Canucks Hitting Snooze
We're just now entering what are known as 'the dog days' of the NHL season, but for the Vancouver Canucks it seems to have started much earlier this year.
At first glance at the standings you may think that is just a typical Vancouverite looking for something to complain about, but when you dwell a little deeper there are some glaring things that stick out like a sore thumb, knee, groin or whatever other injury Sami Salo has been able to rack up over the years.
Undoubtedly the game of the year in the NHL to this point was the Stanley Cup rematch between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks, the Canucks were pushed around all series last year vs. the Bruins which ultimately let to their breakdown and defeat in the cup finals.
They can say all they want about it being just another game on the schedule, but it was fairly evident to anyone who tuned into this game that the Canucks came to play, and made it a point to show that they weren't going to be pushed around by the Bruins this time.
The Canucks went on to win that game 4-3, and showed a heck of a lot to their fans in the way they went about it, but there were two guys who were completely absent for the most part so we'll start there.
In the 10 games following that victory over the Bruins back on January 7th the Canucks have gone 6-2-2, racking up 14 points.
Outside of their one dominating win over the San Jose Sharks on January 21st they have looked mediocre at best, and down right awful in a lot of the games.
If not for the outstanding play of both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider who have had to stand on their head seemingly every single night during this stretch, racking up 35 plus save performances, there's no doubt that the Canucks deserve to be 1-9 over this stretch, and sliding down the Western Conference standings.
There are two ways of looking at this last month's performance from the Canucks
Either they are a great team doing what great teams tend to do, which is finding ways to win on any given night even when they aren't at their best, or this team is missing something that they better find in a hurry or the luck is going to run out and they will start falling in the western conference, where home ice for the duration of the playoffs seems to be the only way to get through.
Tomorrow night is the perfect opportunity for the Canucks to get back on track as they take on their second round foes from last year, the Nashville Predators. Over the same 10 game stretch the Preds have gone 8-2, they aren't doing it with smoke and mirrors like the Canucks either, these guys are on a roll and are playing like a team itching to get back into the playoffs and take another step forward as a franchise.
The Preds have been known since their inception under head coach Barry Trotz to be a team that brings it every single night and if you think you are just going to show up and skate your way to an easy win, you will get blown out.
The Canucks must take this mindset into tomorrow night’s game and start playing like they are capable of or they will not be leaving Nashville with any points, but rather a massive reality check.
Which, at this point may not be the worst thing.
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Also, this being our first blog post on this site, we'd like to thank all the members who helped us get set up and for making us feel very welcome, it's not too often Canucks and their fans are greeted with much hospitality these days... as you can imagine.
If you would like to read some of our blog posts from earlier this year you can check them out here: