Canucks week ahead: jobs on the line as the struggles continue

Most of the talk around the Vancouver Canucks has moved off the ice, but they are still playing and there are still things to pay attention to.

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The Vancouver Canucks record is almost irrelevant at this point.


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Through 20 games, they have had one of the worst starts in team history.

Where do they go from here? His chances of making the playoffs are almost non-existent. They’re on the road for four more games and there are a couple of winnable games there, but even if they found victories in those games, they’ll only keep losing ground in the playoff chase.

This is truly a crucial week for the Canucks, but only for game reasons.

The history

Off the ice, there are all kinds of questions about the future of GM Jim Benning, coach Travis Green and the players.

The property may have been shocked at one point as the team got off to a terrible start, but it is clear that they are now disgusted. The assumption is that change is in sight, maybe in the bank, maybe upstairs, maybe in both.


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And maybe even on the list. The players are not as bad as before.

In what sequence could these changes occur? The team’s mood is severe. Players recognize it. They try to be optimistic, but they know how bad things are.

Next week is crucial for everyone involved.


The Canucks play Friday in Columbus against a rebuilding but fighter Blue jackets team. They score goals in cubes. The Canucks don’t. Can they bounce back from Wednesday’s ugly performance against the Penguins? Do you have any spirit left?

On Sunday he goes to Beantown to face the Boston Bruins . The last time the Canucks were in Massachusetts, Elias Pettersson took a nasty hit and missed the next game. The Canucks were also outmatched by one of the league’s mighty teams. Game Eight seems like a long time ago. You also can’t help but contrast the paths the two opponents have taken in the 2011 Stanley Cup final.


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On Monday, the Canucks are in Ottawa to face the Senators for the second game of a back-to-back. Ottawa is not good. Normally, the traveling team that plays two nights in a row is at a real disadvantage, but given that the Sens have just four wins in 17 games heading into Friday’s game against Anaheim, the Canucks really should be in this one with a shot.

The road trip concludes next Wednesday in Montreal against the Canadiens, who are arguably reeling worse than the Canucks. They have just five wins in 21 games, an impressive collapse in their form of reaching the Stanley Cup final last season. They surely outperformed last spring when they began their magical playoff career and have suffered heavy losses to their lineup, but few expected them to be this bad. How will the weary Canucks fare in the final game of this road trip? Will they have some courage?


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JT Miller has played with passion all season.
JT Miller has played with passion all season. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY Sports

Increasing Stock

JT Miller: It’s not even a blow to Bo Horvat’s captaincy to say this, but the Canucks need every leader they can find. A successful team is one in which each player plays some kind of leadership role. Leadership isn’t just about rah rah, it’s about setting a tone. All players seek to set a winning tone at the right time. This is how a calm player on the fourth row can still lead, reflecting the presence of those above him. There is little doubt about Miller’s passion. The Canucks need more passionate players right now.

Elias Pettersson is struggling to find his game, playing just over 12 minutes Wednesday against Pittsburgh.
Elias Pettersson is struggling to find his game, playing just over 12 minutes Wednesday against Pittsburgh. Photo by Jeff Vinnick /PNG

Stock falling

Elias pettersson : A couple of weeks ago we said that your shares had risen. What happened? He spent time in a line with Juho Lammikko Wednesday night in Pittsburgh and was essentially on the bench late in the game, playing just a dozen minutes all night. At first, the confidence in his game barely wavered, but now it has completely disappeared again.


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Question of the week

“What kind of defense would be available in exchange for Miller or Horvat?” – Brian H., Vancouver

It is more than a simple exchange here. They are both key players. You almost never get an equivalent player back. It’s a change of direction to move one of those guys and there’s no obvious replacement for any of his roles waiting in the bands.

It would be like changing the loungers.

The real question here is what any player’s trade would represent. Such a move can’t really be done in isolation. It should be done as the beginning of a review.

A total rebuild, which is done well and actually done quickly, would be in sight.

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