I am calling in a “Mayday”.
I might have to go and apologize to some writers who I gave a hard time last week after a 4-0 start. The Canucks have returned to their normal form over the past 2 games. And it’s not the fact that they have lost 3 games in a row that has me worried. It’s not the injuries either, but they do have a direct effect on the reason for my worry. My reason for worry is the fact that the Canucks got beat by teams with different styles of play.
You can go back to the LA game where the Canucks got pushed around by a team that loves to finish every check all game long. The Ducks followed the same game plan. These two teams have wreaked havoc on the Canucks for years because the Canucks never want to get into a hitting contest with larger teams. But at the same time, the Canucks haven’t used the strategy other teams use to beat Anaheim and LA, which is team speed and quicker passing. The Nucks seem complacent in letting the California teams bring the game to them and not vice versa.
When it came to last night’s game, the Canucks got beat by a team that was faster and more aggressive when it came to going after the puck. A Senator was always near the puck and another was plastered to any open Canucks. The pressure got to the Canucks in the neutral zone as passing was terrible…and this pattern was magnified in the defensive end as we almost had a whole team of Sbisa’s, plus the man himself.
I know this maybe sacrilege, but the Sedin mentality of pass first….pass second and pass third is a sickness that spreads quickly and creates shot indecision and slows down the game. I know I gave Radim Vrbata a hard time last year because he shot from everyplace in the rink, but we need some of our players to have that shoot first mentality instead of trying to create that perfect open shot. Cycling like the Sedins is useful and can create chances, but players need to realize when the cycle needs to break and shots need to be taken. I’m sure in practice it works out fine but in games, players are just waiting too long to shoot and are making one pass too many.
This is going to be a frustrating year, as the team has no “direction”. It isn’t a fast team or a big team. I think if the PP was at 20%, we wouldn’t have these games where a massive comeback is needed, because the opposition would have to be more cautious with aggressive play. I wonder when the notion of making the playoffs becomes replaced with the idea of getting the young guys on lines together to try and create consistency and chemistry for the future.
I want a lot of things from this team that I’m just not going to get. I think I might be getting a lot of beer from fridge this year.