Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks, proper, hopes to assist jumpstart his sagging NHL group this weekend in California.


American Thanksgiving is seen as a measuring stick for a NHL group’s playoff hopes.

There’s an excellent purpose American Thanksgiving is taken into account a key date for NHL playoff hopes.


For the reason that 2005-06 season, 75 per cent of the groups in a playoff spot on the fourth Thursday in November went on to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs the next April.

The Canucks’ latest skid of seven straight losses, together with one in a shootout, has them sitting fourth within the Pacific Division and likewise wanting a Western Convention wild-card berth.

The run of losses has seen their factors projection downsized, placing them on track for 81 factors — and final of their division, in response to HockeyViz.com.

The constructive spin is that’s an enchancment over final season’s complete of 73 factors, however it will nonetheless be brief of what’s wanted to qualify for the post-season.

The Canucks are going to win once more. The query is, will they win usually sufficient to defy their projections, to haul them again into the playoff hunt?

With two video games in two nights — Friday in San Jose, Saturday in Los Angeles — the Canucks already discover themselves in a little bit of a make-or-break place.

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However for Travis Inexperienced and the teaching workers, the outcomes over the subsequent two video games are considerably immaterial. They’re targeted on how their group learns from what’s occurred over the past three weeks and can proceed to study over the approaching days.

“There’s ebbs and flows to the hockey season,” Inexperienced stated earlier this week concerning the playoff chase.

He talked to his group about it, whereas highlighting the high-quality line between successful and shedding.

Friday, he spoke about what’s wanted from his group to remain within the hunt, and the necessity to win.

“This can be a group that wants everybody to play effectively,” Inexperienced stated.

Even when the Canucks are at present on the skin trying in on the Pacific Division standings, there are causes for optimism — the group has been enjoying fairly respectable hockey and has been scoring objectives whereas enjoying in a fairly weak division — and pessimism — they’re merely giving up too many objectives.

They might be on a run of robust outcomes, however the gamers try to stay upbeat, specializing in what they’re doing effectively whereas additionally admitting they have to be significantly better in key areas.

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Typically you play effectively and lose, their coach has famous greater than as soon as over the shedding skid.

And hard instances are inevitable throughout a season for any group.

How a group copes with these struggles can decide so much. While you’re a group on the sting, the little moments matter greater than ever.

Inexperienced stated he’s realized so much about his membership, each when it has been successful and when it has confronted adversity, just like the participant have over the previous seven video games.

“It’s what you see how they react,” he stated. “How they deal with moments … can they maintain an excellent keel all through a recreation, can they follow a recreation plan?”

Enjoying in a Recreation 7 within the playoffs is clearly a giant emotional problem, however even earlier than you get there, you must have a stable emotional base, too.

“We discuss a burning need to win inside our group so much,” Inexperienced stated. “When your will to win is excessive, you appear to do every little thing proper.”

He needs to see that even now, even when the Canucks aren’t in Recreation 7 conditions.

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In fact, the skin perspective on that place might be that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, that gamers with that burning need additionally occur to be gamers who win so much, that there’s a affirmation bias to that.

Irrespective of, although, Inexperienced stated he’s proud of how his group has dealt with its place. He additionally needs his gamers to not be afraid to fail.

“We need to be a group that initiates,” the coach stated.

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Pay attention: The White Towel podcast

Patrick Johnston dials in for the podcast from California, the place he experiences on the Canucks’ struggles on their present shedding skid, how badly they want higher goaltending, if accidents are a reliable excuse, and the areas the place the Canucks need to focus probably the most as they proceed to attempt to construct a aggressive group. Discuss takes a detour when Patrick calls Alexander Edler a “nice” defenceman, Paul Chapman disagrees and the long-running debate concerning the historic mediocrity of Canucks’ defencemen sparks up once more.


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