What's happening to the Canucks?! West playoff race tight!

The Canucks now officially have the worst record in the last 10 games, going 2-7-1, which has pushed them out of the playoffs for the first time since October. Only St. Louis and Florida, having gone 3-5-2 and Atlanta 3-4-3 are close to as bad. This is not a good time to be going on a losing streak for the Canucks.

What can they do, if anything, to get back on form? Trade for Sundin now? Give up their future for a chance to make the playoffs? Or scuttle the season?I stick by it when I said that Luongo missing even that one game after the All-Star break could prove costly. They lost that game with Sanford in net, who actually got pulled if memory serves correctly. That’s two VITAL points that may indeed be the difference in the end between playoffs or golf. Many of you said that one game wasn’t important, but perhaps by the end of the season you will see how wrong you are.

As it now lies, the Canucks are in 9th, albeit with the same record as Nashville in 8th place in the same amount of games. They both have 57 points. In 7th an injury-plagued Colorado has 58 points with a game in hand. Once (or if) their star players return (The Triple S of Sakic, Smyth and Stastny) they should get some more life and make the playoffs. But if those guys don’t return, they may fall out of the race as well. Regardless, I doubt they’d get past the first round in the playoffs, anyways.
In 10th spot is Phoenix, with 56 points and a game in hand. They’ve been playing amazing of late, following the lead of their Captain Shane Doan and rookie sensation Peter Mueller. Tied with them but having played an extra game than the Canucks are the Blue Jackets. I’d personally love to see them finally make the playoffs, even if it is a quick exit. Not far behind are the St. Louis Blues, who like the Canucks, were a playoff team until their recent skid. However, the Blues have 53 points in 49 games, 3 less played than the Canucks and 4 points back. Win 2 of 3 and they are tied.

As you can see, the playoff race in the West will be an intense one down the stretch. I wonder what those teams will do before the trade deadline. I wonder how close it’ll be in the end, and if 2 points is all it takes to make or break a team.

If I had to predict now, I’d say (despite what I want) that the Canucks find a way to fight back into the playoffs. I also think St. Louis will turn things around and get on form, and will be either 8th or 9th in the end. I think Anaheim (who have played many extra games and are at risk too) will be fine with the return of Selanne and as Niedermayer finds his stride again. I also believe Nashville will somehow make the playoffs, I don’t know why, I just do. I think, sadly, that Phoenix and CBJ will just fall short, as will Colorado by the end, unless the Triple S do indeed come back by the end of this month.