The Streak Ends
It’s the kind of loss that leaves you speechless until J.S. Giguere pulls a fist pump out of his helmet upon which point you have to laugh because the Vancouver Canucks just won four in a row and are 18 points ahead of last place Colorado.
Not to say the Vancouver Canucks delivered their A-game Saturday but where are they right now in relation to the panic button? Ah yes, miles and miles or kilometres and many, many wilometres (as Grapes would say) away.
Alain Vigneault is however, as stale as ever while his players rise up headed towards the playoffs.
Alain Vigneault’s lack of influence on this team’s success doesn’t really need any more beating but we can’t forget about it completely. This team doesn’t need AV to win and they don’t need him to lose. That’s when you know you’ve worn out your welcome.
That aside, you also have to question the team’s decision to fly into Denver two days early. It was Thursday when they arrived and it brings us to something the one and only Don Cherry brought up in a segment on Hockey Night in Canada in recent weeks.
Grapes said in his time as a Coach in the NHL, which includes six 80 game seasons and a Jack Adams award, that you never, ever fly into Denver two days early.
How about one day before?
Cherry approved of that and in fact said it’s best if you fly in the day of. Now no team in today’s NHL will actually fly in on the day of a game unless there’s a snow storm forcing them into that dilemma but in all the time this organization has spent flying into the Mile High City, you’d think they’d have learned something similar.
The team was clearly sluggish and their slow start was epitomized by them letting in that precious first goal. It would have been more than that after 20 minutes if it weren’t for Cory Schneider…who, by the way, didn’t have his best game either.
For this one, he cannot blame his team-mates a la Giguere.
This leaves the Canucks where?
Certainly the panic button remains in a distant land and with seven games to go in the regular season, the playoffs are a lock along with probably a Northwest Division title. It’s day to day management that needs to be cleaned up.
The much hyped sleep doctors and trainers that work for this hockey club need to be more on the ball with the travel arrangements when it comes to situations like the one on this particular excursion.
Mike Gillis really needs to find a substitute for Tom Sestito. Might I suggest Jordan Schroeder, Andrew Gordon or recent signing Kellan Lain?
They just have to continue to mesh. Derek Roy is due to bust out in a big way. Despite not scoring a goal in green and blue as of yet, he has looked solid. Even Ryan Kesler has looked like his old self in the few games he’s played since returning.
Hank and Dank are picking up points each game and that may be more important than anything at this point in the season.
This team can do better and has proven that so there should be no doubt a deep playoff run remains a possibility.
We’ll see what the next 14 days yield in the way of gelation.