After a forgettable second week of November, the Vancouver Canucks did not just drop in power rankings across the web. For some outlets, the team’s perception has plummeted.
Last week was something the Vancouver Canucks would like to quickly forget. The team dropped three out of four games, including the embarrassing 5-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
A recurring theme was present throughout the week: the Canucks struggled with consistency on offence. They beat the Flames 5-3, but had little to show for in California. This was not the same team that climbed the power rankings a couple of weeks ago.
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Both special teams are now a weakness. The Canucks had the 27th best power play and 25th best penalty kill going into Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings, per the NHL site.
The Canucks were down 2-0 early, but fought their way back, going two for three on the power play with goals from Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. Henrik Sedin scored a goal and Anders Nilsson returned to form shortly after the rough start to the game.
It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. The Canucks needed this badly and it is too bad that this gutsy effort won’t factor in any of the power rankings below.
What everyone is saying
Jeremy Fuchs at Sports Illustrated has been rather kind to the Canucks. On Monday, he had the Canucks pegged at 12th, dropping a spot from his previous rankings.
At CBS sports, Cody Benjamin lowered the Canucks 10 places in his rankings, falling to 19th. The Oilers are ranked 29th, so I’ll take that petty victory.
Eric Stephens, from the Orange County Register, dropped the Canucks down to 22nd from 18th in his prior rankings. Stephens remarked on the Canucks’ rough week, where the team was “2-4-1 in their past seven.”
Larry Fisher from The Hockey Writers has the Canucks at 22nd after 15 games, dropping 16 places below the team’s ranking in the 10-game power rankings. Additionally, Fisher commented on how the team is “slowing down” and showing why their preseason ranking (22nd) was so low. He had this to say about the team going forward:
"This next stretch might be more telling and may give us a better read on the Canucks, but they seem like a team destined to hang around .500 for the foreseeable future."
Ouch. TSN.ca pulled no punches either in their latest power rankings. The Canucks were riding high at the eigth position. They have fallen harder than Icarus when he got too close to the sun, picking up a ranking of 22nd.
In short, the Canucks will have to put this past week behind them. Power Rankings are volatile, but the team has noticeable flaws. A major boost on special teams is required. If they can continue what they did in Los Angeles, then the team will rise again in the rankings.
However, we still need more secondary scoring. Teams have wised up to the fact that the Horvat line is our best chance to produce offence. If the Sedins can consistently produce and the Thomas Vanek line can get going, this will take pressure off from the team’s top scoring line.