These Canucks are for Real: Three Reasons to Believe


Nov 11, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin (22) and defenseman Alexander Edler (23) celebrate a goal by defenseman Kevin Bieksa (3) against Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (41) (not pictured)during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the conversation surrounding the Vancouver Canucks these days is asking the question, “Are they for real?” Can their success be sustained? There are several great articles taking different views on whether this early season success can be maintained. Thomas Drance, as usual, has done a thorough look at the underlying numbers, suggesting some cautious optimism. Jason Botchford urged caution today, however, reminding us that the Canucks were on a very similar pace last year before it all fell apart. Opinions seem divided, with every one looking at the underlying numbers, the stats from last year, and other boring math related ways of proving their points. We need a way forward.

My friend Andreas and I produce a video series called New Van Fan, a humorous look at following the Canucks from the perspective of a new fan. As I was thinking about the Canucks’ recent success, I started thinking about the new or casual fan. What if you don’t want to look at the numbers? What if you think Corsis are a beloved breed of dog, popular among royalty? You need reasons to believe in these Canucks, without all that math and thinking. Well friend, this post is for you! Here’s three totally irrational reasons for believing the Canucks can sustain their early season success.

1. We’re Sticking it to Kesler

Remember when we had to trade Kesler, and he was only willing to go to Anaheim? Then we got Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa, and everyone was all like, “The Canucks got fleeced!” Well don’t look now suckers, but Bonino is outscoring Kesler by a point! We totally won that trade!

Now some will tell you that Nick Bonino’s early scoring may be somewhat unsustainable, thanks to his shooting percentage of 18.9%. Sure, that’s a fair argument, but here’s a counterargument: Nick Bonino will continue to score because his DTS is very high. What is DTS, you ask? Desire to Score – a totally non quantifiable but legitimate stat that I just made up. With Bonino’s success, the Canucks are showing Kesler that not only did they not need him, they’re totally better without him. So he should just stop texting them those selfies with palm trees in the background. They’re so over him.

2. Willie Desjardins is not John Tortorella

With noted curmudgeon John Tortorella running things last year, the Canucks started off the season well. “He’s a breath of fresh air,” we thought, “just what the team needs!” Well, it turns out he was more of a breath of fire, like some kind of Godzilla monster. Under his leadership the Canucks missed the playoff with essentially the same team that had recently gotten as far as Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals. If you don’t remember what happened then, I’m not going to remind you, because I have some sense of human decency.

More from The Canuck Way

As I mentioned above, some have suggested that the Canucks could have a similar fall from grace this year. But here’s where they’re misguided: Willie Desjardins is not John Tortorella. I know it’s easy to miss, what with Willie’s supple moustache capturing media attention, but you need to know that Desjardins is a totally different person! And it shows in his coaching style. He has practices! Like, where the players actually skate and do drills and stuff. He lets his rookies play, even if I’ve never heard of them before (Brandon Defazio?). He has his team playing an upbeat, exciting style of hockey. Therefore, the Canucks will not experience a drop like last year. Ipso Facto!

3. Trevor Linden can do no Wrong

Trevor Linden, crown prince of Vancouver, was brought in to the Canucks fold to help stop the bleeding this summer. And boy was there ever bleeding! They lost players, they lost staff, and most importantly, Canucks ownership lost face. And it’s hard to do much without a face. The more cynical fan will probably recognize that Linden’s hiring was, at least on some level, a PR move. But it’s hard to argue with his decisions so far. Jim Benning was a smart hire. So was Willie Desjardins. Wayne Gretzky seems to think that the Ryan Miller signing “might be the best signing in the last 15 years.” If Wayne Gretzky approves of your work, you’re doing something right. Or you’re the early 2000’s Phoenix Coyotes. Either way, Linden’s decisions, and the decisions of those he has hired, have been good ones. On one hand, it’s a little surprising to see success come so quickly, since there was lots to be done this summer. On the other hand, it’s not surprising at all, since Trevor Linden is a modern day hockey Midas, minus the tragedy. Add to his excellent work his charming good looks, and you have a recipe for continued team success.

So there you have it, three excellent and foolproof reasons to believe in the Canucks’ continued success! And if all else fails, we have the Canucks fan’s secret weapon: blind, irrational faith! See you in the playoffs!