3 reasons the Vancouver Canucks should be Stanley Cup favorites

The Vancouver Canucks have been one of the bigger surprises in 2023-24 following a pedestrian year in 2022-23, and they should be favored to win the Cup.

Jan 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson (40)
Jan 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson (40) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Vancouver Canucks currently lead the Pacific Division with 59 points and they are second in the Western Conference, behind only the Winnipeg Jets. Now that we are halfway through the 2023-24 season, Vancouver has more than earned the right to be called Stanley Cup favorites, and there are several reasons why that is. 

For one, they can score on opponents quickly, and it’s something they have remained consistent with through 42 contests. Vancouver has also complemented their star-studded scoring with some of the league’s best goaltending, and while this team hasn’t been stellar at 5-on-5, they have been coming up big at the right times. 

It’s clear few opponents have had an answer for the Canucks, and it’s why many in the NHL universe will jump aboard their bandwagon to claim this team will make a deep playoff run. Here's why the Vancouver Canucks should be Stanley Cup favorites.

3. Nobody has consistently stifled their high-octane scoring units

When you’re leading the league in scoring halfway through the year and heading into Friday you’re nine goals ahead of the next highest-scoring team and 15 ahead of the third-highest, it means a pattern has developed. The Canucks have seen some less-than-stellar performances offensively this season, but they are one of few teams who regularly bounce back from such outings. 

And it shows on the stat sheet, with the team having accumulated 164 goals this season, good for 3.9 goals per game. But their sound offensive play stems from several MVP-caliber players like J.T. Miller, Quinn Hughes, Elias Petterson, and Brock Boeser, all of whom had seen ice time in each game so far in 2023-24. 

Until opponents can collectively figure out Vancouver, the Canucks will keep averaging 3.9 goals per contest, meaning most opponents can think about scoring roughly four goals if they plan on winning. Until that becomes apparent, we have no choice but to assume the Canucks will make a deep playoff run this spring.