The scores may have been identical, but each loss has been growing exponentially in terms of the frustration level as far as the fan base is concerned. The Calgary Flames, who have pretty much been in the same boat as the Canucks this year instead looked like the team that steamrolled Vancouver during that first round playoff series last April. They ruthlessly pounded the Canucks all night long, with nary a response, save for Derek Dorsett's heroic attempt to get Derek Engelland to fight in the last two minutes of a 5-2 game.
Have they given up completely? Only they could say for sure, but it's hard to make a case against that by watching them. Against the Ducks the Canucks looked as though they could hang with Anaheim for a bit, until things fell apart in the 2nd. In this game, the Flames scored early, but the Canucks responded with two of their own, a rare Adam Cracknell goal (and after the no-show against Anaheim that might have saved his ass from a permanent press box seat), and a beauty from former Calgary Hitman Jake Virtanen. Then, much like the night before, the 2nd period arrived, and the Canucks night was done.
One guy who has shut it down is Radim Vrbata. Just spend some time watching his shifts closely and tell me that's not a player who is merely coasting from shift to shift. He went from one of last year's MVP's to one of the reasons they're in this mess, and while it's pretty obvious some of this is due to being taken off the top line, his inability to find chemistry with other teammates should not also affect his defensive play to the point of it being described as passive indifference.
The trading deadline is a mere 8 days away now, and that could see the make up of this team altered in a way that few imagined at the start of the season. Vrbata, Dan Hamhuis, Alexandre Burrows, even Jannik Hansen could find themselves dealt, conceivably, as the Canucks continue to retool the core of the team. One thing's for sure: The structure of the back end of the team has to change, and it's going to have to involve trades/free agent signings in addition to bringing up kids from Utica.
The Avs meanwhile seemed to take the loss to the Canucks a couple weeks back to heart, and have played pretty well since then, including a 3-2 win over the Oilers last night, getting 2 goals from Tyson Barrie as the Oilers once again moved closer to another lottery win. The Avs are making a push for one of those Wild Card spots in the West and know that the Canucks, despite their recent play, are one of the teams they'll need to fend off to do it.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- Just in time for the ridiculous 'Willie needs to be fired' campaign picking up steam, this guy thinks bringing back Marc Crawford is the answer...
- It's not easy to criticize the Sedins, when they do so much. The fact that Daniel has 1 PP goal in his last 32 games though, has to be addressed
- JPat also talks with Jake Virtanen on his new home in front of the opposition net
- So you think trading Jannik Hansen would help? Not a bad idea, and Canucks Army looks at 5 potential partners to move the Great Dane
- ICYMI, the Provies from Friday night's loss is packed with good stuff
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
'Brutal Truth may have called it a day, but Kevin Sharp and Dan Lilker, along with Napalm Death's Shane Embury and Danny Herrera (and guitarist John Cooke) have released the 3rd album from their side project VENEMOUS CONCEPT. A fun and furious mix of punk and grindcore, 'Kick Me Silly- VC III' is out on Season Of Mist Records.
- Saturday Links: Was Last Night the Worst Loss of the Year Edition
- A "From Auston to Zurich" Game Recap ( 5-2 L )
- Daniel & Henrik: GoPro After Dark
- Game Day Coffee- Feb 19/16- Canucks @ Calgary- Falling Fast
- Quack Attack! Canucks Lose 5-2 To Ducks