Fast-Tracking Canucks On the Cusp of Greatness


The last time the Vancouver Canucks showed the defending champions the door, it was 2011 and they came within one agonizing game of winning the Stanley Cup. But that was expected. The Canucks had finished on top of the overall NHL standings by 10 points and were an emerging powerhouse.

But this? As we’ve come to learn, anything can happen in the playoffs, and that unpredictability is even more likely when the teams have been off for five months and are playing the playoff tournament in an isolated bubble. And whether or not the NHL invited 16 or 24 teams, the Canucks were a legitimate playoff team when the league paused in March, sitting with the third-best points percentage in the Pacific Division. We get all that, but not only did the Canucks beat the St. Louis Blues, they also dictated the pace of play and performed with a confidence that only comes with youthful ignorance. Former Canucks coach and current Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, when he felt like more than grunting during his media briefings, said at one point during the playoffs that even he wasn’t sure whether the fine play of his young players was due to confidence or “dumbness”. Whatever it is with the Canucks, it’s working.