Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

What's Wrong With this Team?

luongo_down

They’re 0-3 and in less than one week have gone from cup contenders to talentless bums (according to the bandwagon douchebags anyways). Well, the fact of the matter is that this team isn’t as good as those early season predictions (loyal Canuckz.com readers already knew this after reading this post) and they’re not as bad as their 0-3 record suggests. I think what’s wrong with the Canucks is a combination of them getting cocky, believing their own preseason hype, and being out of sync. Being out of sync can be attributed to them not icing a single game in the preseason with their full line-up. I believe they kept too many prospects right to the final game of the preseason. So that’s the bad news.

The good news is, they’ve actually played pretty well in large portions of all three games. The Canucks have outplayed their opponents in about 70% of their games, but haven’t been able to score. Conversely, their opponents have capitalized on their chances, putting Luongo and company in a big hole.

random_thoughts

Random Thoughts

More good news: Luongo won’t be this bad for long and the Canucks won’t be this snake-bit for long.

When the Canucks have played with urgency, they’ve been very good. The problem is that by the time they decided to play with urgency on Monday night, they were down by three goals. Same thing against Calgary.

The Canucks penalty kill needs to get better. Their opponents have absolutely lit them up on the man advantage: Columbus was 1-3, Colorado was 2-6, and Calgary was 2-3. You can’t expect to win with penalty killing like that.

Ryan Johnson has been on the ice for all six goals against while shorthanded! Not good for someone who is supposed to be a penalty killing specialist. Rick Rypien has been on for three of them. Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows haven’t been on for a goal against while on the penalty kill.

Five of the six power play goals against have been scored by the other team’s second unit.

Maybe they ought to keep one of Burrows or Kesler on the ice at all times while on the penalty kill.

The Sergei Shirokov experiment may be over. Alain Vigneault juggled his lines after they were down 4-1 against Columbus and Shirokov ended up on the 4th line with Ryan Johnson and Rick Rypien. Shirokov’s old linemates, Ryan Kesler and Mikael Samuelsson, were much more effective playing with Mason Raymond in the 3rd period. Look for Tanner Glass to be inserted into the lineup against Montreal.

coldplay

What are the game presentation people doing at GM Place? The Canucks are now hitting the ice to some mellow song by Cold Play after a sappy intro on the big screen. Not surprisingly, this put the home crowd a bit to sleep to start the game. I know it was Columbus on a Monday night, but I have never seen a quieter home opener to start the game, and the game presentation certainly contributed to it.

Anybody notice that there were an awful lot of tickets available for the home opener? It’s become abundantly clear that the sellout streak has ended (unless you count giving away hundreds of tickets) and it’s not because of a lack of fan support. Simply put, the Aquilinis have now priced people right out of the building. Seriously, how many people can afford to spend over $200 on a mediocre corner seat in the lower bowl, for Columbus on a Monday night no less? The entire city of Vancouver is crazy about this team right now and for the Canucks to price tickets so high that they can’t sell them is just plain greedy.

And now, something to help cheer us cheer up…

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