Vancouver yet again had another disappointing season I don’t think many people had high expectations for the Canucks, but the positive is that they have a bright future. With Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, Jake Virtanen, Branden Leipsic, Troy Stecher the future is bright but right now the Cancuks have some work to do.
The Canucks finished 31-40-11, 73 points, ranked 26th in goals for(218), 9th in goals against(259), 9th in power play percentage(21.4), 21st in penalty kill(78.3). The Canucks have now to worry about filling the Sedin’s brothers spots now that they have retired but for now, the Canucks do have a bright future ahead. What went wrong for the Canucks though? Well, they did not have solid goaltending all year, some key injuries happened at a bad time, and lacked depth on both sides of the puck.
What went wrong with the Canucks?
(1) Jakub Markstrom did not have a terrible season but when he was not in net Andres Nilsson did not fill the void well. Markstrom posted a decent record of 23-26-7 with a 2.71 GAA and a .912 save percentage, but Nilsson had a 7-14-4, 3.44 GAA and a .901 SV percentage. While Markstrom did not have a terrible season he only started 57 games, solid starting goaltender numbers but when Markstrom was not in net Nilsson did not do a great job, this is a small reason but one of the reasons the Canucks had a decent season.
(2) They had to deal with their top two forwards getting hurt at two different times with Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser going down. When Boeser was in the line up the Canucks were at one point in a playoff hunt, once things hit the fan though they fell off quickly and things went south quick. Boeser their leading scorer had 55 points in 62 games and Horvat, whom when paired with Boeser was very siccessful played in 64 games with 44 points. Perhaps these two had been in the line up all year for 82 games they could have posted a .500 or a little above .500 record, but key injuries these two hurt the Canucks.
(3) The Canucks lacked the depth that is for sure. After the Sedin brothers who are aged forwards they did not have many players to fulfill their forward needs, such as Sam Gagner only scoring 31 points, Loui Eriksson with 23 points, and Branden Suter with 26 points, the Cancuks “veteran” players did not step up which hurt them. They acquired these players with different sights set on their numbers. Luckily the Canucks are transitioning to a younger model and developing younger players.
Will things get better?
Well like I said the Canucks are developing their younger players which is good because they have a ton of younger forwards coming up, like Pettersson, John Dahlen, Tyler Motte with established players like Boeser, Horvat, Sven Baerthschi, and more but the Canucks are definitely on the up and after this season it is a bright spot at least. They do have the 7th overall pick in this yeas draft definitely acquiring a top-level prospect yet again. Will they be back in a playoff hunt next season? Probably not they will be a 22-24th ranked team and finish around the same, maybe around .500 not above it by many games but definitely a better season is ahead. The problems heading into the offseason will be to resign, Markus Granlund, Beartschi, Virtanen, Stecher and Derick Poulit, not a huge burden but some things to consider with their 22 million in cap space and 6 picks out of the 7 rounds this season.