The past two games have been downright miserable for the Canucks. Heading into Sunday's game versus the Red Wings, the Canucks had registered at least one point in 9 of their 10 games in February to that point. Things seemed to be clicking. After a sluggish start to the year, the Canucks had finally found their stride.
But then Sunday happened. Yes, we all want to forget the nightmarish 8-3 loss against the Red Wings. After coming out on top of a first period shootout leading 3-2, the Canucks went flat in the second period, being held to just three shots. Yes, you read that right. Three shots in 20 minutes of hockey. That's when the massacre began. The Red Wings went to the power play four times in the middle stanza, resulting in three goals. Detroit added three more goals in the third, as it seemed like every puck coming from Detroit was finding the back of the net. Roberto Luongo has rough games from time to time, but this one was more of a nightmare.
While Tuesday night's loss to Phoenix wasn't a total massacre, the team just looked flat. Poor puck control plagued Vancouver as they struggled to get the puck in the offensive zone when it mattered most. Halfway through the third period, the Canucks had managed just three shots on net. Then, with 7:30 left in the game, a lazy defensive effort paired with a little luck for the Coyotes essentially put the game away. As Mikkel Boedker skated up ice, it appeared as if Alex Edler made a lackluster effort to stop him, allowing him to slip by along the boards. As a result, Boedker was able to get off a pass while falling to Antoine Vermette, who slipped one by Cory Schneider off a point blank slap shot. Yes, the pass was lucky, and the shot was good. But if Edler makes that play to stop Boedker, the game stays 2-1.
Did I mention that a minute later, Henrik Sedin tipped in a goal to bring the Canucks back within one goal? While initially it appeared that the game might not be over after all, Vermette's goal sucked the air out of the fans and team, as the Canucks went on to lose 4-2 after an empty net goal from Kyle Chipcura.
Side note: As I brought up on Twitter during the game, I know hockey can have some unique names, but Chipcura sounds like some sort of dog breed, or other awkward aniamal.
Ok, back on track. Now, the Canucks get three much needed days off before facing the Kings at Rogers Arena on Saturday. Vancouver finishes the month of February with a record of 8-3-1, holding a four-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Northwest. The Canucks currently sit in third place in the Western Conference behind Chicago (who at this point I think we can all agree are a team of super-humans) and Anaheim.
Now, it's time to March on! Get it, get it? Ok, I'll see myself out now.