At the risk of sounding like the average 16 year old resident of CDC, I am beginning to think that the Canucks might need to do a little something to shake things up, before they fall any further. Now I am not going all Chicken Little on you, I tend to be a 'glass half full' kind of guy, but a team that gives up the opening goal 7 straight games is not going places unless they change more than just their sunny disposition.
When a team plays a stretch of hockey like the Canucks did in December and January, it's normal to expect some kind of letdown. And there were many who predicted this is exactly when it would happen. That the Canucks are struggling right now isn't necessarily a shock, it's how they're losing that has me concerned.
It's not just that the top line isn't scoring right now, it's that the balanced scoring we have seen this season all seemed to dry up at once. The band-aid crew on D has seemingly forgotten how to battle, making the mistakes that much more glaring when they happen. And the 3rd and 4th lines? Well, the more things change...
With less than 48 hours to go until the NHL trade freeze for the Olympic break, you have to believe GM Mike Gillis is on the phone trying to not just add some depth for the playoffs but make some fundamental changes to this team. There are players in this organization who simply are not working out, and if we don't cut them free now, it may be too late to stop the damage their ineffectual play has caused.
A small problem with this; given how poor the play of guys like Steve Bernier, Kyle Wellwood and Kevin Bieksa has been, just who in their right mind is going to take them in exchange for anything? Sure, history is filled with underachievers who suddenly find themselves after a trade. But I find it hard to believe that these guys are going to add their names to that list. We need bottom 6 help, and we need D help, and if Mike Gillis isn't willing to mortgage part of the future to change it, then he may as well go into sell mode and shut it down for the season.
This team is close to contending this year. A couple tweaks, and they can do battle with anyone, as they have shown when taking on the top teams in the NHL this season. It would be a bloody shame if we don't get the chance to see just what they are capable of by freeing the mattress trapped under the bus that is slowing them down (obscure Brian Posehn reference).
Beer's ok for brunch, right? No? How about scotch?
Despite his assurance that he will be ready to play this weekend, Team Canada officials are taking a very cautious approach when it comes to Ryan Getzlaf and his injured ankle. Even if he is able to go, it wouldn't be a shock if they consider sitting him and bringing someone else in, having hopefully learned the lesson from 4 years ago when they took a very banged up team to Turin and got their asses handed to them.
Speaking of injuries, Marion Gaborik is reportedly a no-go tonight for the Rangers after suffering a laceration of his thigh during a collision with Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist. Could be a late decision, but don't be shocked if this game gets postponed because of the blizzard-like conditions on the East coast.
Carey Price gets the nod for the Habs tonight as they try and stop Washington's winning streak at 15 games. Hard to tell if new GM Pierre Gauthier is trying to showcase Price as trade bait, or just thinks he will do a better job against the high-flying Caps. Either way, I am sure at least one member of the Caps media horde will find something to complain about...
The Marty Turco watch is on in Dallas, with Philadelphia popping up as a potential destination for the one-time Olympian. Flyer fans weigh in here...