If the Canucks had a date waiting at a restaurant, by the time they showed up their date would have already gone home.
Canucks make minor deals before NHL trade deadline
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
The Vancouver Canucks are falling out of a Wild Card playoff spot faster than Kanye West being removed from this year’s Grammy Awards. Last week, the Canucks worked their way back to playoff contention. But two back-to-back losses against Detroit and Calgary have fans once again yelling at their TVs or giving their fingers a good workout while venting on social media.
At the time of writing, Vancouver has a record of 31-26-8. They have 70 points, fifth in the Pacific Division—and three points out of the Wild Card playoff spot. The Canucks are a team that takes two steps forward, then 20 steps backwards (some would say it would be more than 20 steps). The inconsistent play has frustrated fans and the slow starts have been detrimental. The Canucks have been showing up late to games far too often. And if the Canucks had a date waiting at a restaurant, by the time they showed up their date would have already gone home.
Before the NHL trade deadline on March 21, Sportsnet writer, Iain MacIntyre, offered his opinion in his March 18 column, about what the Canucks are lacking and needing to help improve the team: “The Canucks’ needs haven’t changed since the start of the season, despite two management regimes and the impressive spike in performance under Boudreau: more speed, better quality and mobility at the bottom of the defence, and organizational needs for more depth at centre and a deeper pool of prospects.”
Canucks coach, Bruce Boudreau, appeared on the post-game program, After Hours, on March 19—hosted by Scott Oake and Cassie Campbell-Pascall. Boudreau stated after the loss to Calgary, he is baffled that his team once again is not ready to play. The Flames had a 3-0 lead after the first period and won the game by a score of five to two. “We’d beaten that team 7-1 in the last game,” he said. “And they lost to Buffalo last night. As good as they are, you knew they were going to come out [and right from the beginning, they took] it to us…That was the whole theme, we have to be ready from the drop of the first puck [and we were not ready].”
Boudreau mentioned the previous disappointing losses to the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. He is having difficulty explaining why his team is not ready to play: “It’s not an excuse but I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve tried sort of everything in my arsenal right now. Usually, the teams have been a really good first-period team and then we struggle in the second period because it is hard to keep that adrenaline up after going through the first period. It’s sort of an enigma to me that I [must] figure out overnight because we can’t afford to [keep playing like this].”
Fans hope the Canucks can go on another winning streak to end the season, but it may not be enough to secure a playoff spot. But it will give Canucks’ management time in the off-season to assess the roster and see what must be done to improve the team. As a veteran sports broadcaster, Blake Price, wrote in an article for Daily Hive on March 23, the discussion about Vancouver making the playoffs needs to end: “This isn’t what some fans will want to hear of course […] That hot run through February had people dreaming of watching playoff hockey on patios. But really, it was a dream. The good news is, with the season delayed till the end of April, you’ll get your patio hockey! But the only thing that matters now in this season, is next season.”
Canucks trade deadline transactions
The Vancouver Canucks did little on NHL trade deadline day on March 21; as The Province summarized their actions appropriately: “The Canucks didn’t do much in the end. They’ve still got all their top players. Lots of decisions to be made still.” Here are the deals the Canucks made.
1) Canucks traded defenceman, Travis Hamonic, to the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft.
2) Canucks acquired defenceman, Travis Dermott, from the Toronto Maple Leafs, in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft.
3) Canucks traded forward, Tyler Motte, to the New York Rangers, in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick (2023 NHL draft).
4) Canucks claim veteran forward, Brad Richardson, off waivers from the Calgary Flames.
Canucks’ schedule this week (both games at Rogers Arena)
Wednesday, March 30 vs. St. Louis Blues @ 7 pm
Sunday, April 3 vs. Vegas Golden Knights @ 4 pm