No “Twins” for you today Canucks fans! The Canucks were NOT HOT.
For the past week, the Vancouver Canucks have been a tired team. They’ve been going non-stop since Christmas to the point where they’ve played the most games in the West.
They’re home now, but Sunday’s affair with the Ducks was the classic first home game back trap game, and the Canucks fit the stereotype to perfection.
Outworked, outhustled, and out of sync, the Canucks will be happy with just four games for the rest of January.
Onto the Love’Em and Hate’Em for the Ducks matchup.
Cody Hodgson had the Canucks first goal as he continued to be one of the few Canucks with legs during this doldrum stretch.
The powerplay marker gave the Canucks something to build on but of course they never did. It’s pretty hard when you manage just 12 shots through two periods.
Cody meanwhile has moved into a tie for fourth in rookie scoring despite averaging five minutes of ice time less than his peers. A Calder nomination isn’t out of the question.
He didn’t factor into the game, but it was nice to see the return of David Booth. The dynamic winger’s return gives the Canucks the option of some interesting looks up front.
The American Express line (Booth-Kesler-Higgins) in particular was playing well before Booth’s injury.
It also should put a step on Mason Raymond‘s game if he wants to either continue holding down a top six spot or not be traded for a defenceman at the deadline. Raymond had a pretty wraparound goal towards the end of this game albeit in garbage time.
As has been the pattern in the Gillis/Vigneault era, when the Canucks are off their game, it’s ugly. The Canucks gave Lana Del Rey a run for worst performance of the weekend.
It makes it hard to find three positives in a game like this, so I’ll just direct you towards this video to put a smile on your face and forget about the game. I watched it about 20 times last night. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4NCnH7RPZY
The writing was on the wall when Nick Bonino was allowed as many chances as he wanted to score on Roberto Luongo. Luongo robbed him twice but couldn’t stop the third one because he shouldn’t have to at that point.
Is Sami Salo really the only thing keeping this blueline together?
The Canucks need a capable top four defenceman at the deadline bad or this scene could all too common in the playoffs.
Jason Blake meanwhile was also treated with kid gloves, allowing Blake to finish with two goals and an assist on 10 shots. Anytime you allow a guy like Jason Blake to destroy you, I hope a team meeting follows.
I don’t what it is about the Ducks, but they always seem to have the Canucks number, even in a year when they have no one else’s.
Thankfully there’s just one more game against the Ducks in early April.
If you’ve been thinking something was off with Ryan Kesler lately, you were naturally a bit suspicious when he wasn’t on the ice with the team Saturday.
Your suspicions were absolutely upgraded to DEFCON 1 when Kesler was caught removing a knee brace at the end of the game.
It doesn’t take a Wikipedia Brown to realize that Ryan Kesler might be a bit banged up, possibly on the knee.
Again, the Canucks only have four games left in January, but maybe this is a good time to sit Kesler against LA on Tuesday and let the surging Cody Hodgson have a trial run as the second line centre?