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Abbotsford Canucks struggling against top teams in Pacific Division

Canucks have just four regulation wins in 24 games against teams above them in division
The Abbotsford Canucks have been beat up by the top teams in the Pacific Division (like the Tucson Roadrunners) in the 2023-24 regular season. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

The Abbotsford Canucks remain in the playoff picture in the AHL’s Pacific Division, but the team’s performances against the best in the west makes it seem unlikely that a deep postseason run is coming this spring.

Abbotsford has played 24 games against the top-four teams in the division – the Coachella Valley Firebirds, Colorado Eagles, Tucson Roadrunners and Calgary Wranglers – and have just four regulation wins in those games.

The Canucks have just eight wins including overtime and shootout victories in those 24 contests and have earned a total of 18 out of 48 possible points in those games.

The club currently sits in fifth place in the Pacific Division with an overall record of 27-18-4-2. The playoff format sees the top-seven teams advance to the postseason. The first-place team earns a bye and seeds two through four will have home ice advantage. A fifth seed or lower finish and the Canucks will open the playoffs in a best-of-three series with all three games being played on the road.

This situation occurred last year when the fourth-seeded Canucks hosted the Bakersfield Condors and eliminated them in two games.

Abbotsford was recently swept on home ice by the Eagles with losses on Tuesday (Feb. 28) and Wednesday (Feb. 29). They also split a home series with Wranglers on Feb. 19 and 21, but Calgary earned three of four possible points in Abbotsford.

The good news for the Canucks is that they don’t play the top-four teams again until late-March. They travel to Colorado for games on March 29 and 30, host the Firebirds on April 6 and 7. The Canucks close the regular season with four games against the Wranglers on April 11 and 12 in Calgary and then April 19 and 20 in Abbotsford.

It’s likely that those four games against Calgary will ultimately determine the team’s final placement.

The Pacific Division logjam sees Abbotsford currently just one point out of third, but also two points out of dropping to seventh.

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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