Doing What it Takes…
What happened Thursday night in Calgary was simply put, a letdown. It was predictable and forgivable. After all, the Vancouver Canucks still have a pretty good shot at 1st in the West, not to mention the President’s Trophy.
In this preview for the final game of the regular season, we’ll take a look at what scenarios have to play out if the Canucks want to clinch either of those positions and what it may take for them to beat those dastardly Oilers of Edmonton.
Before we go anywhere though, I just have to say that this has been a helluva regular season. Most people who read my previews and other feature articles know I am the eternal optimist of Canucks Nation.
That optimism has been needed this season, especially in this past month but I just want you to sit back for a second and really think about how lucky we are to have such a great team.
To have a chance at being the best of 30 teams is something that at this point, 27 other teams can only dream of.
So let’s break it down.
Phoenix has defeated the St. Louis Blues to keep them at bay from the Canucks, at least for one night. So with the Blues 2 points back of Vancouver with 1 game to play each, here are the possible scenarios.
Rangers Win: If they beat Washington.
Blues Win: They can’t! HA! Even if NYR lose and STL win, Rangers own the ROW (regulation wins) tie-breaker.
Canucks Win: If they earn two points and NYR only earn one OR if they earn one point and NYR lose outright to Washington.
BEST BET: Rangers beat Washington and take the President’s trophy.
This would ensure them home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs but concede that right to Vancouver should the Rangers be eliminated prior to the finals and Vancouver makes it to the finals. **knock on wood**
Best in the West
Blues Win: If Vancouver loses against Edmonton and they beat Dallas. STL owns the West ROW Tie-breaker.
Canucks Win: If they get one point against the Oilers OR if the Oilers win and STL fails to get two points against Dallas.
BEST BET: Canucks get not only one, but two points against Edmonton and clinch the West, ensuring home-ice advantage at the very least, through the Conference Finals, should they make it that far.
**knock on wood again**
Beating the Oilers
It really shouldn’t be that hard. The Canucks have the upper hand in every way imaginable despite not having their best player.
Adding to the agony for Edmonton is the absence of Taylor Hall who is out for the season with a shoulder injury. That’s not where it ends though.
The Oil are without Ladislav Smid, Theo Peckham and Corey Potter; all regulars.
The Canucks welcomed back Kevin Bieksa against Calgary so when I say it really shouldn’t be too difficult, I really, really, REALLY mean it.
To boot, Roberto Luongo‘s record in games after being pulled is widely known to be stupendous. He was pulled Tuesday in Vancouver against the Ducks before Cory Schneider got the start and loss in Calgary.
Vancouver has even been able to come by some more goals lately, having won 8 in a row until losing to Calgary.
Mash that up with Edmonton’s scary goals allowed amount (2nd most in the West), it’s the perfect storm for a Canucks triumph and at the very least, first place in the West.
The difference between Saturday against Edmonton and Thursday versus Calgary: This time, it’s do or die to become President.
BEST BET TO WIN: Vancouver Canucks
Puck drop is at 7PM on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and TEAM1040 Radio.