The Vancouver Canucks are currently tied for 7th place in the Western Conference. The month of February will be crucial for the Canucks and keeping their playoff hopes alive.
January was supposed to be a walk in the park or the Vancouver Canucks, who would benefit from having longer stretches of downtime, and all would be well.
That’s partially true. The Canucks did finish the month of January in a playoff spot, but in that month, there were some rough games. Most notably, the last game before the All-Star break, that saw the Canucks fall to the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 5-2.
Everyone in the Canucks locker room agreed, some rest would be good for the team. Bo Horvat vowed that his team “would come back hungrier after some rest.” Horvat’s teammate Brandon Sutter echoed a similar tune, insinuating that the team would surely benefit from the rest provided by the All-Star break.
The All-Star break technically ended on Monday, January 28th, but the Canucks will be one of the teams that enjoys an extra long break, with their first game being on Feb. 2 against the Colorado Avalanche.
As we begin the month of February, let’s take a look at who the Canucks will be facing, and what it could mean for the team by the time March 1st rolls around.
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The Canucks will start with a four-game road trip, where they’ll face the Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks. They’ll return home for two games, with contests against the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks.
After that, the Canucks will embark on the three-game California road trip, followed by home games against the Arizona Coyotes, New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks. They’ll wrap up February with stops in Colorado and Arizona.
That’s right my fellow Canucks fans. The team has 13 games to play in the month of February. This will not be as easy on the team as the month of January was, where the Canucks only played nine games, with the last six of those games being on home ice.
It will not be an easy month for the Canucks travel wise, to say the very least. But what does this mean for the team? There are clearly some tough opponents sprinkled in this schedule, and on the contrary, some weaker ones, too.
If the Canucks are going to make a push for the playoffs, it would be ideal that they win practicallyevery game this month. Since that is highly unlikely, here are the games that I believe most important for the Canucks to win.
At the time of this writing, the Canucks, Avalanche, and the Ducks are neck and neck for a playoff spot. It will be crucial that the Canucks win at least a few of these games to pull ahead of the pack in the playoff race down the stretch.
If the Canucks want to prove to the rest of the league that they’re a legitimate playoff team, it is vital that they beat the teams sitting at the bottom of the standings.
If the Canucks beat the teams that I just mentioned and lose every other game in February, they will still finish with a record of at least 9-4-0. Not too shabby. While this would be ideal, it is highly unlikely that the Canucks beat all the teams mentioned above. However, if they were to pull it off, they would impress many around the hockey world and could find themselves the sole possessors of a playoff spot by the time March 1st rolls around.
Like the majority of you, I am trying to remain optimistic about the Canucks playoffs hopes and would love nothing more than to see this group get their feet wet in the playoffs. Where do you all think the Canucks will be in the standings when February is all said and done?