Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Eye On The Enemy: The Canuck Way

By Gail Kauchak
Feb 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) collide during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) collide during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 21, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) and forward Daniel Sedin (22) celebrate a third period goal by Sedin in the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena. Vancouver won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) and forward Daniel Sedin (22) celebrate a third period goal by Sedin in the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena. Vancouver won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /

Here are some questions with Jeff Godley of The Canuck Way.

First and foremost, what the heck is a Canuck?

JG:  It’s a friendly slang term for a Canadian. It may have been originally used by Americans to refer to French-Canadians, but now can refer to any Canadian.

The Canucks had such a hot start, winning their first four games and gaining a point in the fifth.  Since then, they’ve only won three of the last 13 games.  What has been the difference to cause things to turn south so quickly?

JG:  There were already some warning signs during the four-game winning streak. The Canucks only managed to open the scoring in one of those games. They played three of the games against fairly weak opponents (Flames, Hurricanes, Sabres) yet won by only one goal in each case.

Vancouver does generate scoring chances, but often can’t manage second and third opportunities. So when they don’t bury the few good chances they get, they find themselves trailing in games and unable to come back.

Ultimately, there isn’t enough speed or scoring talent in the lineup to win games regularly. Sometimes they can clamp down on a game defensively long enough to get a win, but it doesn’t happen often.

What has been the most exciting thing for you about the Canucks so far this season?

JG:  Looking ahead to drafting Nolan Patrick.

Also, watching young defensemen Troy Stecher and Nikita Tryamkin crack the lineup and become key players for the Canucks. And, while falling behind every game is not a great strategy, seeing the Canucks get most of their wins via third-period comebacks does ease the pain of a losing record.

But mostly Nolan Patrick.

What has been the most disappointing thing about the season?

JG:  Ugh… where to begin? $6 Million free agent Loui Eriksson has two goals. Sven Baertschi only has one. The entire defense corps has combined for three…

The MOST disappointing thing, though, is that the Canucks have been this bad while management says they are trying to compete for the playoffs. Most fans recognize that it’s time to take a step back and rebuild, but management still wants to play for the here and now. The team is trying to serve two masters, and it isn’t working.

The Sedin twins are two of the oldest members of the team, yet they lead in scoring.  Do you feel they are still effective?

JG:  Absolutely. Their days of scoring a point-a-game are over, and their numbers are slowly but surely declining. But they are still the heart and soul of the Canucks offense. That’s partly because the Canucks still haven’t found anyone else to carry the team, but it’s also because they are still productive players.  They score at a first line rate and should be good players at least until their contracts expire in 2019.

Without the twins, this team would be 0-20. That’s not a joke. 

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