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Power Outage on the Left Coast?



As Lower Mainland residents woke up this morning morning to a raging wind storm that has knocked out power in a few areas, you have to wonder if this is the same storm that has recently put the Vancouver Canucks in the dark. Vancouver, who is on a lengthy 7 game homestand, are now 2-3 on that homestand, after dropping back to back Saturday night decisions to lowly Buffalo and Montreal, with a win against Winnipeg sandwiched in between.

Before this 7 game stand at Rogers Arena, the Canucks schedule was very road heavy, and I was thinking if Vancouver managed to have a decent road record up til then, that they would have a very good shot at repeating as President Trophy champions with most of March and April on home ice. They did better. The Canucks managed 22 road wins, the most in the NHL, and you had to think that with the Blues playing a lot of road games, and the Red Wings being plagued by alot of injuries, that the sea had parted for the Canucks and all they had to do was do what they have been doing for a better part of 8 seasons, being a tough team to play against on home ice.

In the 5 games so far in March, the Canucks two wins were a 2-0 blanking of the St.Louis Blues, and a come from behind 3-2 win against the Jets. Both games, even though ending in victories, showed signs of a Canucks team that was either tired of even bored. The losses were more alarming though, and to teams the Canucks should feast on. Buffalo opened up a 3-0 lead just 6 minutes in with very sloppy play by the Canucks defence. In true Canuck fashion, they mounted a comeback but fell 5-3. The Dallas game was almost as painful as the game this past Saturday, with Vancouver opening the scoring in the 2nd period, only to show no signs of life afterwards and lose 5-2. The loss to Montreal, the last place team in the East, was probably the most humiliating loss of the season, a 4-1 setback. Ryan Kesler opened the scoring in this one, but after that, you didn't see many scoring opportunities from Vancouver. They played like they were protecting a lead even when they were tied 1-1. The Canadiens scored a weak one on Roberto Luongo early in the 3rd to take a 2-1 lead, and then after running into penalty trouble, Montreal capitalized on the two man advantage and it was pretty much lights out after that.

The biggest concern in all this, the play of the Canucks go to guys, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who have now gone pointless in 8 straight contests. You can say the chances were there and the effort as well, but these guys are based on the scoresheet, and they haven't been on it since a thrilling 4-3 win in Detroit on February 23rd. Some will say they rather have these guys slump now before the playoffs, others will tell you its alarming and concerning to see these guys go this long without any push back. We won't know how long this will last until we see them dig themselves out of this on their own. Ryan Kesler is looking like he's getting back on track, and it would be a great thing to see both Henrik and Daniel Sedin go into the postseason with some razzle dazzle, otherwise, this town known for its tough love on its athletes, will have some choice words for the two.

These guys are very good at what they do, and even though their point totals will most likely drop after the last two magical seasons, I think we know deep down that they'll be fine. I'm sure most people will take this slump happening now than in the playoffs cause these two will be magnified from April on, like they've never been looked at before.

Tonight the Phoenix Coyotes are in town, a team that is in the crazy playoff race in the West with 4 other teams for the final two playoff spots. They havent won a game yet in March, but have compiled enough OT/SO points to stay in the race and sit in 7th for the moment. This game has all the ingredients to send fans into a trap coma, with most meetings between these two going past 60 minutes. This is not the game you expect Daniel and Henrik to end their slumps, but who knows. We've seen alot of magic from these guys when you dont expect it, and it still catches some of us off guard even though we've been watching them for over 10 years.

A Stanley Cup on their resume would definately clear the skies and push the raging winds away that have been howling around this team and city for a better part of 40 years.

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