loui eriksson

Nail Yakupov Could TOTALLY Redeem Brandon Sutter

There is a saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” and going H.A.M. to acquire Nail Yakupov on July 1 might not be a great way to follow the previous few opening days of free agency for the Vancouver Canucks. Last year Loui Eriksson was the new face that joined the Canucks for a lot longer than anyone probably expected for a rebuilding squad.

The St. Louis Blues failed to qualify Yakupov on Monday and of course, anything remotely resembling possibility was dug up from the depths of Twitter. This one was just above the surface:

Not to say this isn’t something to look into but Yakupov hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire since he entered the NHL. It could be argued that there were too many cooks in the kitchen in Edmonton and St. Louis just didn’t fit. The Canucks have been known to give Russians a chance and one that potentially can score goals on the cheap is intriguing.

What isn’t intriguing is the reality of Brandon Sutter still wearing a Canucks jersey going into the 17/18 season.  The predictions haven’t come out yet but I doubt Jeff Paterson is predicting an Art Ross trophy for Sutter let alone a goal total equalling his jersey number. Sutter has been arguably THE most underwhelming player on the Canucks in the last few seasons… and that’s saying something.

Recently moved Luca Sbisa even had a run as an effective player for the Canucks last season and lottery winner Jayson Megna surpassed most of the Canucks roster based on some kind of algorithm only Willie Desjardins seemed to understand. It was revealed Sutter was playing through a nagging wrist injury all season which is somewhat impressive as he still managed to get 17 goals.

Can Nail Yakupov actually redeem Sutter? It’s possible. They put a man on the moon at least once or so I’m told. Yakupov reminds me of what Phil Kessel went through prior to joining the Penguins. A star player from the get-go but was never a player that could handle being the “it” guy. Kessel went to Pittsburgh as a depth scorer and he flourished.

Yakupov isn’t going to help anyone win a Cup next season but the transition to a new team in a role he can handle is sometimes the start those types of players need. Pittsburgh will end up adding him at the deadline anyway.

He may or may not be available on the cheap after his stock took a nose dive. A first overall pick that doesn’t get qualified is a tough pill to swallow, especially for a young Russian player that is known for being flashy. A slice of humble pie might be the reset he needs to bounce back and for the Canucks, why wouldn’t they take a chance on him?

This team as they said is lower-case R rebuilding so a season to rack up some stats could put him back on the radar and it gives Sutter a winger he can set loose. It’s almost as if they can redeem each other. It would be welcome to not only the Canucks and their fans but both players that clearly need to get back to being players they believe they can be.

A healthy Sutter with a guy he can build a rapport with might even work out and then what happens?

Anything in the $3 to 3.5 million range would be acceptable and it adds some depth to the wings to gradually bring in Nikolay Goldobin or Jake Virtanen when the time is right. Yakupov isn’t a bad hockey player, players that go first overall aren’t bad hockey players (obviously not including Patrik Stefan). He’ll probably never be a superstar but if anyone can mine out 20-25 goals a season for a few years, that’s a deal.

Jim Benning picked up Markus Granlund and Sven Baertschi through the trade market but Yakupov could be a quiet deal that doesn’t need to steal the headlines. Everyone will wonder if it’s throwing money away but seriously, the Canucks can’t get any worse. Benning held onto Sbisa until Vegas was awarded a team so this wouldn’t be the worst thing he did.

The off chance Yakupov DOES succeed is worth the risk at the very least for one year. He also wore #10 because he wanted to be Pavel Bure. Float him $3.5 for that alone.

photo – edmontonjournal.com

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Loui Eriksson is Better Than You Think

This season has not gone particularly well for Loui Eriksson. He’s 7th in team scoring on an underwhelming lineup, he’s scored 11 goals when it was openly expected he would net around 30 and any chance at rebounding his luck with the Sedins or Bo Horvat or really anybody has disintegrated before our eyes. As bad as he’s looked on the score sheet, Eriksson has actually been a pretty good player for the Canucks.

I’m not saying he’s worth the $6 million per season he’s getting but looking at a few stats suggests he might just be the most unlucky guy on the Canucks this season, maybe the league.

It’s still not known if Eriksson has played with some kind of wrist injury or dual wrist injuries (is that even possible?) because everything that has been sold to us prior to this season was that Loui was a goal scorer and we could expect the goals to come from his stick at the very least. There are only 13 games left to play this season and scoring 30 goals just isn’t going to happen.

