Why realignment is scary for the Canucks; conversely, why it’s really, really awesome

With realignment rumoured to be on the horizon, this may be the final year the Vancouver Canucks get to reap the benefits of playing in the Northwest Division, the lamest party of five since season five of Party of Five. It’s a truly abysmal hellscape of a grouping, with one team team in contention and four teams that, through the first third of the season, are decidedly not.

At the time of this writing, the Canucks are the only Northwest team that isn’t amongst the league’s 10 worst teams. And in the Western Conference, only the futility of the Columbus Blue Jackets prevents the Northwest from occupying spots 12 – 15.

How bad is it? Colorado, Minnesota, Edmonton and Calgary are all sitting at about 17 points through 17 games. Supposing they keep up this pace, they’ll all finish below 50 points. If 50 points is all it takes to win the Northwest Division, the Canucks would need just 13 more wins. There are 30 games remaining.

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Watch six and a half minutes of the Canucks beating up on the Northwest Division

We’re big fans of Canuck fan pump-up videos here at Pass it to Bulis, but we’re especially big fans of pump-up videos that sprinkle in an extra dose of creativity. Here’s one that sort of does. Now, I mean, it’s no “Bieksa Real Good” (still the gold standard for Canuck fan video what-the-heckery — please [...]

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The Canucks need a strong Northwest Division

Technically, the Colorado Avalanche are still in playoff contention, but their chances are slimmer than a Slim Jim. They currently sit in 10th place, 2 points out of the playoffs, with only two games remaining on their schedule. All four teams ahead of them that they could conceivably catch have three games left. It doesn’t help that all three games the San Jose Sharks have remaining are against other teams battling for those same playoff spots, guaranteeing that the Avalanche will have even more ground to make up.

If the Avalanche fail to make the playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks will be the only team from the Northwest Division in the postseason for the second straight year. The competitive imbalance in the Northwest isn’t good for the team or the fans.

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Anti-climax: Canucks clinch Northwest Division

With all the fussing over the Canucks’ quality of play recently, it’s easy to forget that they have a 12 point-lead in the Northwest Division. There was essentially no chance that they could lose the division and were essentially guaranteed to have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Well, you can now remove the word “essentially” from that sentence above and move the whole thing into the present tense. The Canucks have officially clinched the Northwest Division in the most anti-climactic way possible.

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