Vancouver Canucks: So, are they still making the playoffs?

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Life sure moves fast for the Vancouver Canucks. After a handful of games, the team is seemingly poised to make the playoffs for the first time in four years, but a poor road trip has made people reconsider. So, what lies in store?

Recently, Vancouver Canucks fans have two parts of the year to look forward to. One is at the start of the season when they play very well before things start to even out. However, I would say this year has been a lot different thanks EP40. This year and last have somewhat spoiled us for better or for worse since the performances of Elias Pettersson this year and Brock Boeser last year often distracted us from the bad (which was a lot).

I would say the other part of the year we look forward to is the draft, becoming an annual tradition where we get burned at the lottery, wait three months to see another team win the Stanley Cup and praying that the player we select will help pull us out of this sea mediocrity.

I feel bad that some fans are being treated like Charlie Brown and the playoffs are just Lucy pulling the football out of the way. We get the same thing each year. A hot start, followed by the eventual blame of injuries. It’s almost like clockwork and the current form of the Canucks can blame the disproportionate amount of injuries, which is convenient because nobody was doing that while they were winning. Funny how that works.

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For those that told me the tank was dead, the Canucks are barely clinging to the label of a .500 team based on points. The team can thank the loser point for that. In terms of wins and losses, they are technically below .500 (10 wins and 11 losses in regulation and OT/SO). To make matters worse, it appears Brock Boeser won’t be back on Saturday and isn’t even skating yet.

So, are we still going to talk about playoffs? Where is Jim Mora when we need him? The Canucks are 21 games into the season and assuming they play .500 hockey from here, that would give them a projected finish of 83 points. Not even close to enough to make the playoffs, but likely not enough to finish in last place. If we use the most recent standings projections from The Athletic, the Canucks are on pace to finish 28th overall with around 81 points.

Assuming things pan out that way, that’s not the worst thing. Sure, the most likely outcome is to draft 6th overall and I have made it very clear that if there was any year to get a top two pick, it would be this one. You could say that for a lot of years, but I think Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko could step into a team’s lineup next season. For the rest, I can’t say at the moment.

But probability aside, if you believe in Karma, maybe a 28th place finish after trying so hard and winning early is a good thing for Vancouver. Maybe this will be the year the lottery is won. If you believe in the conspiracy theories that the NHL influences the lottery (they don’t, but humour me), then it would be perfect to see the Canucks select first overall while hosting. A dream that may not be out of reach if projections hold true.

Next. Vancouver Canucks: Time to panic after the road trip. dark

If there is anything I would leave you with is the old saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” It’s why I have a healthy dose of skepticism when people declare playoff teams after 15 games. The Canucks are starting to slide and we don’t know when it will end. Getting healthy reinforcements may help, but by how much? The team was playing their best hockey before losing their best penalty killer. But the offence has dried up and the goaltending is overwhelmed. I can’t say exactly where the team will be in April, but if it is where I think, then I won’t complain.