Here’s a recap of just some of the low-lights from the Vancouver Canucks pitiful season.
They lost their last eight games to finish second last in the overall NHL standings, only ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.
The Canucks dropped their last dozen home games.
Vancouver finished with a 30-43-9 record for 69 points, which left them a mere 25 points out of a playoff spot.
They tallied a paltry 182 goals and finished with a goal differential of -61, which makes them the lowest-scoring team in franchise history.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) April 12, 2017
Thanks to 462-man games lost to injury the Canucks used a whopping 39 players in their 82 games.
Predictably special teams were nearly at the bottom with the power play, 29th out of 30, and the penalty kill, 28th.
Perhaps, the only spin of good news that comes from such a forgettable season is that Vancouver has a 12.1% chance of landing the top pick in the NHL Draft in June.
Yes, they will pick in the top five for a second straight year, but then again there will be no Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews type of player waiting in the wings that can make an immediate huge impact.
— NHL Central Scouting (@NHLCentralScout) April 11, 2017
The Canucks didn’t waste any-time in giving head coach Willie Desjardins the pink slip after three seasons behind the bench.
The 60-year-old Desjardins (he must feel like 80 after what he went through) was nothing more than a scapegoat for a team in disarray.
I’m not sure how good a coach Desjardins is, but I am convinced a Hall of Fame coach could not have done much better with the same players at his disposal.
Three years ago, the Canucks needing positive public relations hired the popular, but inexperienced, Trevor Linden as their President of Hockey Operations.
Linden first major decision was to bring in Jim Benning as General Manager.
The two of them were on the same wave length and believed Desjardins was the best man available to lead the team to the promise land.
The Linden, Benning, and Desjardins trio all started in the 2014-15 season and in year one made the playoffs before a quick first round playoff exit, losing in six games to the Calgary Flames.
The Canucks then nose-dived to 28th in the 2015-16 season and then somehow, they managed to digress further in 2016-17.
It seems obvious that if Desjardins was given the pink slip and shown the door then why should Linden and Benning have kept their job?
Weren’t the three stooges joined at the hip and in it together for the three years?
But that’s not the way it works in the wide, and not always so wondering, world of sports, particularly in the big high profile money making leagues.
The coach takes the fall in favour of those higher up the chain.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) April 10, 2017
Linden and Benning have put together a team that lacks leadership, chemistry and yes, talent.
Sure, they sell the youth card, but young often doesn’t translate into success unless there are rising superstars, which the Canucks lack.
Stability is key for any team looking to build a championship.
Changing coaches is a way of life for teams that under-perform regardless if it’s the Canucks and their poor history, or the LA Kings and their two Stanley Cups in five years.
Coaches can and do make a difference, but in many instances they are just as good as the talent they are given.
In Desjardins case, he was trying to win a poker game without even holding a pair of Aces.
FROM THE QUOTE RACK:
Jay Cutler’s wife posted a nude photo of him on Instagram. Yeah, the last thing Bears fans need to see is another Jay Cutler sack.
– Conan O’Brien of TBS
Marshawn Lynch is apparently planning to un-retire. “The first time is the hardest” said Brett Favre.
– Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Former NY Jets DL Scott Mersereau was arrested for punching a teen that allegedly egged his house. Justin Bieber immediately applied for a restraining order.
– Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright says he threw a pitch that missed home plate by 30 feet on purpose. Apparently it had something to do with the Cardinals hiring 50 Cent as their new pitching coach.
– Comedy writer Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.com/
When reporters asked LeBron James how many games he sat out “to rest” this year he said, “not 1, not 2, not 3…”
– Comedy writer Tony Chong of Vancouver
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Three reasons Kristin Cavallari posted a photo of husband and NFL QB Jay Cutler’s nude backside:
3. He’s still the butt of jokes;
2. His backfield was in motion;
1. A salute to the Chicago bare.
– Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the Goat.
He also is the 94.3 radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.