Sports Hockey

February schedule looks positive for Canucks

By Guts McTavish, 24 hours Vancouver

Canucks rookie Jake Virtanen.

Canucks rookie Jake Virtanen. REUTERS

I've been asked a lot why I have been so negative in regards to the Canucks fate this season. My answer was quite simple -- because I have eyes and those eyes have optic nerves, which attach directly to my brain. 


As my Scottish mother would say, "Cheeky wee bugger."

Fair call.

It was pretty obvious this team was getting overmatched every other night, with the goaltenders and the Sedins keeping this team in playoff contention.

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't think they'd be this close to a postseason spot at this time of year but having said that ... here comes the positive.

If the Canucks can manage to clear their January calendar with 3 or 4 points it will go a long way, but it's not going to be easy, not with Boston (deadline before game starts), Pittsburgh and then back home to host Nashville. 

Any type of fair showing will suffice as the month of February looks advantageous to the Canucks, with eight games at home and only three on the road. Of those three just the one time zone to cross. This will go along way in deciding whether or not this team has legit playoff hopes down the stretch. 

A quick perusal of February shows a handful of beatable teams, with Columbus, Toronto, Calgary twice. 

More importantly, it gives the Canucks the chance to face the teams that will be vying for the few remaining spots in the West. Teams like San Jose, Minnesota, Anaheim, Colorado twice and Phoenix.

How they play in those important games will tell us everything we need to know any postseason notions. 

Follow the kilt @gutsmctavish24