Vancouver Canucks Week #10 Outlook: Hitting the Reset Button


The Vancouver Canucks look to reset the clock after yet another disappointing week of tanknation hockey.

The Vancouver Canucks simply cannot win hockey games these days. Whether it be home or away, whether it be Ryan Miller or Jacob Markstrom in net, or whether it be against Pacific, Central, or Eastern foes, the Canucks did not fail to find ways to lose games these past weeks.

Related: Vancouver Canucks Injury Report Dec. 3rd

Week #9: Vancouver Canucks (0-3-1),  3 Goals For, 14 Goals Against

Week’s top scorer: 3 Assists, Henrik Sedin

Head coach Willie Desjardins would be foolish not to press the reset button after what happened last night against the Boston Bruins.

Coming up with no points in one-goal losses gave Willie D a reason to repeat himself along the lines of “we have to play harder”. But with two 0-4 losses in a single week, that excuse won’t cut it anymore. I somehow miss his “real good” post game interviews where Sven Baertschi was a “good” player and Dan Hamhuis was a “real good player for us”. With that scrappy loss to the Bruins, it is time to hit the reset button. Not the panic button quite yet. Don’t pull your trigger on Willie and pending free agents… yet.

Week 10 Outlook

The Vancouver Canucks will be home for one more week as they host two Eastern Conference foes. Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres roll into town on Monday, and Alain Vigneault’s New York Rangers will look to make week 10 yet another heart-wrenching day for the Canucks and their fans.

vs. Buffalo Sabres (11-12-3) Monday, December 7th

Sabres’ Leading Scorer: Ryan O’Reilly (8 Goals, 21 Points)

Keys to the Game:

  1. Win it for Ryan Miller.
  2. Let Bo Horvat demolish Jack Eichel and get his confidence back.
  3. Go after the injury-plagued, back-to-back tired Buffalo defense.

The Canucks will catch the Sabres on the second game of their back-to-back, after the Buffs face the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The Sabres are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games, and will be missing a good chunk of their lineup due to injuries. Robin Lehner (ankle), Tyler Ennis (upper body), Mark Pysyk (lower body), Mike Weber (knee) are all out with injuries for Buffalo.

More from The Canuck Way

Perhaps facing the Sabres at this time of the year is not so bad for the Canucks. They need to find a ‘W’ one way or another, and the sight of the Sabres and their no-name goaltenders should make the hearts of the Vancouver Canucks just a bit lighter.

Just a bit. Remember how good Linus Ullmark was when the Canucks lost to the Buffalo Sabres on the dreaded November road trip? Playing on back-to-back nights, the Sabres might have Ullmark back in net on Monday.

Also note that former Utica Comet and Ryan O’Reilly’s brother Cal O’Reilly is in town. Let’s give him a rough ride if he suits up!

It feels worse yet though, if you realize that the Sabres have two games in hand on the Canucks right now and only a single point less. Ouch.

vs. New York Rangers (17-7-3) Wednesday, December 9th

Rangers’ Leading Scorer: Mats Zucherello (11 Goals, 22 Points)

The Vancouver Canucks only have two games this week, the second one with Alain Vigneault’s NY Rangers in town. Write this up for a 4-point game. This game might define the Canucks and their imminent future. As they will not play again until the 13th vs. Chicago Blackhawks, the team will have more than plenty of time to mull over the result of this Rangers game.

Win, and you feel going on the road. Lose, and you have three full days to blame yourselves to death.

Keys to the Game:

  1. Clog up the Neutral Zone and slow them down.
  2. Continue to be tough on Elite Goaltenders. We’ve slapped Carey Price once, give King Henrik a shake.
  3. Win it for the emotions. Vets, do you embarrass yourself in front of your old coach?

The Rangers are 4-5-1 in their last 10, and with Derek Stepan out, they are not as hot as they were at the season’s start.

Bottom Line.

It is time to hit the reset button.

The Canucks can’t afford to play with such lack of structure, lack of will, and lack of competitiveness.

If the Vancouver Canucks can muster two wins against these two very different Eastern foes, they are back to .500 Win percentage. With the long three days off after the NY game, two big wins would be a momentum-swinger for the Canucks.

However, if they do not, they only have themselves to blame over the long three days off before the Chicago game on Sunday. I would bet that if the Canucks lose more than they win in the next couple of weeks, the axe is coming down on the vets and potentially even on Coach Willie D.

Next: Game Recap: Canucks drop 5th straight at the hands of the Boston Bruins

The Canucks can still turn the season around. Thank god that the Pacific is as bad as it is this year. Two wins, and the Canucks are still in the mix for the playoffs. But two more losses, the tanknation chant may just get louder and louder, and the team just might have to hurl itself into a major rebuild that was uncalled for.