Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Canucks Report at the Half Way Mark

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tanev_higgins

After 42 games, the Canucks are 23-12-7. The team managed to string together a 7 game win streak, on their way to posting a 10-1-2 record in December, their best month of the season so far.

The team has 53 points and remains at 4th place in the Pacific Division. At the quarter pole the Canucks were at 4th in the Pacific, but had played the most games in the league. Their hot December has allowed the team to remain in the same spot while other teams have made up most of the difference in games played.

The Canucks have been bit hard by the injury bug. Defencemen Alex Edler, Ryan Stanton, and Andrew Alberts are all out of the lineup with various injuries, forcing the Canucks to call up Yannick Weber and Frank Corrado to fill in. In addition, Alex Burrows is out with a broken jaw, while Roberto Luongo was out of the lineup briefly with a groin strain. The defencemen that have remained healthy have been rock solid. The play of Chris Tanev has been lauded by Coach Tortorella throughout this season. Along with Hamhuis, Garrison and Bieksa, the top 4 defencemen have been receiving a ton of ice time.

booth

David Booth has 5 goals so far this season – one for each leaf on this “clover”.

As I predicted in a previous post, the Canucks have improved their play as the season has gone on.

The team has done this despite the top line scoring cooling off, and the power play being ice cold. Currently, the Canucks power play is ranked 26th in the NHL. Henrik and Daniel Sedin have 3 points each in the last 6 games. Secondary scoring has come from everywhere in the lineup, and the makings of a 3rd line is starting to emerge, with Brad Richardson centering Zack Kassian and David Booth. Yes, that David Booth. He has 5 goals this season and his speed and strength fit well Kassian and Richardson’s size and grit.

The Canucks schedule is tough over the next 7 games: Kings and Ducks twice each, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Phoenix. With most of these games against solid, physical teams in the West, the Canucks look to prove that they belong in the Western Conference playoff race.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Canucks Report at the Half Way Mark”
  1. Tom McMichaels says:

    Canucks are too soft and too pussyish to do anything of significance. I see them falling out of the playoff picture after these next 7 games. The only reason why they have a good record right now is because they played a whole bunch of eastern conference teams. Nucks will miss the playoffs and the fans will riot or blame the refs as usual.

    • Bruce Ng says:

      Thanks for reading Tom!

      I don’t agree on the soft part, but I agree on the record vs. East and West. When I wrote this post, the Canucks had a slightly better 6-4-3 record against the Pacific Division, but after the last 2 games in California they’re 6-5-4. The top 3 teams in the Pacific are the 3 California teams, and their records in the division are really very good. As it stands, the Canucks are still on the bubble. If they played more like they did in December I wouldn’t be as worried, but in the last 2 games they gave up well over 40 shots each night. Hard to win that way.

  2. David T says:

    I believe Tortorella’s system is working but the players are just not listening to him I feel; yes they perform exceptionally well but I noticed it seems to be after Torts screams at the bench, often ridiculing his players during the game too. All of his “poking” and yelling has brought the team’s overall confidence to an all time low. It’s amazing how quick the morale of the team can change and that’s been a constant trend with this team for a long time. They always seem to put together a successful season whether they deserve all the credit or not but they always seem to fall flat in the playoffs when it matters most. In my opinion, the Canucks could very well fall out of the playoffs this season if they keep winning a game or two and then losing a string of games or a game in between; that is going to cost them a lot of points which it has but these remaining games are points they can’t afford to lose right now. I hope I am wrong but living the life of a Canucks fan is hard because of how much disappoint this team and fanbase has seen. All we want is the cup but is it too much to ask of this team? They have to want the cup more than us and be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Come April, it would be a great sign to see the top 2 lines producing and healthy with Burrows back with the Twins and our bottom 2 lines continuing to generate offense while adding that size and grit factor. It would also be great to have Edler, Stanton, and Alberts back to solidfy our defensive core and for Luongo to continue his stellar play this season throughout the post season. Of course I would love to see Gillis get off his ass and bring in a top 6 forward and a gritty 3rd or 4th liner to help bolster the roster a bit before playoffs but something tells me he won’t do that but only time will tell. For now we can struggle to watch the Canucks struggle to score goals at times and give up precious leads all the while somehow impressing us in some way whether it would be an outstanding goalie performance or even a fight or a huge hit. Let’s make some noise for the boys! Go Canucks Go!

    • Bruce Ng says:

      Thanks for reading David!

      As if on cue, the Canucks blew a 2 goal lead tonight, and gave up well over 40 shots for the 2nd game in a row. Ugh. And this is against teams in our own division. Luongo looks like he might be injured again, and when Sestito is on the PP .. well, it can’t be good. If they can’t win against teams in the division, they still might qualify for the playoffs, but it’ll be a short run, barring a Superman-like effort, such as the series Kesler had against Nashville.

      What’s frustrating is that in the 2 games this weekend, the 1st period has been really very good. Then nothing but rely on the goalie for the last 40 minutes. Granted, tonight maybe energy was an issue being on the 2nd half of a back to back, but this team needs to play 60 minutes if they’re going to win any games.

      Let’s hope they can turn it around quickly!

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