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Could the Vancouver Canucks Finally Break Their Stanley Cup Curse This Year?

Credit: Bob Frid/USA Today Sports


The Vancouver Canucks, who currently sit first in the Pacific Division and second across the entire NHL with 87 total points, could very well be on track to snap their infamous Stanley Cup Curse, which has haunted them for over 50 years. 


With 18 games remaining for the Canucks to close out the 2023-2024 season, the Vancouverites are looking to not only make a deep run in the playoffs but more importantly secure the silverware that has yet to be touched by the organization. With the majority of the Canucks core players as well as their depth stars having career seasons, the chase for the Stanley Cup no longer appears as a distant dream.


Out of the current 32 NHL teams league-wide, the Canucks are one of eleven to have never reached NHL glory and bring home that highly coveted Stanley Cup. Alongside the Buffalo Sabres, the Canucks are the oldest team in the league to have never won it, tallying a 52-season drought. The Canucks however, have managed to reach the Cup final three times in franchise history. Once against the New York Islanders in 1982, once against the New York Rangers in 1994, and of course, once against the Boston Bruins in 2011, which all resulted in heartbreaking losses for the Canucks and the city of Vancouver. 


Vancouver has some die-hard fans. After that infamous loss to the Boston Bruins in 2011, which saw the canucks go to Game 7 against the Bruins, the entire city rioted, causing over $3.7 million in damage. Over 60,000 people gathered in downtown Vancouver, where chaos ensured for the following 12 after the game. In no way does this equate to a sensible way to handle a loss, but it sure does show how much the Stanley Cup dream would mean to the organization and the City of Vancouver - a dream that could finally come true this year. 


However, the Canucks have had good teams in the past. The 2011 team had the Sedin twins, two of Hockey’s greatest players who were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2022. The 1994 team had Pavel Bure, who had back-to-back 60-goal seasons and is easily one of the best Canucks players ever. So, what sets them apart this year?


Thatcher Demo

Credit: Derek Cain/Getty Images


In order to win the Stanley Cup, you need to have good goal-tending, and the Vancouver Canucks certainly have that. This Canucks team is led by Thatcher Demko, who is currently 32-15 in net while posting a .915 save percentage with 2.52 goals against per game, is having a career year, and is very much in the running for the Vezina award. Sure, the Canucks had Roberto Luongo in 2011, arguably the best goalkeeper the franchise has ever had. However, Demko seems to have reached a new level this year, a level that could take the Canucks to the cup. 


You also need a roster loaded with star players to have a shot at the Stanley Cup, which the Canucks also have. Led by Captain Quinn Hughes who is firmly in the race for the Norris trophy this year, the Canucks have multiple stars on track to post career numbers this season. Elias Pettersson who just re-signed for eight years with the organization, currently has 30 goals and 46 assists. Brock Boeser has already hit a career-high in points with 63, racking up an impressive 35 goals which puts him at seventh in the league for goals. J.T. Miller is also on track for a career season, posting 31 goals and 53 assists so far this season.


The final piece to the puzzle to win the Stanley Cup is roster depth. Aside from the star players, the team needs to have some guys who can keep the energy high and momentum going when the stars are on the bench resting, which is something the Canucks have. Mid-way through the season, the Canuck’s acquired Elias Lindholm, a two-way Selke contender who has made a huge impact already. The Canucks also have one of the most lethal third lines in the league, with Dakota Joshua, Teddy Blueger, and Conor Garland posting a huge 30 combined goals on the season. 


With these three aspects of the team performing at the level they are on a nightly basis for the Canucks, it truly seems the Canucks could break their Stanley Cup curse this season.


Quinn Hughes

Credit: Bob Frid/USA Today Sports


The Canucks this year have portrayed a win-now type of play style and organization management. Coach Rick Tocchet, general manager Patrik Allvin and the president of hockey operations for the Canucks Jim Rutherford seem to have figured out the perfect formula for this Canucks team, which has evidently resulted in one of the best seasons this organization has ever had. 


Aside from being in the race for the President's Trophy, the Canucks are one of if not the clear favourite to win the Stanley Cup this year. If all goes to plan, barring any injuries, the city of Vancouver and its die-hard fans may finally get the ultimate hockey prize that they have craved for so many years. 


It will be interesting to see how the Canucks perform under the pressure of the playoffs, as it’s essentially a much harder brand of hockey. However, with the direction they are heading in right now, it should pose little issues for possibly the most balanced Canucks team the league has ever seen.



Edited By: Josh Reidelbach


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