Heck, scoring 15 seems unlikely.

Eriksson isn’t entirely at fault, though. Willie Desjardins hasn’t utilized his talent to a point where an appropriate conclusion can be made on his lack of finish. He’s played 318 minutes of 5v5 hockey with the Sedins this season and when he has they’ve combined for a tidy 100.1 PDO and a respectable 55.4 combined CF%.

Advanced stats don’t decide every shift but nothing looks like it’s going wrong when they’re together, it’s not costing the Canucks any more goals than other lines overall and yet he was never given a chance there. That being said, having a 60.9% combined Ozone start in that time doesn’t help things.

So why not keep him with Horvat? They have been above average with a PDO of 106.7, which with this team clearly would not last, but having played just over 120 minutes of even-strength together, they have combined for substantial 83.3 GF%. Whoa, big number alert! Maybe he isn’t terrible, maybe he’s… good?

Willie is aware he has more than one option for each player, right? I know Jayson Megna has infinite possibilities but this isn’t about him right now. I can’t fathom how WD is allowed to strut lines night in and night out that don’t represent what the Canucks actually could look like. Plain and simple, Eriksson is actually a goal scorer, this we know from past stats.

His first season in Vancouver could be labeled a write-off by many but that’s only looking at it on the surface. Eriksson is one of three players on the Canucks this year to play at least 200 minutes at even strength and still, have a CF% above 50. He’s been on the ice for the 8th most Corsi events against on the team and has proven he’s not a defensive liability.

I feel like we’ve said this before about another winger that wasn’t getting proper deployment. I can’t find any “stuff” to readily back that up, though.

Digging even deeper, when the Canucks are trailing Eriksson is 2nd on the team in CF% with a 57.37 mark. The coach obviously trusts him to be out there to keep the game close but giving him proper chances to score doesn’t seem to be part of the agenda. Why not give him the chance to succeed then?

The writing is on the wall that Willie may not coach another season on the Canucks bench and whoever does take over the reigns might have an easier job than the trainwreck shows. Eriksson has regressed this season for various reasons and I doubt Jim Benning is actually that dense to sign a guy thinking he “might” reproduce the same numbers as past years.

He locked him up because even on this sad sack team there is a future and with five more seasons to go, Eriksson may very well be a large part of what that future looks like. The Sedins have hung around and whatever coach takes over will have to realize that either splitting them up or putting them in a lesser role will only help this team succeed.

Horvat and Brandon Sutter have emerged as the top two pivots and should have the appropriate linemates to accommodate them. Henrik and Daniel can still be quite effective when they get less ice time and aren’t asked to carry a power play that has moved on without them. Eriksson should now have the chance to play on the top line with Bo and most likely Sven Baertschi.

It’s unreasonable to think Eriksson will continue to be this unlucky; hockey only punishes for so long. It’s a game of ebbs and flows and unfortunately for Loui, his has lasted an entire year. Giving him top billing to start the year next season should help him rebound to the player that scored 30 goals for the Bruins last season.

There is no Patrice Bergeron or Brad Marchand to help those stats along but the development of Horvat as a progressing top line centre gives me hope that he can get back to that pace once again. Goal scorers don’t just stop scoring goals, even the aging stars like Jaromir Jagr and our favourite, Pavel Bure still scored until it was time to hang them up.

At the very least, Brock Boeser and a handful of up and comers will get Eriksson off the slump and his willingness to be in the dirty areas will eventually result in more goals.

He may not get to set up as much as say, Radim Vrbata did, but Eriksson has a rougher game and can bang around to create more chances. I can’t see him falling any further which means it has to go up from here.

2017 will be a season Loui Eriksson will want to forget but he hasn’t been that bad and if he keeps doing what he’s doing, the score sheet will start seeing his name a whole lot more.

 

photo – cbc.ca

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before: Eriksson Should Be With The Sedins

And it shouldn’t even be debated.

The Canucks went after what they believed was their free agency stud on July 1st of this year by netting apparent scoring winger, Loui Eriksson. I’m sure he was fed the same fable as past players that he would be playing with the Sedins, it might have even been written in his contract. What it looks like however, is that the fine print says “at some point”.

Jim Benning and Trevor Linden said they wanted a scoring winger for the Twins or even just a scoring winger. Well, Eriksson is indeed that kind of player. He is a goal scorer. You’d never know it seeing him on the 2nd and sometimes 3rd lines while the Sedins are paraded around with Brandon Sutter, Jannik Hansen, Jayson Megna, Jake Virtanen, I could go on.

