The Week Ahead: Big showdown with Stars, and some very winnable games

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?

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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.

8 comments

  1. Neil B
    March 5, 2014

    Hopefully the NYI game on the 10th doesn’t suck. Flying in to catch the game!

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  2. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 5, 2014

    Harry, i think you could have picked deadline day, of all of the Wednesdays of the year, to hold offon writing this just for a few hours.

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  3. Noodle
    March 5, 2014

    Just thinking today about the trajectory of PITB. This blog launched back in 2010 if I’m not mistaken? Or at least that’s when I started reading it. And throughout the last 4 years the Canucks were a team on the rise and then peaked and managed to stay at a fairly high level after. The tone of PITB reflected it…there was a lot of hope and optimism.

    While this is certainly not the situation any of us want (staring at potentially missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, core players being traded) it’s going to be a very interesting next few months/years. And it will be interesting reading on this blog.

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  4. steveB
    March 6, 2014

    When was the last time that the Canucks won a “winnable” game?
    It would refreshing to see them do it again.

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    • Iceman
      March 6, 2014

      You’ll have to flip two calendar pages back to find the last “winnable” game they actually won — vs. Yotes on 01/26/2014 — in OT.

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  5. Amor de Cosmos
    March 6, 2014

    I feel extremely conflicted right now. Wanting the Nux to do well is in the DNA, but right now “doing well” might not include winning the next game — or the games after that.

    Above all else doing well requires a change in coaching, as soon as possible. If we start winning a few too many games here and there, that’s less likely that is to happen.

    At the same time hoping the team will lose is fundamentally repulsive. Frankly the whole situation stinks on ice.

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    • Pavo
      March 6, 2014

      Amor – I’m with you.

      A good part of me is wishing that the Canucks crash and burn so badly this season that management has no option but to get rid of Tortorella. Not during the worst of AV’s tenure do I remember the Canucks being so consistently excruciating to watch.

      Tortorella has taken a decent roster and, in half a season, turned it to utter dross.

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  6. Naturalmystic
    March 6, 2014

    Don’t write off Calgary, they come to play every game.

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