“How disappointed are you by the Vancouver Canucks this season?”, is the most common question I have heard since before the puck even dropped on the season. Nearly every single day, without fail, someone asks me that same question. Do you want to know the truth? I’m disappointed that some of these moments feel like I am being attacked for choosing to support my team through the good, the bad and everything in between. The truth is that no I am not disappointed in the team. Yes, sure I’d love if they had a few more wins and less losses on the season but their record does not and will not dictate when or how I will show my support.
The disappointment for me this season has not come from the Vancouver Canucks but rather the local media covering the team. Yes, it is their job to write about the facts but it is not their job to dictate how or when the fans should support the team. There is more happening than just the negativity that they seem intent on focusing on for every single headline.
Yes, it is true that this is hardly their best season on record but it is also hardly their worst. And yes they need to start picking up more wins on the road if they want to be playoff bound come April. Do I wish they had less injuries? Of course, but injuries happen to every single team league wide.
Do you know what I have noticed? That yes, while there are A LOT of negatives out there, there are also A LOT of positives out there as well.
Yes their road record definitely needs some work especially if they hope to be playoff bound, but their improved home ice play this season has been fun to see develop.
As of late, as a team, they have been playing some pretty solid hockey, picking up points in 15 of their last 20 games and posting a 11-5-4 record in that span.
Ryan Miller has stepped up his game of late and in 11-game stretch since Christmas he has posted a 7-2-2 record that includes two shutouts. It’s no secret that Miller was struggling at the start of the season with his combined October + November record being a less than stellar: 4-8-0. Since that struggling start, Miller has been impressive to say the least posting a 10-4-3 record in the 17 games that have followed. His season’s average save percentage of 0.920 is his best since joining the Vancouver Canucks.
Bo Horvat continues to evolve into future captain material as he follows the leadership example of Henrik Sedin both on and off the ice. His first NHL all-star game appearance was just the beginning, stay tuned Canucks fans, the future is just around the corner.
Troy Stecher came into training camp with one goal in mind: make the team. His impression from the start forced the team to take a long look before sending him to Utica. Injuries hit the blue line and Stecher found himself being called up and quickly earning a permanent roster spot with his strong play on the ice. Local kid makes good.
Nikita Tryamkin was the conundrum that no one could solve at the beginning of the season. He refused to be sent down and there was not yet a spot in the lineup, but he held his ground that he was going to stay. Just when some were ready to give up on whether or not Tryamkin could be a difference maker, opportunity knocked as injuries began to take a toll on the Canucks blue line.
There have been learning curves along the way but each game both Stecher and Tryamkin continue to grow, proving why they deserve roster spots helping to stablilize the Canucks on the back end.
Henrik Sedin hitting his incredible feat on home ice was a moment Canucks fans will never forget. That game, the arena was insanely electric from start to finish and as a fan, it made me love this game even more. We could potentially see another milestone Sedinery moment before season’s end or in the very least very early into next season when Daniel hits 1000 points.
32 games remain in the 2016-17 season and the team sits just 1-point out of a playoff position. There is no easy way to get into the playoffs and the Canucks have a long way to go if they want to be post-season bound come April. It’s never an easy grind but if they continue on their recent improved play they’ve had since Christmas, they definitely have a shot at getting there. It may be a slim chance and the odds may be stacked against them, but it’s still a chance. Playoffs or no playoffs, win or lose, this team is still my team.
So if you ask me how disappointed I am in my Vancouver Canucks, be prepared to hear that while I am aware of the season at hand, that does not now, nor will it ever dictate how or when I will support my team.
As always, until next time, nuck said.
P.S. Anyone have any advice for someone considering starting a podcast? (leave a comment, send me a tweet (@nucksaid) or an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).