Last season was a nightmare for the Vancouver Canucks as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. It might only get worse for the Canucks and their NHL odds.
What Went Wrong Last Season?
Where to start? You could start with the trading away of Cory Schneider at the NHL Draft, which soured the mood. Then the hiring of John Tortorella snowballed things as his style was never a good fit with the Canucks’ top players. As a result, the team played uninspired and finished with just 83 points, only better than the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. They were a mess offensively as the Canucks were 28th in the league in goals scored. For a team with Henrik and Daniel Sedin leading the way, along with Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows, had no business finishing that low. The Canucks started to break things down by trading away Roberto Luongo to Florida Panthers, leaving Eddie Lack as the No. 1 goaltender.
The window of opportunity has closed for the Canucks. They are now heading towards a rebuild.
Tortorella was fired soon after the regular season ended and the Canucks are now coached by Willie Desjardins, who led Texas to the Calder Cup in the AHL. General manager Mike Gillis is also gone as the team brought in Trevor Linden as president. He is a legend in Vancouver from his playing days, so that probably earns him a little leeway. Linden made Jim Benning the GM, and Benning traded Kesler to Anaheim after he requested to be moved. Ryan Miller was signed to play in goal for the Canucks while Radim Vrbata should add some scoring up front.
The bottom line is the Canucks look like they’re trying to string a few things together and prevent a full rebuild. That won’t work. They’ll be a bad team this year as these changes aren’t fooling anyone.
This season is a new slate for the Canucks and things can get worse. Desjardins has been said to be coming up with new ways to spark the Sedins, because if they don’t get going, the Canucks are going to be in trouble offensively with Kesler gone. Nick Bonino came over in the Kesler trade and scored a career-high 22 goals with the Ducks, so he will also be looked at to contribute offensive for the Canucks. That will take some of the pressure off a defense that looked shell-shocked at times.
Ryan Miller is an upgrade between the pipes but he’s not a savior. He’s backstopped some pretty bad teams in his career and it looks like the Canucks will be another one.
The West is just too challenging these days for the Canucks to make the playoffs. There are probably about 10 teams better than the, right now and that’s assuming Miller stands on his head. They are thin on scoring, lack depth and an aging team. If everything goes right, they might contend for one of the final playoff spots, keep that in mind for your NHL picks, but the worst case scenario is they’re among the worst teams in the NHL again.
NHL Pick: Will Miss The Playoffs