3. The lotto line is money
J.T. Miller has been better for the Canucks than anyone could have possibly imagined. Surrendering a first-round pick for his services doesn’t look so bad now. He is on pace for a career year in numbers and he’s found undeniable chemistry with 2020 All-Star Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. The line was instantly an offensive threat to the entire league, producing at a very high rate, the trio was dubbed the “Lotto Line” and has helped the team’s power play hover around the top-five all year. He has already surpassed his goal total last season and his 46 points are good enough for second on the team. More than 30 games remain and Miller should have no problem putting together the final touches on his best season to date.
4. Consistent secondary scoring
Tanner Pearson, Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette are all having career years in Vancouver. Pearson is a lock as the captain’s go-to man with over a point per game since mid-November. The Stanley Cup champion is on pace to shatter his career-best and land somewhere in the 50 point range. Virtanen has finally arrived. He’s flourishing on the top line as the power forward Micheal Ferland was supposed to be. He’s already got a career-high 28 points and he’s never looked so confident. Gaudette is holding his own as the third line center. Brandon Sutter did what he could, but Gaudette wouldn’t quit. Goals have been coming in bunches, the drive is there and the heart to play every night has made the difference. Things are trending in the right direction.
5. The core has remained healthy
It’s been a while since the Canucks have fostered a healthy team for the majority of the season. So far, minus a 10-game absence from Alex Edler, the core players in Vancouver have played each and every game. Hughes had a knee scare but missed one game as a precaution. Fragile Pettersson’s offseason bulking routine has paid off. He’s played every single game and he’s been consistent from start to finish. Boeser dodged a concussion bullet right before the season started. He might not reach 30 goals, but he’s putting up his best numbers. Chris Tanev of all players has laced up the skates for all 49 contests. Knock on wood he remains healthy.
Everything that can go right for the Vancouver Canucks ultimately has. Hard to swallow the fact that with all the stars aligning, the Canucks only have a one-point lead in the Pacific Division. It’s a tight race out west and Vancouver will be in the thick of it all the way to the finish line. Do they have what it takes to make the post-season?