Eriksson has proven he can score goals and in his 10 seasons prior to the Canucks, he’s averaged 21.2 goals/season. If you take out the lockout half season, he jumps up to 22 goals. There’s a chance the Canucks might not even get a player that scores that many this season. That might be a bit of a stretch, I think someone will probably get there.

It’s beyond me how Willie Desjardins feels that he isn’t a fit on the top line. The Sedins are running out of time to be relevant and they just paid a guy $6M/season for the next 6 years to score what looks to be all the goals, for now. If someone doesn’t hammer this concept into the coaches head, this contract will look worse than Roberto Luongo’s or heck, Derek Dorsett’s.

During the World Cup, we were all excited to see the Sedins play with Eriksson on Team Sweden and thought “Hey, this might be alright”, but no one took into account that the Canucks are run quite differently. I believe Eriksson was given what, 2 weeks, with Henrik and Daniel before it was a trashed idea.

Embed from Getty Images
Proof the Sedins have actually played with Eriksson – Getty Images

Even if it didn’t work out, to begin with, Willie needs to revisit it and run with that line for at least a month or more. Making the playoffs is still a goal for some reason so that goal needs to be met with ACTUAL goals… by players. It’s really a simple formula.

It drives me nuts, as I’m sure many of you as well when a player is called up that scores a ton in the AHL only to be anchored on the checking line or at best, the third line. You put scorers where they will succeed and Loui Eriksson is a scorer and the Canucks management believes a good one to give him that kind of cash.

Bo Horvat is a goal scorer too, but that’s a whole other conversation.

When the 2017 season gets going there is a chance uber NCAA star, Brock Boeser, will be wearing Canucks colours. We all know he is a natural talent and puts the puck in the net with ease. The options will increase for line combinations and if Eriksson doesn’t end up with the Sedins, Bo Horvat better have a high-end winger to finish his passes.

Could Boeser be platooned on a line with Eriksson, it’s entirely possible. You essentially could have a goat as a centre and they’d be good for at least 15-20 goals apiece. It wouldn’t be that much worse than what Willie believes works right now.

Not only does Loui score, he dishes the puck as much as the Sedins. Again, in that same 10-year span, he’s averaged 29 assists per year, 30 not including the lockout year. Must be a Swedish thing, OH WAIT, the SEDINS are Swedish too!

The most common stats critics base their opinions on are right there, Henrik, Daniel and Loui should be a thing. Much like the Three Amigos, the Three Stooges, the Three Musketeers and even the Mean Street PosseTeam Sweden produced a solution for the Canucks and they didn’t even need sweater vests, subtle reference, I know.

  

The goals are starting to slowly come for Eriksson but if this is the team Canucks brass are giving us, at the very least ice the team that makes sense. It feels like the equivalent of asking for the most expensive Christmas present, getting it and then cutting holes in the box and wearing it like a mask until Easter.

That sounds stupid. It was supposed to.

Time will tell if both coaches and management realize they actually did sign Eriksson long term and they’ll need to make sure it was even worth it in the first place.

 

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

 

 

Matt Duchene Is True Foundational Player Canucks Need in Rebuild

It’s hard to believe the Colorado Avalanche would actually trade Matt Duchene but rumour on the street is that it’s in the cards. Duchene along with Gabriel Landeskog are apparently being shopped or will soon be shopped. The Canucks seriously need to kick tires on a potential deal with the Avs.

Not only would Duchene solved a serious void up the middle but it would force the Canucks to buy in to the future earlier and put the rebuild on the fast track. Safe to say, it won’t come cheap but competing for a Stanley Cup comes at a cost.

In the recent Monday morning musings with Ed Willes, the hint bomb was dropped that Joe Sakic wants to build the Avalanched around star Tim Hortons actor, Nathan Mackinnon. It’s a great idea and there must be some reason he’s willing to part with stars Landeskog and Duchene but who really cares.

The word in hockey circles is that Joe Sakic, the head of the Avs hockey department, will look to move Duchene and Landeskog and build the team around MacKinnon.

No one asks why the expensive Air Jordans are selling for $60 at your local Marshalls, you just buy them because you’re not an idiot.

