Putting together wins isn't easy, but it's shouldn't be as difficult as it is for this team.
A win against the Capitals and Kings in the span of a few days is always nice when they are two of the top teams in either conference. The losses to the Ducks and Blues are the ones that frustrate at this time of the year when a team needs to be putting together consistent efforts every night. So the 8 game home-stand is at 4-2 which isn't bad, but it could be easily be better. They say 'it's not if you win, it's how you play the game' and that has been the main problem with this Vancouver team from the beginning of the season. The games lost are not pretty to watch and that might explain why they don't have any of those 'loser points' we hear so much about. Sure when they've gone to extra time they've won, thats great, but the losses haven't been as close as they really should be. It's time to string together some wins.
That's about all that should be harped on because all in all the wins have been good games. Especially against the Caps, who were very ordinary and surprisingly couldn't score even on the countless powerplay chances that they were handed by the Canucks one after the other. Looking forward, there are two more games before the Canucks head out on the road and I hope very much that they can finish strong. Mason Raymond and Steve Bernier have been really strong on the puck and both of these guys are being counted on to keep it up. Bernier in particular has seen his ice time and position on the depth chart drop in recent games and it seems to have been the swift kick in the rear he needed. Raymond has been terrific for the most part all season. His game has improved immensely from the previous season and he's just knocking those career numbers further up with each passing day. The two goals he scored against the Caps were both beauties and involved him using the talent he has in a way we haven't seen from him before.
Now come the Preds who have been really on fire in the last few days. Their saturday win over Calgary in the dreaded afternoon game handed the Flames another loss which allowed the Canucks to stay a bit close in the NW race. Unfortunately they also scored 5 goals in that game, and they've been consistently scoring at that level over the last 6 games or so. Scary stuff when you consider how handily they beat Vancouver in their last visit with that hat trick by Marty Erat. I'm sure the Canucks haven't forgotten, so lets hope for a better effort than the one we saw against the Blues. Sure I like Shane O'Brien, but if he's the only one who scores, something is not right.
Nashville Predators @ Vancouver Canucks – Dec 22, 2009 / 7:30PM PST (SNET-HD)
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Written by Luke Mirza