There are probably a million excuses for the Canucks’ weekend, which included back-to-back losses against teams that won’t make the playoffs. I mean, last night’s game was their 9th game in 16 days and they’ve had to travel the night prior to each one of them. Also, they’re still obviously feeling the loss of Carly Bragnalo, a family member.
The fact is, after the high of catching up to Calgary last Tuesday, the Canucks have lost 3 straight games (0-2-1), and in each of those losses, they surrendered the first couple of goals and had to play catch-up. Whether it’s physical or mental fatigue, they need to recover quickly – like, by Tuesday – if they want to continue to remain in the hunt for the Northwest Division championship.
To the Canucks’ credit, they’re not making any excuses.
Here’s Roberto Luongo (from Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun):
“There’s no excuses tonight,” said Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. “That was a game we needed to have. We all need to give a little bit more, starting with myself trying to make one or two more saves.”
Here’s Sami Salo (from Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province):
“We have to figure it out soon, because it’s not going to happen by pressing a secret button going into the playoffs,” said defenceman Sami Salo, who wouldn’t lean on the fatigue crutch of the Canucks playing three games in four nights and 10 in the last 18 days.
“Every team plays the same schedule, so that shouldn’t be an issue for anybody. We lost this game in every aspect — battles, puck management and everything.”
The Canucks are well aware of what’s at stake.
Here’s Daniel Sedin (from Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun):
“If we don’t play better than we did today, we’ll get embarrassed,” winger Daniel Sedin said. “This is a tough game to explain. We talked about coming out in the first period and getting a lot of shots on net. We had five shots in the first period.
“I think everyone realizes we have a good chance to win the division, and to come up with this kind of effort is not good enough. We can’t go into the playoffs playing like this.”
Fortunately, they have an opportunity to quickly right this ship. Tuesday’s game is against the Calgary Flames – a win will keep their hope for a division championship (and home-ice advantage in the playoffs) alive and a loss will all but kill it.