The Vancouver Canucks are going to have to brace for the offseason if they continue playing a losing brand of hockey. That might begin this week, in Week 19.
The Vancouver Canucks keep finding ways to lose despite home advantage and the plethora of healthy bodies in the lineup. Coming up with just one point in two games is bad enough. But one point against two teams that are below Vancouver in the standings and one being against the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets is even worse.
How much lower can the Canucks fall?
Here are the storylines going into Week 19.
Can Jacob Markstrom turn the tide?
With two games in two nights on the road against the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes, it is safe to assume that Jacob Markstrom gets, at least, one start this week. Ryan Miller has just one win after his return from “the cramps,” and it might serve Vancouver well to not only to start Markstrom on either Tuesday or Wednesday this week, but to also give more starts to him than to Ryan Miller.
Although the play of Miller has certainly not been the main cause of Vancouver’s losses, having the back-up in net will serve a message to the Canucks.
But seriously. If seeing the bottom of the league just five points away doesn’t send a message to this group, I don’t know what will.
Are the Sedins burned out?
Henrik Sedin has not had a point in his last four games. He has not scored a goal in his last 17 games. Daniel has not recorded a point after returning from the All-Stars, and he has just four points in his last nine games.
On that note, Jannik Hansen has not recorded a single point after his hat-trick in Pittsburgh. In the past 11 games, Hansen has just one assist aside from the hat-trick. Maybe it is time the Canucks gave up having the honey badger on the Sedin line. Hansen is playing fine, actually — recall how he hit the post in the opening minute of the overtime period against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Read More: Time to Change Up the Lines
With three games on the schedule, Week 19 is going to be a do-or-die week for some of the veterans on the trade block. Why? Radim Vrbata has just one assist in his last seven games, and he has not scored a goal in the last eight games. Heck. He has just two goals in the past 23 games after his hat-trick against the Buffalo Sabres.
And of course. It is Retro Night on Saturday! The last time we had retro, nothing went well.
So here it is, the Week 19 Outlook with our staff Predictions. Enjoy.
Next: Away @Colorado