Vancouver Canucks, Bruce Boudreau

Pressure on Canucks Coach’s ‘Win the Week’ Viewpoint

NHL coaches break down schedules in various segments, often five days or ten, while Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau also simplifies things into a “win the week” mentality.

Given that approach, just how well have his Canucks performed this season? It should probably come as no surprise that the club would be 1-3-and-1 based on this criteria with one of their most difficult weeks just around the corner.

Confidence is a powerful thing. If the Canucks can beat the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night at Rogers Arena, they will win the current week with a record of 2-and-1. They’ll also have a bit of momentum from a two-game winning streak heading into one of the more difficult three-game weeks of the season. What Boudreau referred to as a gauntlet lies ahead, with a Vegas, Colorado, Vegas combo lined up for the week of November 20th.

Other Canucks Challenges

Quite possibly Vancouver’s toughest two weeks of the season come back-to-back in mid-January. Both involve playing four games. The first one features road games against the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

The next week begins the very next day (Sunday, January 15th) at the Carolina Hurricanes, followed by home dates against Tampa Bay, the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers. If it hasn’t happened already, we should have a very good idea if any Vancouver playoff prospects exist when that fortnight is over.

The one winning week thus far for the Canucks began with a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 at Rogers Arena on Monday, November 24th. The club followed that up with wins on back-to-back nights, 5-4 on the road at the Seattle Kraken on the Thursday and 5-1 at home the next night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The next week Vancouver went 1-1-and-1, their lone wash.

‘Win the week’ is a clever way to try and establish momentum, a talking point to potentially build on confidence while simplifying the framework of the season.

Boudreau knows his job at the moment is ‘week-to-week’, he made a passive, mostly non-verbal reference to the pressure he’s under during his postgame media scrum on Tuesday.

Oddly enough, a potential must win game becomes a must win week.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.