Jim Benning has stated that he isn’t parting with anyone really but you have to believe that’s on a day by day basis. I say to myself every day that I’m going to work out but things change and also beer. I stick to the plan overall but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to have a little fun too!

We are now in the Christmas roster freeze which means no coaches, players or even Jimbo himself can be moved but there has to be talks going on. Both of these teams have needs and can accomodate each other.

Scoring Duchene probably won’t happen for Jake Virtanen, Luca Sbisa and a 3rd, so Jim will have to get creative. Going forward, who are the locks for foundational pieces?

– Bo Horvat, Troy Stecher, Ben Hutton, Chris Tanev and maybe Sven Baertschi? These are the current roster players that Colorado would be interested in most likely as well as a prospect and a pick. You never want to give up your best when someone isn’t giving back their best.

I could see Chris Tanev being involved but if I’m still planning on being the GM of the Canucks, the defense I’ve mentioned is a non-starter. Alex Edler would be available, Luca Sbisa and Erik Gudbranson even. On forward, Jake Virtanen, Jannik Hansen, Brandon Sutter and Markus Granlund could be involved.

The Canucks always seem to be the ones giving up the house and it would be really nice if they actually saw the stronger side of a deal for once. There was the Christian Ehrhoff deal, so I guess that’s one for us.

With all the hiccups in Jake Virtanen’s immediate development, I just don’t get the vibe he’s giving. It feels like Cody Hodgson 2.0 without the shotty injury notes. Jake looks like he “could” develop into a top 9 forward, maybe a ceiling of 2nd line winger but even from the get-go, Canucks brass knew he was a work in progress.

Matt Duchene, however, is a star in motion. He’s Canadian, for one, a decorated Olympian, a goal scorer and a playmaker. The Canucks barely have half of that combination with any player, not named Sedin. Duchene is 25 years old and teetering on 400 career points. His power play stats are everything the Canucks would dream of and he’s right at the beginning of his prime. The day is coming soon when the Sedins hit line 2 or 3 and there has to be a plan.

We hear again and again, there’s no plan. Jake Virtanen has no clue what HIS plan is, who knows what the plan is in net. Brandon Sutter was put with the Twins and the $6 million man, Loui Eriksson, gets less time on the first line after every game.

As far as coaching goes, it’s up in the air too! Pretty easy to see that when the management group can’t even put together a roster to compete. Bringing in Matt Duchene makes way too much sense and it’s early enough in his career that he can be defined as a lifer in Vancouver.

Normally, these types of players only come through the draft but the Avalanche are also at a crossroads and this deal could help both teams move forward(s) pun intended.

I am on board the Matt Duchene train (hey, that rhymes!) and the Canucks should be too.

Winning Isn’t Everything; Canucks Sorta Concur

They started 4-0 but it didn’t take long to bring it all back to reality. Your Vancouver Canucks are 4-4-1 now and the dreamers and unicorn chasers have all gone into hiding. It’s not pretty anymore, no one is scoring goals and even Luca Sbisa is back to guaranteeing your pie in 30 minutes or it’s free. 2017 is going to finish very similarly to 2016 and at the very least, there’s a chance the Canucks get a star this time.

It took almost a week to score their next goal after the Canucks lost to the Ducks last Sunday. Part of that was too much passing, part of it was opponents having good goaltending and part of it, well most it was the fact the Canucks just plain ol’ stunk. You’ve heard me say there are bright spots on this team and I’m not lying, there are.

Bo Horvat is doing his best to shake the funk that seems to surround him and at some point, he will and normalcy will reside on his stick. For now, it really doesn’t matter what he does because the guys around him aren’t following suit. Sven Baertschi looks snake bitten, so does Jannik Hansen (big surprise); goals have dried right up for this team.

Ben Hutton is stringing along but even he looks a bit worn already. Let’s not even get into the Erik Gudbranson stuff, he’s not even defensive-defensiving.

Not helping anything either are the injuries. They have already claimed uber defenseman Chris Tanev and Alex Burrows, not to mention Derek Dorsett and call-up Jayson Megna. How this has been addressed is it’s own story in itself. Watching Troy Stecher in the preseason was all any of us needed to see for him to be a lock on this Canucks team and to be honest a lot of other teams too!

Jim Benning and Willie Desjardins had Philip Larsen as their back end guy to QB the powerplay and… honestly, I don’t know what else. Stecher proved he could do it all and was still sent down. It was easy to do because he could gain some experience in the AHL and get ready for his first promotion.

