Start your engines.
Your playoff engines, that is.
Vancouver’s key win against the Los Angeles Kings last night didn’t mathematically lock them a spot in the postseason dance, but it sure made their job a lot easier.
A single regulation or overtime win against bottom-feeding Arizona or Edmonton will guarantee them a spot.
Arizona has done their damnedest to be as bad as possible to help their chances of picking a Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, and Edmonton … well, we’ve heard that record play out for years now.
Could you have seen this coming at this time last year?
It took 80 games, but no one’s pegging the Canucks as a bunch of suckers anymore.
The win over the Kings was just yet another example of a team which can trail early in a game – against the defending champions no less – and not panic.
This team doesn’t freak out when they trail by one or two goals. At some point from the first puck drop in October to now, it dawned on this club that they’re capable of hanging in games no matter what.
Whether Vancouver plays Calgary, or Los Angeles, or even Anaheim or St. Louis in round one, the Willie Desjardins-backed club has shown they won’t be an easy out. They won’t roll over like the 2013 team that got swept in four by San Jose.
The Canucks, now, are pesky. And if their powerplay gets some CPR or their top two lines find a way to click at the same time, maybe they’ll show they’re more than just pesky.
They might show they’re capable of winning a round.
Now who would’ve thought that back at this time last year?