Last week this team was just two losses away from tying their franchise record for losing streak futility. A late shorty by Burrows against Carolina solved that problem.
Then came Saturday's flat out destruction of the Hawks, a team that (from what I can tell since I didn't see it) took way too many penalties, was tired from a long road trip and had a bounce or two go against them. We all collectively jumped for joy and, hey, why not? Winning hasn't been easy since '09 started.
So while I hope everyone didn't hurt themselves getting back on the bandwagon, I hate to bring it up: Vigneault is still hanging by a thread. Isn't he?
I don't expect Gillis or anyone on the roster to bring Vigneault up (ok, maybe Demitra) but two wins shouldn't erase how piss poor the Canucks played under his watch almost all of last month, a losing streak that pushed them directly out of the playoffs. A game like Saturday's win was bound to happen. But Vancouver is still six points from being dead last in the conference. Call me nuts, but that should probably concern you.
I do think, however, if this team replaces a shitty January with a rock solid February, then turning a blind eye to January is a little bit easier then planning a parade route after a two game winning streak. But is that easier said than done?
The Canucks are about to play eight games in eight cities over the next two weeks, including a mentally exhausting Canadian gauntlet that includes Sundin's delightful return to Toronto. The Toronto game alone has enough subplots to choke a bull elephant. The silver lining is Luongo is finally getting his sea legs back and Kesler is emerging into a monster. Or, if you're Sean, you firmly believe the real Sundin has finally stood up. Maybe the road trip and being away from home (where the pain has been) will be a good thing.
March is downright ugly - of the 15 games they play, they pretty much all count: Columbus, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (x2), Colorado (x2), Phoenix, Dallas (x2), St. Louis (x2), Chicago, Minnesota (x2).
The silver living here is, if things stay constant, there's no reason Vancouver can't take the points away from LA, Colorado and St. Louis. That's what makes tomorrow night's game against St. Louis pretty interesting since these two will get to know each other pretty well by the middle of March. By that point some wins could be stepping stones to locking up a spot; some losses could be a knife to the heart. Anyone remember Edmonton doing this exact thing last year?
Still a ton of hockey left and I don't think the Canucks are out of the mentally fragile woods yet. Will another loss or two erase the feel good happy vibes of the winning streak? It better not.
But until that question is answered, I'd bookmark the craigslist employment opportunities if I were Alain Vigneault (In fact, here you go. Just a thought).