Well, that happened pretty darn quick.

Alarm bells should already have been going off when Nikita Tryamkin wasn’t even a choice to go in or even Alex Biega. It took ONE game for Stecher to show he shouldn’t be anywhere else but in a jersey that says ‘VANCOUVER’. They put him with Alex Edler to start his career, that’s the top pairing! There’s no way you can send this guy down now.

Philip Larsen has existed and the brutally obvious funneling of the puck to his stick on the powerplay is nauseating. Not that he’s a bad player, he just isn’t the be all end all answer to their scoring problems. And that’s before they were problems. 3 assists to start the year aren’t enough to keep that mantle of top PP guy, even on this team.

Saturday night against the Capitals proved Stecher not only needs to be plunked into Larsen’s role but he needs to be plunked in the lineup every night. Whatever kind of rebuild/rebrand/teardown this is, somebody has to be extracted out of this lineup. Looking at the options, only a few names should even be considered: Edler-safe, Tanev-safe, Hutton-safe, Stecher-safe, Gudbranson-safe. Luca Sbisa, Nikita Tryamkin and Alex Biega are your choices… THAT’S IT!!!

The big Russian can’t be moved to the farm, Biega is waiver bait and then there’s Sbisa. He’s not the world’s worst defenseman but he’s not in the same hemisphere as the best. Philip Larsen does have a pretty good shot but that’s about it. Something has to give here.

Read these tweets and tell me Stecher isn’t the answer, you can’t:

This isn’t a love-in with Troy Stecher, it’s the point that needs to sink into the Canucks decision making. They have a guy that does things better than 3 other guys, so change the guy who’s there. I mean jeez, they put Frank Corrado on waivers, traded Gustav Forsling and Adam Clendening; where does the bleeding stop?

Willie finally put together a lineup against the Caps that resembled normalcy. Hansen with the Sedins and Horvat with Baertschi and Virtanen. Run with this for a bit, see what happens. His job has to be looked at if he keeps toying with the idea Jannik Hansen isn’t the best option for Henrik and Daniel.

Screw the 6-year contract of Loui Eriksson (seriously, that long?) and do what’s right. The Canucks rarely do what’s right and THAT’S why they’re in this mess, to begin with. Eriksson will be just fine with Brandon Sutter and I guess Jack Skille or Alex Burrows upon his return. Losing is going to become, yet again, a regular occurrence so it might as well be done building chemistry.

Nobody is content with circling back the wagon to “moral victories” or “Edler broke his stick again”; we need change. The Edmonton Oilers are freakishly close to righting their wrongs and that took, what, almost two decades!

If Canucks management is willing to wait that long, the city will most definitely turn on them.

We can only imagine Doug Jarvis will only stand for so much before he speaks out. That earpiece must have a lot of information that he doesn’t want coming out.

But hey, tomorrow’s a new day.

 

photo – theprovince.com

Canucks Got PTOs in Different Area Codes – Season Preview Remix

Im sure Ludacris didn’t have the Canucks in mind when he penned his classic “area codes” jam in 2001 for the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack.  But here we are, one PTO veteran making the team and another going the way of the Ruutu (its actually funny because that’s his name). Jim Benning felt Jack Skille warranted a full season on his team after a solid? preseason. Tuomo Ruutu was let go but the Calgary Flames/Toronto Maple Leafs are always trolling the Canucks wastelands for pickups.

As this season gets underway there aren’t really a whole lot of questions with this team. I mean, no one has them picked to win the Cup so that can be put away, goaltending really isn’t a problem after seeing last year that Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom can easily handle the duties this year while super prospect Thatcher Demko hones his craft in the AHL.

Up front, the Sedins will once again lead the way for Vancouver and it wouldn’t surprise me if they still have some tricks left up their sleeves. New line mate Loui Eriksson (also from Sweden) will start the year on the top line and after a positive first go around with Henrik and Daniel at the World Cup of Hockey, they should easily transition into the regular season. A healthy Tre Kronor will probably net Eriksson 30 or so goals, the Sedins each around 80 points…ok maybe high 70s.

Last year was abismal and I’m willing to say a healthy, properly used Sedin line probably does get close to those totals. Henrik put up 73 points two seasons ago while Daniel put up 76. I’m not even going to link it because I know that YOU KNOW how to use the Internet and I want you to stay here. With Eriksson up front, for we’ll say 70 games, the 70-80ish point threshold is doable. Canucks Army just fired me, pretty sure….pretty sure.

