Breaking down a tired Canucks team, Dakota Joshua’s absence, and more with Wyatt Arndt: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
4 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal were joined by Athletic writer Wyatt Arndt to discuss the Canucks’ recent slump, the impact of Joshua’s absence, and how the Canucks’ historic PDO run may finally be regressing to the mean.
“They look like a tired team,” said Wyatt, noting the Canucks’ lackluster performance against the Seattle Kraken to lose their 4th straight game. “There’s a difference between a tired team that’s still trying to make things work and a team that’s buying into the fact they’re tired to give themselves a break. That’s what it felt like, I think that’s what Tocchet was alluding to; like, ‘hey, tough times ahead, and this is nothing compared to what the playoffs are going to be like’. Tocchet loves tests, he’s all about tests and learning from them, so this is a very good learning thing to get through, it’s a tough stretch. I said it before the (Avalanche) game, they’re going to go on a five game losing streak. I don’t think they’re winning against Boston, it’s too short of a turnaround, but I do think they will bounce back. Tocchet did the nice thing by saying, ‘It’s on me for not getting them prepared’, but you know he’s going to have his team ready and that wasn’t good enough. He is right, there’s some guys who were invisible.”
Forward Dakota Joshua has been out since Feb. 13 after injuring his hand in a fight during Vancouver’s game against Chicago. The absence was presumed to be noticeable, but perhaps not this much.
“On a four game losing streak, we’re looking at everything on the table to find what’s wrong,” said Wyatt. “It’s easy to point to Joshua, and maybe we’re heightening his disappearance in the lineup a little too much, but I do think it’s an impact for sure. Him and Garland had some chemistry, and that whole third line does, but Garland is really good at high-danger passing and setting people up, and Dakota figured out how to play with him. He knows how to use that space that Garland creates for him, and he takes the puck to the net hard. He’s the guy that drives the net. Missing that aspect of that line, they’re trying to fit guys in there who can do the same thing but nobody is really fitting the same way. For a team trying to keep the Edmonton Oilers in the rearview mirror, that has been a huge loss.”
Amidst the team’s worst slump of the season, there are still silver linings to be found.
“My favourite stat is that they’re the most lethal team off the rush,” Joked Wyatt, noting the Canucks’ incredibly high PDO has started to flounder. “They just score goals, the puck always goes in. To them, it’s almost too easy at times. So I do think they need that idea of, ‘we’ve got to dig deep now, we’re playing down goals, we’re not getting goals coming as easy, and we’ve got some injuries’, because that’s going to happen in the playoffs. It’s going to happen to this team, they’re going to have to find a way to fight through it and Boston is the perfect test. In the playoffs, you’re down maybe 3-1 in the series, and that top team is still right across from you. So this is a perfect chance for them to go, ‘Hey, we’re a playoff team, that’s a top team across the table from us, we’ve got to figure out a way to not just play well but win this game’.”
You can watch the full segment in the video below:

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