Proceeds from 50/50 raffles at Rogers Arena have gone to aid BC flood relief
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
Despite the Canucks struggling on the ice, off the ice, the team has made a positive impact with their initiatives.
The appropriate comparison to describe the Vancouver Canucks’ current plight would be the sinking of the Titanic. And like a sinking ship, the captain is usually held responsible. Similarly, with the Canucks, who are not making steady progress, head coach Travis Green is the captain of his ship. He must be held accountable for a team that is sinking to the bottom of the Pacific Division.
At the time of writing, the Canucks are in seventh place in the Pacific Division, followed by the eighth place, Seattle Kraken, who trail the Canucks by only one point. The Canucks were on a five-game road trip, with a record of 6-12-2. Vancouver has only two wins in their last 10 games (November 5 to 24). The Canucks have only 14 points in 20 games played. They are seven points out of a playoff spot.
The Canucks restored faith with the fanbase, for one night, with a home victory against the Winnipeg Jets on November 19. The victory ended a five-game losing streak. In the game against the Jets, Vancouver was leading by a score of three to one in the second period. The Canucks’ special teams have been very poor, especially the penalty killing. But Vancouver scored two power-play goals from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland. The Canucks’ other goal was scored by Vancouver native, Kyle Burroughs—his first NHL goal. The Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois scored a late goal to make it interesting. But Thatcher Demko would make a big stop off Nikolaj Ehlers at the final buzzer to seal the 3-2 victory. Demko finished the game with 37 saves.
After the game Canucks coach Travis Green was relieved to end the losing streak. “I liked our composure,” he said as reported by The Province. “We didn’t give up a lot of [good] chances from inside. That’s a big strong team over there.” Green also joked about the penalty killing, which is the league’s worst: “The penalty kill was awesome.” Note, the Canucks did not take a single penalty during the game.
Unfortunately, Vancouver could not build on their one-game winning streak, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks on November 21 by a score of one to zero. The Canucks then opened their five-game road trip with another loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 24 (Penguins won by a score of four to one). And back to the sinking ship comparison, the Canucks’ ship is sinking fast.
Canucks GM, Jim Benning, spoke to the media on November 17. He has been at the centre of heavy criticism from fans and media about the Canucks’ poor performance. Benning was accountable, stating he feels responsible for the team’s current struggles. “Of course, I feel responsible; I’m the leader of this group,” Benning said as reported by Sportsnet. “The moves we made this summer, I would have never envisioned we got off to this start. But we have. Now we have to deal with it and we’ve got to figure it out. You know, it’s hard. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not hard. It’s really hard. But you know, with what’s going on in [BC] right now with the people out in Abbotsford and the floods that they’re dealing with, that’s not easy, either. This is what we call life.”
Despite the Canucks struggling on the ice, off the ice, the team has made a positive impact with their initiatives. On November 18, the Canucks for Kids Fund announced that proceeds from the 50/50 raffles (home games against Colorado, Winnipeg and Chicago) went towards flood relief efforts in Abbotsford, the Fraser Valley and throughout BC. The Abbotsford News reported on November 24 that $1 million had been raised. “We are very proud of the collective efforts and contributions of all fans who purchased tickets during the past three games, as we surpassed our $500,000 jackpot goal on each of the last two occasions,” said Paolo Aquilini, president of the Canucks for Kids Fund. “Thanks to the extraordinary support from the community, we are delighted to be able to donate the remainder of the proceeds required to raise a total of $1 million towards flood relief for our neighbours who need it the most.”
This week the Canucks return home to play the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 4, followed by the Los Angeles Kings two days later. If Vancouver continues to lose more hockey games and drop further out of a playoff spot, expect a new captain to be taking over the sinking ship.
Canucks schedule this week
Wednesday, December 1 @ Ottawa Senators (430 pm)
Saturday, December 4 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (7 pm)
Monday, December 6 vs. Los Angeles Kings (7 pm)