Did they Make The Playoffs?
What Went Right?
While the Canucks have been the poster team for “how to nose dive into mediocrity” this season, there have been a few glimmers of hope. Firstly, Mike Santorelli and Eddie Lack have arisen as two bright spots in the Canucks future. Santorelli played the “Jack Of All Trades” role before going down with a season ending injury, and Lack stepped into the starting goaltender role (way before it was expected of him) and handled himself well. Look to both of these players to have a big impact on this teams success in the future. As I sit here typing this out, I am trying to rack my brain as to what else really impressed me this year from the Canucks. To be honest I can’t really think of anything else that really stands out, so let’s move on to the fun stuff.
What Went Wrong?
Apart from the numerous injuries to the star players on this team that crippled their roster for the majority of the season, the (re)mismanagement of goaltender Roberto Luongo (which ended up in him being traded to the Florida Panthers), the fiasco that was John Tortorella and his suspension, or Mike Gillis botching the Trade Deadline, everything was peachy in Vancouver this year.
The team is getting older, the stars aren’t so bright, and 2011 feels like a millennium ago. The defense was sub-par for most of the season, with Alex Edler posting one of the leagues worst +/- ratings at an astounding -39. The only ones who are excused from my ridicule are Chris Tanev and Dan Hamhuis, who had good seasons for the most part. On the other side of the rink, the offense couldn’t score. This season felt strangely like a few years ago when, when if the Canucks fell behind by 2 goals, that was the queue to turn the TV off and find something else to do. The top point getter was Henrik Sedin with 50, followed by his brother Daniel Sedin with 47. A far cry from the 90-100 point seasons we as fans are used to seeing from them (When I traded both Henrik and Daniel in my pool at the beginning of the year people thought I was crazy.. Who’s laughing now?!).
To cap it all off, we had to endure yet another goalie merry-go-round while the Canucks brass figured out who they wanted to be the newest attendant to the goalie graveyard that is this team. From having one of the best tandems in the league in Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, to having Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom as our last line of defense, it’s safe to say we downgraded in overall talent and experience.
How To Improve This Offseason?
The Canucks have started by hiring former captain Trevor Linden as President of Hockey Operations, as well as firing Mike Gillis, John Tortorella, and Mike Sullivan. As I write this we do not know who their replacements will be, but safe to say the new GM and coaching staff will be coming in with a far different view on how this team should look come next season. I would like to see the Canucks pick up a veteran goaltender to mentor Eddie Lack (Ryan Miller perhaps?), and to utilize our young prospects in a bigger way next year. I can see the Canucks being one of the busiest teams come draft day, and having a revamped roster come training camp.
Read more from the Post Mortem series and other great pieces at Two Pad Stack.
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