On Thursday night against Columbus, the Canucks absolutely dominated the Blue Jackets through the first period. They came out strong in the second period and got two quick goals from Bo Horvat and Daniel Sedin.
It looked like they were on their way to an easy win, except they forgot to keep it up in the second half of the game.
A weird bounce fooled Lack on the first Columbus marker, but the second goal was due to lousy coverage in their own end. Neither Kevin Bieksa or Luca Sbisa were able to cover their man on the boards, while Linden Vey left Marko Dano wide open in the slot.
From there on out the Canucks looked flat, as they gave up six unanswered goals after taking that 2-0 lead.
It was an extremely lame effort by a team who is fighting for their playoff lives. They are one point up on the Calgary Flames, and two points up on the Los Angeles Kings, a team whom they will face on Saturday afternoon.
If the Canucks continue their trend and produce another dismal performance against the Kings, they could find themselves out of the playoff picture come Sunday morning.
Lacking Killer Instinct
The Canucks loss to Columbus, a team far outside of the playoff picture, isn’t the only disturbing loss the Canucks have had recently.
The Canucks are failing to pick up points against teams they should beat. The losses to Buffalo and Arizona are especially troubling, considering those teams are in full-on tank mode right now. There is a lack of urgency coming from the Canucks in those games, which is troubling because they need every point they can get right now.
Although they are failing to beat the bad teams, it should be mentioned that their recent record against playoff teams isn’t so shabby. They are 9-1 in their last ten games against teams currently in a playoff spot. They are actually on a streak of nine straight wins against current playoff teams, with their last loss to a playoff squad coming against the Minnesota Wild back in February.
To be fair, that doesn’t include any games against either the San Jose Sharks or the Los Angeles Kings, who currently sit outside of the playoff picture. The Canucks have suffered a loss to each team in that time span. Both losses against the Sharks and Kings came by a four-goal margin.
Just learned that Willie thought that was best game against LA this year. He likes the pp and character in room. Okay then. #Canucks
— Ann Schmaltz (@annschmaltz) March 13, 2015
While it’s great to see them beat playoff squads, they need to pick up some points against teams who are vying for a good draft position. Every point matters for the Canucks right now, who are fighting for their playoff lives.
Next week the Canucks will play three teams who are outside of the playoff picture: Arizona, Colorado, and Dallas. They have a combined record of 2-4-1 against those three teams this season. If they want to remain in the playoffs by the end of next week, they are going to have to find a way to pick up some points against those teams.
The rest of the west isn’t going to make it easy for them.
KPU Journalism Graduate. Trevor has been writing for The Hockey Writers since October 2014. He has contributed articles related to the Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks, and other issues/stories regarding the game of hockey. Trevor currently lives in White Rock, B.C.