Friday, November 02, 2007

Things only get worse for the Canucks

November continues much the way October ended, as the Vancouver Canucks continued to struggle to find some positives from their on ice performances. None were forthcoming from game number thirteen on the schedule.

Thursday night saw the Vancouver Canucks drop another home game, this time a 3-0 loss to the Nashville Predators. It was a costly loss for Vancouver, who lost two key defencemen to injury during the course of the game.

Both Kevin Bieksa and Sammi Salo found themselves on the way to a Vancouver hospital with frightening injuries, Bieksa suffered a deep cut to his calf muscle after he was cut by the skate of Predator Vernon Fiddler.

Salo was hit in the orbital bone around the eye and his nose after taking a shot point blank from team mate Alex Edler. Salo had only just returned to the Canucks after missing the start of the season with a wrist injury.

The injuries are the last thing that head coach Alain Vigneault needed at the moment, his team has been playing poorly. A lack of scoring, shoddy play on the defence and uncharacteristically unfocused goaltending at times by Roberto Luongo, have all combined to send the Canucks on a losing skid.

The Vancouver talk shows have been on fire for the last few weeks now, anxious hockey fans calling for all sorts of changes to try and turn around their team.

Thursday’s result will only serve to hasten the path of panic in Vancouver, with the loss; the Canucks tumbled to last place in the NorthWest Division, only two points away from claiming last overall in the Western Conference. By the time Thursday’s match came to an end the remaining crowd at GM Place had taken to cheering on the Predators goals, an exclamation point to their thoughts on the state of the Canuck’s these days.

Thursday night’s game , just one night removed from Halloween; would prove to be worse than any horror movie could ever have produced.

Now the moves will have to come from the Executive offices. General Manager Dave Nonis will most likely have to start exploring some trade options. With a team that seems to have stopped listening to their coach and now suffers some serious staffing issues, there is a sense that a shake up is needed quickly in order to salvage the still young season. The last week has seen a visible chasm develop on this team, a frustration with the criticism of the coach and the rumbles of discontent from the fan base.

Nonis won’t be working from a position of strength; he’s down to key defencemen and has an offensive group that can’t accumulate points. The fraternity of GM’s around the league will be rubbing their hands in glee, mindful that they have the resources that the Canucks will need.

The price of negotiations just went up, what’s to be determined is if Nonis is willing to pay the price.

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