Your Morning Coffee- Saturday Mar 5

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They say there's no place like home.  In the case of the Vancouver Canucks lately, that may not be such a good thing.  A little malaise, the injuries catching up with them and a bit of a good ol' fashioned slump has seen the Canucks running at a .500 clip right now.  A swing through Cali and Phoenix before hitting Calgary on the way home just might be what the doctor ordered.  A good thing, too.  You'd swear this was the only team this has ever happened to by the reactions of some of the fan base.  Are they playing their best hockey right now?  No, of course not.  But if you think this is a sign that the Canucks are headed for disaster, you really haven't been paying attention this season.

It's almost as if that little undefeated in regulation streak never happened.  The Canucks have been good all year and stellar for a good portion.  So when they slip up a little bit, suddenly all the strides they've made and the fundamental changes to how they approach the game are ignored and this is the team from the last two seasons, depending on who you ask.  Ridiculous.  It's not just new faces on the bench, it's also the ones behind it.  Newell Brown has done a bangup job with special teams, and has also had an impact on the Canucks in the faceoff circle.  Add in the Canucks bringing in a sleep specialist and sports psychologist and you have one of the reasons why the Canucks are still atop the league standings.  The changes were made to specifically address the letdowns from the previous two seasons.  So the first time the Canucks seem to stumble since the start of the year and people start with the 'I told you so' nonsense.  I am telling you to take a deep breath and relax.  Have faith in the system.  This is just a speed bump.  Look at the Flyers right now.  Are they tearing it up right now?  Nope.  Tampa Bay?  Nuh-uh.  And we all know what's happening in Pittsburgh.  It's gonna be fine, so chill out.  They've got this.

The Canucks will be looking to get things started the right way as they take on the Kings, who have turned it up a notch as of late after looking for a good stretch like this season was going to be a wash.  Adding Dustin Penner from the Oilers certainly helps, and apart from an injury to Scott Parse they're healthy.  And while the Kings as of late have looked more like the team everyone was expecting this season, they're still only 2 points up on the 11th place Minnesota Wild.  They're a desperate team looking to send a message against the best team in the NHL.  The Canucks have been sputtering of late, looking out of sorts as they move towards the playoffs and getting their Defence healthy.  Sounds like an epic matchup to me. 

Second cup?  Already on my 3rd...

As someone on Twitter mused yesterday, wouldn't it be funny if the Jack Adams finalists were Jacques Lemaire, Ron Wilson and Brent Sutter?  You could certainly make a case for all of these coaches when you look at how they've turned their seasons around.  New Jersey did it again last night, handing the Pittsburgh Penguins their 2nd OT loss in as many nights, while the Flames hung on for a 4-3 win over Columbus.  The Leafs meanwhile have a daunting task as they try to move within 1 point of 8th place Carolina, as they play host to the Chicago Blackhawks.  The Hawks have won 7 in a row, the latest giving the Leafs some help as they took down Carolina 5-2.  For the 1st time in what seems like ages, this might be a Leafs game worth watching... I would say I am disappointed in the 10 game suspension handed down to Islanders F Trevor Gillies, but at the same time I am not particularly shocked.  Just another mind-boggling administration of 'justice' in the NHL...

WAACH 'Cast's Band Of The Day- WOLF

Swedish oldschool metal for you today, forget Tiger Blood, the Canucks need to show the Wolf's Blood that runs in their veins...


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