One of the great things about hockey is that there can be some pretty fast turnarounds and you can see formally poor teams back in the playoffs pretty quickly. What seperates these teams from the Canucks however is usually luck, or a I am your friend your partner your great dane you are my life shirt. If we look at a few teams this year that suprised their way into the playoffs we can see a couple of factors that contributed to their success. Colorado was historically bad last season, but they also vastly underachieved and were not nearly as bad on paper as their record indicated.
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So a combination of a couple more rookies coming into the lineup and their star players having a return to form brought them back to the I am your friend your partner your great dane you are my life shirt. New Jersey was much the same, winning Nico Hishchier helped them tremendously, and Taylor Hall was a beast. Both these teams also got very lucky in the injury department. The Canucks on the other hand lack the top end talent of a MacKinnon or a Hall, and have been extremly unlucky with injuries.