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Nucks Misconduct Roundtable: Power Outage

The song remains the same. Is it time for something more than a line shuffle?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks

It’s time for another edition of the Nucks Misconduct Roundtable. Each week we get our writers together and ask them a number of questions about the state of this team we’ve been cursed to follow. Sometimes they play it straight, sometimes it’s Westy and Jimmi, but you’ll always get the unvarnished opinions on the Canucks here.

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks
Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks walks to the Canucks dressing room before their NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena October 30, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

1- Three straight losses at home in regulation after a half-decent road trip. What’s more concerning: Elias Pettersson’s slump, the team’s offence drying up, or the fact that injuries are ravaging this team yet again?

Westy - Why do I have to only pick one? The first is the most important as it leads to the second. J.T. Miller is the only point a game player on this team and I haven’t been happy with his play. 4 goals in 3 games on home ice....wow. Go look at the second question.

jimmi - All of the above and more! Oh wait... Westy already foreshadowed or foreshortened that. I got nothing - like the Nucks.

Beggsy - Remember all that early-October optimism? Well, happy November!

I’ll go with the offence drying up. It’s so dry that even the lowly Desert Dogs in Arizona are generating more scoring chances than the Canucks. How the F is that even possible?

Pettersson’s slump is a close second, but the Canucks offensive woes can’t all be blamed on him. No one is playing well at the moment.

Kent- Whoever wrote this question is a jerk, because they’re all concerning AND related. I mean, how cruel is it that the Canucks have suffered more injuries over the last decade than any other team?

Still think the hockey gods don’t exist? This chart clearly shows the Canucks losing didn’t stop at Game 7, but they continue to pay the price for being so audacious as to try and get their names on the Cup. In all seriousness, the lack of offence is frustrating as hell, and if the others besides J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat, Quinn Hughes and Conor Garland were pulling their weight, the Pettersson slow start wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

Vancouver Canucks v Detroit Red Wings”n
Head Coach Travis Green of the Vancouver Canucks watches the action from the bench during an NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on October 16, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Vancouver 3-1.
Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Rob- For me the biggest concern is Loui Pettersson. We all knew years two and three of his big contract extension might be a problem, but no one thought he’d forget how to play hockey before his signature was dry.

2- As much as I try to warn you all not to encourage him, is Westy on to something with his campaign to get Travis Green fired?

Westy - Yes

jimmi - Gif it up for Westy! He’s here all week. Or until the next loss.

I do wonder... how players feel about Westy’s Traversal plans?

Self-coached players win games - or ice time

Beggsy - Maybe Jimmi and Westy should team to coach the Canucks. Westy, I know you’re a teacher at heart...I believe in you.

The Canucks can’t be married to keeping Green. I still think the early season funk is more due to cold streaks and the fact that half the team is new. That being said, Green’s been given a long leash. He’s about to coach his 300th game for the Canucks on Friday night against the Nashville Predators. Only Marc Crawford, Alain Vigneault and Harry Neale have coached more games for this club,

Kent- I think unless you see a prolonged losing streak, Green is here for the season, but he’ll be done if they don’t make the post-season.

Rob- The Canucks current situation reminds me of the 08/09 team that was underperforming and on a long losing streak with Alain Vigneault on the cusp of being fired. Alex Burrows turned the season around with a late third period shorthanded goal to end the losing streak and the team went on to win the division and one playoff round.

If someone doesn’t step up like Burr did and end this streak pronto, Frank will need to pull the trigger and eat the Green contract extension or lose the ticket-buying walk up crowd.

This team probably needs someone like Claude Julien but someone like Bruce Boudreau would make the team more fun to watch.

NHL: OCT 30 Oilers at Canucks
A Vancouver Canucks fan cheers on his team as the Canucks play the Edmonton Oilers during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on October 30, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

3- They’re one point back of a wild card slot, and November’s 14 games are against just 5 teams currently holding down playoff spots. Can they come out of the month with a winning record?

Westy - After answering the last two questions, I would think the answer to this would be obvious. With no major changes in philosophy, coaching or players.....no.

jimmi - Winning record? Sure. If we appeal now to have their current record expunged. It’s not a hockey problem if you lawyer up well enough to play in the bigs. Just ask Gary.

