As the Canucks head to Florida in search of their winning ways, it’s worth noting what is really ailing this team outside of numerous injuries right now. While it’s no secret that the Canucks aren’t going very far into the post-season (if at all) unless they acquire some offensive help, the current contingent won’t win many games unless they keep the puck out of their own net.
Blame Curtis Sanford for Tuesday’s loss to Dallas if you want, but the statistics for goals allowed are overwhelming for this club. When the Canucks surrender two goals or less, they are virtually unbeatable no matter who plays goal. Vancouver is 22-2-4 in those situations. On the flip side, the Canucks are a woeful 4-18-1 as soon as that third goal crosses the line.
Unless Vincent LeCavalier and Martin St. Louis walk into the wrong dressing room tonight, the Canucks are going to have trouble producing offence on a consistent basis; it’s a fact, not a criticism.
While their blue-collar approach may create numerous chances to bury the biscuit, a quick scan of the roster explains why those chances don’t result in goals most nights. And as for the minority that thinks Roberto Luongo should have been back between the pipes before tonight game in Tampa Bay, one game off is a small price to pay for a focused franchise player.
•Keep an eye on the way Willie Mitchell’s injury is handled in the next few days. Mitchell has a stress fracture in one of his vertebrae and said he wouldn’t participate in the Canucks’ current four-game road trip. However, Alain Vigneault seemed to verbally nudge Mitchell back into the lineup sooner than that by saying he thought the brawny blue-liner could be back before the next home game.
•The B.C. Lions will elaborate on their plans for Jacques Chapdelaine this morning when they update the media on the state of the franchise. No matter what title Wally Buono bestows upon Chapdelaine, you can be certain that the latter will have a lot of control over the play calling after the way things unfolded last season.
Despite the professionalism of the players publicly, a big part of the offence was not on board with the conservative approach of Steph Kruk and Dan Dorazio. Chapdelaine is far more aggressive when it comes to the passing game, which is music to the ears of a receiving corps that boasted the league’s leading pass catcher in spite of the cautious style employed last season.
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