Canucks’ Tyler Myers: ‘We see ourselves as a playoff team’

The vast majority of NHL teams and players are extremely frustrated right now as the 2019-20 season remains paused. Franchises were in the midst of playoff pushes or trying to gain momentum ahead of the postseason when commissioner Gary Bettman brought play to a screeching halt March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

One team that might be slightly less annoyed is the Canucks. 

Vancouver’s campaign got off to a promising start, but then its season began to nosedive in February and early March with just six wins in the team’s final 17 games before the pause. They currently sit just outside a playoff spot — they’re one point behind third-placed Calgary in the Pacific Division and a single regulation win behind Nashville for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The past four weeks have given the players an unexpected opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the first 69 games. 

Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers has been doing that while under quarantine at home in Kelowna, B.C., with his wife and son.

“My wife and our 3-year-old son, Tristan, we popped back to Kelowna pretty quick after this thing hit, and we just had a little bit more space for him to run around and burn off a little bit more energy so you can sleep in a little bit longer,” he told reporters in a video call Wednesday. “So we headed back home here and have just been here since and spending time with each other during this quarantine.”

Myers thinks the team was heading in the right direction, despite its tough stretch, when the season was put on hold.

“It’s such a unique situation for everybody,” he said. “I think we started to get a lot better with our consistency. I think, you know, as the year went on, that was one of the things we were working on as a group. I think it was getting better . . . right towards the end before everything shut down. We were really trending in the right direction.”

He’s disappointed the Canucks haven’t been able to experience the intensity of a playoff push.

“Certainly missing out on the last month of the season there, you really develop such a playoff atmosphere and a playoff feel on the ice,” he said. “It would have been nice for young guys to experience that but the whole league is in the same boat.”

Like everyone else, Myers has no idea whether the season will resume.

“It seems to be a lot of ups and downs in terms of ‘It’s getting better, it’s not getting better,'” he said. “I would love to have a chance to finish the year. Just like everyone else, I’m so new to the situation that I just really have no idea what it could look like. I think more time has to go by to see what could even be possible because right now I just have no clue.”

With the rest of the campaign up in the air, Myers is just hoping that the Canucks get the chance to prove to themselves — and everybody else — that they deserve to be in the playoffs.

“Well, I think all of us in the room, we see ourselves as a playoff team,” he said. “It’s impossible to tell what could have happened in the last 15 games or whatever it was, but I really liked our strides that we made this year. I really hope we’re able to come back and try and end it off on a good note.”

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