Lost opportunity not a big deal. Yet.
“Over 82 games, sometimes these things are going to happen, but this was a missed opportunity for us,” said Canucks coach Alain VIgneault. “It was there and everybody knew about it, but our game wasn’t good enough. They got a bounce or two but were the better team.”
Given the Canucks have lost every 5 games or so, I suppose it wasn’t a surprise that they lost to the Phoenix Coyotes last night. They were, after all, coming off 4 consecutive wins and they can’t be expected to win every game.
Given that Canucks fans have been conditioned to expect the worst, I suppose I’m not surprised either that some feel that this is a sign of things to come. Personally, I think the team has learned from last year’s debacle and there’s no way the leadership of this team will allow a repeat of it.
I do agree with AV though that this was an opportunity lost. The Blues and the Oilers gave the Canucks a gift on Friday – they beat the Flames and Blackhawks, respectively – and the Canucks failed to take advantage.
That said, there are 5 more games to this road trip, and if there’s anything the Canucks need to get back on track, it’s their road game. After a 5-2-0 road run after the All-Star Break, they’re now winless in their last 4 road games (0-3-1). They’ve been outscored 15-6 in those 4 losses.
Somehow, I don’t think Shane O’Brien pictured his 1st goal as a Canuck to look like this:
There’s no doubt SOB had a rough night, though to be fair, almost every other Canuck did.
The fact is, he’s been solid since his much ballyhooed spat with Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault. If you remember SOB sat 4 games between January 31 and February 10. He returned to the lineup on February 12 and his play since is one reason Ossi Vanaanen has yet to play his first game in a Canucks jersey. Including the 3 goals against he was on the ice for last night, SOB has been on the ice for only 8 goals in 18 games (244:00 total TOI, 13:33 average TOI/game) since February 12 – a ratio of 1 goal against on ice every 30.5 minutes.