It’s enough to make you want to scream, isn’t it? The double dagger of a penalty kill that gets clowned by everyone and a ‘power’ play that is so easy to defend did the Canucks in again last night. The PP went 0-5 while the Preds were good on 2 of 3 opportunities, en route to another frustrating one goal regulation loss at home for the Canucks, by a score of 3-2.
This seven game home stand was supposed to see them build on what was a half-decent road trip to start the season, but have mustered a mere two of ten possible points in these first five games. With the toughest part of the month coming up: five games in eight day, ending with a back to back on the road in Vegas and Anaheim, the Canucks could easily be playing themselves out of playoff contention before the end of the month.
It also makes you wonder if the timer for the end of Travis Green’s tenure as Canucks head coach is about to ding. As ridiculous as it seems to type this next sentence, this has to be said. After all of the hard work Jim Benning did in the off-season, we should be seeing better results than this. Weird, right? Perhaps the most frustrating part of all of this, is how much better this team is playing defensively 5 on 5. With the special teams being no damn good, there’s simply zero room for error, and some fantastic goaltending performances are going to waste.
There’s two games left before the Canucks head out for three games in four nights starting Thursday in Colorado, and if they’re not able to get wins against Dallas and Anaheim before they do, the pressure to do something is going to be insane. And let’s face it, there are coaches who should already be fired in Chicago and Arizona, but it would be such a Vancouver thing if the Canucks beat them to the punch and jettisoned Green and his staff first.
Firing a coach is never a fun thing. And Green isn’t terrible, but now that he’s been given a lineup that Jim Benning feels can make the playoffs, he has to get better results than we saw out of Willie Desjardins and John Tortorella. And if a coaching change can’t fix this, Benning has to pay the price for this, as it will mean blowing things up under a new regime and spending years trying to fix the mess Benning created.
AROUND THE NHL
Pretty bad night standings-wise for the Canucks, as Western teams rolled in the win category all night. In Winnipeg, the Jets piled on to the misery of the Chicago Blackhawks, and is there a goalie right now who looks as broken as Marc-Andre Fleury? They’re on a karmically triggered historically bad pace, losing 5-1 to the Jets last night.
As much as I loathe typing it out, it sure does look like the Edmonton Oilers are for real right now. A lot of hockey to be played still, but they look like the team to beat in the West. Also, take the damn penalty here, man. Why tarnish your career by being seen in replays for the rest of time getting absolutely embarrassed by Connor McDavid on this goal?
There’s probably less shame in getting scored on during the PP they get for you tripping or hooking him, than in getting made to look like a sentient pylon.
Oh, and the Oilers won in OT, 6-5.
Remember when Loui Eriksson scored 3 goals during the pre-season, and some folks tried to make like he was somehow going to revitalize his career having left Vancouver? Yeah, those takes didn’t age well at all. The Coyotes are on a path to be the worst team since the 1992-93 San Jose Sharks, who lost a mind-blowing 71 games in regulation, finishing the year with a 11-71-2 record. They allowed 414 goals that season. They’re definitely on pace to allow that many, and are the first team to hit double digit regulation losses after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Anaheim Ducks.
In Saturday’s action, the Tampa Bay Lightning are in Ottawa to take on the Senators in an afternoon contest... The big battle of the two best teams in the East has the 9-0-0 Carolina Hurricanes vs the 9-0-1 Florida Panthers in what should be a must watch game... The Jets are back at it tonight as the New York Islanders are in Winnipeg... The post-Eichel era begins in Buffalo as the Sabres play host to the Detroit Red Wings... Toronto has Boston in for a classic Original 6 Saturday night matchup... Vegas are in Montreal to take on the struggling Canadiens... Minnesota are in Pittsburgh, while Philadephia are in Washington to battle the Capitals... Colorado looks to go a game over .500 as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Arizona’s quest for the worst losing streak ever continues as they welcome the Seattle Kraken to the desert pit of despair for the first time. The record for the worst streak to start the season belongs to the 1933-34 New York Rangers who went 0-14-1 (back when they had ties and not OT or shootouts). You can do it, Arizona! We believe in you!
The New York Rangers will try to shake off that OT loss in Edmonton as they head down to Calgary for a game against the Flames, while New Jersey is in San Jose to meet the Sharks.