Written by: Larry “The Nucks IceMan” Johnson
Almost halfway in the season but finally cracking the top eight in the Western Conference this week, the Canucks are a mystery team this season. This team cannot seem to stand success more than three games in a row before they lose one.
There has been no long winning streaks or losing, just sort of mediocre. It’s no wonder the ‘Nucks fans are stuck with them in the same space, how do you get excited over this type of play? Granted the team has been scoring as they are currently fifth in the NHL and doing a good job at keeping them out (7th in the NHL) but something is missing.
I’m not sure what it is at this point. On some nights the Canucks look good enough to take a long run into the playoffs and others, they hardly look like they could beat the bottom dwellers, which they have had problems with this year.
They survived the rash of early season injuries and almost have a complete healthy lineup, and I guess the nearest thing to euphoria is this latest 6-3-1 record in the last 10 games. The special teams’ power play has improved over last season to sit at number three but the penalty kill is still mired at 17th.
The home record was tied for first in the NHL and if that road record could get back to at least .500, than this team would be in first place in its division.
There has been a breakout year for Mason Raymond who already has 17 goals and each one sets a new best for him. Henrik Sedin was in second place in the NHL scoring race and when was the last time a Canuck was in that position?
Christian Ehrhoff leads all NHL defensemen with a +19 rating and Roberto Luongo is ninth amongst goaltenders in GAA and was named today as one of the three goaltenders for Team Canada.
So all looks relatively rosy, except everyone waits with baited breath to see if the Canucks can survive the long road trip that awaits them before and after the Olympics. Maybe that’s why the fans seem to be on hold and yours truly also.
We will also see in a couple of weeks whether the addition of the long injured Pavol Demitra adds some more offense to this team or whether GM Mike Gillis has other plans.
It looks like Kevin Bieksa who picked up, what is been referred to as laceration above the ankle, may be out for a number of weeks just as Mathieu Schnieder cleared waivers. Lucky for the Nucks? Not so sure about that.
That would mean that Aaron Rome would most likely become the number seventh Dman.
Manitoba Moose Lawrence Nycholat or Brad Lukowich would be the emergency backups if re-called, with both been subject to clearing re-entry.
Speaking of Lukowich, I had to go looking for him since he is playing for the Texas Stars of the AHL, which means he must be on loan to them from Manitoba. Nycholat has only played in six games this year, so Lukowich might be the odds on favourite.
And now for the awards at the 40 game mark.
Filed under: Opinion