elias pettersson

Canucks Having A Mumford And Sons-Type Season

It’s a corny lead-in but the Canucks genuinely are having a season resembling the hits of Mumford and Sons. Getting waxed in the preseason, it felt like this team was going to be exactly like its predecessor from a season ago: a “Hopeless Wanderer”, a dud with little hope aside from the debut of Elias Pettersson and the continuation of a flow-like Brock Boeser traveling through yet another season with a cup over their fire. Ups, downs and almost everything in between, this Babel-like season is removing the mask from its face to show what true identity has been hidden, it’s better than we thought.

Feeling all warm and cushy after a couple of impressive Canucks wins gets everyone in the feels and yours truly is not excluded. I’ve also been on a bit of a Mumford kick lately and it’s funny how some of their songs resemble the first third of the season. MAS no doubt had a cult following before they made it big and like most sports teams the same can be said.

So what makes these two so similar? Is it the catchy choruses that relate to the latest flavour of the month EP40, the relatively short catalog history of four albums or three trips to the Stanley Cup, or is it the numerous hits that have won awards as the Canucks have trotted out award winners in various categories? All of these are true to a certain degree.

HOPELESS WANDERER – This track is a direct hit to how the Canucks season has gone so far.

“You heard my voice, you came out of the woods by choice”.

We all knew what to expect when the season started, mostly not a lot. There was excitement from the super rookie to look forward to, the promise of an eventual quarterback on defense in Quinn Hughes, and a healthy Brock. The defense came back the same and there was no reason to think Erik Gudbranson would be, well, good.

“So leave that click in my head, I will remember the words that you said”.

The players know what’s said about them and they knew what we didn’t. The addition of Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel was delayed which gave others the chance to step up, like Nikolay Goldobin Adam Gaudette, and somehow, Bo Horvat. Vancouver came out of the gate 5-5 with a lot to talk about, namely the Alien, Elias.

Pettersson led the Canucks in goals right off the hop with five tallies and eight points in only eight games played.

“But do not tell me all is fine, when I lose my head, I lose my spine”.

His concussion scare seemed like a cruel joke, Canucks fans never get nice things for too long, but he came back and has throttled the NHL rookie race ever since. In the midst of that, Vancouver couldn’t figure themselves out and wandered aimlessly trying to find a fit that didn’t include EP40. They’ve given up countless chances to win and even had a run where wins were mirages.

But there was #Shotgunjake and there was a wave that traveled through the NHL that many Canucks fans had never seen. This time, there wasn’t a hopeless feeling anymore.

“Don’t hold a glass over the flame, Don’t let your heart grow cold, I will call you by name, I will share your road”

There may be tons of losses to come but this road has been shared and as long as they fight the way they have, there is hope.

BABEL –  “Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride, I stretched my arms into the sky, I cry Babel, Babel, look at me now. For the walls of my tower, they come crumbling down”

Seeing the Canucks sit at the bottom of the NHL standings yet again, has a familiar warm feeling. The rebuild is still going strong with no end in sight quite yet but it has a feeling of ease for whatever reason. Have we all accepted our fate as fans and embraced the long road?

“Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,. And I’ll believe in grace and choice. And I know perhaps my heart is fast. But I’ll be born without a mask”

The Canucks aren’t hiding anything. What you see is what you get. They’re predictably unpredictable in the fact we know that we have no idea what we’re in store on any given night. As the losses mounted it felt inevitable we’d accepted this team would drop to the bottom and then even with a few victories, hope had been restored.

Wondering how in the world would this team survive 82 games seemed like one of life’s great mysteries but Bo Horvat has led his team away from the cellar and they’re slowly climbing the stairs. They’re scoring around three goals a game while also allowing around the same amount, the PK isn’t perfect, and the power-play is awful. They’re about where we all thought.

The walls on their special teams are indeed crumbling down and as our hands are raised in frustration, the answers have come at even strength and it feels like eventually, it’ll be ok.

