We’re 82 games through the season. What’s next?
The Canucks finished 23rd in the league – 8th last in the standings and with a 6% chance in hand to snag the first overall pick. Beyond what this means for the draft, there’s so much uncertainty heading into the 6 months of a lack of NHL hockey, much less the future of the team going into the 2020s.
The Canucks scored 225 Goals For and had 254 Goals scored against them this year. Compare that to last year’s 218 GF and 259 GA and 2016-2017’s 178 GF and 241 GA, there are constant uptrends and goals scored for and a slight decrease in goals scored against. Considering the departure of elite offensive players in the Sedins, that offensive rise really is surprising – until you take into account the elite selection of Brock Boeser, Elias Petterson, and Bo Horvat with several good complementary pieces added this year.
What’s really disappointing is the torrential rate at which the Canucks have been leaking goals. It’s shocking to consider that the Canucks have scored 25 goals below average this year and let in 4 goals above average, when the most recent other time Canucks have been above water in the former department with 241 GF as opposed to the league average of 219 GF was in 2011-2012 – the same year the defensive core gave an above average performance with 191 GA as opposed to 218 GA as a league average.
In 2010-2011, the Canucks scored 258 GF as opposed to a 224 GF league average and let in 180 GA as opposed to a 224 GA average.
Really, we can tell from these stats that the Canucks are nowhere near competing for a Stanley Cup.
A similar sentiment was highlighted by Francesco Aquilini, the owner of the Canucks, in his recent public statement on Twitter. He summarized that it was a tough season and highlighted the resurgence of Jacob Markstrom and the emergence of Demko, Bo Horvat’s maturation, Brock Boeser’s consistency, and Elias Petterson’s exciting play. He also stated that the Canucks will get the resources they need to win and that the Canucks are a lot closer to the cup than they were a year ago. Perhaps most importantly, he tried to shift the focus away from pointing fingers.
But what do the stats and facts say when we analyze the performance of players, the team, and personnel? From the emergence of exciting players to the under-performance of some staff, both in the NHL as well as in the AHL, I think that we all deserve a deeper look into the state of the Canucks in the future.