Before the Canucks/Kings game on Monday, I went on Jacked In With Jessica (Kelowna AM 1150) and noted the Kings’ very good powerplay and the Canucks’ very lousy penalty-kill. That night, of course, the Canucks allowed 2 powerplay goals against en route to a 3-2 loss. The loss itself didn’t bother me; after all, they had to lose at some point. Their special teams play, however, may be cause for concern.
Lately, the Canucks have had a bad habit of letting in a PPGA or two or three. Since January 1st, they’ve allowed a PPGA in 20 of their 26 games and their PK rate is a woeful 72.9% (29 PPGA/107 TS). If they’re serious about making a lengthy postseason run, it’s certainly an area in which they need to improve.
If the Canucks were scoreboard watching last night, they would have been pleased with the results. The Flames and the Stars lost in regulation; the Wild, Oilers and Predators lost in OT; only the Jackets and Blues posted wins.
They’re still 6 points up on 9th place Minnesota, but perhaps more significantly, they’ve crept to within 5 points of 4th place Chicago (Chicago has a game-in-hand) and 8 points of Northwest Division-leading Calgary (Calgary has played 2 more games).
Was I the only one annoyed at all the talk yesterday that the Canucks – after one loss to the Kings – play down to the level of their opponent and can’t beat teams worse than they are in the standings?
The Canucks suffered only their 3rd loss in 15 games. When they lost, only the Kings had a worse record than they did. Meanwhile, their 12 wins include wins against illustrious teams such as the Blues, Coyotes, Senators, Leafs, Lightning and Wild.
It’s one loss, people. Let’s talk again if they blow the next 3 against the Ducks, Kings and Avalanche.