I WILL WAIT“These days of dust, Which we’ve known, Will blow away with this new sun”

In year seven of the “rebuild”, there hasn’t been a steady climb out of obscurity and even with Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Troy Stecher, Quinn Hughes, and a goalie of the future Thatcher Demko, the needle hasn’t moved a whole lot. This team is younger and faster but is it really any better?

It isn’t a Cup contender yet and making the playoffs is wishful thinking, not out of the question, but a long shot. It’s been this long so continuing to patiently support the change will have to do. You’re either still in or you’ve jumped ship. The product has been more watchable than its been in years with less to show at the end of the day.

The Sedins are gone, as is Roberto Luongo, and depth makes up most of this roster. There are but a handful of difference makers and even then, only three of them are actually making a big difference. “Waiting” should be their new slogan.

“So take my flesh, And fix my eyes, A tethered mind free from the lies

We’re all in whether we want to be or not. Management is finally starting to show their true intentions, even if only for a minute, and somehow Jim Benning has steered the machine in the proper direction. If it actually is, has yet to be seen. Until then…

” I will wait, I will wait for you”

The Canucks Parade Goes Through Penticton

WHOA! Ok, maybe a line has been crossed but the Canucks prospects knew they had to show up on Friday night when they took on the Winnipeg Jets prospects in Penticton, B.C. The Baby Canucks scored early and often and obliterated the Baby Jets 8-2 with most of the damage being done in the second period. All in all, it was a good time and for a fan base that has clearly suffered for five years now, they deserved to see what hope looked like.

I couldn’t tell you if the excitement from Friday stemmed from the Canucks game, the recently revamped Pat-Cast that dropped with Jeff Paterson and Jason Botchford, or the fact that my tax return cheque FINALLY came to my mailbox after four months, but it was a good day you can be sure.

The Canucks prospect pool, which was just ranked as the third-best in the NHL by The Sporting News, showed off its wares in an absolute onslaught of scoring and it came from the players everyone wanted to see. Elias Pettersson donned a Canucks jersey in a game for the first time and he didn’t disappoint. Jonathan Dahlen showed he was worth trading away Alex Burrows to acquire his talents, and the undersized Petrus Palmu proved to everyone that size doesn’t matter, he can play.

Access to goal hilites via “The GIF” will be found all over Twitter but if you happened to have gone out for dinner instead of joining your buds just down Highway 97 for some puck, here are a few gems to start the 2018/2019 season. It’s Canucks hockey and we’ve waited long enough.

Alright, that’s just nasty. A season of Pettersson and Brock Boeser doing things like this might end up being illegal in some provinces. People, DO NOT CHECK YOUR PHONE DURING CANUCKS GAMES IF YOU’RE DRIVING. First of all, you’ll get pulled over, second you’ll never get home, and finally, your TV has to be bigger than a phone so enjoy the artistry.

All range on that one and you have to wonder if he challenges for a fourth line spot at some point soon. He was a savvy pick and he had to have made a few fans on Friday. Dahlen was no slouch either, he would have been worth the price of admission and what he does here reminds me of LeSean McCoy aka Shady McCoy formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles circa 2010. Those shimmy-shakes and his edge work, the way he cuts, it’s just insane.

Kelowna Rockets faithful were treated to a bit of Kole Lind as well. He didn’t pot this one but Pettersson to Lind isn’t far-fetched. This could be sooner than later. What stood out for me was that Lind didn’t score on this one and he buried that all day long in Kelowna. Maybe he needed to be cut before the game so he could have tallied a hat-trick.

 

Signs of things to come? Possibly. But let’s be real here for a second: it was a prospects vs. prospects game and the best comment during the game pretty much summed up how everything “should” have been viewed:

No one is winning the Stanley Cup after this game and it’s about 10 years (woof!) before a parade schematic needs to be drawn up. On Friday however, the buzz was back and the Canucks might be a little bit closer to competitive than we all thought. Now if only they could get rid of Erik Gudbranson.

That’s for another day.

 

Cover photo – The Hockey Writers