I know, the words “take seriously” and “Vancouver Canucks” having a get together in the same sentence is awkward for everyone. At least everyone outside of Vancouver, as there perhaps is no team that takes itself more seriously than the Canucks, which is what underlies their never decreasing sense of injustice and bias. This is a team and fan base that is sure everyone is out to get them, so much to the point that they have a statue outside their arena immortalizing someone bitching about the refs.
This version of the Canucks, out of nowhere, have shot to the top of the Pacific Division and Western Conference standings. Some of that is Thatcher Demko fulfilling his promise, some of it is they can’t seem to miss with any shot, some of it is that Quinn Hughes is that good. Even if the Canucks are ahead of schedule in whatever their plan was (it was certainly never clear), a team’s next chance is never guaranteed so it had better maximize the one right in front of them. Hence, the Canucks Wednesday night went out and got one of the biggest pieces on the trade market, Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames. It also helps the Canucks corner the market on Eliases, when combined with Elias Pettersson.
While Lindholm did ride Johnny Gadreau’s and Matthew Tkachuk’s coattails a couple years ago to a point per game season, he probably slots better as a No. 2 center, which he can do in Vancouver behind J.T. Miller, who has become one of the best 200-foot forwards in the game. It also gives Pettersson a consistent center, which hasn’t prevented him from putting up 64 points in 49 games.
It extends the forward corps for Vancouver, though it’s still hard to see them having as much firepower as Vegas or Edmonton in their own division come a playoff series. They also have issues beyond Hughes in defense, because anyone trusting Tyler Myers and Ian Cole is a person who is about to have a piano dropped on them. Still, the Nucks needed someone so that teams couldn’t just focus on stopping one line come the spring, and they’ve done that while giving up a slow winger who probably already peaked (Andrei Kuzmenko), a prospect (Hunter Brzustewicz), another prospect and a first-round pick. It’s a lot, but top-six centers don’t grow on trees.
Which means we get serious Canucks come the playoffs. You may remember them from such episodes as a riot when they lost the 2011 Final, Kevin Bieksa turning into the world’s loudest fire alarm multiple seasons, and the Sedins turning into the world’s largest Swedish turtles when it mattered. As well as a thousand conspiracy theories per day starting on Tax Day. In a way, I’ve missed it. Won’t say that come April 20th or so.
Original source here