Daniel Sedin calls out teammates: ‘It’s embarrassing’

Brian Elliot made 19 saves and the St. Louis Blues blanked the Vancouver Canucks.

Daniel Sedin flexed some leadership muscle this weekend, calling out some of his Vancouver Canucks teammates for their lack of effort.

“I think from some guys right now, the effort is not there. It’s not good enough,” Sedin told the Vancouver Sun Saturday night. “I think those guys know who they are. I think it’s embarrassing if you’re not giving the effort every night. Shift in and shift out, game in and game out, it has to be there, otherwise it’s going to look like this.”

What it looks like is four straight losses in which Vancouver has scored only three goals and has been shutout twice, once by 29th-place Edmonton and once by St. Louis.

The Canucks were outshot 50-19 by the Blues at home Saturday, sparking Sedin’s comments.

“I think it’s been an issue most nights,” Daniel went on. “Early on, we won some games because we had enough guys battling. We’re there right now, trying to battle. But we’re not winning them. That’s a big difference. You’ve got to go in there demanding the puck. We have too many instances where that’s not the case.

“If you don’t get that most of the shifts, most of the nights, we’re going to lose 3-2 and 2-1 like we have this year. There’s a reason we’ve lost all those one-goal games.”

Lottery-bound Vancouver, which failed to shed expiring contracts at the trade deadline, now has the NHL’s third-worst offence (2.3 goals per game), eighth-worst defence (2.85 goals allowed per game) and fifth-worst power play (16.7 per cent success rate).

One of the few bright spots in a disappointing campaign, the 35-year-old Sedin handily leads the club in goals (26), points (58), game-winners (six), and shots (234).

As the team embarks on a three-game road swing this week, Vancouver has fallen to 26th overall, just five points ahead of the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs.

Considering seven of their final 11 games come against playoff teams, it’s possible the Canucks fall even further.

“Where we are right now, guys are fighting for spots on the team,” Sedin said. “The effort should always be there. It doesn’t matter where you are in the standings or what kind of team you are.

“It’s about learning to play that way. Hopefully, it’s going to come sooner than later.”