What does the 2015-2016 season hold for the Vancouver Canucks?
According to the stats experts, the future looks grim and playoff hopes are very dim. According to the experts, there is little reason to cheer for a team that should be shifting their focus to rebuilding. According to the experts this team should expect to be at the bottom of the standings for a while. According to the experts, the Sedins are way past their prime and should opt to play elsewhere. According to the experts the entire Canucks roster is too old and not balanced with enough youth. According to the experts the Vancouver Canucks have absolutely no business even thinking about the 2016 playoff picture. According to the experts, Canucks should prepare themselves for a disastrous season.
What exactly defines a “disastrous” season? A year under Torts? Or the “Messier” experiment that orchestrated the Linden trade? Canucks fans know all about disastrous seasons, we’ve been there a few times and then some. A disastrous season is hardly a new concept for most teams, they’ve all seen their share of disappointments, such is the nature of a game that can only have one champion at year’s end. Yes, disasters will come and go but no matter their nature, disastrous or successful season, I will be supporting my team from start to finish of the 82-game plus journey that is the NHL season.
I’m in no way an expert, nor will I ever claim to be, BUT I will say that while the stats are helpful, they do not always tell the whole story. Perhaps on paper, this team may not look like a “championship” roster or a “typical contender” and perhaps that is okay. Perhaps the so-called expectations from the fans and the experts should be tossed out the window this year. Perhaps having a lack of expectations will be exactly what makes the Canucks a team to watch as the season progresses. Perhaps their veteran core supported by the younger players will be exactly what they’ve promised all along, a team that deserves respect. Perhaps they will be exactly what the “experts” predicted OR they just may surprise all the naysayers.
The truth is no matter what the stats and critics say or what the team looks like on paper, all that matters is what happens on the ice when the season begins. How the team plays, regardless of who is on the roster, is up to them. Will the Sedins have year to remember or will they finally show their age? Will Ryan Miller have a rebound season? Will Bo Horvat have a solid followup to his rookie season? Will any rookies step for a breakout season? Will Brandon Prust win fans over with his experience? The questions are endless and time will tell what this season holds for the Vancouver Canucks.
Is it October yet? No, not just yet but I can hear the echoes of what’s to come just around the bend.
As always, until next time, nuck said.