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Canuckleheads year in review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK Pretty much everyone thought they were doomed to finish dead last not only in their own division but most thought they would compete with Ottawa for the overall league basement.


FINAL RECORD: 35-36-11 81 points 5th in their division


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR I would argue the first month of the season in which Elias Pettersson captured hearts with a hot goal scoring streak and the team was winning games they had no business winning would be the high point. When they crushed the Bruins of all teams 8-5 on November 8th they were 10-6-1.


LOW POINT Here is the thing, yeah they shortly after that hit a bad stretch in which they lost 12 of 13, they bounced back and hung around the fringe of the playoff race until the seasons final weeks. I submit that for a team that nobody expected anything from they really had no true low point. They got fan interest up and their is genuine hope for the future in Vancouver.


WHAT WENT RIGHT Start with Pettersson who is the odds on favorite to win the Calder as the leagues top rookie, a dynamic offensive force. Goalie Markstrom has long been considered a potential solid number one, he finally lived up to his potential this season. Bo Horvat quietly had a monster season of his own with 61 points and established himself as quite possibly the best faceoff man in the game. Brock Boeser overcame a slow start to finish strong with 56 points in 69 games. Edler had a renaissance season and rookie Quinn Hughes looked like the real deal in a handful of games after a late callup. Same with Thatcher Demko who looked really good in net.


 WHAT WENT WRONG Secondary scoring was a huge problem, Loui Ericsson continues to fall more every year, Virtanen is an absolute bust, guys like Granlund, Goldobin, Schaller, Motte, Baertschi, Pearson and Leivo show why other teams gave up on them and tossed them on the scrap heap. Brandon Sutter had a lost year.  Essentially they were a one line team with no talent anywhere else on the forward lines.


 FREE AGENTS Long time defender Edler is an UFA and a decision has to be made on the final link to the nearly great Canucks team of early in the decade. Nobody else is worth mentioning.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Will Pettersson manage to avoid the sophomore slump? Can they find secondary scoring? Rumor is they may shop Markstrom and hand the reins to Demko, do you do that? 


They have gaping holes all over the roster but some nice building blocks in place in guys like Demko, Horvat, Pettersson, Hughes and Boeser look like the future of the franchise, the big question is what to do about clearing the mines of sub par so called talent around them and replacing them with at the least average players. Overall they have hope for a better future.

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