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A big shootout win over the Kings got the Canucks back in the win column after splitting a tough road trip through the Central Division. They look well-prepared whether it's Calgary or Los Angeles as the first-round opponent.
You never quite know what you're going to get with the Canucks, but if the team that beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 shows up in the playoffs, their first-round opponent is going to have some trouble. But it remains unclear if they can sustain that kind of play over a longer period.
With six wins in eight games, the Canucks have done a fantastic job of keeping themselves ahead of the madness below. They're not necessarily safe, but a few more wins to close out the season gets them into the playoffs comfortably and likely preserves home ice in the first round.
The Canucks have done a good job of keeping themselves just ahead of the Pacific's really tight playoff race. The Kings, Flames and even the Sharks remain a threat. Vancouver hasn't had too many lengthy rough patches that would put them at greater risk.
Even in the absence of starting goaltender Ryan Miller, the Canucks have strengthened their grip on second place in the Pacific. They have a three-point advantage after posting six wins in their last 10 games and look like they'll safely cruise into the playoffs.
The Canucks didn't do a lot to help themselves now, but maybe they didn't need to. They took a flyer on former top prospect Sven Baertschi and brought in Cory Conacher. They're comfortable in second in the Pacific right now and didn't need to do much.
The Canucks appear to be ready to play without starting goalie Ryan Miller for a while, but that may not be so difficult. Eddie Lack has been holding his own this season and could play adequately enough to keep the Canucks in the playoff picture.
Over the past month or so, the Canucks appear to have started stabilizing a bit. They're still struggling to put together lengthy streaks, but they've won 6 of 10 and remain in playoff position.
Vancouver is clinging to the last wild card spot in the West and can only look on as multiple teams start gaining on them. It won't get easier, either. Six of their eight remaining games in February are against teams in playoff position.
It is really hard to figure out what to make of the Canucks. The goaltending has been OK, the offense kind of comes and goes and they've lost six of their last 10. The Canucks have playoff position now, but it sure seems precarious.
Preseason Power Rankings
Have you seen the puck movement the Canucks have been displaying this year? New coach Willie Desjardins certainly is letting them play and the results include a 2-0 record.
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