The Vancouver Canucks laid back to back eggs Wednesday and Thursday. In the process they used up two games in hand they had on most other playoff battlers in the Western Conference and blew friendly results on the out of town scoreboard.
Wednesday's loss against mighty Anaheim may not have been unexpected, but to not even show up against the Phoenix Coyotes the next night is downright brutal. Shutout 2-0 and out-shot 45-24, the Canucks could have gained serious ground in the playoff derby as both Minnesota and Calgary both lost.
With the win, Wayne Gretzky's Coyotes creep back into serious playoff contention, giving the Canucks one more team to worry about.
The Canucks simply can not score goals. They've scored 3 goals in 3 games on this road trip so far. In their past 11 games, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Markus Naslund and Taylor Pyatt have combined for only 1 goal, and that was an empty net goal. Naslund was credited with 7 shots on this night, but I think every one came from well out and with no traffic in front of Ilya Bryzgalov.
A lot of the blame has to go on GM Dave Nonis. The Canucks simply do not have the personnel to score goals, and it's his job to supply them. There is no primary scoring let alone secondary scoring. Markus Naslund is greatly overpaid based strictly on his goal production. Taylor Pyatt hasn't done much of anything for weeks. As much as I like the Sedin Twins, its disappointing to see them shut down in crunch time yet again.
This off-season, which for Vancouver might be coming sooner rather than later, Nonis HAS to bring in some scoring help for the Sedins. It is too easy to blanket them with checkers when there is no other threat of offense in the line up.
I have to wonder what Roberto Luongo is thinking right now. He's played really well. Perhaps he's a touch off compared to last year's superman effort, but he is still one of the top 3 goalies in the league. But his talent is essentially being wasted in Vancouver right now.
The Canucks need to import some offense for next season. If they don't, I certainly won't be surprised to see Roberto Luongo pack his bags when his contract is up in two years and find a team that is serious about winning a Stanley Cup.
Note: I know what you're thinking - what does this have to do with hockey history? Well I've been in a bit of a slump of my own, and just felt like commenting on today's game. Perhaps I will do more of it, and hopefully grow my audience. But you can rest assured that GreatestHockeyLegends.com will always be "The Hockey History Blog"