How is life as a Canucks fan these days, you ask? Fine. The October and November Canucks dug the rest-of-the-season Canucks into a hole so deep that every remaining game became must-win for their postseason chances, and while the team has won an admirable number under new head coach Bruce Boudreau, that number is still not the “all of them except for maybe one or two” it needed to be. The model over at Moneypuck.com puts the Canucks’ playoff odds at a cool 9.3 percent, and the longer the Pacific Division’s mid-off continues, the more likely it seems that both Western Conference wild-card spots just go to teams in the Central anyway. You could say the Canucks are devoting a lot of energy to a totally pointless fight that has long been lost.
On a completely different note, check out this moment from the second period of Monday night’s Kraken-Canucks game: Three Canucks and three Kraken players battled along the boards for a puck that wasn’t there—wasn’t even close to being there!—ignoring the referee’s increasingly exasperated cries of “Puck’s free!” and “Puck’s gone!” The puck in question had already been chopped out around the corner and behind the net, where Travis Hamonic picked it up and took it up the ice with Matthew Highmore for a very strange 2-on-2 rush.
By the time the players engaged in an entirely futile board battle back in the Canucks’ end realized what was going on, the elusive, much-desired puck would be two zones over. Only a quick left pad save from Chris Driedger prevented Hamonic from scoring. (Not everyone gets so lucky as the Kraken did. A month ago, the Sabres and Senators got all tangled up in a scrum by the benches, and Mark Jankowski scored the Sabres’ game-winning goal on a breakaway because he was the only one to realize there hadn’t been a whistle.)
“That was incredible,” Highmore said at the second intermission. Truer words were never spoken. If the TV camera operators had looked a little foolish before—zooming in on nothing—they made up for it with this perfect shot of six clowns hard at work before the four skaters with the slightest clue come swooping into the foreground.