Things aren’t going to drastically change this season for the Vancouver Canucks and in a way that’s a good thing. Its no surprise things will once again be tight on the scoreboard but it may finally play into their favour. Overtime was once boring but oh how the times have changed.
Last year the Canucks were involved in 31 one goal games, 20 of those believe it or not were wins and get this: 12 of 17 games were won in OT or the beloved shootout.
With the NHL switching to 3 on 3 overtime this season, fans everywhere will be treated to fast paced, insane odd man rushes and hopefully quicker finishes to games that drag on longer than they need to with the gimmicky shootout bonus round.
So why should Canucks nation be excited about this? Well if you saw the Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C. this past weekend, you know that 3 on 3 creates excitement and it creates winners….quickly.
The Canucks are no longer an offensive juggernaut as they will be searching for scoring from pretty much everyone but Henrik and Daniel. That being said, the Twins aren’t spring chickens anymore and they won’t be producing to the levels they did when they were poppin collars and collecting those Art Vandelay Ross trophies.
Moving to 3 on 3 will actually give the Canucks reason for hope though. Sadly, as many games as I think they could win will be moot when and if they make the playoffs and they get brutally embarrassed once again by a Calgary or Anaheim or quite possibly the Los Angeleses. I think i just pluralized Los Angeles.
Lets let that sink in. It’s impressive.
Going back to that neato stat at the beginning, just over 1/3 of Canucks hockey last year was of the nail biting variety. I prefer not to relive it so if you go back we probably blew a good chunk of games too!
Again as I stated above, they won 12 of those games past regulation. So its safe to say even if they get remotely better this year whether it be better goaltending, a few of the young bucks having a surprisingly good year or just playing enough teams at the height of their suckdom; the Canucks can benefit from dragging out their games past 60 minutes.
Henrik and Daniel are the obvious choices to be put out for NBA Jam type hockey and Willie D may need to have 3-4 set options come OT. Practicing the shootout was something coaches didn’t really want to put too much effort into but with OT changing this year, this is a new outlet for the Canucks to specialize in.
I’d venture the Canucks can close out at least 5 more wins this year in OT with the new format. Having a puck moving defenseman will be key and if Luca Sbisa can work on one thing this year, it can be a successful outlet pass that isn’t turned into a breakaway on Ryan Miller. But lets be serious, he won’t be out there.
Canucks fans should embrace this new reality and maybe even cheer for it. I know, cheer for your team to drag their knuckles until its GO TIME!!! We don’t have Mason ” I’m fast but I trip over the blue line” Raymond anymore to give us the speed but guys like Bo Horvat, Jake “All the murders” Virtanen, Sven Baertschi and Mr. Clutch Canuck Alex Burrows can all make a difference in the new overtime.
This no doubt will turn OT into a young mans game or Sidney Crosby’s paradise, I’m not sure which. However, in a search for goals this year, the Canucks can definitely count on overtime being kind to them.
There will be plenty to complain about and I’ll be right there with you but one constant we will most likely cheer for is the puck dropping in OT. A line of Bo Horvat, Alex Burrows and Alex Edler could be very dangerous, I like danger….
Everything could go swimmingly in OT for the Canucks this year but they’ll have to get their first and if they don’t score enough goals or obviously keep them out; OT will be something we’ll see in every other arena outside of the lower mainland.
Maybe let’s just win in regulation, by a goal or two. I know, that’s crazy you say.
It’s too crazy, too crazy indeed.
Worst case scenario, we get this:
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