Look, I get it. No one wants to be a CDC'er. And the last thing I want to do is have to say this team's not going to give us another run like 2011, but I would be lying to you if I did. Losing my shit? Am I? Tell me I'm wrong then. Yes, I have seen the fancy stats. I do respect the work that these guys do because they are more often bang on. But how in the blue hell do you see this team suddenly turning back into the goalscoring machine they've been the last few years, especially with Ryan Kesler still out of the lineup? How is this going to happen when the team plays like they're up 5 goals regardless of the score? Can you remember a more disheartening thing to see (save for Game 7 against the Bruins) than the way the Canucks shut it down and made no effort whatsoever to come back against the Oilers?
So now the Canucks find themselves looking to GM Mike Gillis to not just try and get some type of return for Roberto Luongo, but to also address the hole at center that should have been dealt with last summer. And it's not just center that needs some work. This much vaunted defence has been a consistent disappointment this year, making mind-numbing breakdowns part of the game to game routine, and through this forcing our goaltenders to work harder than they should have to. And now they've done something we hoped they weren't going to have to do, as Nicklas Jensen's been called up from the Chicago Wolves, along with Bill Sweatt. Is the brain trust of the Canucks organization really believing that a rookie with less than 20 AHL games is the answer? And at the cost of potentially eating one of his entry-level contract years? Yeah, we want to see what Jensen's going to do, but we all figured it would be next year after letting him round out the year with the Wolves and get some seasoning. In a city where expectations are always ridiculously high, it worries me that the kid's first NHL game will see him suit up on a line with Daniel Sedin and brother Henrik. No pressure, kid.
The trade deadline is just over 48 hours away as I write this, and the Canucks, even with the 6 game winning streak that ended Saturday, are far from a lock to make the playoffs right now, sitting just 8 points above the 9th place St Louis Blues. They can't score. They can't win faceoffs. They are so bad on the power play right now we actually get excited if they get a shot on net with the man advantage. There's a ton of pressure on Gillis to make some much needed changes. When Alain Vigneault says the team didn't have the personnel to erase a 4 goal deficit against the Edmonton Oilers, you know there's a problem. You do know that, right? I know we've grown accustomed to just having faith in the team's ability to pull their collective asses out of the fire. We've seen no signs of this happening.
I know this stance is not going to sit well with some of you. It's not easy when you have to face facts, though. And the way I see it, the team as it stands right now, even with Ryan Kesler back in the lineup has done little to fill me with optimism for the playoffs this year. If we don't see the Canucks come out and send a message to San Jose tonight with a dominant victory, you might wanna flip the cover on that panic button. Anything less than an asskicking of the Sharks tonight will be a disappointment.
Got to wonder just what Philadelphia's thinking with the rumours swirling this morning they are in on the Ryane Clowe sweepstakes. There's also been some talk of the gritty forward, who played junior for Alain Vigneault might end up on the Canucks. Just what they need, another forward struggling to score goals this season. San Jose's asking price is at least a first round pick, and the Canucks would be insane to give up that much for Clowe... Sidney Crosby was named the NHL player of the month, which I am sure made him smile whilst sucking Ensure through a straw from his hospital bed in Pittsburgh... One interesting player on waivers right now is Carolina's Jamie McBain. He could make a decent depth acquisition for some team...
KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY
There's an annual metal festival called 70000 Tons Of Metal, a 4 day metal fest that takes a run down to the Caribbean on a cruise ship, and the most recent edition featured a reunion appearance from the drastically underrated Anacrusis. These guys have long been a band I championed, their complex and at times dischordant thrash going over the heads of some metal fans. From their 3rd album Manic Impressions, here's Dream Again.