“If this ain’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is.”
I don’t know either Kevin.
So many thoughts about what has gone on with the Vancouver Canucks recently, I’m going to ramble on in point form. Because, you know, the team sure isn’t getting points these days.
-What the heck has happened in 2014? A record of 5-16-3 is almost unfathomable after the Canucks went 10-1-2 in December. How could things change so dramatically? Did the players forget how to play? Obviously there isn’t one clear explanation or reason. John Tortorella’s actions on January 18th were a contributing factor. When he stormed into the Flames hallway it certainly hurt this team. He’s admitted that. And yes, injuries have played their part in this disaster as well.
-Is the system right for this group? It would appear the answer is no, as a number of offensively gifted guys have totally fallen off the map. Alexandre Burrows and the Sedin twins combining for zero goals this calendar year has to be a joke, right? We are a week into March. Actually its no joke at all.
-Maybe the players have never quite grasped Tortorella's system. Maybe they don't trust the system. How many times were Canucks D-men caught pinching in Dallas on Thursday night? Whether they were "right reads" where the player missed the puck or just "wrong reads" that led to odd man rushes and goals is beside the point. Great players like Hamhuis should not look uncomfortable trying to make these plays. There is hesitation. Its like they don't quite believe what they are trying to do is right. There are way too many mistakes in this area of the game. And yet the first three months of the season, the club was doing better than fine. Confusing.
-As mentioned above (22-33-14), its not just the defencemen. Poor Burrows, he looks as lost as anyone. Injuries have certainly hampered his season, but come on.
Alex Burrows not having scored (600 min, 151 shot attempts) is the wildest stat this season, but ROR having ZERO PIMs in 1,190 min is 2nd.
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) March 7, 2014
Again, no joking matter.
-I'm tired of watching the Canucks dump it in on the power play.
-There are still 17 games left! If things continue going the way they have (and surely there haven't been any signs that this group is about to turn it around) how can there not be change at the end of the season? GM Mike Gillis has four years left on his deal, same as Tortorella. Something's got to give. If the GM is fired then I think we'd have our answer as to whether or not Tortorella was more of an owners hire after all.
-I don't mind Gillis not trading Kesler at the deadline. If the deal wasn't right and demands weren't met then why do it? Its not like Kesler is a rental. This is a deal that can be made in the summer with potentially more bidders.
-The total haul for Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider was not nearly good enough. There is no denying that. But the Luongo trade on its own was a good one. Getting out from under that contract was a good move for this franchise. That said, I'm sorry to see Luongo go. He's the best the franchise has ever had and on a personal and professional level he always treated me great.
-Reports out of Boston say the Bruins had a deal in place for Alex Edler. Interesting. I spoke to Edler on deadline day and I didn't get the sense he was interested in waiving his no-trade clause. I know Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis were never going to. I wonder how many guys with NTC's will be willing to waive them moving forward?
-The players are as down as any group I've seen in the regular season and I've been covering the team since 2001. Losing isn't easy, and their post game comments Thursday included the words "collapse" and "embarrassing". They simply don't have an answer for what's happening on the ice.
-The fans are angry, I'm sure season ticket holders are wondering what's going on and there is no doubt many members of the media (nation-wide) are sharpening their knives to dissect this whole situation.
-There is one guy who could come in and repair a lot of damage in a lot of ways. A guy who fans, sponsors and the like would no doubt welcome with open arms: Trevor Linden.
Now I'm not saying Linden for GM or anything. But if you could get him on board in some sort of management position, it would be a step forward for sure. Although I'm not sure he'd be interested in rejoining the franchise under these circumstances.