The Sedins aren’t really the focus though for the “wow” factor this year if there even is one. Bo Horvat along with Sven Baertschi will hope to relight their spark they found last year and Jake Virtanen would be smart to get in on that action early. Sure, the lines aren’t in his control but no one wants to be stuck with Markus Granlund or Derek Dorsett.

Brandon Sutter will be starting the year almost healthy and will do his best get back to being a normal NHLer. He was the forward version of Sami Salo last year when it comes to injuries. A broken jaw and sports hernia pretty much shut Sutter down last year and there was no way he was going to be anything close to normal.

Willie Desjardins needs Sutter to produce for him to give this team a lick of hope in 2017. Three reliable centres make the Canucks somewhat legit like Crocs you buy at Canadian Tire. You know they aren’t the real thing but you’ll use them how they should be used and heck they’re 10 bucks! Where was I going with this? I forgot.

Brandon Sutter, right.

If Sutter does indeed stay healthy enough to warrant regular rotation between the top 3 lines, guys like Jannik Hansen, Markus Granlund and even Alex Burrows can become relevant once again. The checking line of Brendan Gaunce, Alex Burrows and most likely Jack Skille/Derek Dorsett might be a regular checking line if the top 3 lines are going. Again, not a Cup contending roster but rolling 4 lines does make the Canucks a bit tougher to defend, ya I said it.

Who’s really going to challenge that line anyways, on the Canucks I mean? If you’re in the first 9, don’t screw up and you’ll be fine.

Does that go for the defense as well?

Apparently you can tear up the preseason (meaningless hockey) and still get sent down. I’m talking Troy Stecher, I’m talking Ben Hutton ver. 2.01. Going into training camp and then the preseason, Stecher to the general public, me as well, was a name we were told to watch for. We watched, he delighted and somehow for a second season in a row, a Canucks defenseman from college was going to crack the roster.

The Utica Comets will give Stecher some solid playing time on a top pairing and it will only be a matter of time before he’s called up. He’s too good and Philip Larsen can’t really be our PP QB, can he? I bet fellow Dane Jannik Hansen is high on him but he can’t really believe our problems are solved on the man advantage with Phil.

Vancouver’s defense looks like this to start the year: Chris Tanev, Alex Edler, Nikita Tryamkin, Lou Alex Biega, Luca “ya they haven’t gotten rid of me yet” Sbisa, Erik Gudbranson, Ben Hutton and the aforementioned Larsen.

I shutter to think where the Canucks are without Hutton or worse, Tanev. The defense on paper is sketchy and anytime you ice a team that has a really tall unproven player along with a veteran not good whatsoever player, you have issues still. Sbisa is our resident dumpster fire but thankfully Matt Bartkowski’s astonishments are now done here.

Tryamkin better start figuring his stuff out quick because having a guy that can’t be sent down to the AHL or he leaves is stupid. If he was that hot, you wouldn’t need that clause in there. Be a big boy and earn your spot. Even bulldog Biega earned his stripes, we like him. He’s not great but when Biega is out there, you want him to succeed. I hope Nikita is everything they hoped he’d be but man, he has to own that body and take names.

One man who doesn’t need to prove himself is newcomer Erik Gudbranson. A gritty defender who doesn’t shy away from the rough stuff. His #fancystats aren’t anything to write home about but he is what the Canucks have lacked since Kevin Bieksa’s hay (sp?) days minus the offensive punch. Markstrom and Miller are definitely safe this season with Guddy in front of them.

As for a nicely wrapped basket of what the Canucks will or won’t accomplish this year, the jist is don’t expect anything promising. They won’t make the playoffs but in typical Canucks fashion, they won’t finish dead last either; thus eliminating them already from Nolan Patrick the first overall pick in June.

We may very well be witnessing the transition into what Canucks land will look like for awhile but thankfully there are a handful of bright spots (Horvat, Virtanen, Hutton, Stecher, Demko and Tanev) that make you think it’s going to be OK eventually.

The Canucks will hang in there this year but at the end of the day, be prepared for many, many 1 and 2 goal games; most of those being defeats.

I won’t sugar coat it because we’re past that now. Enjoy watching hockey again even if it means a bunch of #moralvictories again.

Go Canucks Go, We are all Canucks and all that jazz.

See you out there.

cover photo – insidetoronto.com