Struggle In the North

The Vancouver Canucks headed into the 2020-2021 NHL season with high hopes of being a playoff contender team due to the offseason moves the team executed to help build where talent was lost. Yet the Canucks have been struggling with an unimpressive 11-15-2 record placing the team 7th in the North Division; the team has put up back-to-back wins against the leading Maple Leafs. The Canucks won these games without superstar Elias Pettersson who has been ruled out with an upper-body injury.

The first half of the season was rocky; this can be attributed to multiple things; for starters, the season started off average, as they lost 4 out of the first 10 games. The team then went on to lose 6 straight after picking up one win in their 11th game. Many fans have pointed at the goaltending within the team as they have the second-most goals against with 93, while Ottawa is in first with 105, while the offence has been picking up, leading the team to the 6th most goals in the league with 81. The offseason acquisition of (G) Braden Holtby has been nothing short of disappointing as he currently sits with a 3.56 GAA in 11 games played; Holtby has lead the team to 4 wins within those 11 games. While (G) Thatcher Demko has earned the starting position due to the poor performance of Holtby, Demko has posted a 2.87 GAA in 17 games played while winning 7. The team has struggled in their zone severely as represented in the shots against; the league average is currently 720, while the Canucks have 925 in the 28 games. The team’s frustration does not stop in their zone; on paper, what seems to be a strong power play has struggled immensely with only 18 goals on 89 opportunities. With the back-to-back wins against the league leaders, fans wait to see if the Canucks can make a push late in the season for the last playoff spot in the North Division.

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