With only 17 games to go, the Vancouver Canucks are falling out of the playoff race. Worse yet, they also aren’t anywhere bad enough to tank and realistic hope for a top selection in this year’s draft.
The Vancouver Canucks saw their playoff hopes take a huge blow on Thursday night, following a sloppy and mistake-filled 5-2 road loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
Vancouver now has 17 games left, and they sit five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. But the eighth-seeded Colorado Avalanche have a game in hand, and the Canucks have to surpass three other teams that are also on the outside looking in.
At this rate, the Canucks have to accept that they’re unlikely to qualify for the postseason this year. They’ve had too many injuries and are slumping at the most inopportune time. Barring a miracle, the playoff drought will extend to four years.
But simply missing the postseason isn’t the only problem for the Canucks. The folks supporting #TeamTank don’t have much to cheer about, either, because there are a handful of teams that are considerably behind Vancouver in the league standings.
The Canucks (63 points), are 14 up on the last-place Ottawa Senators. Absolutely no chance the unraveling Sens surpass Vancouver over these final few weeks. The Los Angeles (54 points), and Detroit Red Wings (55 points), are also way behind the Canucks. Hard to see either of them catching up to Elias Pettersson and company.
Also, the extremely disappointing and slumping Anaheim Ducks (57 points), are unlikely to catch the Canucks. The New Jersey Devils (58 points), have struggled mightily in 2019, and it’s also hard to see Vancouver finishing below them in the standings.
So you have three teams that are virtual locks to finish Vancouver, with the Ducks and Devils also looking like strong bets to be bottom-five teams. Even if the Edmonton Oilers (61 points), Chicago Blackhawks (63 points), and New York Rangers (66 points), finished ahead of Vancouver, this team is starring at the sixth-best lottery odds at best.
Simply finishing 26th in the league standings would give Vancouver just a 7.5 percent chance at the first overall pick, and a mere 23.3 percent chance at a top-three selection. And again, there’s a good chance they finished ahead of the Oilers, Blackhawks and Rangers — so the Canucks’ odds could be even lower than what was just mentioned.
With just over a month to go in the season, the Canucks are really in no man’s land. They’re most likely going to miss out on the postseason, but the fans also shouldn’t hold out much hope in tanking and earning a high draft pick.
In the last three years, fans had the draft lottery date circled on their calendars. But this time around, it’ll be quite difficult for Canucks fans to get excited — knowing they’ll have extremely low odds of moving up from their position — but rather more likely to move down if anything else.