After yet another loss and yet another game where the Canucks made scoring goals look like trying to climb Mount Everest, one word comes to mind: BORING.
The woefully boring version of the Vancouver Canucks you see today, is a result of an identity crisis entering the 2011-12 season. This team is virtually the same as they were then, with a few tweaks along the way.
During the 2011-12 season, players began saying they have to learn how to win 2-1 games, and play every game even keeled. Weird to hear from a team that just came off the most successful season in franchise history, where they seemed like they wanted to kick the crap out of any team they played.
It was as if no one, from the organization all the way down to the fans, actually cared about the 2011-12 regular season. Everyone was counting down the days until the playoffs, and when they finally came around in April, it was a disaster.
After the goalie fiasco last year, and a new head coach, it seemed like this team was going to get a fresh start. Now, with over two thirds of the season complete, it’s obvious they are in need of more than that.
You knew coming in that Tortorella would try to make the team tougher, and more defensively responsible. What you didn’t expect? Every single one of their “top end” players to struggle this bad offensively.
The team is paying $21.5 million to the Sedins, Kesler and Burrows. At this pace, they’re paying roughly 33 per cent of their cap space for what will amount to somewhere close to 170 points total between them. To put that into perspective, the Hawks are paying $9.3 million to Kane, Versteeg and Saad, who will surpass the 170 point mark between the three of them.
The now departed Dale Weise was asked about the goal scoring woes last week and he echoed a similar mindset to those players that were here in 2011-12, stating that the team needed to win 2-1 games. This game plan is fine if you’re built like the Boston Bruins, or Los Angeles Kings, not when Ryan Kesler is your biggest top six forward.
No, the Canucks are not nearly as talented as the Blackhawks, or Penguins, but you don’t see them trying to win games by physically wearing out opponents because they’re not built like that, and neither are the Canucks. Stopping goals hasn’t been the problem the last two years, scoring them has.
The blame for this wasted season is shared evenly throughout the lineup. The best players haven’t produced, but they also have no one to play with.
Today’s Canucks have simply become boring. Give the Sedins credit for facing the music when it comes to their performance, but hearing the same old “we played a good game, but we have to find a way to score” post game is getting tiresome. The team is also too predictable. From Alex Edler’s drop passes, promising rushes dying on Jannik Hansen’s stick, to Ryan Kesler going full speed down the right side, one on three, and taking a wrist shot, fans are sick of seeing and hearing the same old thing.
The Canucks are in desperate need of a change in personnel. They need impact forwards that can create offence, whether that is players that make people around them better or pure goal scorers. But with so many players having no trade clauses, I’m not going to hold my breath.