CANUCKS BANTER By Andrew Chernoff December 7, 2015
CANUCKS NEED TO BATTLE AND PUSH BACK
The Vancouver Canucks (9-11-8) take to the ice at Rogers Place tonight against the Buffalo Sabres (11-13-3).
Tonight marks the second of two meetings between these two teams this season. The two teams previously met in Buffalo on Nov. 7 (2-3 L).
The Canucks are 3-2-0 against the Sabres in the last five games played and 4-1-0 in the last five home outings versus Buffalo.
The game is the third of 4 games on the Canucks home stand, having lost the first two as part of a five game winless streak, in which they have been shutout twice and have less than eighteen shots (16,16,17) in three straight games.
The Canucks currently sit in 5th place in the Pacific division with 26 points, two points ahead of Edmonton and four points in front of Calgary.
Buffalo is currently on a three game Western Canada swing on their current road trip which ends on Thursday against the Calgary Flames.
The Sabres are in 7th place in the Atlantic division with 25 points, two points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Vancouver’s last game was against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, a 4-0 loss. Jacob Markstrom made 18 saves with an .818 SV% in his latest start. The Canucks are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games, and 3-6-3 at home.
The Canucks lost their fifth straight National Hockey League game Saturday when they dropped a 4-0 decision on home ice to the Boston Bruins. It wasn’t so much that they lost — we’re getting used to that. It was how they lost. The Canucks barely put up a fight in what their coach had called a “must game.”
Source: ‘Frustrated’ Vancouver Canucks, struggling on both offence and defence, looking to ‘get that swagger back’, National Post, December 7, 2015
For the Sabres, they visited Edmonton last night, and lost to the Oilers 4-2. The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and 5-5-2 on the road.
FIVE GAME SKID REVIEW: November 26-December 7
- During their 5 game winless streak, Vancouver is 0-3-2. Goals For:5. Goals Against: 16. Shots For: 110 (36, 25, 16,16,17) for 4.55 per cent shots turned to goals. Shots Against: 151 (30, 34, 40, 22, 25) for an .894 save percentage.
- Their power play is 2 for 18: 11.1 per cent, 23rd best in the NHL.
- Penalty kill has allowed 4 goals on 18 times short handed, for 77.8 per cent, 22nd best in the NHL.
- Face-off win percentage, the worst in the league at 41.5 per cent.
- As for the Plus/Minus (+/-) factor. During their 5 game winless streak, only one Canuck is in the plus, and that is Luca Sbisa at +1:
- There are 13 players in the minus, and 9 players at zero.
- The worst is Radim Vrbata at –6. There are three at –5: Alex Edler, Yannick Weber, and Jared McCann; four players at –4: Alex Burrows, Bo Horvat, Chris Tanev, and Chris Higgins; three players at –2: Derek Dorsett, Dan Hamhuis and Ben Hutton; two players at –1: Ronalds Kenins and Jake Virtanen.
Tickets to Saturday’s blowout against the Boston Bruins were selling for as low as $12 each shortly after the puck dropped. Monday’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres is currently being sold as low as $30 a ticket, but that may drop even more closer to game time.
“It’s just the inconsistency,” said Tony Ell of Showtimetickets.com. “People want to get behind a consistent product.”
Traffic inside the Canucks official store was far from crowded on a Sunday a few weeks before Christmas.
Source: Demand for Canucks tickets sink to lowest levels in over a decade-globalnews.ca, December 7, 2015
- Since November 1, the Vancouver Canucks are the worst team in the NHL, with a record of 4-9-4 in 17 games played.
- Their wins since November 1, are the least during that time, putting them dead last at 30th in the NHL.
- During that time they have 40 goals for, 18th in the NHL; 53 goals against, tied with the Arizona for the second most allowed during that span, with Winnipeg the worst with 56 goals against.
- Face-off win percentage during their last 17 games, puts them dead last in the NHL at 43.9 per cent.
- Overall for the season, the Canucks face-off win percentage is 46.9 per cent in 28 games, worst in the NHL.
- Canucks are 4-1 when Brandon Prust has a fight.
- Daniel Sedin has 18 points (8-10-18) in the last 13 games. He recently had a seven game point streak from Nov. 14-27; it was the longest point streak of any Canucks player this season and his longest since a seven game streak from Oct. 22 – Nov. 5/13. He currently leads the team and ranks in the top-10 in the League in points (29), goals (12), ppg (5) and ppp (11).
- Henrik Sedin has 17 points (5-12-17) in the last 13 games. He recently had a six game point streak from Nov. 16-27. He also had a five game point streak earlier this season from Oct. 29 to Nov. 7. Last season, the Captain recorded points in three or more consecutive games on 10 different occasions. Henrik ranks in the top-10 in the NHL in points (26), assists (18), and ppp (10).
- Alex Edler leads VAN in time on ice (24:22) and has led the team in that category in 24 of 27 games he’s played, including 14 games where he’s led all skaters in TOI. He currently ranks t-17th in the NHL in TOI/GP.
- Jake Virtanen ranks t-third on the team and third among NHL rookies in hits with 53.
- Chris Tanev leads the team and ranks fifth in the League in blocked shots with 69. His defence partner Alex Edler ranks t-14th in the NHL with 56 blocked shots.
- Radim Vrbata is the worst Canuck in plus/minus with -17, closely followed by Bo Horvat at -13.
- Jannick Hansen is the best Canuck in plus/minus with +10, followed by Henrik Sedin at +6.
- Derek Dorsett missed practice yesterday but is expected to be able to play tonight.
- Ryan Miller will get the call in net tonight against his old club, while blue-liner Alex Biega is expected to draw into the line-up as well likely in place of either Yannick Weber or Matt Bartkowski.
- Miller will start his 23rd game of the season. He has a 2.59 GAA; .910 SV%; and one shutout.
- In his last 9 starts, Ryan Miller has won only 2 games, with a 3.17 GAA and .898 SV%.
- The Sabres could go with back-up netminder Linus Ullmark tonight after Chad Johnson went the distance last night. Ullmark is winless in his last five starts but did beat the Canucks back on November 7.
Are the Canucks the worst team in the NHL?
You can certainly make the case without much effort. They’re currently on the worst streak. They have the lowest winning percentage of any NHL team. They can’t score and they’re having trouble defending.
But here’s the most sobering part. Look at the NHL standings and find a team you can point to and confidently say: “The Canucks are better than these guys.”
Source: Willes’ Musings: Are the Canucks the worst team in the NHL?, The Province, December 7, 2015
“We haven’t come out with some of the games I thought we’d come out with,” coach Willie Desjardins told the Canucks website after practice Sunday. “I like our group, I still do. … We’ve been inconsistent and when you’re inconsistent, guys lose confidence in each other so we have to start at the basics and we have to work through it and we have to get back on track.”
Vancouver has scored five goals in five games.
“I’ve seen this team play some amazing hockey and we have to get back to that, we have to get that swagger back, that confidence back,” forward Brandon Prust said. “We have a great team here.”