Following series win over the Wild, Canucks’ future starts now

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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The Vancouver Canucks are off to the postseason for the first time in five years. This is only the beginning of a very promising future.

Finally, the Vancouver Canucks are back in the postseason.

Even if you don’t count the qualifying round as a legitimate playoff series, the bottom line is that the Canucks have ended a five-year postseason drought. They won a competitive elimination round to punch a ticket to the round of 16. That’s indisputable.

Veteran blueliner and fan favourite Chris Tanev scored the series-clinching goal just 11 seconds into overtime of Game 4. The younger and more skilled Canucks managed to outlast a heavily postseason experienced Minnesota Wild team.

Now, they await either the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues or the Dallas Stars in round one.

And no matter what happens from here, 2019-20 will officially go down as a highly successful season for head coach Travis Green and company.

These Canucks were widely expected to at least compete for a playoff berth at the start of the season. They’re in. And the bright future starts now.

It was imperative for young stars Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser to gain some playoff experience, one way or another. This team isn’t expected to go on a deep run by any means, and they’ll be a massive underdog the rest of the way.

Every Stanley Cup champion has to endure some hard lessons in the postseason. No team comes out of nowhere and wins the Stanley Cup. Jonathan Toews‘ Chicago Blackhawks, Sidney Crosby‘s Pittsburgh Penguins, Alexander Ovechkin‘s Washington Capitals and Alex Pietrangelo‘s St. Louis Blues all had to endure some playoff heartbreak before finally winning it all.

Worst case scenario, the Canucks get swept in round one by the Blues or Stars. And I say “worst case” in air quotation marks. This team will at least gain much-needed and valuable experience; they’ll learn exactly what it takes to come out on top.

Or, you know, the Canucks could go on a Cinderella run like they did 26 years ago. Maybe this team will take the Western Conference by surprise. Anything is possible in this day and age. I mean, nobody had the Blues winning the Cup while they were at the bottom of the standings in January last year.

The Canucks have absolutely nothing to lose from here. No need to worry about that first-round pick in the J.T. Miller trade becoming a lottery selection. Green and general manager Jim Benning don’t have to worry about their job security. Tanev and Jacob Markstrom are making strong cases to be retained this offseason.

Next. Canucks advance to Stanley Cup Playoffs. dark

Friday’s clincher against the Wild marked the beginning of a very bright future for this team. The up-and-coming, resilient and energetic Canucks are playoff-bound, and they’re only going to get better from here.