3 changes the Canucks can make to get back into contention

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 08: (L-R) Bruce Boudreau and Patrik Allvin of the Vancouver Canucks attend the 2022 NHL Draft at the Bell Centre on July 08, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 08: (L-R) Bruce Boudreau and Patrik Allvin of the Vancouver Canucks attend the 2022 NHL Draft at the Bell Centre on July 08, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Vancouver Canucks’ seven-game losing streak has the entire hockey world wondering one thing: what’s next for this team? Is it too late for the Canucks to turn the season around, or should they go all-in on the Connor Bedard sweepstakes?

While it certainly was not the start they wanted, it’s still not unrealistic for the Canucks to make up lost ground in their remaining 75 games. The St. Louis Blues were infamously in last place in the NHL in January 2019, and then went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Seven games is certainly not the end of the world, but it’s also going to take consistency for the team to crawl out of their current situation.

Here are three things that could spark the change that the Canucks desperately need:

A trade

Simply put, the Canucks’ defensive stats are terrible.

They’re second-last in the league in goals against and they’re last in penalty kill percentage. This shouldn’t surprise many, considering the injuries the team’s blue line has faced.

An obvious potential improvement would be to trade for a defenceman. The Canucks have a surplus of top-nine forwards, which has forced players like Nils Höglander out of the lineup on several occasions already this year.

The Calgary Flames are known to be looking for a top-six forward, and they happen to have one of the deepest defensive cores in the league. Teams don’t always want to trade star players within their divisions, but this could be too good to pass up.

A coaching change

Over the offseason, it was widely speculated that the Canucks would move on from current head coach Bruce Boudreau, despite his successful first season behind the team’s bench. They brought him back, of course, but Jim Rutherford’s recent appearance on After Hours had many questioning the reason he came back.

"“It was my understanding he was going to get a contract for just last year. He got a contract, really, for two years. It wasn’t that we extended him one year, it was that we just lived by the contract he had.”"

Rutherford went on to say that the team had a bad training camp, and that many of the issues that they now face stemmed from camp.

It seems that management didn’t decide to bring Boudreau back this year — they just decided not to fire him. But, from Rutherford’s comments, it also seems that Boudreau could be on the hot seat if things continue to go the way they’re going.

If management were to be able to coax Barry Trotz out of his temporary hiatus, that could be a good fit. Trotz is known for his tight defensive systems, which is one of the Canucks’ greatest needs at the moment. He also resides in Vernon, BC in the offseason, so he wouldn’t be far from home.

A reset

Sometimes it’s a players-only meeting called by the captains. Sometimes it’s a message of hope from the coaches to the players. Sometimes it’s simply a momentum change. There are many ways to get a season back on track, and it doesn’t always involve personnel changes.

The Canucks have shown that they’re a skilled team. They can score goals with the best of them. It’s just that, for whatever reason, something is not clicking right now. If they can make a small but impactful change, they might still be able to salvage this season.

Of course, if that doesn’t work, there’s always a full-blown rebuild, right?

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What are your thoughts on how the Canucks can salvage their season? Let us know in the comments below!