Just when the Vancouver Canucks season seemed to be slipping away from them, here they are trying to play their way back into playoff contention.
Thanks to their 3-2 win over what has become a depressingly bad Colorado Avalanche team on Monday, the Canucks have won four games in a row and are now just a single point behind the Los Angeles Kings for a wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Whether they are able to remain as a serious challenger for a playoff spot or if this is just a temporary surge in the middle of the season remains to be seen, because there are plenty reasons to be pessimistic about their chances. But for the short-term they are at least trying to make things interesting in a season that seemed like it was on the verge of being a waste of one of the last remaining years of Henrik and Daniel Sedin in the NHL.
Daniel, by the way, recorded his 600th career assist in the win on Monday while Henrik’s two assists moved him to within four points of the 1,000 point mark for his career.
So what is the bad news? Well, it is this. Like the Canucks’ other four-game winning streak this season (the one they started the season with), this one has been the result of four one-goal victories, including a couple that came with overtime wins. That is part of the concern as to whether or not the Canucks can actually stay in this thing. The fact they are just inching out these wins isn’t exactly an encouraging sign that it is something that will continue because that is a tough way to consistently win hockey games over an 82-game season.
It is also worth pointing out that they have a bit more ground to make up than just one point because the Kings, the team they are chasing for the second wild card spot, have played two fewer games at this point.
Los Angeles, with 40 points in its first 37 games, is currently on a pace for 88 points this season.
The Canucks, even with their current four-game winning streak, are still only on a pace for 82 points. Then you also have the Nashville Predators (only 36 games played) still lurking around this playoff bubble on a pace for 87 points.
That is still a tall mountain standing between them and a playoff spot, but they are at least making the effort to climb it.