If you NHL betting on the playoffs last year then you know that the Vancouver Canucks where nowhere to be found. In fact last season marked the second time in the last three years that the Canucks were eliminated from playoff contention. Willie Dejardins’ first year as head coach (2014 – 2015 season) saw the Canucks make it to the first round of the playoffs, but they still lost the series to the Calgary Flames 4 – 2. Dejardins was brought in to replace John Tortorella who proved to be too much to handle in only one season.
Although Tortorella’s dismissal had more to do with the suspension he received in March 2014 than with the fact that his team was the first Vancouver team to miss the playoffs since 2008, it’s still a pressing reminder for Dejardins that Vancouver isn’t afraid to part ways with a coach they just brought on. If Dejardins is looking to keep his position as head coach then it is imperative that he not only make it to the playoffs, but find some sort of postseason success.
Tortorella was the beginning of a management overhaul that saw the Canucks part ways with their head coach, assistant coach, and even general manager. The moves appeared to pay off as Dejardins’ first year at the helm saw the Canucks make it to the playoffs, but last NHL betting season’s performance puts even more pressure on this year’s squad. But pressure might be the one thing this team needs, and with a solid offseason this team’s chances of making the playoffs might not look so bleak, even if the sportsbooks don’t agree.
Odds to Win 2016 – 2017 Western Conference
Vancouver Canucks +3850
Odds to Win 2016 – 2017 Stanley Cup
Vancouver Canucks +10000
Those Stanley Cup future odds are an indication of the tremendous work this team needs to put in and while bringing home a title might be a long ways off, making it into the playoffs isn’t. Scoring has been an issue for this team. Last season they were ranked 27th in the league, a drastic decline from their 11th ranking only two years ago. To help combat this need Vancouver has brought along Philip Larsen who was ranked as the 5th highest scoring defenseman in the Kontinental Hockey League. While some might say the KHL isn’t as competitive as the NHL, his achievement is still remarkable nonetheless.
Another player the Canucks have brought along to help put points on the board is the former Boston Bruin Loui Eriksson. Eriksson may not be the flashiest winger in the league, but he still has more than 200 NHL goals under his belt. Eriksson will be joining Henrik and Daniel Sedin, two players with whom he has found success in international tournaments. While that may not be enough to influence your NHL betting futures, it is still a ray of hope for this Vancouver team.
Some more hopeful news for Canucks fans is the fact that Brandon Sutter will be returning healthy. Sutter only participated in 20 games last season due to needing a hernia surgery and suffering a broken jaw. In those 20 games Stutter scored five goals and four assists and was on track to match his career best 21 goals. This team is not replete of talent, but it has its share of stars. Alexandre Burrows and Emerson Etem will be great compliments for Eriksson.
They’ve also brought in Anton Rodin, the Swedish League’s MVP last season. Rodin might be coming off a knee injury, but there’s no doubt he should be able to transition smoothly into the NHL. Ultimately, it is up to Dejardins to piece this team together and convince sportsbook users that the Canucks could be a serious option for your NHL futures. It’s either that or risk being canned.