Canucks: 10 things to be proud of and grateful for this year

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 2: Ian Cole #28 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammates after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena November 2, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n
VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 2: Ian Cole #28 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammates after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena November 2, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n /
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Vancouver Canucks Center Adam Gaudette (88) is congratulated after scoring a goal (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks Center Adam Gaudette (88) is congratulated after scoring a goal (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

8. Captain Horvat was successful

It was a long time coming for Horvat to finally be named captain of the Vancouver Canucks. The 14th player to receive the honour was just 24-years-old at the time but did a fine job in his first season with the captaincy.

It was a year filled with challenges, but Horvat managed to carry his fair share of the problems. One of those issues was carrying around the old and worn Loui Eriksson. Stapled to Bo’s wing for the majority of the year, Horvat never complained or pouted. He pushed Eriksson towards his defensive game and managed to create a little bit of life from a once unmotived player.

Horvat was a faceoff beast, matched up night after night against the league’s stiffest competition, scored the most power play goals on the team and managed to put up big numbers with Eriksson anchored to the second line. What more can you ask for from the captain?

9. Canucks scored most goals in their division

With the roster stacked and the depth chart loaded, Travis Green shed the defensive mindset and attacked this season with the plan of rolling out three offensive lines that can hit you with the right mix of speed, physicality and scoring ability. Gone was the top-six/bottom-six regime, and in was a deadly top-nine who knew how to play together and put the puck in the net.

The Lotto-line was one of this season’s most dominant trios across the league and with the team’s middle-six all pacing above half a point per game, the Canucks scored a division-best 224 goals. Not only did they pot more goals than any other team in their division, but they were also good enough for 9th best out of 31. That’s a big jump in goals from last season. The 2019-20 Canucks could score.

10. Canucks proved the future is here.

Most importantly, Jim Benning constructed a winning team that proved to be very capable of achieving the goals they set out for themselves. It was never going to be a year of Stanley Cup celebration for the Canucks (at least not realistically), but they did, in fact, win this season.

A lot of things went very well for Vancouver this year and they made huge leaps forwards in a lot of different aspects of the game. The Canucks’ core expanded past five players and proved to have a game-changing player at each major position.

Next. Canucks: Top candidate for a compliance buyout. dark

The core grew together, but the supporting cast grew with them too. This year was a successful one with many memories, accomplishments and things to be proud of. Vancouver came a very long way this season and the team’s chemistry, love for the game and for each other took massive strides in the right direction.