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Sports: Can the Vancouver Canucks Finally Turn Things Around?
Can the Vancouver Canucks Finally Turn Things Around?
By: Jason Paul
The 2017 NHL All-Star game may be more than a week away, but the Vancouver Canucks have officially entered the second half of their season.
Vancouver has some of the most passionate hockey fans in the world, but the Canucks have not been able to reward them with consecutive playoff appearances since 2013.
After having one of the most dominant teams in the league for more than a decade, the Canucks have struggled in recent years due to an aging roster.
The first half of the 2016-17 season has not been easy for the Vancouver Canucks, but the fans and team have to be somewhat pleased with the results
after a disastrous performance last season.
The Vancouver Canucks may be in fifth place in the Pacific Division, but they are currently tied for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with the LA Kings.
Nobody predicted a playoff appearance for the Canucks before the season began, as they entered the season as 100-1 odds to win the 2017 Stanley Cup, so it is safe to
say that the team has outperformed expectations in the first half. If they can fix one or two flaws in the second half, then this team actually has a great shot to make the playoffs.
The Vancouver Canucks have not excelled at many things this season, but they are still finding a way to win games. This type of toughness is something that will come in handy at the end
of the season when fighting for a spot in the post-season. The biggest problem for the Canucks is the lack of goal scorers on the team. The team currently ranks 25th in the NHL with a 2.35
goals per game average. Teams with great defenders and goalies can get away with that low scoring output ,but the Canucks are only an average team when it comes to limiting goals.
The lack of goal scoring has been much more prevalent on the road than at home. The Canucks have been great when they get the chance to play in front of the passionate Vancouver fans but they
have really struggled away from home. The Canucks are tied with the Arizona Coyotes with a league-low five wins on the road this season. Vancouver’s home record is good enough to compete with the best teams in the league, but they are not going to make the playoffs if they cannot find a way to get wins on the road.
The emergence of Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi is the primary reason the Canucks are finding a way to compete this season. Both players are having the best season of their young careers,and they
are finally living up to the high expectations they had after entering the league as first round draft picks. The Canucks have spent the last few years desperately searching for a few young scorers to replace the aging Sedin twins, and it seems like they have finally achieved their goal. A strong finish by Horvat and Baertschi should get the Canucks back to the playoffs, while also setting them up to have a very promising future.