Man, it’s getting worse and worse with the Canucks and their Covid situation
Virtanen added to NHL's protocol list for COVID-19. That's 18 roster players who have been affected by the virus. Three coaches, two taxi-squad palyers also afflicted. #Canucks
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) April 6, 2021
18 out of 22 players, some coaches, some taxi members. Holy schnikes, in other words.
Six games have already been postponed, and more will be, as Covid runs its course through the team.
There are a lot of hot takes out here about the season.
Here’s one from some Toronto talking heads;
This is the key line if you’re too lazy to click on the link. And I know some of you are. Shame!!
“There are ZERO reasons for the Canucks to play another game this year. Take care of your players and staff, Francesco. The safety and long-term health of everyone associated with the breakout is the only factor you need to be concerned with.”
Okay, Dean isn’t wrong. The Canucks are…were…god-awful this season. 16-18-3, eight points back of Montreal for that final playoff spot in the North. They ain’t going to make it, particularly with bodies beaten up by Covid.
So from the standpoint of the Canucks, why play? Other than draft lottery ranking, what does it matter?
But that’s also why it matters.
Can you really just drop the team off the schedule? Is that doable while maintaining some integrity in the standings, of the season, of the off-ice concerns?
I’m leery to touch this one, as witnessed by the beatdown Damien Cox took in Vancouver for THIS tweet:
The question then becomes are you handicapping those playoff bound teams by forcing them to play against a VAN team that’s more rested than it otherwise would be. This is a complex problem. https://t.co/GZrNkx9iRQ
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) April 3, 2021
Goddamn, Cox got crushed for that.
Former Canucks goalie Eddie Lack, now a realtor in Arizona, jumped right in.
NEITHER DO YOU!!!! I get you get paid for stupid takes but this takes the prize.
What we do know is part of the team is sick enough to get IV treatment. That should be enough not to write that tweet. https://t.co/SmfcZKfdXG
— Eddie Lack🇸🇪🇺🇸🇨🇦 (@eddielack) April 4, 2021
Stop, stop! He’s already dead!
But dig deep enough, and there’s some validity to that sentiment.
If the league wants to continue the Canucks’ season, the Canucks will be a team beaten-down, out of shape, playing for nothing.
The integrity of the season will be massively affected.
What if the Jets, chasing Toronto, get the first three against the Canucks? Three easy wins.
What do the Leafs think of that? What about the Edmonton Oilers? Hey, I know they’re pros, but do the Canucks really appreciate getting taken behind the woodshed after a two-week Covid struggle?
Draft lottery, draft positioning, you name it, it will be affected.
Now there’s room at the end of the season for teams to make up games. But if the Canucks have to make up 8-12 games, how does that sked work for the other Canadian teams? What if U.S. teams are done with their seasons, and are just sitting and waiting for the North Division to play out the string? Is that fair to those US teams?
I don’t have an answer. I won’t pretend to
But this is another true test for a league that, to this point, has done a pretty swell job through the pandemic.