Canucks Have a Window of Opportunity for Postseason Berth

Thursday, April 14, 2022
author picture Alice Dupont
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Original content created by news.limited staff

Canucks Have a Window of Opportunity for Postseason Berth

Vancouver has a window of opportunity to secure a playoff berth‚ but the team must stay calm. There are only eight games left before the playoffs begin‚ so there is still time for the Canucks to make the postseason. Vancouver can still make the playoffs‚ but if it does‚ it will be a tough challenge to beat the Kings. Vancouver has some important pieces to consider in order to secure a playoff berth.

Los Angeles takes control of its playoff destiny

With the addition of Odell Beckham Jr.‚ the Los Angeles Chargers are in control of their playoff destiny. The team is one point above the playoff line and has a chance to make the postseason if they can beat the Denver Broncos and Los Vegas Raiders this weekend. However‚ a loss to one of those teams will put the team's playoff hopes at risk. So what are the Chargers to do now? It's difficult to predict the outcome of these games. But the Chargers aren't making excuses. They say they've regrouped and are focused on the Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders. Fortunately for the Chargers‚ several key players will be back for this game‚ including James and Ekeler. That's a big lift for the team‚ which needs to be focused on a win over Denver to stay in the playoffs. In the NFC‚ the Los Angeles Chargers hold the first seed‚ despite losing three straight games. The Arizona Cardinals have lost three games in a row‚ but their NFC West playoff hopes still remain realistic. The Los Angeles Chargers entered Sunday in firm playoff control‚ but left the game with the help of the San Francisco 49ers. A loss to the Texans on Sunday was not enough to help the Chargers' playoff hopes‚ and it will take a loss to get a runner-up finish.

Vancouver Canucks hold the fort to record their third-straight win

With two games to go before the playoffs start‚ the Vancouver Canucks are in a critical stage of the season. Three wins in a row would give them a 12-0-0 record and keep them in the hunt for a playoff spot. But it is far from certain. Despite being three points back of Vegas‚ the Canucks are still in the hunt for a postseason berth. But they must win in order to stay ahead of the rest of the pack‚ including the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights. In the meantime‚ the Vancouver Canucks need to win three of their final four games to keep their chances of a postseason berth alive. A win against Colorado will give them a much-needed breather. After dropping the first two games of the season‚ the Canucks will begin a four-game road trip against Colorado on Wednesday. The Vancouver Canucks' schedule is too hectic to allow the team to recover. They played three games in four nights‚ so they were already tired. True good teams come out strong in the first period. The Tampa Bay Lightning came out strong‚ but Vancouver still lacks depth. They rely too much on J.T. Miller and Thatcher Demko‚ which leaves them with little other option than to try to win the game.

Canucks face turnover of veterans from the back end

With Shawn Matthias expected to sign elsewhere in free agency‚ Vancouver faces a significant turnover of veterans on the back end. Kevin Bieksa is a no-trade clause‚ which the Canucks could waive in the ideal scenario. Ryan Miller is another veteran who is under contract for another two years. He can split time with Eddie Lack on the top line. However‚ the Canucks need a new captain to avoid another losing season in Vancouver. The Vancouver Canucks' young core will be put to the test in a five-round playoff tournament. The transition from regular season hockey to postseason hockey is challenging‚ frustrating‚ and involves a steep learning curve. But veteran players believe in the young players and have full confidence in their development. But the back end will be the key to Vancouver's success in the postseason. Vancouver had to replace Burrows with a veteran forward to avoid the emergence of a rebuilding project. The Canucks had too many minor problems in the past season to afford the luxury of using Burrows. Despite signing the free agent Radim Vrbata as their primary linemate‚ Burrows scored only one goal in his last seven games. The Canucks did not make the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08.

Canucks remained calm throughout the game

Bo Horvat was a livid man after seeing his team's penalty box parade. He was angry because a stickcheck called on Quinn Hughes looked more like a slash than a hit‚ and that a spectator fell asleep during the call. Horvat also expressed his frustration at the call‚ stating: If that was the case‚ we'd all be crying right now. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period‚ the Canucks were able to remain composed and focused. While St. Louis outshot Vancouver 12-5 in the first period‚ they missed an excellent opportunity to score on a long five-on-three. Vancouver took advantage of this situation to score a goal on a five-on-three. After allowing Chicago to get within one goal three times‚ Vancouver managed to adjust and outshot St. Louis 21-14 in the second and third periods.

Pettersson's goal

A power-play goal by Pettersson on Tuesday night gave the Canucks a window of opportunity to take a playoff spot. While the Canucks still trail the Vegas Golden Knights and Nashville Predators by six points‚ their goal put them within three points of the Jets and one point ahead of the Dallas Stars. The goal was particularly important‚ as Pettersson hadn't played since Feb. 8 due to a contract holdout. His goal gave the Canucks a chance to get back in the playoff picture after a slow start. The Canucks' retooling effort has been successful in bringing in a younger core of talent to the lineup. While veteran players like Jay Beagle and Loui Eriksson have been valuable in the past‚ the team has been built around the younger homegrown talent‚ including Elias Pettersson‚ who is a Calder candidate. While Pettersson leads the Canucks in even-strength defence‚ his defensive impact cannot be overlooked. He's tied with Alex Edler in defensive zone faceoffs‚ but is outscoring the latter by two goals. Pettersson's defensive impact is also evidenced by his play on the penalty kill. Unlike Miller‚ Pettersson has played less than half the season but has an advantage over him in primary points.

Canucks are four points out of second wild card spot

The Canucks are in a bind in the Western Conference. They have 16 games remaining. Only three teams have fewer games remaining‚ including the Vegas Golden Knights. They are four points behind the Dallas Stars‚ who have played three fewer games than the Canucks. While it isn't impossible to win the whole season‚ losing four games in a row won't help their playoff hopes. The Canucks have played more games than every team in the Western Conference except two. It's a tight race‚ but there is still time to get into the playoffs. They must beat the Golden Knights and Stars‚ and they must win at least one of those two games to stay alive. But there's no easy road. This is a challenging stretch for any team. The Canucks have played well under Boudreau‚ who replaced Travis Green on Dec. 5. The Canucks won this game despite squandering a three-game skid. Earlier in the game‚ the Canucks had a 2-0 lead‚ but needed a power play goal from J.T. Miller to make the game go to overtime. However‚ the game was tied when Joel Eriksson Ek beat Thomas Demko on a breakaway.

Canucks could play playoff hockey in three weeks

If the Vancouver Canucks' COVID-19 protocol is followed‚ they could play playoff hockey as soon as April 16. The NHL requires players to remain in isolation for 10 days following positive tests for the virus. Players can opt out of the protocol‚ though‚ and return on April 16 as long as they remain free of symptoms. That means that the Canucks have four players from their taxi squad on hand. Arturs Silovs‚ who has been out since March 7‚ is not among the players recalled from the AHL's Utica Comets. The Canucks could close the six-point gap between themselves and Vegas‚ but they need to win their head-to-head games to do so. The team will play the Predators and St. Louis this week and will travel to Nashville and Minnesota next week. Vancouver could match Nashville's record and win both games. If the Predators win all six of their games‚ the Canucks will qualify for the playoffs. While the Vancouver Canucks may be in the playoff picture‚ it's important to keep in mind that there is still plenty of hockey left to play. They need to win eight of their remaining games in order to make the playoffs. If they lose their last two games‚ they'll be four points out of the playoffs. Only three teams have the same winning percentage as the Canucks‚ so if the Canucks are able to make it to the postseason‚ it's possible that they could be playing playoff hockey in three weeks.