It’s been a rollercoaster week for the Vancouver Canucks.
After putting up six consecutive losses to start the month of February, the team desperately needed to break their miserable slump. They had been badly outscored by a margin of 27-11 over that two-week span, and their winning percentage was starting to slip into Red Wing rebuild territory.
Player morale was at an all-time low, management and coaches were fearful for their jobs, and fans were starting to sift through their calendars to see when Ottawa would be coming back to town.
In other words, the team had hit rock bottom, and they desperately needed a saving grace.
Enter… Francesco Aquilini?
Hours before puck-drop last Saturday, the owner dropped a series of tweets, fully supporting the work and decisions of his front office and coaching staff, all while trying to extinguish the fierce, ever-growing flames that were slowly engulfing the city.
Okay, yes. It would be quite the stretch to say that Aquilini’s brash sentiments propelled this team back into the win column. It was merely a well-timed PR stunt to quiet the reporters and to deflate the heated arguments on Canucks Twitter, and even the players admitted that they were unaware of Aquilini’s online messages until after Saturday’s victory against the Flames.
Still, it was still a pretty compelling storyline for Canucks nation as they approached the quarter mark of their season, one that spread throughout the city much like a certain young Swede’s Spotify playlists.
And if the team is able to rise from the ashes and make some sort of splash in the Scotia North division moving forward, it’ll definitely be one of the focal points for the organization’s 2020-21 campaign.
So what exactly did the Canucks do to get back into the win column? Did the pent-up frustration finally boil over and erupt in a volcanic fashion? Or perhaps they discovered a good luck charm by swapping out their finest suits and ties for wrinkled plaid shirts and scuffed work boots?
We’ll never know the answers to these questions, so it’s all purely speculation right now. The bottom line was that the Canucks needed to break free from their losing ways ASAP, and they were, fortunately, able to do so in tremendous fashion this past week.
- Calgary Flames (1) @ Vancouver Canucks (3)
- Calgary Flames (4) @ Vancouver Canucks (3) – OT
- Vancouver Canucks (5) @ Calgary Flames (1)
- Winnipeg Jets (2) @ Vancouver Canucks (0)
Canucks record: (8-12-1) 6th in Scotia North Division
The team closed out the remaining three games of their mini-series against the Flames by collecting five out of a possible six points, and by outscoring their opponents by an aggregate of 11-6. More importantly, they were finally able to put pucks past Jacob Markstrom, who had previously stymied their offence earlier in January.
They were unfortunately blanked by the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, but every team runs into a hot goalie from time to time, and it was great to see that the Canucks still applied consistent pressure throughout the game, particularly in the third period, when trying to claw back in.
It wasn’t exactly the ideal way to wrap up the week, but the Canucks were finally starting to move past “moral victory status” with more confidence and hockey IQ, and they had finally found the ladder that could get them out of the hole that they had dug themselves in at the beginning of the season.
Will that ladder be tall enough for the team to see daylight once again before the sun sets on the season? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, let’s once again take a look at The Canuck Way’s three stars of the week: