In what may have been their worst performance of the season, the Vancouver Canucks lost 5-0 to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday evening. We examine three takeaways from the ugly, forgetful game.
The Vancouver Canucks are finding new ways for me to say “That was their worst game of the season,” and I mean that seriously. A 5-0 home loss to an Anaheim Ducks team without Corey Perry and a banged-up Ryan Kesler is a new rock bottom. The Ducks never had two easier points in their history.
For a while, fans were at least watching a competitive Canucks team, despite all of its injuries. But dating back to Dec. 7, this is the fifth time where Vancouver lost by three goals or more. They have just two wins in their last 12 games. For those of you bad at math, that’s kind of embarrassing.
The Ducks continue to do an excellent job in showing how many steps ahead they are. They’ve taken both meetings thus far, outscoring the Canucks 9-1. The Ducks have won 15 of the last 22 games in this rivalry.
An Anaheim win over Vancouver was nothing new, we’re totally accustomed to that. But there are three things we learned from this awful game. So let’s get started.
Where are the Sedins?
If Daniel and Henrik Sedin want to continue their playing careers — especially with the Vancouver Canucks — they are going to have to learn how to score again. Like a dull pencil, the twins have gone pointless in their last four games.
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Daniel has two goals in his last 14 outings, while Henrik hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 14 against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sedins are both in jeopardy of missing the 40-point mark, which wouldn’t even be that impressive to reach — considering all they’ve accomplished in their careers.
I’ve gotten plenty of criticism for suggesting that the Canucks let the Sedins go via trade or free agency this summer, but you have to see where I’m coming from.
Vancouver isn’t a better team with the 37-year-old twins at this point. The front office seriously has to decide if it’s worth keeping them, or if they should do the right thing and let the kids play.
Reid Boucher a non-factor
Reid Boucher played in just his third game of the season, and was called upon to bring some much-needed speed, energy and offence in this one. Our very own Tyler Shipley recently wrote about the need to bring Boucher up, and he got an early birthday gift on Tuesday evening (Happy Birthday, Tyler).
But Boucher only got 7:51 of ice time (14 shifts), and didn’t have a single shot on goal. In fact, he hasn’t registered a shot in the three games he’s played.
Now, nobody’s calling upon Boucher to be a hero that turns this team into a playoff contender or anything. But Boucher hasn’t been an impact player much, and you have to wonder if he even has much of a future left in Vancouver.
At this point, you can probably expect Boucher to be sent back to the Utica Comets of the AHL before long. For all we know, his time in a Vancouver Canucks uniform is slowly coming to an end. It just hasn’t worked out.
Goaltending woes continue
Well, Thatcher Demko may become the new No. 1 goalie earlier than expected, and nobody should be surprised if that’s the case. Anders Nilsson was pulled after allowing a whopping 15 goals on 19 shots. Meanwhile, 37-year-old Ryan Miller was (probably), laughing away at his old team, turning aside 31 shots for a well-deserved shutout.
Jacob Markstrom is regressing after a sensational two months, and the same can be said for Nilsson. Yes, this blue line is one of the least inspiring in the NHL, but the goalies have to stand their grounds.
For the 11th time in their last 12 games, the Canucks have given up three or more goals. That includes at least four in nine of them, which is unacceptable in the NHL level. Nilsson and Markstrom have to be better.
If neither of them turn it around by season’s end, then general manager Jim Benning will have a tough choice to make. Trading one of them and bringing up Demko to challenge the other for the No.1 job shouldn’t be out of the question.
*Stats courtesy of NHL.com*