A couple of steps forward, a couple of steps back
“We’ve got to string more than a couple of wins together. We need a longer winning streak. We’ve been playing .500 hockey the last little bit, and that’s not good enough by any means. We’ve got to keep going here.”
Ryan Kesler said the above after the Canucks’ second straight win against the Northwest Division-leading Colorado Avalanche. The Canucks followed it up with a well-played, well-fought and quite entertaining 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
A couple of steps forward and then a couple of steps back. Just like Kes said.
With injuries to, among others, their captain and goaltender, their top goal scorer and their best overall defenseman, the Canucks’ play in the first two months of the 2009/2010 season has been as inconsistent as Colin Campbell’s decision-making.
They haven’t won more than 3 games in a row, but they haven’t lost more than 3 games in a row either.
They’ve scored five goals or more in 5 of their 23 games; they’ve also scored one goal or were shutout in 7 others. They’ve held their opponent to one goal or less in 7 of their 23 games; they’ve also allowed five goals or more in 6 others.
Compared to last season, they’re scoring less goals and allowing a bit more. Their powerplay is a lot better, but their penalty-kill is much worse.
You get the idea.
With the team’s injury woes pretty much behind them – at least except for Pavol Demitra, who’s still rehabbing his shoulder – the Canucks can ice as close to a complete roster as they envisioned prior to the start of the regular season.
Hopefully that brings about some consistency, and the Canucks can start taking many more steps forward than back.