Could it get even worse for the Vancouver Canucks?
The team made their way to Montreal late Sunday night, hoping to turn the tide against the lowly Canadiens. It has been a dreadful road trip for the Canucks, who have registered zero out of a possible six points while also being outscored by a margin of 11-5 so far. Vancouver lost to Pittsburgh and Columbus earlier this week before falling to Brad Marchand and the Boston Bruins on Sunday night.
As a result, Vancouver currently sits dead last in the Pacific Division with just 14 points.
Fortunately for the Canucks, it’s been just as awful a season for the Canadiens.
Despite making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last summer, Montreal has been in a downward spiral all year. The Canadiens sit seventh in the Atlantic Division, just five points ahead of the Ottawa Senators, and have been struggling without key players such as Carey Price and Shea Weber. Like the Canucks, they have only recorded six wins all year.
The month of November, in particular, has been troubling for Montreal, who went 4-7-2 in 13 contests, good for a points percentage of just 0.385%. As a result, the Canadiens decided to clean house on Sunday night, relieving General Manager Marc Bergevin of his duties on Sunday night.
In his 10 seasons in Montreal, Bergevin went 344-265-81, the 18th-best record in the NHL during that span, while also leading his organization to three division titles and six playoff appearances.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Canucks have only qualified for the postseason twice in the past seven years under the reign of Jim Benning, who still has a job in Vancouver.
The team also currently holds the third-worst points percentage in November with 0.269%, having only won three of their past 13 contests. The Canucks have also lost six consecutive road games, dating back to their 7-1 beatdown in Denver on November 11th.
We’ll have to wait and see if head coach Travis Green will make any changes heading into their contest against Montreal.
The bench boss was once again forced to alter his line combinations on Sunday, throwing everything but the kitchen sink to try and spark something within his squad.
The new-look powerplay units seemed to work on Sunday night, with Tanner Pearson able to notch his third goal of the season on the man advantage as a result. Brock Boeser and Nils Höglander provided the assists, while Conor Garland was also able to find the scoresheet at even strength in the middle frame.
However, outside of those players, no one else on the roster was able to provide much else offensively, including Elias Pettersson.
Pettersson’s struggles continued on Sunday night, with the young Swede extending his goalless drought to nine games. Pettersson has been a shell of his former Calder Trophy winning self, and it is starting to reflect in his ice time.
The 23-year-old only logged 3:13 in the third period, six seconds less than Alex Chiasson, and wasn’t even deployed in the final moments of the contest when their net was empty.
Of course, the onus of this team’s current losing disaster can’t fall on the shoulders of just one player, but Pettersson definitely hasn’t been holding up his end of the bargain during this span.
On the blueline, the Canucks will still be without the services of Travis Hamonic, who did not join the team on their road trip due to his current vaccination status.
Thatcher Demko will get the nod between the pipes on Monday night, likely facing off against Jake Allen, who made 47 saves during a 6-3 victory against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Puck drop is set for 4:00pm PST at the Bell Centre.
What are your thoughts heading into Monday’s match-up in Montreal? Let us know in the comments!