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THE ROUNDUP- DEC 5/18: The New Normal

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I tried to be optimistic that the Canucks would improve slightly this season. Even that now appears to have been too much to hope for as they drop their 13th in 15 games.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

CANUCKS NEWS: At times like these I struggle with a decision: Talk about whatever possible positive things happened in the previous night’s game before piling on with the sadness, or leave it to the end to pick you up after beating you down? It’s a conundrum to be sure. And it’s not like there was a lot to cheer about last night, save for the debut of Josh Leivo. It was as storybook as it can get (well, that’s not true. If he’d scored the game winner, perhaps) and a beautiful goal to boot.

Apart from that and a couple good shifts by the much-maligned 4th line to give them the lead, and the performance of Jacob Markstrom (who really kept them in this, especially in the first half of period 2), this was another lackluster performance, with a number of players seemingly going through the motions. The penalty kill has become such a liability to this team that I have actually started writing tweets about the opposition scoring before it even happens.

There was talk about how Jay Beagle’s return would aid the ailing PK, but as we saw last night, that was not to be. There are 2 massive games tonight that the Canucks will be keeping an eye on. Chicago can pass the Canucks (via the games in hand tie-breaker) with a win over the Ducks. And St Louis can pull to within 2 points with 4 (!!!) games in hand on the Canucks. The Kings, last place in the NHL, now sit just 4 points back. And as mediocre as they are with Willie D running the show, they’re certain to roll past the Canucks before the end of the calendar year.

Let’s take a look at some of the fallout from another loss, shall we? We’ll start with the Athletties, looking at how Leivo could be a big part of the future, Elias and his shot and lots more... iMac on the PK (did you know it’s killing the Canucks? For reals)... Province Post-Game on TG keeping the troops from getting too down amidst all the losing... In the Glimmers Of Hope Dept., Sven Baertschi has started skating with the team again... Post game stuff from our pals at Hockey Wilderness here and here... Canucks Army wrapup is here...

AROUND THE NHL: Roberto Luongo recorded his 77th career shutout and moved into 9th on the all time list as the Florida Panthers stomped the Bruins 5-0 (see? sunshine!!)...

Adam Lowry got the GWG as the Winnipeg Jets continue to roll in a 3-1 win over the NY Islanders...

Patric Hornqvist had the hatty in a 6-3 Pittsburgh victory over Colorado...

When Cam Atkinson scored his 2nd of the game one minute into the 2nd period to give Columbus a 4-1 lead, John Tortorella probably thought they were set up pretty good. “And then what happened?” you asked. “Well, then the Flames scored the next 5 to take the lead. It ended up as a 9-6 final for the Flames and holy crap can this team light it up...

In the first meeting of the season between the Leafs and Sabres, Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel put on a show, but it was Matthews with the late OT snipe show that gave the Leafs the victory. This was an entertaining game, and it’s great to see this rivalry being reborn...

Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin each had 3 point nights as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2...

A Frans Nielsen hatty went to waste as the Detroit Red Wings blew a 5-3 3rd period lead and lost 6-5 in the shootout to the Tampa Bay Lightning...

The rematch of this past Spring’s Stanley Cup finalists featured some massive hits, including a brutal one from Ryan Reeves on Tom Wilson.

I know the instinct is to default to Wilson reaping what he’s sewn, but let’s face it: Reeves is as much a trash hitter as Wilson, with far less of the press coverage. Reeves was ejected for the blindside hit but won’t face discipline from DoPS because of course they won’t. Utter garbage. The Golden Knights walked out with the win as well, taking a 5-3 decision over the defending Champs...

The Arizona Coyotes scored their league leading 11th SHG of the season en route to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Coyotes have won 4 straight as they continue to push for a Wild Card slot...