Dude, where’s the offence?
We’ve said it before, and we’ll definitely say it again, but the Canucks need to find a way to reignite their star players.
Head coach Travis Green once again put his line combinations into a blender prior to Saturday night’s contest, hoping that any change would spark his forward group.
The trio of Miller, Podkolzin and Brock Boeser were probably the better line out of the four, with the Russian rookie carrying most of the weight like we’ve become so accustomed to seeing.
Podkolzin was one of the few (if not the only) brights spots on Saturday night, particularly in the middle frame, showcasing his lethal combination of speed, size and strength without the puck.
Podkolzin was eventually rewarded for his efforts, notching his fifth goal of the season halfway through the second period.
With the game tied 1-1 at that point, Podkolzin made sure to keep his foot on the gas pedal on his next shift, showcasing his patient puck-handling skills before feeding the puck to Elias Pettersson right in the slot. The slumping Swede hit the post, extending the search for his first even strength goal of the season.
Podkolzin was also one of the only players to show up in the third period to try and help his team overcome yet another deficit. The 20-year-old also ignited the comeback on a 2-on-1 with Bo Horvat, but was stopped by the glove of Tristan Jarry.
Podkolzin finished the evening with one goal, two SOG and a 38.46% Corsi For in just under 13 minutes of ice time.
Those were the only encouraging stats amongst Vancouver’s forwards.
Miller, Pettersson and Horvat all went scoreless on the scoresheet, while Tanner Pearson, Conor Garland and Nils Höglander also followed suit.
Boeser did manage to register an assist on Podkolzin’s goal, finally reaching the double-digit point plateau, but it was only his second point in 12 games. His last goal came on November 7th.
Quite frankly, this is not even close to being good enough, particularly when the opposing star players like Guentzel, Crosby and Kris Letang can combine for 10 points, and when your Thatcher Demko is doing all that he can to keep his team in the fight.
It’s one thing to score against teams like Ottawa and Montreal, but it’s a whole other battle trying to hit the scoresheet against clubs that actually challenge you.
And when you’re playing in front of your home crowd on a Saturday night, after being on the road for five contests, with your season also being held together by a tattered piece of duct tape, these players need to step it up big time.