3 significant X-Factors that will ultimately make or break the rest of the Canucks season

Turbulence is inevitable across an 82-game season, and the Canucks have finally started experiencing it recently after dropping three straight.

Feb 20, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (9) celebrates his goal in
Feb 20, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (9) celebrates his goal in / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

The Vancouver Canucks have been the Western Conference’s most dominant team for much of the 2023-24 season before a three-game losing streak gave them a reality check. The message was simple: This group is nowhere near a flawless bunch, and they must still improve several areas of their game if they want to remain among the NHL’s elite teams this season. 

Now, one three-game skid shouldn’t be much to worry about since Vancouver had yet to lose three in a row this season. Ditto for the fact they are just 4-4-1 in February, as through a regular season that stretches from mid-October to mid-April, even the best teams are bound to have a bad month or at least a harsh couple of weeks. 

So how can the Canucks improve and learn from what has been a rather rough ride since the All-Star Break? Keep reading for three X-Factors that will either keep their season running strong or cause them to falter down the stretch. 

The Canucks must take action at or before the trade deadline

While it’s true that, despite the recent skid, the Canucks remain one of the best teams in hockey, it’s also clear that they aren’t without their flaws. Despite ranking 10th in the NHL with 159 goals allowed, defense hasn’t been Vancouver’s strong suit and it’s starting to show. 

Trading for someone like Chris Tanev, another defenseman who matches his style, or even a defensive-minded forward, would help. Bringing Elias Lindholm to British Columbia was a good start to add another layer of offense, but that extra and much-needed layer of defense is still missing, so the Canucks cannot be finished making roster transactions just yet. 

That said, Lindholm is a physical player who can be disruptive in the defensive zone either by finishing checks or poking away pucks. And adding him recently shows us that Vancouver’s front office is aware of the issue, but they still need to do more.