As the season winds down, the Vancouver Canucks have likely missed out on another postseason spot. Let’s take a look and see how true that is.
With a record of 25-11-7 so far under new head coach Bruce Boudreau, fans can’t help but wonder what may have been if he had been at the helm since day one. Unfortunately, the squad played horrendously to kick off the season.
With 15 games left in the season, the Canucks sit ranked at 5 in the Pacific Division. Is the hole too deep for them to climb out of?
That’s what I’m going to find out.
What are the odds?
The Money Puck odds tracker still gives Vancouver a mathematical chance at slipping into the playoffs. Although at 14.7%, fans shouldn’t be holding their breath.
However, I consider myself an optimist. As long as there’s a chance, then there is hope – regardless of if it’s warranted or not.
Let’s take a look at the rest of their season and see what needs to be done:
|March 28||vs @ St Louis Blues|
|March 30||vs St Louis Blues|
|April 3||vs Vegas Golden Knights|
|April 6||vs @ Vegas Golden Knights|
|April 7||vs @ Arizona Coyotes|
|April 9||vs San Jose Sharks|
|April 12||vs Vegas Golden Knights|
|April 14||vs Arizona Coyotes|
|April 18||vs Dallas Stars|
|April 19||vs Ottawa Senators|
|April 21||vs @ Minnesota Wild|
|April 23||vs @ Calgary Flames|
|April 26||vs Seattle Kraken|
|April 28||vs Los Angeles Kings|
|April 29||vs @ Edmonton Oilers|
Now, earlier in the season I wrote a similar article where I determined that the Canucks would need approximately 97 points to make the cut. For the purpose of simplicity, I’m going to stick with that metric.
As of March 27th, the Canucks currently sit at 73 points. That means that they will need at least 24 more points to slide into the last wildcard position. In other words, they will need to win 12 more games before the season is over.
Is that possible?
I’m going to be realistic, it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll be able to do this. In the past few weeks alone, they’ve lost to the Detroit Red Wings and the Buffalo Sabres. They will be coming up against some much better groups during the final weeks of the season. They’ll have to take on cup contenders like Calgary and Minnesota.
Their next four games (back-to-backs against both St Louis and Vegas) will be crucial. I think that these four games will determine whether or not they crack the playoffs. Both teams are just above Vancouver in the standings. These wins could go a long way to put them back in the race. However, earning at least seven out of the eight possible points will be absolutely necessary if they want to keep their hopes alive.
If they can accomplish this, they’ll be able to slide into a comfortable five-game homestand throughout mid-April. Other than Vegas and Dallas, a locked-in Canucks squad should be the favourites in every other game.
Their second last road trip of the season sees them taking on Minnesota and Calgary. These two teams are definitely the best left on the schedule. The fact that the Canucks will be visiting will just add to the difficulty. Depending on how they’ve done up until this point, you can expect some gutsy performances if Vancouver wants to pull out both wins.
Hypothetically, if Vancouver is still in the running, the Kings and Oilers will be just ahead of them. Interestingly, these will also be the Canucks’ last two opponents which should make for an entertaining showing.
So… what’s the verdict?
A playoff run isn’t likely in the cards, but there’s nothing wrong with being optimistic. If they’re firing on all cylinders, the Canucks definitely have the ability to make the rest of this season entertaining!
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