Every Wednesday we take a look at The Week Ahead to see what storylines we’ll be following, because Wednesday is a day meant for looking ahead to the future. Around here we call Wednesday “Future Day” and we all wear silver jumpsuits and big bubble space helmets. Doesn’t everybody do that?
Thursday, March 6th
Away vs the Dallas Stars
Hands up if you circled this game on your calendar as a must-win heading into the season. (Put your hand down. Stop lying.) In a sign of both what realignment has done to the schedule and what’s become of the Vancouver Canucks, this game is of the utmost importance for the Canucks’ playoff hopes. At the time of this writing, the Canucks and Stars are tied for the 8th and final playoff spot with 66 points apiece, but the Stars hold three games in hand over their Conference rivals.
In other words, the Canucks can’t afford a four-point swing against the Stars if they have any hope of punching a ticket for the season after the season.
Saturday, March 8th
At home vs the Calgary Flames
The good news for the Canucks? They actually have a relatively easy March. Things get a bit tricky for them near the end, as they close with the month with games against the Wild, Avalanche and Ducks, but prior to that, Thursday’s game with the Stars and a March 17th date with the Lightning are their only games in 11 against teams currently in a playoff spot. They need to make hay against clubs like the Flames if they want to be in a playoff spot themselves.
Monday, March 10th
At home vs the New York Islanders
Same goes for the Islanders, whose season is pretty well over. They’re in sell mode already, and could very well be without important pieces like Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald for this one, who are rumoured to move by Wednesday’s trade deadline. This is a very winnable game for a playoff team, so the Canucks could do well to prove that’s exactly what they are by winning it. Mind you, they could very well be without a few more key players of their own by next Monday.