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yave1964

Canucks year in review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK They gave up a package that many/most thought was too much for JT Miller, the same folks thought they overpaid for behemoth blueliner Tyler Myers. The Canucks looked to be going the right way with a bunch of smart draft picks but nobody really expected a lot from them.

 

FINAL RECORD 36-27-6 4th in the Pacific. Easily took care of the Wild in four games, absolutely stunned the champion Blues in six before bowing out in a hard fought series against the rugged Knights.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR 22-9-4 at home the Canucks had the 4th best record in the NHL, but they were a very pedestrian 14-18-2 only winning more games than six other clubs. The splits were massive, Horvat was plus 6 at home and minus 21 on the road, Edler was a team leading plus 22 at home and minus 9 on the road. The goalie tandem of Demko/Markstrom had goals against of a combined 2.71 at home but the Canucks goals against was 3.50 on the road, a total of .79 a game worse on the road. This is a common theme with young clubs and something that usually balances out with experience  These splits are extreme but not that uncommon with good young teams that overacheive.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR The postseason, plain and simple. Dont get me wrong, the killer run they were on from mid December through a thrilling 4-3 OT win over the Isles on a nifty goal by Hughes  in which they went 14-3 to establish themselves as a real playoff contender.

 

  That said, Beating the Blues would have made the postseason the high water mark, even if they had been swept by the Knights, but instead they pushed the Knights to seven grueling games and were still tied into the third period before bowing out. 

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR None. Really, they stumbled here and there but beating the Blues and pushing the Knights to the brink made up for all the warts. Getting picky, they did stumble down the stretch a bit and fell back to the pack but as the old saying goes, all is well that ends well.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT JT Miller more than lived up to the faith put in him by Benning by leading the team in goals, assists, points, averaged over 20 minutes a night in all situations was second on the team in PIMs and was the heart and soul of a young club. Horvat was a faceoff God and had 22 goals and 10 more in the p[postseason, most of them huge. Pettersson was a point a game player. Hughes had 8 goals but 47 assists and is in the running for the Calder as the leagues best rookie. Pearson, Gaudette, Virtanen provided fine secondary scoring. Boeser missed some time, but had 45 points in 57 games. Edler, Tanev and Myers were brilliant as veteran blueliners. Roussel, Leivo and Beagle were wonderful role players. The duo in net of Markstrom and Demko were near outstanding. Toffoli was a solid deadline addition.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Ferland faces career threatening concussion issues. Eriksson continues to atrophy as a player and is essentially worthless at this point. Brandon Sutter missed 26 games and didnt really do much when healthy. Motte and Schaller are essentially AHL players who were disguised as NHLers.

 

FREE AGENTS Markstrom is the biggie, he wants to return but with Seattle coming into the league next year and his demand to be protected, they will likely let him go and go with Demko. Toffoli is someone they want to have back but money could be a problem. Leivo wont be back. Fantenburg and Tanev almost certainly will be playing elsewhere next year.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS The one to watch is Markstrom, Demko captured the hearts of BC against the Knights, now a hard decision needs to be made in net. Can they build off their breakout year and postseason? Boeser and Pettersson both slightly underperformed so the ceiling hasnt likely even been met. Can Juolevi take Tanev's spot?

  Lots to like here going forward.

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