Beggsy - Ahhh I see...Kent’s hitting us with a little deception here. I see your tricks!

Although the Canucks only play five teams currently in playoff spots, four of their games against non-playoff teams include Colorado (x2), Vegas and Boston.

Plus, have you seen where the Canucks are in the standings??

I believe they’ll play better in November. I also don’t trust them worth a damn. I’m sure many of you share the same sentiment.

Kent- Deception??? I am sure I don’t know what you’re talking about, Beggsy. Non-playoff teams are in their spots for a reason. Also, remind me again what happened the last time the Canucks played these two squads? I said what I said. This month is full of winnable games, and with a couple wins over the next week, they could be right back in it. They’ll be in tough against the Rangers but the Nashville and Dallas games are very much ones they can and should win.

Rob- The season can turn around on a dime. Five of their six losses are essentially by one goal. But the on-paper dynamic offense needs to arrive on the ice...now...not tomorow... both five-on-five and on the two power play units.

4- There’s a lot of guys on this club due for a breakout. Besides EP40, who’s bound to bust out here shortly?

Westy - Francesco Aquilini with severance cheques.

jimmi - Baddaboom, Westy. Big Baddaboom. If only it were true.

We - not Westy - but other idjit fans fought hard to secure Trav’s big fat five year contract last season. Why? Because reasons that no one can conveniently recall just now. Something something about Trav being great with young (partially-motivated) players. Or being hard to contract-terms against or something.

Frannie no fire no one this year. Maybe late 2022 or 2023, when the only fans left in the ROG won Nucking tickets playing online rumlette funded by an internet Overlord.

Beggsy - Umm, okay...back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Brock Boeser tops my list of players due for a breakout. I thought he was one of the most dangerous Canucks against Philly last Thursday, when the whole team seemed disinterested. He also leads the Canucks in individual scoring chances created at even-strength, but he’s yet to pick up any points at five-on-five.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson also leads this team with a 54.3% Corsi-For. He’s also (by far) the team leader with 34 shots in nine games. He’s one of the few Canucks you could say that’s played well, and OEL is likely due for a couple more breaks in November.

Kent- He’s been doing such a fantastic job defensively that it’s kind of flying under the radar, but Nils Hoglander has yet to score a goal this season. That changes in a big way in November. Book it.

Rob- Vasily Podkolzin...if Valeri Green takes the harness off of him and lets him play with the same two line members for more than one shift at a time even strength and also unleashes him net front on a power play unit ahead of a certain marginal PTO veteran.

NHL: OCT 28 Flyers at Canucks
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) looks on during their NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Rogers Arena on October 28, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

5- Jaro Halak has yet to give the Canucks a win. In his limited appearances, what’s your feeling on his ability as a backup, in light of Braden Holtby getting off to such a good start in Dallas?

Westy - Jaro’s agent would like to have a word with management and their promise of a dynamic young scoring team that was supposed to be in front of him.

jimmi - His agent isn’t that sharp with the fine print - Appendix 48 sub-section B actually changed the context of “dynamic* young scoring* team” to...

*dynamic: poor forward player dynamics shall be assigned the term: “dynamic”

*scoring: the ability to score rich fat contracts shall be known as: “scoring”

Other than that, feel that Halak would be a solid backup on any NHL team - or this one if the team could only provide... uh... they call it... water bottle support. Or is it run support? No, it’s water bottle support - Nucks nets are famous for unsecured bottle holders.

Beggsy - Anyone else chuckle when they noticed that Jacob Markstrom and Braden Holtby are two of the league leaders in save percentage?

Anyways, Halak has been fine in both his starts. He’d look better if the team in front of him could score a couple more goals.

Kent- Halak has been as promised, but just hasn’t been given the goal support. The Canucks have also been okay defensively in his outings, unlike last season when Braden Holtby was regularly getting hung out to dry. And I wouldn’t put too much stock into the current performances of Markstrom and Holtby. Holtby’s regression Uber should be pulling up soon, and we’re probably mere days away from Markstrom’s first injury of the season.

Rob- Braden Holtby’s hot start is an illusion. His save percentage will eventually settle in at under 90 per cent. Halak has been fine and is suited to a back up role at this time in his career.