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BREAKING: Canucks could use a win tonight

Nov 25, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

By the end of the night’s action, the Vancouver Canucks could be six points back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, and in fairly big trouble.

Or, they could be two points back, and things wouldn’t look quite so bad.

So yeah, tonight is sort of pivotal, given the way the standings look right now:


The Canucks host the Kings tonight, while the Coyotes are in Nashville and the Wild entertain the Blues.

The last time Vancouver missed the playoffs was 2007-08, when players like Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison were still with the club. Since then, the Canucks have won a pair of Presidents’ Trophies and made it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. So the concern at the team’s current place in the standings is understandable.

Also understandable is the frustration. With the exception of Tuesday’s shootout loss to Florida, the Canucks have actually played quite well in recent home defeats. They got unlucky in a 2-1 overtime loss to San Jose; they outshot Dallas, 43-23, and lost by a goal; and on Saturday, it was a nine-second lapse versus the Blackhawks that cost them.

Based on possession stats like Corsi and Fenwick, the Canucks are one of the best teams in the NHL. But hockey games are decided by goals, and an inability to finish chances has cost Vancouver. Per Extra Skater, the Canucks’ shooting percentage is just 7.8, 24th overall.

Alex Burrows is the poster child for Vancouver’s snakebitten forwards. In 13 games, the 32-year-old has no goals on 42 shots. No NHL forward has that many shots without at least a goal.

“The worst part is you feel like you let your teammates down and it’s not a good feeling,” said Burrows, per The Province. “A goal here and there could change the storyline at the end of the night. You have to put in the extra work. Work harder in the gym and on the ice and prepare harder. Eat better and sleep better and if you do all those things, you’re going to get your luck.”

Burrows has a career shooting percentage of 13.1, so it’s not like he’s known for lacking finish.

Granted, the Canucks still have 57 games to pull themselves out of their Western Conference hole. Goalie Roberto Luongo said today that he doesn’t “look at the standings right now.”

Then again, he doesn’t really need to, given the constant reminders from media and fans.

  1. oside760 - Nov 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    They could, but they won’t. Lets go Kings!

  2. tackledummy1505 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Lol 25 games played and tonight’s game is the most important for a playoff spot some how with 57 games still remaining lol. People talk to me about pivotal playoff games with 25 games left on the season. The Flyers got off to a horrible start and now they’re right back into the hunt

    • davebabychreturns - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Yeah but the Flyers are in the Eastern Conference which is full of awful teams.

      Four of the Canucks division rivals are in the top nine in the league in points percentage, not to mention four more central division teams. Think about that – eight of the nine likeliest teams in the league to collect two points on any given night are in the Western Conference (and the Canucks trail all of them).

      Now that a lot of interconference play is out of the way the Canucks are going to have to start taking points away from some of the teams they are chasing. Tonight might not be a pivotal game, but like Brough said six points back of a playoff spot (with most of the teams you’re chasing holding one or more game at hand) is not a pretty picture.

  3. hammerhead5573 - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    To be fair tackle he did say sort of pivotal. I don’t buy into must wins or essential wins or any of that until 3/4 of the season or especially the playoffs. But in Canada where hockey is life, I would guess it can be determined to be sort of pivotal.

  4. President Charles Logan - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    whats the over under on when torts implodes ?

  5. jpat2424 - Nov 25, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    I love it. Go whoever there playing.

  6. blomfeld - Nov 25, 2013 at 10:47 PM


    The bottom line friends is that the NHL’s new ‘center of power’ today clearly lies in the Pacific Division, with Staples Center being the ‘undisputed’ epicenter … and anyone with even half a brain knew that going into this season. After years of getting away with ‘shameless’ murder in the weak and meager Northwest Division and winning ‘meaningless’ paper-mache President’s Trophies in the process, the Canucks are finally now coming to learn what it’s like to play on the ‘big’ stage … and about bloody time too eh ? We glorious Kings, together with the formidable Sharks and Ducks, represent ‘that’ which one would refer to in golf as ‘par excellence’ … no two ways about it. And suffice it to say, that we will definitely ‘not’ be offering quarter to these people any time soon !


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