Let the speculation begin: what's wrong with the Canucks? They've lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since November. That's a ridiculous stat that most teams would kill for, but over the past couple of games — and especially last night — there is the aura of "the slump" settling in around the club. Their defensive coverage last night was a joke, and most of their shots were feeble wristers from the perimeter. We haven't seen the Sedins this ineffective in at least 3 years. Since you'll hear enough doom n' gloom over the next couple of days from the mainstream, I'll just say "don't panic". If the Canucks need to slump for a few games in order to find their best stuff again, so be it. Better now than next month.
Vancouver Canucks News & Notes
The Canucks sucked last night. [The Province]
Here's what people are saying on Twitter. [Vancouver Sun]
"Our game plan was to stay above the puck and not give those guys odd-man rushes because they have so much skill. We won battles on the boards to create those odd-man rushes and then we capitalized on a few of them. You stay patient and keep following the game plan and most of the teams will break or make a mistake. We just stuck with it and we were able to come back."
Joe Pelletier with what the Canucks need to do to have success again in the playoffs this season. [Terrace Standard]
Canucks review and preview for the rest of the week. [CHB]
While we would all love to think Brian Burke drafted Ryan Kesler over another guy like Mike Richards in 2003 because he somehow saw the dominant two-way player he would become in the future, it turns out he just liked one shift that he saw. [Canucks Army] More on Burke under the NHL Notes...
In a recent scrum Alain Vigneault mentioned Chris Higgins' chance differential over the past couple games, which is a stat kept by the diligent folks at Canucks Army. Anytime advanced stats are even hinted at in the mainstream, bloggers typically lose their shit with excitement. [PITB]
More on this from Cam Charron. [Canucks Army]
Today in Canucks History
[March 7, 1995] Canucks President and General Manager Pat Quinn signs a five-year contract extension.
NHL News & Notes
Check our Lars Eller's sweet slingshot goal from his knees on Kiprusoff last night:
STAMKOS 50 GOAL COUNTDOWN: He netted his 48th last night in a losing effort to the Senators. The Bolts have 16 games left, how many will he finish with? 55?
There were 12 games last night, any of them with playoff implications, and that came through in the number of injuries suffered by key players. [CBC]
Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact, but the Penguins are still proceeding with caution. Why not? They've won 6 straight, are comfortably in the playoffs and Evgeni Malkin is having a Hart-worthy season. Just get Sid in a couple weeks before the playoffs to gear up and they'll be a force. [The Score]
TSN's Scott Cullen attended the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston over the weekend, which aims to help advanced statistics gain more widespread acceptance in hockey. Why does it not surprise me that Brian Burke doesn't believe advanced stats are very useful? Perhaps if he spent as much time trying to understand how these stats might help his club as he does thinking up his next clever media soundbite, he'd have a better drafting history. [TSN]
Today in NHL History
[March 7, 1940] The Montreal Canadiens lose record-tying 15th straight game at home.
 Wayne Gretzky breaks his own NHL season record with 136th assist.