A new Canucks hockey season is almost upon us! After nearly making it to the dance in the 2021-22 season, the Canucks are looking to make a return to the postseason in head coach Bruce Boudreau’s first full season behind the bench. With the “Bruce there it is” chants already going, here are my three predictions for the season ahead, enjoy!
- The Canucks make the playoffs
The Canucks nearly made the playoffs in Bruce Boudreau’s first season going 32-15-10 after the takeover, and I believe they will continue their strong play under Boudreau and make it to the playoffs. What spot they will take is the question. I see the Oilers winning the division with the Flames in hot pursuit (get it?), for the Canucks I think they will battle it out with the Kings for the third spot in the division and ultimately taking it with the Kings going into the playoffs in the first wildcard spot. This would set up a Canucks- Flames matchup for the ages which I see going to seven games. My record prediction for the Canucks is 46–26-10, 102 points. Ambitious, but not totally unrealistic.
- Bo Horvat will be signed by the trade deadline
Bo Horvat is going into this season without a contract extension in place only one year away from free agency. When asked about the situation, he said: “I want to be a Vancouver Canuck, I want to stay here and I love our group.” Horvat is coming off a 52 point season in 2021, and has registered four 50+ point seasons in his career. It’s no question that the 27 year old has been a great player for the Canucks, and definitely should be part of their core group moving forward, the biggest question is where the money for an extension will come from. The Canucks recently signed star forward JT Miller to an eight year, $8 million contract and while Allvin has said “Bo is our captain. We respect and we like Bo, And we’re communicating with his camp and we’ll see if there’s a deal to be made there,” the biggest question is where will the money come from. The Canucks are currently over the cap and would need to find money somewhere, but somehow, someway, I see them getting a deal done by the trade deadline.
- Demko will place top 5 in Vezina voting, if not higher
Thatcher Demko is coming off an amazing season in 2021-22. He went 33-22-7 with a GAA of 2.72 and a .915 save percentage, along with tying for seventh for the Vezina Trophy. He played the third most games by any goalie in the league at 64, he ranked third for most shots against at 1967 and saves at 1799, he ranked ninth in save percentage for goalie who played over 50 games at .915 (fourth out of goalie who played 60+), he ranked tenth for GAA for goalies who played over 50 games at 2.72. Demko had 14.94 goals saved above average, which was good for tenth. He had seven really bad starts, the same amount as Vasilevskiy and one less than Saros, and he had 35 quality starts which was good for seventh in the league. Really great numbers and when you pair that with several save of the year candidates, a spot in the all star game, and a third place Vezina vote, It really shows why he is a superstar in the league. He already got a shutout in the preseason and is going into this season with a Canuck team projected to make the playoffs, and Spencer Martin who has shown some great play as his backup. Demko could be primed for another career year this season, and I believe it will happen. I think he will have two first place votes, eight second place votes and six third place votes and finish third overall.
I hope you enjoyed reading my three predictions for this upcoming Canucks season, it will definitely be a fun ride. Go Canucks Go!