak. I mean even if they lost one of their final three, it’d still be eight in wins in their last ten. While about half those games will have been against teams looking into the playoff picture, it’s still something we can all get our hopes up for.
BEST BET TO WIN: Vancouver Canucks
This team is hungry and chompin’ at the bit for Game 1, but methinks they’ve ordered an appetizer of President’s Trophy and WESTecershire sauce.
Puck drop is at 7PM on TSN and TEAM1040 Radio!