In another frustrating game with so many unexplained miscues, the Vancouver Canucks were dominated by the Vegas Golden Knights, dropping a 5-2 decision on home ice.
Following a thrilling comeback against the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings (on the road, no less), the Vancouver Canucks appeared to have caught the Vegas Golden Knights at the right time
Vegas was coming off an embarrassing 8-2 drubbing to the Edmonton Oilers, and had to use their No. 4 goaltender in Maxime Lagace. But it was the Golden Knights who bounced back, crushing the Canucks by a final score of 5-2, though they could have easily won by more.
The Canucks have now lost six of their last nine games, and it marked the third time they lost by three or more goals in their last four games.
Vancouver had the chance to take advantage of regulation losses by the Oilers, Kings and San Jose Sharks on Thursday, but they now sit outside of the playoff picture. But the main concern is the number of flaws within this team in recent games.
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The Sedin twins have just 15 points between them, while Sam Gagner (six points), Brandon Sutter (five), Markus Granlund (three), and Loui Eriksson (two assists), continue to contribute very little to the scoresheet.
Also concerning? The Canucks continued mess that is their play in the defensive zone. Vegas took advantage of some Vancouver turnovers and turned tem into five goals. Derrick Pouliot fanned on a pass that allowed Jonathan Marchessault to close it out with an insurance tally.
Without Chris Tanev in the lineup, the Canucks are 1-3-0, allowing 16 goals while scoring just five in that span. Is it safe to say he just may be this team’s MVP?
Alexander Edler, Erik Gudbranson and Ben Hutton have all regressed since Tanev went down. The three men are often out of position too much, and aren’t getting the puck out properly and cleanly. Vancouver’s paying a price for it.
The Canucks aren’t in a position to be “buyers” right now. They can’t trade for a defenceman; this is simply a rebuilding year, and they only have so many quality prospects in the system. The solution will have to come from within.
Is it time to call up Jordan Subban? Will they want to rush Olli Juolevi to the NHL for next season? There are options on the table. But head coach Travis Green is going to have to find a way to squeeze more out of his banged-up blue line, until Tanev and Troy Stecher return.
If the Canucks are really going to continue this surprising season and challenge for the playoffs, they’ll need the secondary scoring and the defence to get going. It’s as simple as that.