Will the Vancouver Canucks Make the Playoffs in 2021-22?

Vancouver Canucks

Did you hear about the new Canucks Coffee at Tim Hortons? It comes without a cup!! Ba Da Tshh!!! The Vancouver Canucks have gone through their share of ups and downs since entering the NHL in the 1970-71 season. OK, it’s mostly been downs. Sure, they electrified the hockey world with their miraculous Stanley Cup run in 1982.

They also came within one game of winning it all in 1994 and 2011. More recently, they were the buzz of the bubble in 2020 when they were gifted a playoff berth and parlayed it into an impressive run. Of course, they fell short despite a stellar effort from a young Thatcher Demko.

There’s no doubt that this version of the Canucks looks promising. They have a young and talented core that includes Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Thatcher Demko, and Quinn Hughes. They also have some promising rookies in Nils Hoglander and Vasily Podkolzin. Adding in the likes of Bo Horvat and J.T Miller gives a team a solid foundation. Is it enough?

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Making the Stanley Cup Playoffs

To accurately assess Vancouver’s chances of making the playoffs, we must first understand how teams qualify for the NHL playoffs in 2021-22. Things are back to normal this season which means a total of 16 teams will earn a playoff spot. The top three teams in each division automatically qualify while the next two best teams in each conference earn a Wildcard berth regardless of which division they compete in.

Can They Do It?

So, Vancouver must either finish no worse than third place in the Pacific Division, or end up finishing 7th or 8th in the Western Conference. Let’s examine these scenarios. Finishing among the top three in the Pacific Division will be no easy task. Checking out the odds for the Pacific Division winner should give you insight into the enormity of the task.

Team Odds to Win the Pacific Division
Vegas Golden Knights +115
Edmonton Oilers +150
Calgary Flames +1300
Seattle Kraken +1600
San Jose Sharks +1600
Vancouver Canucks +3000
Los Angeles Kings +3500
Anaheim Ducks +7500

As you can see, the bookmakers don’t have a lot of faith in Vancouver. And with just five wins in their first 13 games, we can expect Vancouver’s odds to get even longer. Despite having the league’s 12th-best team goals against average, they are ranked 25th in goals scored with a mere 2.62 goals per game. They have scored three or more goals in a game just four times. That isn’t nearly enough to make them a top-3 team in the division. Just look at the competition!!

So, how do the Canucks stack up as a Wildcard team? Let’s just say that this situation has a much better chance of occurring. However, their chances still look slim. Simply extrapolating their current numbers, Vancouver is on pace for about 78 points. Assuming it will take 93 points or so to qualify for the postseason, it’s pretty clear that Vancouver’s got its work cut out for them.

If you’re a math geek, then you may have already figured out that the Canucks chances of making the playoffs is currently 21.2%. Can Vancouver do it? Of course! It’s early in the season and there’s plenty of time to turn things around. Remember the Blues a couple of years ago? Should you bet on the Canucks to make the playoffs? That’s up to you. It could make for an interesting bet if you can get the right price.