January 18 2014 03:26PM
Image via Earl Sleek
The Vancouver Canucks have fallen on hard times lately. There aren't a lot of things going right for them these days, with all of the injuries and losing. As weird as it is to say this given the fact that they had endured a 9-1 drubbing the night before, I think the loss to the Phoenix Coyotes may've been something of a rock bottom for the team.
It was kind of the perfect microcosm for everything that has gone wrong in January; they looked completely listless for large stretches of the game, the power play was mindblowingly ineffective, they suffered a couple of injuries to players of varying importance, and they once again lost.
Fortunately, they're about to embark on a much more forgiving stretch in the schedule (we'd think), and it all starts when the Calgary Flames come to town on Saturday night.
January 17 2014 12:50PM
Admittedly, the outlook and dialogue on this blog has been pretty bleak lately. I guess that's what happens when the team your blog is devoted to goes through an injury-induced malaise; which includes 1 win in 9 games since December 30th, a -14 goal differential, one of the most embarrassing group performances imaginable, and having the same number of points for the season as the Minnesota Wild.
All that considered, the tone seems justified and the situation seems dire. But just as fast as things have spiraled out of control over the past few weeks, I think they can be restored. There are some very tangible reasons to expect this team to right the ship, which we'll get into right past the jump.
January 16 2014 04:07PM
I'm going to refrain for starting this post off with the "things can only get better, right?" lede, because as we learned last night, that's not necessarily a given. I plugged yesterday's game against Anaheim like that, thinking that the Ducks couldn't possibly hand the Canucks a more one-sided butt whooping than the one they did back on January 5th..
.. but then they did. To the tune of an embarrassing 9-1 defeat. So I guess that was a lesson that you should never take your current situation for granted because it can always get worse. With all of that being said, there's some reason for optimism tonight. Olympic Diver Mike Smith has had a .900 save % performance just once in his last 7 starts, and the Coyotes as a team have reallly been sputtering as a result.
Just like the Canucks, they have only 1 win in the month of January. SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE! THE CANUCKS.. THE COYOTES.. A PACIFIC DIVISION RIVALRY GAME! GET. PUMPED.
January 16 2014 12:34AM
GIF via the Score
In case you missed Wednesday night's game in Anaheim and are wondering how it went for the Canucks, I think you can use John Tortorella's reaction above as a pretty reliable guide. It sums things up fairly adequately. Just extrapolate it into nearly 3 hours worth of self-deprecating viewing, and you've got yourself a good synopsis!
We'll sort through the wasteland following the 9-1 defeat just past the jump. If you're not sure whether you should click or not, I promise that this right here is the last time you'll see the terms "moral" and "victory" next to each other (as that was probably the only thing beaten into the ground more than the Canucks on this night).
January 15 2014 02:50PM
Get your game face on, just like Corey Perry!
Wednesday night's game between the Vancouver and Anaheim will be hard-pressed to match the intensity, excitement, and intrigue that we saw last time the Canucks hit the ice, but that's okay. Despite that there's at least a handful of noteworthy things for us to look at and talk about in the lead-up to puck drop.
Like, for example, the fact that their opponent tonight has somehow both quietly and kind of unfathomably won 17 of their past 18 games to give themselves a nice little cushion atop the Western Conference. Then there's the 19-0-2 record they have at the Honda Center (the location of tonight's game); if the Canucks hope to hand them their first loss at home they'll have to play better than they did the last time they saw each other 10 days ago.. which fortunately would pretty much be impossible not to do. Remember, streaks are made to be broken.
The lineup will look slightly different tonight than it did in LA, and will probably continue to change steadily over the next couple of games as it slowly but surely morphs into a healthier, more optimal group. Whatever happens, we can all feel better about ourselves knowing that Mike Gillis wasn't the one that swapped two very comparable goaltenders just so he could give up a 3rd round pick for a bottom-6 forward with an ugly contract today.