canucks

Where do the Vancouver Canucks go from here?

Class of 2011 forever!

Well, that homestand was a let down.

As the memories of that long road trip and the dominance of the Sedin/Kesler line fade, the Vancouver Canucks are stuck in a rut of playing well, but not good enough to win. It’s a familiar feeling over the past few years.

They’re in tough. We figured they might be over the summer, with realignment and regression playing against them. 2011 is quickly fading in the rearview mirror, relegated now to a chilling game of what if?

You have to love the energy Torts has brought. The guy wants to win and pains to lose, yet he’s tasked with a roster that has many fantastic individual parts but can’t for whatever reason come together to win a hockey game.

This picture sums things up nicely.

This picture sums things up nicely.

The previous homestand opened with a heartbreaking overtime loss to San Jose and ended with a heartbreaking overtime loss to Los Angeles. In both games, the Canucks fumbled the lead with the endzone in sight.

It’s heartbreaking to watch, but that there has been the norm since, say, 1970. When the chips are down, the Canucks fold.

The Calgary Flames made it to within a game of the Stanley Cup in 2004, and Darryl Sutter retained the core of that team until it vanished into dust on the belief that if they were good enough to get there once, they were good enough to get back.

The Canucks don’t want to go down that road.

Yes, there is a youth movement on the way, but there are prospects climbing the depth chart in every NHL team. Unless the likes of Horvat, Shinkaruk, Corrado et al are in the top tier of the next crop of  prospects, they probably won’t propel the Canucks to the top spot in the league.

Mike Gillis has already replaced his coach to achieve the same gut-punch results we enjoyed in the AV era, so maybe it’s time to think about playing with that core.

That, however, will be difficult to do on a team where the entirety of the core enjoys NTCs. The Canucks best available trade assets are Chris Tanev or Jannik Hansen.

You could pair one or the other with a first round pick and see who bites, but you won’t hit a home run. Even then, players like Derek Roy or David Booth were once hailed as fantastic pickups and look how they turned out..

No, it’s beginning to feel like this team as it’s currently assembled lacks a necessary ingredient for success that they may have never had. It’s probably scoring — it is scoring — but 29 other teams also believe they need more scoring so good luck with that.

No pressure, Shinkaruk.

We’ll always have 2011, and up until the point Christy Clark decided to light the Olympic flame after game two, it was a damn good time.

Let’s just be mindful that this team is starting to look like the ladies who, as Kanye puts it, “Rock Forever 21 but just turned 30.”

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About Richard Hodges

A proud Vancouverite with a lifelong passion for the home teams that some would classify as pointless and disturbing. Now realizes that The Linden Tree is not the play you think it would be.
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