The Vancouver Canucks Are Appointment Viewing for the First Time in 6 Years

It has a lot to do with a certain rookie. 

Throughout the last several years, you’d be forgiven for not knowing exactly what was going on with the Vancouver Canucks.In fact, we kind of envy those that have no recollection of Willie Desjardins’ affinity for mediocre players, or what place a murphy bed has in Canucks lore.Aside from the Sedins’ goodbye tour in April of this year, Canucks games haven’t been appointment viewing since the end of the 2011-2012 season, when the squad was still thought to be a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.There have been moments of triumph and excitement since then, to be sure. The Canucks have made the playoffs twice (though they didn’t advance out of the first-round in either season), and Brock Boeser’s emergence last season was certainly a bright light in a dark season.Largely though, the Canucks have been in a six-year slog in which only the most dedicated of fans have actually been given something to care about, or a reason to tune in. Heck, the team’s play over the last several seasons is probably directly linked to the number of cable subscriptions cancelled in the Vancouver area.But this year already feels a little different.We are a scant nine games into the Elias Pettersson era, and even the wildest expectations for the fifth-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft have been surpassed.Pettersson has nine goals and six assists in those contests and is a major (maybe the only) reason the Canucks currently sit second in the Pacific Division. He’s made an absolute mockery of the rookie scoring race, already six points ahead of his closest challenger, despite missing five games to injury.The weirdest part? Even in his first game back from his concussion, Pettersson has looked like a star in every single game he’s played, even the ones he hasn’t registered a point.He’s already probably the team’s best defensive forward, and his offensive abilities are out of this world to the point that he’s earned the nickname “The Alien.”Teams are now planning to stop the Sundsvall, Sweden native, and even that is having little to no effect thus far.The Colorado Avalanche (who have been formidable this year) had absolutely no answer for Pettersson as he led the Canucks to a wild 7-6 overtime win in the Canucks’ most recent game on Friday, putting up five points in the process. put, if you’re not keeping up with Pettersson’s exploits, you’re less relevant in Vancouver conversation circles than Expo 86.The Canucks are fun again, and don’t worry, there’s plenty of room on this bandwagon right now (seats are going quick, though!).Enjoy the ride.