Are the Vancouver Canucks falling apart behind the scenes?
The Vancouver Canucks ended Week #24 on an ugly note, alternate captain Daniel Sedin revealing how he is displeased about some members of the lineup who were not bringing the compete and the effort to each game. They also ended the week with four straight losses to contenders and non-contenders alike.
If those games weren’t difficult enough, here’s some more news for the Canucks that will call for all hands to be on deck.
No need for concern, though. This facilitates the youth movement and the bid for Auston Matthews. Here’s my piece from this weekend on how Auston Matthews brings a ton of possibility to Vancouver not only on the ice but also on the trade front. Yes. Want to dangle some young talent, folks?
And this week will be all about the young guys. Alex Grenier is here. Brendan Gaunce is here. Andrey Pedan is here. What else can the Canucks do? They had to bring up Chris Higgins to fill up the bench! So here are your three keys to Week #25.
KEY #1 – Time for the Young to be Youthful No More
The youth has something to prove. Emerson Etem, Linden Vey, and Markus Granlund are in the last 11 games of their current contracts, set to hit restricted free agency in the summer. Sure that Etem and Granlund (who is injured right now) would come back as Sven Baertschi did last year, each on one-year “prove yourself” contracts. But Vey has something to prove after burning his second chance this year.
Pedan was verbally assured a contract by Benning after his current one expires, but he still has things to prove. So do Grenier and Mike Zalewski. This list does not seem to end. But the fact is that players like Bo Horvat, Jared McCann, and Gaunce also have things to prove to wrap up this season. At this rate, McCann is bound for the AHL next year.
KEY #2 – Alex Burrows a Milestone Night
Alex Burrows came into the NHL as an unrestricted free agent and has played his entire career as a Vancouver Canuck. He did not envision playing 1000 games at the pro level back then. But now that milestone is here, as the veteran left wing will play his 1000th pro game on Saturday. It is a road game and the Canucks won’t be able to give him a special ceremony of sorts, but the atmosphere should be there in the locker room.
A source of inspiration and experience for sure, Burrows seems to have regained his spot on the top line. For now. Maybe this is Willie Desjardin’s way of congratulating the veteran of the milestone.
KEY #3 – Road Warriors Continue
Can you believe that the Canucks have a winning road record after that loss against the Edmonton Oilers? The Canucks are 14-13-7 on the road, earning 35 of 68 possible points away from Rogers Arena. With three games on the road this week, the Canucks will have history on their side. Now without further ado, here it is, Week #25 Outlook and its Predictions!
Next: AWAY @ Winnipeg