The Vancouver Canucks once again find themselves in an unenviable task of having to dig themselves out of a monsterous hole early in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks, the Canucks are on the verge of being bounced in the first round for the second straight season and the question needs to be asked……why?
Give the Sharks a pile of credit. They have been a different club since the trade deadline and they’ve carried that over into the playoffs where they are on cruise control.
For the Canucks it’s been a combination of poor play and unlucky bounces that have them with their backs against the wall. If history tells us anything it’s the Canucks chances of seeing round two of the playoffs are slim to none and slim just walked out the door.
Only three clubs have ever come back from being down 3-0 and gone on to win the series in the NHL. The last club to do so was the Philadelphia Flyers when they stormed back on the Boston Bruins in 2010. Will the Canucks join that elusive company? I’m not placing my next pay check on them to do so.
You can argue that the Canucks should have won game two in which they had the lead part way through the third period. A Patrick Marleau goal with under a minute left to play sent the game to overtime and former Canuck Raffi Torres silenced the home town crowd and put the Sharks up 2-0.
Since then it’s been a lapse here and there for the Canucks or a five minute span in game three where they allowed three goals and chased netminder Corey Schneider in favor of Roberto Luongo. Inconsistent play will kill a team every year in the playoffs and the Canucks are finding that out again this year.
Yes they have key injuries to players like Ryan Kesler who’s playing through it and their goaltending duo is a daily circus, something that was said to be a distraction for the club ever since the regular season ended. Now with Schneider playing so poorly it was like throwing gas on the fire for the media.
This is a Canucks team that is fragile and frail since losing in the first round of last year’s playoffs in five games to the hugely underdog Los Angeles Kings. All throughout this season the Canucks haven’t had that consistent edge that they’ve shown in the past five seasons. Sure they won the Northwest division for the sixth time in seven years including the last five, but this was a different Canucks club that didn’t have that gunslinging threat that you’d better show up on a nightly basis or they will embarrass you.
With potentially their final game on tap tonight in San Jose the Canucks could be facing major changes this offseason, barring a miraculous comeback. We’ll wait to dissect the Canucks and the changes we feel are necessary until after they are out of the playoffs, which could be tomorrow morning.
With a loss tonight we could be seeing the last of the Canucks core group of players remain in tact and if you ask the LA Kings marketing department, they’ll remind us all that they are the ones to thank given the crumble started in last year’s first round.