To call the Vancouver Canucks’ season crappy would be a massive understatement.
The local NHL team has now reached the quarter mark of the season and they are one of the worst teams in the league. After 20 games, the team has won six games and lost 14 with two of their losses being in overtime or a shootout.
Their best players aren’t playing like their best players and the team is spinning out of control like a tire filled with firecrackers rolling down Mount Everest. As the days go by, the team is losing fans and clearly not picking up any new followers of the team.
Years from now, we will be seeing teenagers representing out of market teams as it seems near impossible that kids nowadays would be able to fall in love with this team in a similar way that I did during the era of the Sedins, Alex Burrows, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler and others.
The team looks to have some key pieces that could help them have a run towards the Stanley Cup and potentially go on a deep run if they were to get lucky in the playoffs.
The problem is, they already used up all of that luck during the bubble playoffs of 2020. The team went on a miracle run that saw them beat a damaged St. Louis Blues team before getting run out of the building against a much stronger Vegas Golden Knights team. The Canucks were able to scrape themselves into a seven-game series against the Golden Knights on the back of some of the most amazing goaltending that this franchise has ever seen.
They had their luck and they wasted it.
Now, the Canucks are a rudderless ship that is in a worse position than the Sunset Beach barge.
— Hutchyman (@Hutchyman) November 20, 2021
Fans are turning on the coach, the general manager and the owner of the team.
People are angry with how bad the team is and have been letting their voices be heard in Rogers Arena with chants to fire the general manager in the upper bowl and screams to sell the team in the concourse.
There is no quick fix anymore, even if general manager Jim Benning told fans that at the beginning of his tenure as the Canucks’ general manager more than seven years ago. The team has now sacrificed the future to give them a shot at winning right now. they traded away two of their last three first-round picks, multiple second-round picks and other late-round picks so that they could ice a team that Benning believed was a playoff calibre team.
He is wrong. The Canucks have the worst penalty kill in the NHL, they struggle to score goals and the only thing that has been at a playoff level is their goaltender Thatcher Demko, who has to come out in the media to show his support for his goalie coach that was signed at the last minute.
This franchise is in a really bad place.
One of the more vocal Canucks who is emerging as a leader more and more each game with his effort level is a part of trade rumours.
Reporter: "Is everyone buying in right now?"
JT Miller: "I don't know."
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) November 25, 2021
J.T. Miller’s silence spoke at a decibel level that would have given a Tsunami emergency horn a run for its money.
Miller was asked if everyone is buying in, after a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on the back of the Canucks having two wins in their last 10 games.
The struggles in the organization don’t stop at the management or coaching level, they seem to be seeping into the locker room and onto the ice.
Miller has been nearly a point per game player and the look on his face as he attempted to answer told the story. This Canucks team is lost, does not have an identity and is snowballing out of control.
This season is quickly becoming a write-off.
If the organization were to make a smart move, it would begin to plan for the future tomorrow. They have budding young stars like Elias Pettersson, Vasily Podkolzin, Nils Höglander and Quinn Hughes. There is still time to not waste their talent.
The team needs to bring in a competent management group that has a vision, a plan and a new outlook on the team that the fanbase can buy into.
Vancouver has extremely engaged fans who aren’t fooled by throwing dollar-store duct tape on every problem that arises. They are well aware of this team’s dysfunction and are ready for real change no matter where it comes from.
The team could still go on a miraculous run and make the playoffs. That’s a possibility.
It’s also a possibility that aliens come down from space and decide to give me the remote from Click and I can rewind time or fast forward through my homework.
For the Canucks to be in the playoff conversation, they are going to need at least 93 points this season. If they finish the season on a run where they go 37-20-5, they have a 60% chance of making the playoffs according to Sports Club Stats.
To go on a run of that calibre would be astonishing.
Right now, the Canucks are just trying to tie together a run where they can win more than two out of ten games, let alone have a record that would blow away anything that has happened in the seven years of Jim Benning as the general manager.
This city craves a winner and it’s been so close on multiple occasions. This current management group appears to have lost the confidence of the fanbase and we’re getting to a point where people are just going to stop caring anymore. You see it more and more every day that people don’t care about the Cnaucks like they used to. Bar’s aren’t playing audio to the games and instead are running “Hot in Herre” by Nelly.
Change needed to come yesterday but the Canucks cannot continue to go down this road of losing being a consistently acceptable outcome.
This hockey market deserves better.
Something has to give before the fans give up.