Kukla's Korner

Canucks and Beyond

Canucks 4 President

The Vancouver Canucks have blown past a one-game-under-.500 record before Christmas, to a 45-23-6 record for the season. An astonishing turn of events that doesn't just give them a solid chance at a home ice spot for the post-season -- it also puts them on the map of contenders for the President's Trophy. Are the Canucks in that class? Brendan Morrison: "I don't know if a lot of teams think we're for real. That's fine with me. Guys in here believe we can win. Whatever is said outside the room is irrelevant. In the past, guys might have got caught up in what people said. Now, nobody cares." Whatever others may or may not think, the Canucks do have a shot at it, though the current standings are tight and would almost certainly mean winning their way through the rest of the schedule. Not to mention catching a couple breaks from the competition.
Does any of this matter? If you have a choice between the Stanley Cup and the President's Trophy, surely you pick the Cup. (Just ask Detroit!) But it's an interesting idea to contemplate. Especially in a season that started off oh-so-mediocre, the very fact that it's within reach is an achievement in itself. Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun writes an optimistic piece of the subject today. (With a helping of sarcasm for the rest of the league, which is always fun...)

On Wednesday, they defeated a first-place-overall team for second time in five nights, toying with the Nashville Predators in the first period when Vancouver outshot them 17-4 and built a 2-0 lead that grew into a National Hockey League victory.

Last Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings were leading the Presidents’ Trophy race until they were somehow, unbelievably, inexplicably handled 3-1 by little Vancouver.

By going 15-2-2 the last six weeks and winning these recent games so impressively, dispatching Stanley Cup contenders as if they were pocket lint and treating them the way the Conservatives treat British Columbia—that annoying, foreign hinterland land west of Canada’s Rocky Mountain border—the Canucks can’t possibly be underrated by anyone any longer.

In other words, they’re doomed. What will fuel them now that they have earned everyone’s respect? They have un-dissed themselves. What now for motivation?

Well, there is that Presidents’ Trophy thingy.

Partly because the Red Wings and Predators went pointless in Vancouver, the Buffalo Sabres top the NHL standings with 101 points. The Canucks are only five behind and closing faster than Britney Spears’ career.

Vancouver Canucks. Presidents’ Trophy winners?

Note: Thanks to Kukla’s for the news link and ESPN stats for the graphic of NHL standings.


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About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]