Three reasons why the Canucks will miss the playoffs

Apr 3, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (35) looks on as defenseman Quinn Hughes (43)handles the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vegas won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (35) looks on as defenseman Quinn Hughes (43)handles the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vegas won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 3, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) reacts after a shot from Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (9) goes past him in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vegas won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) reacts after a shot from Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (9) goes past him in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vegas won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /

#1 Slow starts, late pushes

This also kind of sums up the Canucks season. They went 8-15-2 under Green and then there was the seven-game win streak and some impressive wins over the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars. But despite those wins, it is too little and too late.

In a bunch of games this season, the Canucks would start slow. In fact, Vancouver is dead last in first period goals with 43. They have given up 68 first period goals this season which is 10th in the NHL. Third periods have been much better for them. The Canucks have scored 78 third period goals which is 13th in the NHL. In terms of goals against in the third period, they have given up third- least in the final frame with 58. Only the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers have given up fewer third period goals.

The Canucks have looked slow and sloppy in their starts but seem to hit the gas pedal in third periods. Obviously, this shouldn’t happen and in order to win, you have to play a full 60 minutes.

“I don’t know why we don’t start on time,” said Boudreau after Sunday’s loss to Vegas. “Teams know this and they come out flying.”

#2: The Canucks have hard team beating teams they should beat

This team is a strange one.

The Canucks can beat teams good teams like the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs. Yet, they can’t beat bottom-feeder like the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. (Though they did manage to beat the Devils for the first time since 2014 this season.)

In the 3-1 win in Denver for example, they played with energy and determination. In the 1-0 loss against Detroit, they had a tough start and couldn’t score and looked very sluggish.

It’s great when you can beat an elite team like the Avalanche but unacceptable if you lose (and even worse get shutout) to a Red Wings team in the cellar of the NHL. Losing those games against the teams the Canucks should beat were big blows to their playoff push.