The Week Ahead: A Northwest Division farewell tour

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?

This week, Wednesday is actually Thursday, because Wednesday got a little crazy, drank a few too many shots, woke up with a hangover, and called in sick to work.

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Thursday, April 10th
At home vs the Colorado Avalanche

Remember the lousy teams that used to be in the Canucks’ division? Those were good times. Sure, the Canucks also beat everyone else in their Presidents’ Trophy winning days, but it didn’t hurt that some of the worst teams in the league were the ones that paid the most frequent visits to Vancouver.

To end the season, the Canucks will revisit that wonderful era, though the Colorado Avalanche are a much-improved team who could even finish ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Canucks have done well against them in their two previous meetings, though, winning one outright and taking the other to overtime a couple weeks ago.

The Avalanche will be missing their leading scorer, Matt Duchene, but they still have plenty of pop in their lineup, with four other players with more points than the Canucks’ leading scorer, Henrik Sedin, and five players with 20+ goals. The Canucks have one. Maybe having the Northwest Division back wouldn’t be so great.

Saturday, April 12th
Away vs the Edmonton Oilers

Now this is a little more like it. The Oilers are in a familiar position — last in the Western Conference — and will have pretty good odds of getting the first overall pick yet again in the upcoming draft. The good news: a stud defenceman, Aaron Ekblad, is the consensus number one prospect for the 2014 draft. The bad news: every team that misses the playoffs will be in the draft lottery, so their odds are a little lower that they’ll get a chance to select him.

In the meantime, there’s this meaningless game. The Canucks have generally dominated the Oilers this season, out-scoring them 14-7 and winning 3 of 4 games, but for this final game, the Canucks will be playing only for pride, while the Oilers will have a far more powerful motivation: performance-based contract bonuses.

Sunday, April 13th
At home vs the Calgary Flames

This is it. The end of our long, provincial nightmare. This terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season will finally end on Sunday, giving Canucks fans a much-needed break from cheering for this team. Unfortunately, it will lead into what could be another crazy, stressful off-season.

Will this be John Tortorella’s last game as the head coach of the Canucks? Who will Trevor Linden hire as General Manager? Which players will never again appear in a Canucks jersey after this game? Will everyone be traded? Will no one be traded? Will every Canuck simultaneously be traded and not traded in some sort of quantum superposition until the player is observed? If no one watched the Canucks, would every single player in the NHL theoretically be playing for them? NO ONE WATCH THE CANUCKS NEXT SEASON, THEY’LL WIN EVERYTHING!

As for the game itself, this is a chance for the Canucks to sweep the season series against the Flames. They’ve won all four of their previous meetings this season, though only two were in regulation. If they manage it, it will be the first time in franchise history that the Canucks have swept the Flames during the regular season. Best season ever, amirite?

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3 comments

  1. iain
    April 10, 2014

    if the canucks score a goal and no-one is watching, does it count?

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  2. Naturalmystic
    April 11, 2014

    I expect the Flames to come out and try to flatten Vancouver. Remember what happened earlier this season? Remember Torts storming the dressing room? So do the Flames. Draft position be damned the Flames are coming to beat up Vancouver in their own barn.

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  3. shoes
    April 12, 2014

    Yes naturalmysticalalbertan……I am sure the Flames will be coming to try and beat up the Canucks. Bob “Classy” Hartley will ice his top tandem of Big URN and Westy to try and injure as many as they can. The Flames play to a certain audience and lets just say it may not be the most ‘high brow’ what with all the mullets and things. Time to rev’ up dem 1978 dodge pickups and roll proudly down the red mile, one last time with foam fingers extended and lethbridge pilsener bottles flying out the packed pickup beds.

    I care not if the Canucks win the game as long as they show up and nobody gets hurt. Afterwards the Flames can amuse themselves on the flight home with color by number books, etc.

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