Gong show. Tire fire. I'm sure we all have our own version to describe that abomination on Saturday, but let's face it: those are only applicable if the team that lost was actually better than the team they lost to. And it's starting to become painfully obvious that the Canucks aren't any damn better than the teams they lost to on this road trip. It's also becoming downright painful to watch, night after night as the defencemen of this team (save for Ben Hutton) leave Ryan Miller out to dry. Blaming this all on Miller, as is the way of a good chunk of Canucks fans is willfully ignoring the giant, pink polka-dotted elephant in the room: this team's D needs a massive overhaul and without they will not make the playoffs.
Alexander Edler and Dan Hamhuis should bear the brunt of this. Between their constant, baffling mistakes, the seemingly endless and predictable giveaways when pressured by the opposition, to their speed and strength dropping off a cliff as they age, they've gone from rocks on the back end to the likely causes of losses. For all the flack he takes, even Luca Sbisa hasn't played as bad as Edler and Hamhuis over the last couple weeks. And spoiler alert: they are gonna get absolutely destroyed tonight unless they figure out a way to play even marginally acceptable defence against a team like Montreal. And when you look at how they've played against some of the worst teams in the league, this little bit does not bode well:
At least we're seeing signs that the Canucks are trying to shake things up tonight. Jacob Markstrom will get the start against the Habs, who will go with Mike Condon tonight. The Canucks are also going to be without Alexandre Burrows, who has returned to Vancouver for personal reasons. This means that Hunter Shinkaruk will make his NHL debut tonight. Shinkaruk has been tearing it up in the AHL, and earned this call up. So just to sum things up: No Burrows. No Brandon Sutter. No Brandon Prust. And no Luca Sbisa. This is gonna be ugly.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- The key to a win? Make sure, like last time that it's not a one goal game
- Game preview from the Montreal Gazette
- Eyes On The Prize with their preview and this game means a lot in their eyes
- Botchford on Shinkaruk forcing the Canucks hand
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
La Belle Province's finest: VOIVOD, from their first album 'War And Pain'