“There’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, then me.” – Rachel Green, Friends
It can’t possibly get worse than this, right?
Just when we thought the Canucks had hit rock bottom – the Heritage Classic loss, the Heritage Classic drama that lead to the Roberto Luongo trade, losing games consistently and in spectacular fashion – they, on Monday night against the New York Islanders, put together one of the worst third period meltdowns in NHL history (with all due respect to the Leafs’ meltdown against the Bruins in Game 7 in last year’s playoffs). Up 3-zip going into the final frame, the Canucks allowed the Islanders to score 6 goals in the first 12 minutes of the third period, and proceeded to lose by a 7-4 score.
The Canucks, only two seasons ago the best team in the NHL, are now so bad they’re setting record lows. And that’s saying something considering how bad they were for the first 30-something years of their existence.
All that said, I refuse to say this is rock bottom. But only because saying so would probably just give the Canucks the opportunity to try and *ahem* top themselves again.
The Playoff Picture
After the Dallas Stars’ win last night, the Canucks are now 6 points back of the Stars for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, despite having played more games than the teams they’re chasing.
Tonight, they play the Winnipeg Jets, another team ahead of them in the standings, for the third and final time this season. Home ice has been an advantage for both teams in this series; both the Canucks and the Jets split the first 2 games with the home team winning each time.
For what it’s worth, the Jets are the only team with a worse record (1-1-4) than the Canucks since the Olympic break.
For the Canucks, Daniel Sedin, Brad Richardson, Mike Santorelli and Andrew Alberts are all still on the mend. Zack Kassian will also miss the game as he serves the final game of his 3-game suspension. Ryan Stanton has missed 3 games, but practiced yesterday; he may be a game-time decision.
For the Jets, Mark Scheifele, Chris Thorburn, John Albert, James Wright and Grant Clitsome are all out with injuries.