Yeah yeah. The Canucks peppered the Blackhawks with a ton of shots, like they have so often in their last 6 games, where they are 1-3-2. It gets chalked up as "they are getting shots on net and doing so many things right, so their fortune will change." I generally believed that until now. Sure, Corey Crawford was pretty solid to hold off the Canucks on Saturday. But I am sick of the red-hot opposing goaltender excuse. The Canucks lack finish, pure and simple. It really showed it's ugly face again after the convincing 6-2 win over Columbus, where maybe we thought all was right with the world again. Well, all is NOT right with the world when it comes to the Canucks' offence.
Here is what we have so far (via Canucks.com):
The Sedins pull their weight. Ryan Kesler isn't too bad, leading the team in goals scored. but after those 3....it is just a guessing game. That's why John Tortorella tells the media he is flinging shit at a wall and hoping something sticks.
We wait for Alexandre Burrows to get it going after his nasty foot injury but he is not there yet. Even so, Burrows scored 24 points in 47 games last season, a far cry from his 52 points in 80 games 2 seasons ago, where he was a fixture on the Sedin line. He is no longer a fixture on the Sedin line. He is no longer a shoe-in to match the points per game of 2011-12.
Mike Santorelli was a solid free agent signing by Mike Gillis this summer. His 14 points in 25 games so far puts him at a career-high points per game pace. But 2 assists in his last 7 games was the regression that I had feared would happen. Santa's best season was 20 goals and 41 points in 82 games with the Panthers in 2010-11. He is receiving more ice-time under Tortorella than he ever has in his career. So the Canucks are banking on Santorelli to be a top 6 forward. They are wishing and praying I would assume at this point. With Kesler being used as a winger on the top line occasionally, the wish and a prayer for Santorelli becomes more than that, as he has to pivot line 2 when that happens.
Chris Higgins has been a streaky scorer his whole career. His work ethic is anything but that. But work ethic only gets you so far. 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 7 after a 2 goal-4 assists in his previous 8 games is exactly what you can expect from Higgy. Streaky. End of story. Do you expect more of him? Well forget about it. I swear, I can almost tell when Higgins' hot streak ends. It's with a shot off the post or a missed net. His body language tells all.
There are 6 players right there. A top 6. Not good enough. This is where the folly of David Booth comes into play. He could be a difference-maker in the Canucks' top 6 but is a fail. It is what it is.
Quickly, I want to voice an opinion on the Canucks' defence....too much $$$ spent on the defence right now. The Canucks need less gun-slinging forwards and more Ryan Stantons. It's true, The Canucks have about $18.7 million tied up in their top 4 defencemen, yet they expect offence from all 6 playing D-men. I don't like this philosophy as it leads to far-too-many golden odd man rushes against, plus, it's just not normal damn it. I would flog a top 6 defenceman right now for a bonafide top 6 forward. Who's with me? C'mon you know it's true. The last real stellar Canucks QB defenceman was Christian Ehrhoff and he was a wonder for the Canucks' power play and even rushing the puck up ice 5 on 5. How much longer do you want to wait for the current 6 to get their shit together? For a QB to emerge?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Canucks need another top-6 forward. The only way to get that with their current cap situation is to trade a defenceman. The depth, or lack thereof, is showing its face up front. Santorelli is a 3rd line center and Brad Richardson is a 4th line center.
Deal with it, Mike Gillis.
(Don't even bring up Jordan Schroeder, except maybe as trade fodder).