As the Vancouver Canucks get set to hit the quarter-mark of their season, it’s becoming clearer by the day the club will not be making the 2020-21 postseason.
When the season began in the North Divsion it was easy to predict that the Ottawa Senators would fail to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, the mystery remained as to which two other franchises would also fail to make the postseason within the division. After 13 games under their belt it has become obvious one of those two teams will be the Vancouver Canucks.
Excluding the six points in three games against the Senators, a team that’ll provide plenty of points to every team in the division, Vancouver has only managed to capture six points in 10 games this season.
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Out of those 10 contests, five were against the Montreal Canadiens where a max total of 10 points were available for either team. The Canucks managed to capture only two of those 10 points while Montreal took away a total of nine. Ex-Canuck Tyler Toffoli haunted his former club throughout the five games totalling eight goals and 11 points, including a shorthanded goal, and the game-winning goal of the fifth game.
The Vancouver Canucks will miss out on the postseason in 2020-21.
Ex-Canucks tormenting their former team was an early theme of the season after a pair of losses against the Calgary Flames. Jacob Markstrom earned back-to-back victories, including a 3-0 shutout, against the franchise that allowed him to walk as a Free Agent in the offseason. Chris Tanev, another ex-Canuck, was also highly motivated to play his former club as the steady stay-at-home defenseman recorded eight blocked shots for the Flames in his first game against Vancouver.
Despite being dominated by the Canadiens and swept two-straight by Calgary, Vancouver has managed to trade wins with Edmonton and defeat Winnipeg in their only match up this season. Still, the victory over the Oilers came on Opening Night and they were trounced the next night 5-2 by Edmonton. As for the Jets, Winnipeg is only going to get stronger as the season progresses once Pierre-Luc Dubois clears quarantine and gets comfortable in the lineup.
The one remaining North Division opponent the Canucks have yet to face could actually decide their season, as Vancouver will play three straight on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs currently sit second in the Division and, if Vancouver fails to capture at least four of the available six points in this mini-series, then the Canucks’ Playoff hopes could already be finished.
After being the major reason for catapulting Montreal to the top of the division, losing to Toronto as well would create even further separation from the Canucks and the top two seeds in the division. Vancouver will have their work cut out for themselves as over the past five seasons their record against the Maple Leafs is 3-6-1, while being badly outscored 35-20 over those 10 games. It’s been a disappointing start for the Canucks, masked by stats-padding against an irrelevant franchise. If the Vancouver Canucks can’t prove they can consistently beat anybody other than Ottawa soon, the disappointment will quickly evolve into a disastrous season.