December 10 2009 10:18AM
After an up-and-down four-game road trip , the Canucks return to the friendly confines of GM Place to begin a season-defining eight-game home stand against the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Thrashers are fresh off a loss last night in Calgary, so they should be a tired and weary bunch. The Canucks are coming home after two disappointing, incomplete games both of which resulted in losses. The two losses brought an unfortunate end to a road trip which started off quite well.
The Canucks now need to get back to winning and must do so quickly, as they are losing ground in the Western Conference standings. Luckily, the other four teams in the Northwest division have had unsteady performances in the last two weeks as well, so Vancouver isn't losing any ground within their own group.
As it stands now, the Canucks are sitting in 11th in the West. The good news though is that they are only 4 points out of 6th. The bad news is that they are also only 4 points out of last in the conference as well. They need to have consistent, dominating efforts in these next eight home games to reassert themselves as a force in the Western Conference.
If the Canucks can go 6-2-0 or 5-2-1 in these home games, then they will be back on track with their record, and will likely move up to the 7th or 8th spot in the conference. If they fare any worse than that, their season is in jeopardy of falling off the rails for good. With their mammoth 8+6 game road trip coming in February, they need to start racking up win now, and fast.
And the best way to do that is to win out through a lengthy home stand where the Canucks has been very good all year.