Canucks fans don’t have many reasons to smile of late. Their favourite team has won just one of their last eight games. In that time, they’ve given up four shorthanded goals. The defence is a mess, the goaltending has faltered, the penalty kill has given up 9 goals in the last 8 games, and they can’t hold a third period lead to save their lives.
Radim Vrbata, last year’s leading goalscorer has just 3 goals and is minus-11. Bo Horvat, who fans hoped would have a big year, has just 6 points and has struggled at times with added responsibility.
Canucks fans need a win. They need something special to bring joy back to their hearts. They need something unexpected and magical.
They need Ben Hutton’s sweet, sweet dance moves.
This is one of the greatest gifs I have ever seen. I’m not going to exaggerate and say I could watch this gif for hours on end, but I have literally already watched it for minutes on end. It’s utterly mesmerizing.
Every time Hutton’s face turns towards the camera, I laugh. Every time. It’s an involuntary reaction. There’s something completely disarming about that goofy grin that cuts right through any cynicism or bitterness.
It’s also the timing. This gif is essentially a perfect joke. There’s the setup, which is already humorous in itself -- Hutton dancing in an absurd fashion, butt bouncing to some unheard beat -- and then there’s the punch line, that perfectly timed turn, puppet-mouth smile already in place.
If this doesn’t make you more optimistic about the Canucks’ chances this season, then that makes perfect sense, because this marvelously dumb gif has nothing to do with how the Canucks will perform on the ice. But if it doesn’t make you smile, then you need some heavy de-Grinch-ifying, stat.
Or maybe you just need more Ben Hutton dance gifs.
None of these match the sublime joy of that first gif, but they still have their own charm.
Or perhaps you can’t smile because you’re worried about Hutton, worried that his joyous spirit will be crushed by the pain and frustration of being a Canuck. In that case, the Canucks need to get someone to buoy his spirits, creating a feedback loop wherein both exponentially increase each others’ joy.
Fortunately, the Canucks already have the right guy in their system: Thatcher Demko.
There we go: the perfect dance partner. Get Demko up in the big show as soon as possible.
But sometimes that’s not enough. You can’t leave young players on their own and expect them to carry the load by themselves.
Here’s where veteran experience is vital. Ben Hutton and Thatcher Demko need veteran mentors who can show them how it’s done in the NHL. Thankfully, the Canucks have some solid leadership in this area.
With this kind of youth coming into the system and veteran leaders like Alex Edler and the Sedins in place, the future looks incredibly bright for the Canucks. Right, Hutton?