New Linemate – The Stanchion
This should be about a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. We should be talking about the Vancouver Canucks continued struggles that apparently didn’t leave them at the All-Star break. Instead, the Canucks are leaving Denver tonight with two points.
I’m at a loss for words.
Let’s try to figure out what happened. Here is my Love Em/Hate Em for the Avalanche game Saturday.
1. Goal Bieksa Assist Stanchion
The simplest answer is that Kevin Bieksa put on Patrick Kane’s red cape from Ottawa and did his best impression of superman on skates.
After flying across his own slot to prevent the puck from going in the empty net, he calmly led the play the other way and got in the perfect position for a juicy pass from his old buddy “The Stanchion”.
Kevin Bieksa: Clutch. I’d love to see him around closing time at The Roxy.
There was a time before Boston, before Chicago, before Cory Schneider, when Roberto Luongo was the undisputed franchise player on this team and the talk that he had the potential to drag the Canucks kicking and screaming into a Stanley Cup.
This was especially prevailing after his first year when the city of Vancouver went from watching Dan Cloutier to watching Roberto Luongo and we all lost our minds when he singlehandedly defeated the Dallas Stars in the first round and prevented the Anaheim Ducks from sweeping the team in the second round.
We all know what happens next and somewhere along the way the script was flipped and it become about how Luongo was holding the team back from Stanley Cup success.
I realize his performance in February is meaningless if things flare up again in May, but no matter has happened over the years Roberto Luongo is still the franchise goaltender we acquired.
3. Splitting the Sedins?
Alain Vigneault may or may not have hit the panic button in this game when he split the Sedins up for the second straight game.
On the surface it obviously makes no sense, but if a team is struggling offensively like the Canucks are it’s hard to juggle the line-up if you don’t mess around with the first line.
1. ..Well, The Sedins
The reason why AV is pulling the seldom used Sedin Split card is that the twin have been offensively for a while now.
They haven’t been the same since the Boston game (hey, there it is again!) and despite lighting up the All-Star Game and Daniel notching the OT winner against the Blackhawks, it looks like the slump has bled into February.
It’s a problem when the Canucks rely on the twins for offence so much that they take 80% of their starts in the offensive zone. If the Sedins aren’t getting it done, the team is in trouble.
The five-on-five has suffered, the powerplay is flaccid, and the team is suffering.
2. Regulation Wins
Good news: the Canucks have points in 11 of their last 13.
Bad news: they have one regulation win their past ten.
This is a problem, probably. One hand it’s great to see points gained every night but on the other hand…playoffs.
Still, something tells me if you get the Sedins going this whole problem goes away.
My best friend and yours Shane O’Brien was front and centre with Alex Burrows in a third period altercation.
O’Brien took down Burrows after the whistle leading to Burrows reacting like a cat scorned. The two tussled and jawed for a bit until O’Brien popped his head back out of his jersey and cocked his fist back.
Not entirely sure what set it all off, and it was certainly immature, but is it wrong to want Shane O’Brien back on the team?