Potential Playoff Opponent: Vancouver Canucks

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Well now we’ve been through the surefire opponents in the potential Oilers playoff opponent series, let’s go through some of the less likely candidates.

You may be asking yourselves why I’m talking about the Vancouver Canucks before Vegas Golden Knights as opponents for the Oilers. Well, it appears at this point that with all the injuries Vegas has had that conditioning is starting to catch up with some of their main players which explains why they’re struggling right now.

Vancouver, on the other hand, is the hottest team in the division right now, on a six game winning streak at the time of this writing and only a single point behind Vegas for fourth in the division. There’s only six games left for Vancouver – a possible 12 points up for grabs – so only time will tell if they get into the playoffs at the 11th hour or if their streak is too little too late for this season but provides them hope for next season. All their injuries still make their winning steak all the more impressive.

Currently the Canucks stand four points behind LA for third in the division and five points behind Dallas for a wild card spot.

They’re not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but it’s going to be tough for them. At the very least they’ll need one more team to implode to get into the playoffs. Vegas is one team that’s imploding right now but they’re only in fourth in the division. They should hop over them in short order (one more win and one more Vegas loss will do it), but after that who knows?

Anyway, the Canucks have been embarking on a rebuild for some time now. They cleaned house earlier in the season – even more than the Oilers did – by hiring ex-Penguins GM Jim Rutherford as President and interim GM, who then turned around and fired Jim Benning (long overdue, eh Canucks fans?) and hired Patrik Allvin as GM (and if you guessed they knew each other from their Pittsburgh days, you’re right – Allvin was their European scout, then Director of Amateur Scouting, then assistant GM, then interim GM after Rutherford voluntarily left the Pens organization).

Allvin then turned around and hired Bruce Boudreau as head coach of the Canucks. This is a surprisingly safe hire as Boudreau’s teams have a history of having great regular seasons and then choking in the playoffs. Since there isn’t much of an expectation of the Canucks to make the playoffs right now, that’s a surefire bet to help turn the team into a contender for the playoffs in short order.

Whether that happens this season, of course, or not only time will tell.

Also worth noting is unlike the pretenders in Calgary, only one of their top five scorers is sporting a ridiculously high shooting %.

Anyway, let’s get into their analysis, shall we?

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